Shinjuku Juniso Kumano Shrine Festival – Matsuri in the Heart of Tokyo



In this article, I have a nice festival in the city center to introduce! Shinjuku Juniso Kumano Shrine Festival is a nice matsuri to go to if you are looking for something easy and orthodox to experience in Japan. Its location gives you an easy access. Besides, it is a great chance to see how old Japanese traditions look with a background of a modern busy city!


Matsuri Breakdown

The Shinjuku Juniso Kumano Shrine Autumn Festival or Juniso Kumano Autumn Festival, in short, is a festival held every year at Juniso Kumano Shrine in Shinjuku. This festival is Reitaisai, which means that it is the largest festival of the shrine and it takes place every year. The Juniso Kumano Autumn Festival is the largest festival held at Juniso Kumano Shrine.

The Juniso Kumano Autumn Festival makes Shinjuku a place filled with entertainment and performances and fills the shrine area with food stalls and other shops. Festivalgoers carry “Mikoshi” (portable shrines) around the districts of Shinjuku to celebrate for the whole day. You can see various Mikoshi stop in front of different companies, shops or cafes to pay their respect to business. You will see a majority of these beautiful portable shine processions around Kabukicho and Shinjuku station.

Things To Do and See

One of the points of interest in the Festival is seeing the Mikoshi being carried around Shinjuku. People at this festival carry the Mikoshi not in a regular way. Instead, they carry it in a way called “Chidori Katsugi”. People in the front carry the Mikoshi with the back of their neck using their hands only as support. They also chant “Oisa! Choisa” while they carry it around to cheer up each other and raise the spirit of Matsuri. It’s quite a unique way of carrying Mikoshi and is definitely something you should see.

There are also performances on the stage near the shrine, food stalls and entertainments you can check out around the shrine that everyone can enjoy. The shrine area gets very busy in the evening so it becomes quite hard to find a place to eat if you grab something in Yatai (food stall).

Details and Access

Dates:  The dates of the festival vary year to year, but usually, it is in the middle of September and as with most festivals, anyone can go and see.

Address: 2-11-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo


Other Things To Do In Shinjuku

After checking out the festival or even outside of the festival, there are a lot of things to do and places to go to in Shinjuku! The area is full of skyscrapers and tons of tourist and scenic spots. Here are few recommendations:

Shinjuku National Garden (Shinjuku Gyoen)
– Relax and walk around while looking at beautiful landscapes and foliage. This park is big and has Japanese garden section, European gardens, a huge greenhouse with various exotic plants and a big field for picnics! The entrance fee is only 200 Yen.

Tokyo Metropolitan Building
– See the Tokyo skyline from one of the absolute best two towers in Shinjuku. This is the place where you can go free of charge to and enjoy the beautiful view on Tokyo from a heart of skyscraper district. Besides, if the weather is good, you will be able to see Mt. Fuji from the observatory.

– For the more adventures, walk around Japan’s red light district and experience a different Japan. Especially at night, this area gets really busy with tourists and locals. You will enjoy the busy streets filled with neon lights of the advertisements on walls. And to continue your evening you can grab a drink at Golden Gai district. It is only 5 min walk from Kabukichi. I guess it has the highest density of small local bars on a square meter.

Closing Remarks

I think that the Kumano Autumn Festival is a very nice festival to experience. Especially if you are new to Japanese Festivals. During the festival, the shrine’s surroundings, which include Kabukicho, Nishi-Shinjuku and the Shinjuku station area turn into areas of worship and celebration. What is usually a concrete jungle turns into a lively place. And it is quite a sight to see and leaves you with a different impression of Shinjuku.

You can experience this festival as well with local friends! If you need any guides to take you around the festival and show you even more things to do in the area check below!

An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Tokyo Stay!

Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look, URL: 

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They are confused about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or just want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should definitely try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!


Don’t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

For all foodies who enjoy Japanese Festivals would be nice to get acquainted with the rich choice offered by Yatai (Japanese festival food stalls). The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!



Hi I’m Matthew, a university student from New Zealand currently studying in Japan.

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