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Shrines/Temples/Castles/RuinsPage: 1/16

Hydrangeas at Tokyo’s Hakusan Shrine

Even if you want to see beautiful hydrangeas in bloom, travelling far for them can be difficult. As such, I’ll be introducing a place I recommend visiting for people staying in the heart of Tokyo: Hakusan Shrine and Hakusan Park, located in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward. This area is famous for having the most hydrangeas growing in the metropolitan area, with around 3000 hydrangeas planted. A hydrangea festival is held every year in mid-June, as the hydrangeas reach their peak beauty.

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.

“Kanda Matsuri” at Tokyo’s Kanda Shrine

Kanda Matsuri is a religious festival held once every two years. This historic festival, called one of the “Three Great Edo Festivals” and the “Three Great Japanese Festivals,” has been held for over 400 years. The festival lasts for 7 days, but the most people come to see the “shinkousai” and “mikoshi miyairi,” held on Saturday and Sunday, during which you can see impressive displays of mikoshi carrying.

Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine – “Yabusame-Shinji”

“Yabusame-shinji,” held at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine, takes place in early May every year. It is held as both a purification ritual and to ensure that Aoi Matsuri, or “Hollyhock Festival,” which is also held in May, can be carried out safely without problems.

A Kyoto Spring Tradition, “Aoi Matsuri” (“Hollyhock Festival”)

Aoi Matsuri is an annual festival of Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. The official name of the festival is Kamo no Matsuri (Kamo Festival).Aoi Matsuri is one of the three major festivals in Kyoto, and it is known for having old-fashioned sense of refined grace. Out of modern-day Japanese festivals, Aoi Matsuri is one of the few festivals remaining that truly preserves old dynastic traditions.

Aomori Prefecture – Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

Hirosaki Park in Aomori Prefecture’s Hirosaki City is home to Japan’s oldest Yoshino cherry tree. The park features around 52 different varieties and 2,600 total cherry trees. Over 300 of the Yoshino cherry trees in the park are over 100 years old, and since these trees have branches that extend far to the sides and grow larger flowers, they create an incredible cherry blossom viewing experience.