The summer has been ruling Tokyo for awhile and along with it all the summer festivals! Usually, other bloggers write about all the major festivals, so sometimes it’s easy to forget the not-so-major-yet-unique local summer festivals.
There is this cool place located in Shinagawa, called Shinagawa Shrine, though not so widely known, it boasts a few unique features, including the Shinagawa Mt. Fuji, an artificial mountain built to imitate Mt. Fuji! The view from the top of the shrine is truly breathtaking! (Check out my video blog Part 2 for the walkthrough the festival.)
Of course, summer festivals in Japan are associated with colorful traditional yukatas, really, you shouldn’t attend a festival without one. So where can we get one? Though there are a lot of retails stores in Tokyo where you can purchase your own yukata, I would recommend renting one instead. Yukata rental locations are very common, but most of them are not foreigner-friendly, so after some research I found a place which boasts its English website, marginally-good English-speaking staff and Shibuya location.
AKI KIMONO RENTAL
Check out their website below
Yukata/Kimono rental places usually include a kimono professional who will professionally dress you in the yukata or kimono of your choice.
AKI also offers hair and make-up services to complete your look.
We did the full course!
Check out the 1st part of my video blog below to see the whole process:
Once you are all dressed up in your yukata, you are ready to attend the summer festival!
Arriving at Shinagawa Shrine, right away, I was surrounded by the scent of festival foods, children’s laughter and the shrine priests’ festive chanting. The day we attended the festival, was quite a special day because the Shrine God was being transported to its temporary shrine at a different location. In Japan, it’s called Mikoshi. The Shrine God is believed to be transported inside the golden carriage carried on the shoulders of the transporters. They carry the carriage down the stairs and up the road to its next destination to the sounds of taiko drums and festive chanting!
Check out my video blog below:
As you saw in the video below, after the Mikoshi left the temple, we returned to the shrine to enjoy all the fun things festival had to offer, including games, food, fortune telling, sightseeing and praying.
Summer festivals are a fun way to immerse yourself in the local culture and observe it first hand while enjoying the festivities.
And grab a cold drink at the end of the hot summer day as the night falls across the city that never sleeps.
Enjoy Japan, the fun way!