May is a month full of events in Taito, with several traditional “matsuri” at local shrines. Naki-zumo (Apr. 29) and Takara-no-mai (May 5) are coming up at Sensoji Temple. Beautiful spring flowers can be seen at the Ueno Toshogu Shrine Peony Garden until May 10, the Azalea Bonsai Exhibition in Ueno (May 24-29) and the Ueki-Ichi Plant Fair at Sengen Shrine in Asakusa (May 27-28).
April 29, 2017: Naki-zumo - Baby Crying Sumo
This Saturday at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa small babies will compete in naki-zumo (crying sumo). Sumo wrestlers hold up babies in a sumo ring who compete against each other by crying. The naki-zumo event wishes for the children to grow up healthy and strong.
The end of April and the beginning of May is a time when many Japanese people have time off and travel. It is Golden Week with public holidays on April 29 and May 3-5. Expect popular places and public transport to be especially crowded during these days.
Matsuri - Shrine Festivals
The main festivals of several shrines take place in May. Visit a matsuri and experience traditional culture. Matsuri include ceremonies at the shrines, parades of “mikoshi” portable shrines, and street vendors selling tasty snacks and sweets.
The Shitaya Shrine Festival kicks off the matsuri season in Tokyo and the Sanja Matsuri is one of the main festivals in the city. Join the crowds of local people celebrating and having fun. Check out these matsuri in Taito:
May 5-7: Shitaya Jinja Taisai – Shitaya Shrine Festival
May 19-21: Onoterusaki Jinja Taisai – Onoterusaki Shrine Festival
May 19-21: Sanja Matsuri of Asakusa Shrine
May 25: Gojo Tenjinja Reitaisai at Tenjin Shrine in Ueno