Updated: April 22, 2019
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Hanazono Shrine's Biggest Festival! (May 26, 2019)

Shinjuku

Happening at the end of May each year, the Hanazono Taisaishiki is a grand spectacle of a festival that happens right in the middle of bustling Shinjuku! 2019's date is May 26th. Don't miss it!

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Where?

Hanazono_shrine
The main shrine at Hanazono
Hanazono Shrine is located in the middle of bustling Shinjuku, next to the famous Golden Gai area (the system of alleyways with all the tiny bars). You can get there by walking about 8 minutes from Shinjuku Station's east exit.

The Hanazono Taisaishiki is like a parade that will go from the shrine to Isetan department store a few blocks away. If you stand along the street anywhere on the route, you will be able to see the parade, but being at the shrine or at Isetan are the best viewpoints.

Most importantly, the 100-ish street food vendors will be located at the shrine itself, so that is definitely the place to be if you're hoping to eat some yummy food.
伊勢丹
Isetan department store

What?

parade_hanazono
Parading the Mikoshi
There are many festivals held at Hanazono Shrine throughout the year, but the Taisaishiki is the biggest and grandest of them all. The festival involves the parading of mikoshi (portable shrines) through the city.

On odd-numbered years (such as 2019) 8 different mikoshi that belong to parishioners of the shrine are hoisted, pushed, and pulled through the streets before being presented to the Mayor of Shinjuku in front of Isetan department store. This is basically a chance for everyone to show off their super cool mikoshi to the neighborhood. There will also be a lion dance, which is very fun to watch!
Miyako
Detail of Mikoshi

Foooood!

In addition to the parade, there will be loads of food vendors setting up shop inside the shrine grounds! This is a great chance to grab some awesome street food (I recommend a grilled squid)!
Okonomiyaki_festival
Okonomiyaki
Grilled_Squiud
Grilled squid
Chocolate-covered_banana
Chocolate-covered bananas!

When?

This year (2019), the main festival is on Sunday, May 26th. The time is unspecified, but typically starts in the afternoon and goes until late.
There will also be a pre-festival on Saturday, and a post-festival on Monday, although these will be small compared to the main event on Sunday.

If you check it out this year, be sure to go on an empty stomach and have fun!
DeLong
I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.

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