The Ōmiya Hachiman Festival, also known as the Autumn Grand Festival, is held every September at Ōmiya Hachiman Shrine and is one of the most important matsuri (festivals) of the year.
Note: This is not in Ōmiya in Saitama, but Ōmiya in Suginami Ward, Tokyo.
Many different events are held including mikoshi (portable shrine) parades in the local area, an archery ritual, taiko drumming, and an Eisa dance display. But the biggest event is both the food and when nine mikoshi from the surrounding neighborhoods enter the shrine gates and jostle together — it can get a little competitive.
There will be a plethora of food stalls lined up from the main torii gate to the shrine over the weekend. Be warned, it gets busy, so go through the other entrance if you want to avoid the mayhem. From September 15 to September 18 there will also be a chance to see an Ikebana exhibition.
Here are some highlights found at the shrine:
Sep. 16 (Sat.)
- 17:00: Eisa dancing
- 18:00: Yoimiya Festival
- 19:00: Taiko drumming
Sep. 17 (Sun.)
- 10:00: Festival starts
- 14:00: Mikoshi leave from the shrine
- 18:00–19:00: Nine mikoshi gather together at the shrine
Tip: If you want to get a good view of the nine mikoshi jostling at the shrine, you may have to wait from around 6:15 p.m. as they limit the number of people coming and going from the main gate. The mikoshi should enter around 7 p.m. Alternatively, the North Gate has no such limitations.
How to get there
Eifukuchō Station is the nearest station to the Ōmiya Hachiman Shrine.