On the 9th and 10th of September 2023 the bustling streets of Kichijoji are soon to come alive with vibrant colors, energetic chants, and captivating performances as the 51st Kichijoji Autumn Festival is around the corner.
This festival, deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of Tokyo’s lively neighborhood, promises an authentic experience of Japanese traditions for both locals and visitors alike.
Shrine Mikoshi Procession
Date: September 9th and 10th, 2023
The ceremonial highlight of the festival, the Mikoshi procession, starts from the Musashino Hachimangu Shrine. On these days, the shrine’s deity takes a journey through the local streets on a portable shrine, called a Mikoshi. As part of this grand procession, a priest, mounted on a divine horse, leads the way. The ritual culminates on Sunday, when the deity returns to the shrine, creating a spiritually charged atmosphere that’s sure to leave an indelible mark on your memory.
Children’s Mikoshi Parade
Date: September 9th, 2023 at 3 PM
This heartwarming segment of the festival showcases the neighborhood’s future – the children. Watch as young participants come together on Peace Street near the station, carrying miniature Mikoshi shrines and vibrant floats. It’s a sight that symbolizes the continuity of traditions from one generation to the next. And, if you’ve got young ones eager to participate, they’re actively seeking future bearers!
A Quick Note On The Japan Rail Pass Price Hike
The price of the wonderful Japan Rail Pass is going up a massive 62% in October but there’s still time to lock in the old rates if you’re quick. Klook still offers the old prices so if you buy before September 30th you can travel with the old prices until December 28th, 2023.
Mikoshi Alliance Parade
Date: September 10th, 2023 at 2 PM
Prepare to be awestruck as 11 magnificent Mikoshi converge on Peace Street by the station. Each portable shrine is a representation of different groups, and they come together in a grand display of unity. Performers showcase spectacular acts at various stages, while the crossing of Mikoshi paths offers another splendid visual treat for onlookers.
Town Mikoshi Parade
Date: September 9th and 10th, 2023
Every neighborhood or “town” prides itself on having a unique Mikoshi, each distinct in design and the manner in which they’re carried. Over these two days, witness the locals parade their beloved Mikoshi along various routes. Make sure to listen closely for the distinctive shouts and chants of each group. Special attention: On Sunday, around 10:25 AM, 10 Mikoshi will ceremoniously depart from the Musashino Hachimangu Shrine.
Festival Extras: Children’s Floats and Fair Stalls
No festival is complete without a stack of attractions for the little ones. From charming children’s floats to bustling fair stalls offering local delights and trinkets, there’s plenty to keep the young (and the young at heart) entertained.
In a world that’s rapidly modernizing, the Kichijoji Autumn Festival stands as a testament to Japan’s commitment to its traditions. Whether you’re a returning visitor or a first-timer, this event is bound to offer an unforgettable experience.
Stay Close to Dive Deep
Now that you know the festival details, here’s a pro tip: To get the most out of this spirited event, consider staying nearby. This not only offers the convenience of proximity but also lets you avoid overwhelming festival crowds during peak hours.
We’ve curated a list of five nearby hotels, ensuring you get a good night’s sleep (or can party with the locals to after the last train) after a day of revelry:
- Kichijoji Daiichi Hotel – Located just a stone’s throw away from the festival grounds. Check Offers
- Kichijoji Tokyu REI Hotel – For those who want a blend of comfort and luxury. Check Offers
- Inokashira Crystal Hotel – A budget-friendly option without compromising on comfort. Check Offers