Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Jobs
Friends
Shopping
Essentials
-
Sightseeing
-
Accommodation
-
Transportation
-
Food
-
Budget Travel
-
Shopping
-
Questions

Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kanto - Tokyo
Sanja Matsuri 
# 63   of 73 most visited
sights in Tokyo

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

A mikoshi being carried down Nakamise Dori

The next Sanja Matsuri is scheduled for May 16 to 18, 2014

The Sanja Matsuri (Sanja Festival) is an annual festival in the Asakusa district that takes place over the third full weekend in May. It is held in celebration of the three founders of Sensoji Temple, who are enshrined as Shinto gods (kami) in Asakusa Shrine next door to the temple. Nearly two million people visit Asakusa over the three days of the festival, making it one of the three biggest festivals in Tokyo, together with the Kanda Matsuri and the Sanno Matsuri.

The Sanja Matsuri features about one hundred mikoshi, portable shrines, in which Shinto gods (kami) are symbolically placed into and paraded about the streets to bring good fortune to the local businesses and residents. Smaller neighborhood mikoshi can be seen about the streets of Asakusa throughout the festival, while the focus of the festival, the three large mikoshi belonging to Asakusa Shrine, make their appearance on Sunday. For the entirety of the festival, Asakusa is packed with food stalls, festival games and revelers amid a lively atmosphere of Japanese drums and flutes.

Daigyoretsu Parade

The festivities begin on Friday afternoon with the Daigyoretsu Parade, a large procession of priests, city officials, geisha, musicians and dancers wearing Edo Period costumes. They proceed along Yanagi Dori to Sensoji Temple and Asakusa Shrine. A Shinto ceremony is held immediately after the parade, followed by a traditional dance to pray for an abundant harvest and prosperity. In the afternoon the first of the portable shrines (mikoshi) of Asakusa's local neighborhoods are brought out and carried through the streets, accompanied by musicians playing Japanese drums and flutes.

Saturday features the neighborhood mikoshi, nearly 100 of them from the district's 44 neighborhoods, which are brought out around noon and carried to Sensoji Temple and Asakusa Shrine to be blessed before they are carried back to be paraded around their neighborhoods to spread luck and prosperity. Many neighborhoods also have smaller children's mikoshi as well as women's mikoshi.

A neighborhood mikoshi at Kaminarimon Gate

The events of Sunday, the final day of the festival, begin at 6:00 AM when hundreds of revelers, grouped by their neighborhoods and wearing matching festival garbs, gather at Asakusa Shrine and vie to carry one of the three large main mikoshi (portable shrines). The groups are very competitive as they jostle to carry the mikoshi. Consequently, spectators are not allowed beyond Sensoji's entrance gates during this part of the festival due to space and safety concerns.

After about two hours the mikoshi head off in different directions to be paraded through the district. By the end of the evening, they will have visited all of the streets, shopping arcades and neighborhoods of Asakusa before returning to Asakusa Shrine.

One of the three main mikoshi is paraded through a shopping arcade

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
The Sanja Matsuri takes place on and around the grounds of Sensoji Temple a few steps from Asakusa Station, which is served by the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line and Tobu Railways.

From Tokyo Station
Take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station (2 minutes, 140 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).

From Shinjuku Station
Take the orange JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station (10 minutes, 170 yen) and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa (10 minutes, 170 yen).

Orientation in Tokyo

Advertisement

Hotels and Ryokan
Asakusa is the recommended district to stay for low budget travelers with its wealth of inexpensive hostels, dormitories, budget ryokan and small hotels. It is also a great location for those looking for the old fashioned feel of Tokyo. Located a few subway stops off the Yamanote Line, it is neither the most convenient nor an inconvenient base for exploring the city.
Read more in our Tokyo Hotel Guide
Search Hotels
Sponsor Hotels
Gate Hotel Kaminarimon
The only hotel chosen by Michelin in Asakusa, a town of history and tradition. Book early and save.
Agora Place Asakusa
A stylish, casual hotel in Tokyo, newly opened in July 2012. Complimentary Wi-Fi in all guestrooms and public spaces.
Recommended Hotels around Asakusa - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
Asakusa Smile
This hostel with dormitories and private rooms offers some of the cheapest beds in town.
Reserve through
Hostelworld or Booking
Asakusa View Hotel
The largest hotel in Asakusa. Overlooking Sensoji Temple.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Backpackers Hostel Ks House Tokyo
One of the most popular hostels in Tokyo.
Reserve through
Hostelworld
Hotel Kaminarimon
Located directly next to Kaminarimon Gate, the symbol of Asakusa.
Reserve through
Hostelworld, Agoda or Booking
Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki
One of the most popular hostels in Tokyo, located just a few steps from Kaminarimon Gate.
Reserve through
Hostelworld, Agoda or Booking
Sakura Hostel Asakusa
Popular hostel, just a few steps from the Sensoji temple grounds.
Reserve through
Hostelworld, Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
Tokyo Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Tokyo and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Sanja Matsuri:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 52 users):
90/100
  highly recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 764):
48.  Ghibli Museum (Tokyo)   91/100
49.  Rebun Island (Rishiri and Rebun)   91/100
50.  Izumo Taisha (Matsue)   91/100
51.  Takachiho Gorge (Takachiho)   91/100
52.  Gunkanjima (Nagasaki)   91/100
53.  Sanja Matsuri (Tokyo)   90/100
54.  Nakasendo Hiking (Kiso Valley)   90/100
55.  Arashiyama (Kyoto)   90/100
56.  Cherry Blossoms (Yoshino)   90/100
57.  Enkoji Temple (Kyoto)   90/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 894):
392.  Sakaimachi Street (Otaru)   137
393.  Lake Motosuko (Fuji Five Lakes)   137
394.  Myoshinji Temple (Kyoto)   136
395.  Kanzeonji Temple (Dazaifu)   135
396.  Museum of History (Miyajima)   135
397.  Sanja Matsuri (Tokyo)   134
398.  Jidai Matsuri (Kyoto)   134
399.  Cherry Blossoms (Yoshino)   133
400.  Ohashi House (Kurashiki)   131
401.  Honmaru Goten (Kawagoe)   130

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Asakusa Shrine
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Asakusa Shrine
Official website.

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages
Travel
Sightseeing
Kanto Region
Tokyo

Asakusa
Sensoji Temple

Sanja Matsuri
Kanda Matsuri
Sanno Matsuri

Festivals
Shinto
Event Calendar

Tokyo Hotel Guide

Tokyo: Access and Orientation

News and Reports
April 10, 2014
Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
by raina
April 7, 2014
Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
by scott
April 4, 2014
Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
by scott
April 2, 2014
Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
by scott
March 31, 2014
Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
by raina
March 26, 2014
Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
by raina
March 4, 2014
Early Tokyo Blossom Report
by raina
December 11, 2013
Tokyo Autumn Color Report
by scott
More reports...

Related Questions
Sanja Matusuri 2014 Day 3
 0 reactions, last updated 3 hours ago
How does Sanja Matsuri long on 16th May
 8 reactions, last updated 5 days ago
Sanja matsuri
 1 reaction, last updated 701 days ago
Onsen in Tokyo
 1 reaction, last updated 5 hours ago
Taxi fare from Narita airport to Tokyo...
 2 reactions, last updated 28 hours ago
Monorail ticket to Haneda airport
 6 reactions, last updated 3 days ago
Cherry blossom site near shinjuku
 1 reaction, last updated 4 days ago
Katsu or ramen in Akihabara?
 3 reactions, last updated 4 days ago
Biggest Book Stores in Tokyo?
 5 reactions, last updated 5 days ago
What's happening in Tokyo during Golden...
 2 reactions, last updated 6 days ago
Haneda Airport
 2 reactions, last updated 6 days ago
Autumn Leaf near Mitake Station
 1 reaction, last updated 6 days ago
Haneda Airport post office
 7 reactions, last updated 9 days ago
Places worth visiting near to Akihabara?
 3 reactions, last updated 12 days ago
Cherry blossom late April in Tokyo
 9 reactions, last updated 12 days ago
Ghibli Museum Tickets
 4 reactions, last updated 13 days ago
Shinjuku express bus terminal
 5 reactions, last updated 13 days ago
New Yearfs Eve countdown at Zojoji...
 2 reactions, last updated 13 days ago
Tsukiji Market - 2016 Move
 2 reactions, last updated 16 days ago
Dancing in Roppongi?
 1 reaction, last updated 16 days ago

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: February 4, 2014
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - Lɂ‚ - advertising