Sanno Matsuri

Celebratory festival and Tokyo rite of worship


The Sanno Matsuri is a renowned festival in japan and considered one of the top festivals in Tokyo. It is a week-long celebration that culminates in a grand parade known as the “Shinkosai.” This festival holds significant cultural and religious importance and attracts thousands of locals and tourists alike. In this article, we will delve into the history, significance, and attractions of the Sanno Matsuri.

History and Significance

The Sanno Matsuri has a rich history that dates back to the Edo period. During this time, the festival was held to honor the Tokugawa shoguns, who were the rulers of Japan. The festival involved parading portable shrines known as mikoshi, which were carried through the streets for the shoguns to witness.

Over the years, the Sanno Matsuri has evolved into a celebration of Tokyo itself. It is an opportunity for the residents of Tokyo to come together and honor their city’s heritage and traditions. The festival showcases the vibrant culture, history, and spirit of Tokyo, making it a significant event in the city’s calendar.

The Shinkosai Parade

The main attraction of the Sanno Matsuri is the Shinkosai parade. This grand procession spans over 300 meters and features two imperial carriages and a portable shrine where the deities reside. The parade winds its way through the heart of Tokyo, captivating spectators with its colorful displays and lively performances.

The Shinkosai parade lasts for nine hours, providing ample time for visitors to witness the splendor and grandeur of the festival. It is a sight to behold as participants dressed in traditional attire showcase their skills and talents, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere.

Hie-jinja Shrine

The Sanno Matsuri centers around Hie-jinja Shrine, which is easily accessible from various Tokyo Metro stations. Hie-jinja Shrine is believed to enshrine the guardian deity of Tokyo, adding to the religious significance of the festival. The shrine itself is a beautiful architectural masterpiece, reflecting the traditional Japanese style. Visitors can explore the shrine grounds and experience the tranquil ambiance that surrounds it.

Festivals and Events

The Sanno Matsuri is not just about the Shinkosai parade. Spanning over eleven days, the festival hosts a range of events and activities at Hie-jinja Shrine. These events cater to different interests and age groups, ensuring there is something for everyone.

One of the highlights of the festival is the Atsuta Festival, which showcases traditional performances, arts, and crafts. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Tokyo and witness firsthand the skills and talents of local artisans.

Another popular event during the Sanno Matsuri is the food festival, where visitors can indulge in a wide array of traditional Japanese delicacies. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, there is no shortage of gastronomic delights to satisfy every palate.

Getting There

To attend the Sanno Matsuri, visitors can easily access Hie-jinja Shrine via the Tokyo Metro. The shrine is conveniently located near several Metro stations, including Chiyoda, Ginza, Marunouchi, Yurakucho, and Hanzomon lines. The efficient public transportation system in Tokyo ensures that getting to the festival is hassle-free and convenient for both locals and tourists.


The Sanno Matsuri is a significant festival in Japan and Tokyo, showcasing the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the city. The Shinkosai parade, held every two years, is the highlight of the festival, attracting thousands of spectators. The festival is a celebration of Tokyo’s history, spirit, and community, bringing people together in a joyous and festive atmosphere.

Whether you are a local resident or a tourist visiting Tokyo, attending the Sanno Matsuri is a must-do experience. It offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture, witness traditional performances, and indulge in delicious cuisine. Plan your visit to Tokyo during the Sanno Matsuri and create lasting memories of this vibrant and celebratory festival.

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2-10-5 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-to

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