Dara-dara festival (Ginger festival)
Shiba Daijingū Shrine, Tokyo
11 – 21 September 2015
The annual autumn festival at Shiba Daijingū Shrine is held for more than a week, even for eleven days, and is thus called “dara dara” (だらだら means lingering lazily or of inertia) festival. It is also known as the Ginger festival, as fresh ginger, long valued for its medicinal virtues in Japan as in other parts of Asia, is sold in the shrine precincts during the festival.
The highlights include the grand ritual held on 16 September with a traditional dance of miko (the shrine’s maiden attendants) performed in dedication to the shrine’s deities. In the afternoon of 20 September, some twenty mikoshi (portable shrines carrying the spirit of the main deities) go around the precincts to give blessings, weather permitting. The festival offers a feel of cultural continuity since the Edo Period, with the participation of traditional firemen, street performers and various stalls.
Remember to purchase a special charm made of three-tiered boxes called chigi-bako (千木筥), sold only during the festival. In the old days ladies placed this pretty amulet in tansu (clothing chest), wishing that the number of kimono they have multiplies.
Place name Shiba Daijingū Shrine (in Japanese) 芝大神宮 Website go to website (in Japanese) Phone 03-3431-4802 Dates 11 – 21 September 2015 Address 1-12-7 Shiba-Daimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo Getting there
- 2 min walk from Daimon Station (Toei Asakusa and Oedo Lines : Exit A6)
* The above is the information known at the time of publication and subject to change without prior notice.