City News Shinagawa

Letís Enjoy Festivals

During the Kappa Matsuri, the mikoshi is carried into the sea.
There are various festivals held in different areas of Shinagawa City throughout the year. When there is a festival, there are rows of vendors selling such food as takoyaki (octopus dumplings) and yakisoba (fried noodles). There is also an omikoshi (portable shrine) procession, which is something you do not get to see everyday.
This issue will describe the festivals held at Ebara-jinja Shrine and Shinagawa-jinja Shrine.
Note: Schedule for the festivals alters every year.

Mikoshi being carried up the stairs to Shinagawa-jinja Shrine
●Ebara-jinja Shrine Grand Festival

Period: May 30 (Fri.) through June 1 (Sun.)
Address: 2-30-28 Kita-Shinagawa
How to get there: A five-minute walk from Shinbamba Station on the Keikyu Main Line

The highlight of the Ebara-jinja Shrine Grand Festival is when the festival’s mikoshi is carried into the sea. This is held on the last day of the festival, which is commonly known as Kappa Matsuri. The mikoshi is transported by boat from Susaki Bridge to Odaiba, where the mikoshi carriers push and shove one another heatedly in the shallow water at Odaiba Kaihin Park (1-4 Daiba Minato-ku).

●Shinagawa-jinja Shrine Grand Festival

Period: June 6 (Fri.) through 8 (Sun.)
Address: 3-7-15 Kita-Shinagawa
How to get there: A five-minute walk from Shinbamba Station on the Keikyu Main Line

At the Shinagawa-jinja Shrine festival, the most spectacular scene is mikoshi being carried out of the shrine and back again. The sight of large mikoshi being carried down very steep stairs and then back up at dusk after making its way through the town is awesome. The mikoshi is carried throughout the town to the beat of the Shinagawa byoshi rhythm.

Shinagawa byoshi :
Rhythmic music played during the mikoshi processions at the Ebara-jinja Shrine and Shinagawa-jinja Shrine festivals; the beat sets the pace of the procession as it makes its way around the town. The instruments with which the music is played include the shime daiko (snare drum), beaten with bamboo sticks, and the shinobue (bamboo flute).


Performers dressed as oiran (courtesans) walk through Kyu-Tokaido Avenue.
The Oiran Dochu (a procession of high-class courtesans from an age long gone) is sponsored by people in local shopping districts and conducted on June 7 (Sat.), from 7:00 p.m., through Kyu-Tokaido Avenue. Crowds gather to see performers beautifully dressed as oiran (courtesans).

What Is Matsuri (Festival)?
Matsuri is a traditional Japanese rite in which people pray to the gods and their ancestral spirits, offering thanks or making requests. The festival is usually held at a shrine or temple. There are other types of matsuri that serve as an event to revitalize the local community.

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