Hanazono festival

Lately I’ve been enjoying “traditional Japanese festivals” (matsuris 祭り) more than ever. Matsuris are usually held next to a temple and one of the main activities is to eat. Omikoshi processions and traditional dances are common activities as well; but somehow I have the feeling that what is really important and brings people to the festivals is the food, the sake and having a fun time with family and friends. During the festival there are several food stalls, some of them with tables and chairs and some without them. These pictures are from the last festival I attended at the Hanazono temple (in Shinjuku), a temple dedicated to Inari, the Shintoist god of rice and fertility. It is a small, but quite enjoyable, temple trapped in between the skyscrapers of Tokyo; when you go inside it makes you relax and escape from the stress of the big city. If you want to enjoy some matsuri, in this Wikipedia page you can find the name, date and location of the most important festivals in Japan:

花園神社祭り Hanazono festival

Yakisoba
Yakisoba

Yakitori stall
Yakitori stall

Hanazono festival

Hanazono festival

Hanazono festival

Japanese lanterns
Lanterns sponsored by local businesses.

Yakisoba
More yakisoba

Japanese spiritual bouquets
Spiritual bouquets blessed by gods; if you put them on your house or company they will bring good fortune.

Japanese bouquets
More bouquets.

Hanazono festival

Hanazono festival

Hanazono festival

Hanazono festival

Hanazono festival snakes
This woman was performing a weird show with snakes.

Hanazono festival snake
There is a snake in that box.

Hanazono festival

Hanazono festival

Maid - 花園神社祭り
These idols dreessed as maids were selling candies and their DVDs (videos of them in bikini shaking their boobs). It was one of the most popular stalls in the festival.

Other festivals, matsuris:

2 Comments
  • jamesmallon

    March 23, 2010 at 11:04 am

    “Yay!” Wouldn’t be complete without a picture of a young drunk Japanese woman making the peace sign.

  • Fede

    March 25, 2010 at 5:12 am

    I´ve been reading your blog for weeks and since I´m coming soon to Tokyo, I realized that this is a very useful alternative city guide.
    I enjoy your posts very much!
    Thanks, Fede