A traditional summer festival
The Haneda Matsuri, or Haneda Festival, is held annually during the last week of July and boasts an average attendance of around 30,000, most of whom are locals. Being a fisherman’s town, Haneda Matsuri provides a unique experience. Matsuri are a great way to familiarise yourself with the local culture.
The most unique part of the matsuri are the parades. At this lively traditional summer festival, the mikoshi, or portable shrine, is carried by 3,000 people. Mikoshi are decorated in a beautiful gold and serve to transport a deity from one shrine to another. As Haneda used to be a fishermen’s town, the mikoshi is carried in a unique way, called the Yokota, that represents a boat swaying on the ocean. The parades take place multiple times a day, so whether you choose to enjoy the festival in the morning, afternoon or early evening, you’ll be sure to catch a glimpse of a mikoshi and enjoy the sound of the beating drums.
Haneda Matsuri is spread out over the entire city. The streets hold many decorations, such as lanterns and flags, which contribute to the colorful festival atmosphere. Many attendees are dressed in bright and colorful yukata. The shrines host small markets featuring familiar fair games and food stands that serve anything from yakisoba to kakigori (Japanese shaved ice).
During a festival, the whole town participates. There are various performances such as traditional music performances, taiko drums played by the local children, and many more. The performances often take place around the same time as the parades, so it is advisable to visit the market around the shrine during the hours that the parade and music performers are taking a break.
Most shops and restaurants in the area close during the festival, except for convenience stores and a few cafes around the station. Grab a good meal at the market and stock up on plenty of water, as July in Japan is usually very hot and humid.
Like any festival, the Haneda Matsuri can be enjoyed in a group or by oneself. The festival is extremely family-friendly, with plenty of activities for kids as well as adults.
The schedule of the festival changes per day, be sure to check the schedule before going.
Should the map confuse you, simply follow the lanterns and the sound of the taiko drums and it will surely lead you somewhere exciting.
|Dates||Dates are yet to be confirmed|
5-min walk from the Keikyu Line Ootorii Station.