May 21
~
May 23

Sanja Matsuri 2021 (Sanja Festival)

Free

The Sanja Matsuri typically takes place in late May each year, but in 2020 it was scaled down and moved to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The exact dates and shape of the festival haven’t been confirmed for 2021 and will be decided depending on what anti-COVID-19 measures are in place.

The Sanja Matsuri is known as one of the “3 great Shinto festivals in Tokyo” – along with the Kanda and Sanno festivals – and takes place on the third weekend of May.

This is one of the rowdier festivals with 2 million spectators typically in attendance to watch rather energetic, sometimes tattooed gentlemen doing what can most accurately be described as ‘mikoshi jousting’. Whereas in other festivals the ‘portable shrine’ bearers may bounce the incredibly heavy mikoshi, during the Sanja matsuri,fundoshi clad participants often ride on the top and will try to knock opponents off—although this is strictly prohibited.

Sanja festival Asakusa
Participants in the Sanja Festival in Asakusa | Photo by Gregory Lane

The main parade happens on Saturday from 12 noon starting at Asakusa Shrine.

Tokyo's Best Events and Cultural Activities in Your Inbox Every Week

Related Events
  • Nakameguro River
    Mar 23
    ~
    Apr 10

    Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival

    Cancelled

    The home of the most famous cherry blossom spot in Tokyo, Nakameguro canal is a blossom wonderland in spring. The canal is lined with shops and stalls especially for the occasion serving festival food and spring-themed treats including plenty of […]

    Free
  • Ueno Park Cherry Blossoms
    Mar 19
    ~
    Apr 11

    Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival

    Hanami cherry blossom viewing: a chance to reflect on the ephemeral nature of life or a good excuse for a party; whichever way you look at it, hanami in Ueno Park is something special since there are over 800 cherry […]

    Free
  • Mid
    Apr

    Asakusa Kannon-ura Ichiyo Sakura Festival

    Cancelled

    The Ichiyo Sakura Festival is a major event in Asakusa Kannon-ura that attracts big crowds every year. Take the chance to enjoy the ichiyo yaezakura in full bloom and an oiran (courtesan) parade. The Edo Yoshiwara Oiran Dochu recreates the processions held back in the […]

    10:00am – 4:00pm
    Free
  • Flea Market
    Sun, Apr
    11

    Hanazono Shrine Antique Market

    A relatively small but regular antique fair, this event has around 25-30 stalls and is on almost every Sunday (aside from those with festivals or bad weather). Roughly translated as Hanazono Shrine Blue Sky Antique Fair, it definitely gives a […]

    6:30am – 3:00pm
    Free

Recommended hotels located nearby