Akasaka Hikawa Festival 2016
10 – 18 September 2016
Akasaka Hikawa Shrine, around Akasaka
The Akasaka Hikawa Shrine is a Shinto sanctuary located in a quiet area of Akasaka, Tokyo (the main deity enshrined is Susanoo-no-mikoto). The main wooden building was built in 1729 by the order of the eighth Tokugawa shogun Yoshimune. In 1730, the Shogun himself paid homage to the shrine.
As this year coincides with the third centenary of Yoshimune’s accession to the shogun, the shrine’s annual festival will be delivered in a special edition:
For the occasion, a portable shrine (mikoshi) was newly built (the old ones owned by the Akasaka Hikawa Shrine had been lost by the end of World War II). Also, a wooden float (dashi) adorned with a monkey figure on the top, dating back to the Edo Period, has been restored by the Akasaka Hikawa Floats Preservation Society.
The devotees and festival enthusiasts will take them around in procession, connecting the old and new facets of the town: the shrine’s wooded hill, modern high-rises of TBS (TV station “Tokyo Broadcasting System”), Akasaka Sakas and Tokyo Midtown, as well as neighbouring shops and houses.
The procession will receive special guests: a team constituting the procession of “Waka Festival”, which has been held continuously since 1622 in Wakayama (Yoshimune’s birthplace) in western Japan; and above all, Ken Matsudaira, who will reside as the shogun Yoshimune (Ken Matsudaira is a popular actor, known for his lead role of Yoshimune in a TV drama series).
There will be further special events to celebrate 300 years since the birth of the eighth shogun. You can also expect usual festivities around Akasaka: ohayashi (Japanese festive music), food stalls, “beer gardens”, live jazz music here and there. Perfect for staying relax outdoors on an autumn day.
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