Ikegami Honmonji Temple Oeshiki
Ikegami Honmonji Oeshiki Festival is one of Tokyo’s most famous and memorable festivals, with a history dating back more than 730 years. The festival celebrates the anniversary of the death of famous Buddhist teacher and saint Nichiren.
Oeshiki celebrations to honor Nichiren, founder of the Nichiren school of Buddhism, occur around Japan in mid-October, but the largest and most impressive takes place at Ota City’s Ikegami Honmonji Temple, where Nichiren passed away.
The highlight of the festival is held October 12th at 6pm. The event, known as “Mando rite” (mando meaning 10,000 lights), involves parades of people toting poles of cherry-blossom adorned lanterns on the two-kilometer route from Ikegami Station to the temple grounds. The huge floats are accompanied by matoi, Edo-era firemen, who provide music for the march on their flutes and drums.
Over 300,000 people usually attend the festival every year to enjoy the magical atmosphere, but for those who can’t be there in person, the event is also broadcasted online. For those planning to witness the parade of lanterns, it’s advisable to come early in order to secure a good seat along the route.
During the festival, numerous food stands serve up a variety of treats to the many visitors. Common festival foods include yakisoba, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, yakitori and more. Some events, such as catching goldfish, lotteries, and fortune-tellers, are held throughout the neighborhood. The concessions are open for the entire three-day event, and the lively atmosphere is a fantastic place to make friends and mingle in the brisk autumn air.
The festival is held annually from October 11th to 13th.
Free Ikegami Honmonji Temple Exploration Tour is available on the 12th.
- Date: Thursday, October 12th
- Time: 17:00–21:30
- Meeting point: At Daibo Hongyoji Temple(2-10-5 Ikegami, Ota City, Tokyo), “Ota City Tour Guide Group, Tokyo” free guide spot
- Length: 20–60 minutes(flexible upon the requests of tour participants)
- Guide Language: English, Chinese
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Ikegami Honmonji Temple is around a 12-minute walk from Nishi-Magome station on the Toei-Asakusa line or a 10-minute walk from Ikegami station on the Tokyu Ikegami line.