Festival preparations: Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社)

I really wanted to buy a book in the standard Japanese format and maybe something made for smaller Japanese kids that even I might be able to read to practice my Japanese, so I headed over to Jimbocho, known for bookstores, in an attempt to find something interesting. I stopped at Suidobashi Station since it was cheaper coming from Akihabara, and strolled through the area (I had to walk more than I expected). I didn’t find any books, but I found a nice park. There was a sign saying it was full of mosquitos, but I didn’t mind sacrificing a bit of my blood for a walk by the river.
I soon gave up my pointless search and headed to Yasukuni Shrine. Yasukuni Shrine is a controversial shrine in the center of Tokyo, commemorating Japan’s war dead. I went myself to see what it was like so I could know what they’re talking about next time I see it in the news. I expected it to be more impressive, but the torii were pretty big so I won’t complain.

They were preparing the Mitama Matsuri as part of the Obon celebration at the shrine (at Yasukuni jinja from the 13th to the 16th). Mitama Matsuri is an amazingly beautiful festival consisting of 30,000 lanterns that light the way to the shrine after dark. It would’ve been nice to see the before and after, but I was only there to see them starting to hang up the lanterns.

It seemed to be a big group of students putting up the lanterns in the rain.
Entrance to the Shrine.
Good luck putting up all those lanterns!
37 down, 29963 to go…

Apparently they also have the Gosoritsu Kinenbisai festival on June 29th, commemorating the founding of the shrine, but I missed that too.


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