The Sanno Matsuri, one of Tokyo's Three Major Festivals
The Sanno Matsuri is a religious festival held by Hie Shrine in Tokyo. During Japan's Edo Period (1603-1867), a portable shrine used in Shinto festivals, called Mikoshi, was carried into the Edo Castle grounds. This was the origin of a special festival known as Tenka-Matsuri, in which real Shoguns paraded through what is now Tokyo. Spanning 11 days, this festival features over 20 events.
Shinko-Sai: June 8, 2018; From 7:30 am to 4:45 pm
Shinko-Sai is a one-day ritual in which the shintai (an object of worship holding the spirit of the deity) of Hie Shrine is paraded through the center of Tokyo, in areas such as the Imperial Palace, Marunouchi, Kasumigaseki, Ginza and Nihonbashi. The highlight is watching this ancient procession, about 300 meters long, against the backdrop of Tokyo's modern buildings!
Noryo-Taikai (Bon-Odori Dance): June 13-15, 2018, From 6 pm
Noryo-Taikai indicates an event held outdoors to cool down in summer evenings. The shrine grounds are usually quiet, but many paper lanterns decorating the area, as well as the echo of the taiko drums, create quite a lively atmosphere at this time!
Along with music and dance that even first-timers can enjoy, there are night stalls selling food and drink. I recommend putting on a yukata (summer cotton kimono) to really get into the festival mood!
This festival will be held, rain or shine.
There are various other events besides the ones I've introduced here, so be sure to check them out!