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In 2022, the festival's grand parade has been cancelled

Held in mid June, the Sanno Matsuri (R, Sannō Matsuri) is one of the three most famous festivals of Tokyo, alongside the Kanda Matsuri and Fukagawa Matsuri. A full version of the festival is held only in even-numbered years, alternating with the full version of the Kanda Matsuri which takes place in odd-numbered years. The Sanno Festival extends over a week with a variety of events, but most of them are rather small.

The festival's main attraction, which is held only in even-numbered years, is a parade that winds through central Tokyo over the course of nine hours on one of the festival days. The parade begins and ends at Hie Shrine, the shrine responsible for holding the festival. Hie Shrine enshrines the guardian deity of Tokyo. It is believed to predate the foundation of the city, and its kami (Shinto gods) have always been associated with the protection of the city.

When the Tokugawa shoguns began to rule the country from Edo (former name of Tokyo), the shrine also became associated with the Tokugawa family. During the period of their rule, the Edo Period (1603-1867), the festival became a celebration of the nation's new political center and its rulers.

In modern times, however, the parade has become much smaller in scale in order to avoid interfering with traffic and regular business. Many of the roads along the route get only partly closed, with busy traffic running alongside the festival parade. The procession consists of only some modest sized floats and about 500 people, who are dressed in colorful costumes. The most important part of the parade are three portable shrines (mikoshi), in which the kami (Shinto gods) are carried around the city.

At Hie Shrine, where the parade begins in the morning, visitors can find a large straw ring standing in the middle of the shrine grounds. Walking through the ring is an act of purification in which visitors can take part. The parade gradually winds its way around the area, passing by the Yotsuya train station and Yasukuni Shrine. Before noon the parade arrives at the Tokyo Imperial Palace and stops for about half an hour while the mikoshi are involved in religious ceremonies. The chief priest enters the palace to offer prayers to the emperor and imperial family, which is a rare honor afforded to the festival.

After a thirty minute pause, the parade continues past Tokyo Station before another pause of an hour is made at the small Nihonbashi Hie Shrine, where members of the procession are able to take a rest. Because the shrine is small, only a portion of the parade can enter, while the remaining people and floats head to a nearby park. After the parade resumes, it passes near Nihonbashi Bridge, through the center of Ginza, past Shinbashi Station and ends at Hie Shrine.

Getting there and around

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    • TOE LIBRARY Tokyo Asakusa
      Mid-range
      Located in Tokyo, near Honryuin Matsuchiyama Shoden, Great Tokyo Air Raid Memorial Monument and Honryuji Temple, TOE LIBRARY Tokyo Asakusa features free WiFi. Every unit features a private bathroom and bidet, air conditioning, a TV and a fridge. Some units include a terrace and/or a balcony. Popular points of interest near the apartment include Asakusa Fujiasama Shrine, Sanyabori Park and Imado Shrine. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 23 km from TOE LIBRARY Tokyo Asakusa.
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    • HISAYO'S INN
      Budget-friendly
      Set in the Ota Ward district in Tokyo, 5 km from Tokyo International Airport Terminal No2 Observation Deck, HISAYO'S INN features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Each room has air conditioning and a safety deposit box. A shared kitchen comes with a refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, toaster and electric kettle. Bathrooms are shared and include free toiletries, towels, hairdryer, mouthwash and toothpaste. You will find a washing machine, tumble dryer and electrical adapter. Guests can try Japanese traditional haori jacket and have their photos taken free of charge. Rental bikes are available, and the staff can assist guests try on a yukata robe for female at a fee. Free luggage storage service is offered. Bike hire is available at this guest house and the area is popular for cycling. Oedo Onsen Monogatari is 8 km from HISAYO'S INN, while Fuji TV Odaiba is 9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 3 km from HISAYO'S INN.
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    • 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 2-star accommodation, 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe is situated in Tokyo, 1.3 km from Furukawa Shinsui Park and 1.5 km from Gyosen Park. The 2-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is located 700 metres from Subway Museum. The rooms in the hotel are equipped with a kettle. All units will provide guests with a fridge. ? la carte and continental breakfast options are available daily at 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe. Ukita Park is 1.6 km from the accommodation, while Shin Nagashima River Shinsui Park is 1.7 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 22 km from 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe.
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    • Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
      Luxury
      Boasting chic decor with touches of Japanese traditional aethetics, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. 7 dining options are featured, and free parking is available on site. JR Meguro Station is 6 minutes on foot and Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum is a 12-minute stroll. Free WiFi is provided throughout. All spacious rooms rooms include a satellite TV with cable channels, minibar, a coffee machine and handy smartphone. An en suite bathroom is fitted with a spa bath, free toiletries and hairdryer. For your comfort, some rooms include a sauna. Guests can unwind in a Japanese-style garden or at a library on site The front desk is open for 24 hours a day, and there are a pastry shop and gift shop at the property. Massage services and room services can be arranged. Shunyuki serves signature Chinese delicacies, while Tofutei offers an authentic Japanese kaiseki multi-course meal. Teppanyaki Japanese wagyu beed, American-style grilled dishes and Italian cuisine can be sampled on site. Live piano performance can also be enjoyed at an on-site cafe lounge in the day time. JR Shibuya Station is a 5-minute train ride, while JR Shinagawa Station is 8 minutes by train from Hotel Gajoen Tokyo. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 10 km away.
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    • Palace Hotel Tokyo
      Luxury
      Situated right in the heart of Marunouchi business district, Palace Hotel Tokyo is 5-star luxury accommodation boasting 7 restaurants, a spa and a free-access fitness centre and indoor swimming pool. It is directly connected to Otemachi Subway Station and an 8-minute walk from JR Tokyo Station. Free WiFi is provided in the entire area. Offering elegant and chic ambience, each spacious room comes with a large LCD TV, a blu-ray/DVD player and a safety box. A fridge and an electric kettle are also provided. The en suite bathroom includes a small TV, a bath tub and toiletries. While staying at Tokyo Palace Hotel, guests can enjoy a workout at the fitness gym, or receive rejuvenating treatments at the on-site Evian Spa Tokyo. The concierge desk can arrange various services for guests including mobile phone rentals. Tablet rentals, copy and fax services are available for an extra charge upon request at the front desk or club lounge. Guests can enjoy authentic Japanese culinary experiences in Wadakura restaurant, Tatsumi tempura restaurant and Kanesaka sushi restaurant. Esterre offers exquisite French cuisine and the city views, while Grand Kitchen serves international dishes throughout the day. Located right next to the Imperial Palace, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from Ginza shopping area, and a 5-minute train ride from Akihabara electric town. Popular Tsukiji Fish Market can be reached within a 10-minute taxi ride. Airport limousine buses are available to/from Narita and Haneda airports at an extra charge.
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    • Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa
      Budget-friendly
      Ideally set in the centre of Tokyo, Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa offers air-conditioned rooms, a shared lounge and free WiFi. This 1-star capsule hotel offers luggage storage space. Kappabashi-dori Shopping Street is 300 metres from the capsule hotel and Kinryu Park is 500 metres away. At the capsule hotel the rooms come with bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa include Asakusa ROX Shopping Center, Drum Museum and Asakusa Public Hall. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 24 km from the accommodation.
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    • The Barn Tokyo
      Mid-range
      Featuring 3-star accommodation, The Barn Tokyo is situated in Tokyo, 400 metres from Calligraphy Museum and 500 metres from Nippori South Park. With a garden, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The property is non-smoking and is set 400 metres from Shikian. The units in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. At The Barn Tokyo all rooms are equipped with bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Kanei-ji Temple, Kanei-ji Temple Kompon Chudo and Kemmyo-in Temple. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 23 km from The Barn Tokyo.
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    • The Okura Tokyo
      Luxury
      Composed of 2 buildings, The Okura Tokyo boasts a garden and bar. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi. The accommodation features a concierge, ticket service and currency exchange for guests. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a fridge, kettle and flat-screen TV with satellite channels. All guest rooms have a private bathroom with a bath, hairdryer, bidet and free toiletries. Located on 28-40 floors, Prestige Tower offers rooms with cityscape views. Guests staying in Heritage Wing can enjoy free access to the Club Lounge. Spacious rooms in Heritage Wing include complimentary welcome drink, steam sauna and spa bath. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast. The Okura Tokyo also provides a business centre and guests can check the newspapers or use the on-site ATM machine at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near The Okura Tokyo include Iino Hall and Conference Centre, National Diet Building and Space FS Shiodome. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International, 22 km from the hotel, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
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    • The Capitol Hotel Tokyu
      Luxury
      Designed by Kengo Kuma, Capitol Hotel Tokyu boasts 3 restaurants, a 14th-floor indoor pool and direct access to 4 subway lines. Rooms are spacious for Tokyo and have city views. Free WiFi is available in the entire building and paid private parking is available on site. Rooms at Tokyu Capitol Hotel offer a softly lit blend of the old and new, with paper screens and a large flat-screen TV. A minibar and a large private bathroom with a bathtub are included. Free toiletries, slippers and a hairdryer are provided. Guests can look out over Tokyo as they work out at the fitness centre or relax in the hot tub. Carju Rajah TIADO Spa offers massages and the hotel includes a beauty salon, photo studio and other shops. The business centre on the 3rd floor features a computer and photocopying services for guests' convenience. Guests are also provided with a handy Smartphone. Star Hill Chinese Restaurant serve lunch and dinner in stylish modern settings. Suiren offers various Japanese dishes including teppanyaki, sushi and kaiseki multi-courses. Asian and Western cuisines are available all day at Origami. The Capitol Bar offers mood lighting, natural wood and elegantly served cocktails. The hotel has direct access to the Tameike-sanno and Kokkai-gijido-mae subway stations, which offer direct links to the Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ginza areas. The Imperial Palace is a 5-minute drive, while Roppongi Hills is a 10-minute drive away.
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    • Backpacker's Mini House
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 2-star accommodation, Backpacker's Mini House is located in Tokyo, 300 metres from Bellesalle Kanda and 600 metres from Nikkei Hall. The 2-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with a shared bathroom and free WiFi. The property is 3.4 km from the city centre and 400 metres from Kanda Children's Park. Popular points of interest near the hostel include Tokiwa Park, Kotoku Inari Shrine and Taira no Masakado's Grave. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 19 km from Backpacker's Mini House.
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