Ikebukuro is one of Tokyo’s districts where you can see several major attractions and events. This coming September 23 and 24, 2017, a huge festival will be held in order to bring the community to a festive mood. It is a great opportunity for locals and tourists alike to see an “Omikoshi,” which is a portable Shinto shrine carried by many folks.
The Fukuro Matsuri is a lively event consisting of a two-day parade. It was started in 1968 and has since been occurring on a yearly basis. The festival features traditional dances and performances.
One noticeable element in this festival is the “mikoshi” or “omikoshi,” a divine palanquin or portable shrine. This comes from the traditional belief that the gods needed to purify the city. They are carried in the mikoshi so they can travel from one place to another. They are not only seen during the Fukuro Matsuri but also during other Japanese festivals.
You can actually join a mikoshi team if you want. Just make sure you are properly attired and brace yourself for the heavy weight of the mikoshi. There are different styles of carrying a mikoshi; two of the most common being the Jonan style and the Edomae style. You don’t have to carry the mikoshi all throughout the parade. You can take breaks and share the load with other participants. If you don’t feel like carrying a mikoshi, you can just chant along.
The Fukuro Matsuri for 2017 will be held in the event space in front of the West Exit of Ikebukuro Station as well as other areas around the station in Toshima-ku.
The Fukuro Matsuri is actually part of a bigger festival along with the Tokyo Yosakoi Festival. The former is held in late September while the latter in early October. The Fukuro Matsuri is all about carrying the magnificent portable shrine which includes dancing and taiko drum performances. This is the time when the mikoshi is adorned with gorgeous decors and paraded through town. The event is so lively that you will be hearing people shouting here and there. Meanwhile, the Tokyo Yosakoi Festival is a parade of people wearing colorful costumes while dancing lively on the streets.
This 2017, the Fukuro Matsuri will be held on September 23 and 24. The first evening will be the opening ceremony while the second evening will be the mikoshi parade. It is at this time that you’ll also be witnessing the Shishimai Lion Dance, a traditional Japanese dance that is often seen on the first day of the year. You’ll also be able to listen to “ohayashi,” the Japanese festival music that is often used in different festivals across the country.
The Fukuro Matsuri has been getting more and more popular every year with many people and spectators joining the event. It is one of the traditions in the country that clearly shows the existence of good fellowship among the Japanese. Come join this fun-filled event this September!
Fukuro Matsuri Website *Japanese only