Watching Sumo wrestlers trying to make babies cry might seem like an odd pastime, but in Asakusa’s Sensoji it’s an age-old tradition. The 400-year-old event takes place at a few different temples and shrines across Japan but this is by far the most popular. The babies are a year old and the challenge is to see which cries first—becoming the winner. If they cry at the same time, the winner is determined by who cries the loudest and if a baby laughs, an ogre-mask-clad priest will often step in to encourage some tears.
There are two competitions: one held at 11:10 am and one at 2:20 pm so don’t worry if you can’t make the earlier one. Parents pay around 15,000 yen to have their babies participate and it’s quite a privileged opportunity as the tears encourage good health and drive away any evil spirits. This is the root behind the popular Japanese saying that a crying baby grows faster (although we assume this is little comfort to tired parents at 2am).
Approximately 3,500 fireworks will be launched at Hachioji Shimin Kyujo Ballpark, Fujimori Park. While the show is quite a small one, you can expect a good variety of explosions. It’s a 15-minute walk from Nishi-Hachioji Station on the JR Chuo Line […]
Late July sees the annual Shinjuku Eisa Festival. Eisa is a traditional dance originating in the Okinawan islands. The traditional costumes, dancing and drumming are quite different to what you’re likely to see in other festivals in Japan. The organizers are only expecting […]
This is the biggest summer festival of the year in the trendy neighborhood of Kagurazaka. The first two days of the festival (Wed-Thu) consist of a Hozugi Market (the seeds of the winter cherry are sold for ceremonial purposes at […]
One of central Tokyo’s biggest but least-known ‘Bon’ dance festivals. The area around the bus rotary on the west side of JR Ebisu Station is transformed into a giant yukata-clad dance circle around the lantern strewn yagura at the center. […]