Experience the remarkable blend of vibrancy, tradition, and community spirit at Tokyo’s Torikoe Festival. Known for its magnificent mikoshi (portable shrine) procession, this local festival promises a unique insight into Tokyo’s cultural heritage.
A Glimpse into Tokyo’s Traditional Festival
The Torikoe Festival (Sometimes called Torigoe Festival) is a significant event held annually in June at the Torikoe Shrine, in Tokyo’s Taito ward. This religious and cultural event is one of the oldest in Tokyo, dating back to the Edo period. It offers a captivating display of traditional Japanese rituals, drawing all.
Majestic Mikoshi Procession
The highlight of the festival is the Mikoshi procession. The Torikoe Shrine’s mikoshi, known to be one of the heaviest in Tokyo, weighs around 4 tonnes and requires the collective effort of numerous locals to be paraded around the neighborhood. This procession symbolizes the transfer of the shrine’s deity to purify the area and bring blessings to the community.
Reveling in the Festive Spirit
At the Torikoe Festival, the rhythmic beats of taiko drums, and chants of “Shoiya. Shoiya., and the participants’ enthusiastic spirit create an electrifying atmosphere. Donned in traditional festival attire, the locals show their collective strength and unity as they carry the massive mikoshi on their shoulders.
Memorable Nighttime Procession
As the sun sets, the festival takes on a magical ambiance. The mikoshi, adorned with lanterns, is paraded through the streets, casting a warm glow that accentuates the festival’s lively spirit. This nighttime procession, known as ‘Yomikoshi,’ is a sight to behold and offers stunning photo opportunities.
Like any other Japanese festival, the Torikoe Festival offers an array of delicious street food. From classic festival bites to refreshing drinks, there’s plenty to satiate your hunger as you enjoy the festivities.
Getting to Torikoe Shrine
Torikoe Shrine, the heart of the Torikoe Festival, is conveniently located in the Taito ward of Tokyo and is easily accessible via public transportation.
By Train: The nearest station to Torikoe Shrine is Kuramae Station, serviced by the Toei Asakusa and Toei Oedo Lines. From Kuramae Station, it’s just a short five-minute walk to the shrine.
By Bus: Multiple bus lines run through the Taito ward. Depending on your starting location, you can take the Toei Bus to Asakusabashi-Kuramae and walk to the shrine from there.
Given the large crowds and street closures during the festival, public transportation is the best way to get to the Torikoe Shrine. Please note that parking is limited, and street parking is likely to be restricted during the festival days.