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  • Festivals
  • Rituals

January

  • January 112:00 a.m.
    8:00 a.m.
    Offering of the First Water Drawn from a Well in the New Year
    New Year’s Rites
  • January 28:00 a.m.
    Second Day’s Rites
  • January 710:00 a.m.
    Ceremony for the Imperial Mausoleum of the Emperor Showa (Musashino no Misasagi)
  • January 3010:00 a.m.
    Ceremony for the Imperial Mausoleum of the Emperor Komei (Nochi no Tsukinowa no Higashiyama no Misasagi)

February

  • February 1110:00 a.m.
    National Foundation Day Rites
  • February 1710:00 a.m.
    Rites for a Good Crop

April

June

  • June 2910:00 a.m.
    2:00 p.m.
    Rites for Yasukuni Jinja’s Anniversary
    Poem Offering Ceremony
  • June 303:00 p.m.
    Biannual Purification Ceremony

July

  • July 13-16
    Mitama Festival
  • July 3010:00 a.m.
    Ceremony for the Imperial Mausoleum of the Emperor Meiji (Fushiimi no Momoyama no Misasagi)

October

  • October 1710:00 a.m.
    Ceremony for the Imperial Offering of the Year’s New Rice Harvest (Kannamesai Festival) at Ise Grand Shrine
  • October 17-20
    Annual Fall Rites

November

  • November 310:00 a.m.
    Rites for the Emperor Meiji
  • November 2310:00 a.m.
    Ritual Offering of Newly-Harvested Rice by the Emperor

December

  • December 2310:00 a.m.
    Rites for the Celebration of the Emperor’s Birthday
  • December 2510:00 a.m.
    11:00 a.m.
    End-of-Year Cleaning Rite
    Ceremony for the Imperial Mausoleum of the Emperor Taisho (Tama no Misasagi)
  • December 313:00 p.m.
    3:30 p.m.
    Biannual Purification Ceremony
    New Year’s Eve Rites

On the first, eleventh, and twenty-first of each monthMonthly Rites
DailyMorning Offering of Consecrated Rice
Evening Offering of Consecrated Rice
Memorial Service (Sacred Dance and Music Ceremony)
Death Anniversary Rites

January

  • January 1
    Maibayashi Performance to Honor Deities (Noh excerpt with instrumental music)
    Special Exhibition of Flower Offerings (through January 5)
  • January 3
    New Year’s Archery Rite (traditional ritual in which two teams of archers shoot at targets)
  • Early January
    Ritual New Year’s Sword Exhibition

February

  • Late February
    Sacred Dance Ceremony for Peach Blossom Festival

April

  • Early April
    Cherry Blossom Festival
    Evening Noh Performance to Honor Deities during Cherry Blossom Season
    Sacred Dance Ceremony for Cherry Blossom Festival
    Ritual Sumo Matches (featuring wrestlers of Yokozuna level or below)
    Ritual Entertainment
    Ritual Pro-Wrestling
  • During the Annual Rites
    Special Exhibition of Flower Offerings
    Ritual Performances
    Ritual Primrose Exhibition

May

  • Early May
    Tea Offering Ceremony (Sohen School of the Tea Ceremony)

June

  • Mid-June
    Ritual Iris Exhibition

July

  • During the Mitama Festival
    30,000 Votive Lanterns
    300 Paper Lanterns Bearing Writing and Art Exhibition of Famous Japanese Lanterns
    Procession of Mikoshi (Portable Shrines)
    Special Exhibition of Flower Offerings
    Ritual Performances
    Special Public Song Performance
    Sumo Tournament
    Bon Odori Dance
  • Late July
    Ritual Morning Glory Exhibition

August

  • August 15
    Dove-Releasing Ceremony to Express Gratitude to the Enshrined Spirits

September

  • Late September
    Sacred Dance Ceremony for the Eighth Lunar Month

October

  • October 4
    Tea Offering Ceremony (Urasenke School of the Tea Ceremony)
  • October
    (Health and Sports Day)
    Archery Rite (traditional ritual in which archers shoot at a deer-shaped target)
  • During the Annual Rites
    Special Exhibition of Flower Offerings
    Ritual Performances
  • October 16-
    November 5
    Ritual Chrysanthemum Exhibition

family crestNew Year’s RitesJanuary 1

The New Year begins with the booming sound of Yasukuni Jinja’s giant Taiko drum.
When the clock strikes midnight on January 1, twenty-one solemn drumbeats ring out through the darkness. Bonfires are lit along the main approach to the shrine, and the grounds soon become filled with worshippers making their first shrine visit of the New Year. At the Main Sanctuary, a ceremony is held in which the first water of the New Year drawn from a well on the shrine grounds is offered to the enshrined spirits. Next, New Year’s rites are performed to pray for the security of the nation and peace among its people.
Visitors to the shrine grounds are offered sacred sake and amazake, and ritual events such as performances of traditional entertainment and archery rites are held to celebrate the New Year, along with the annual New Year’s lottery.

■Schedule

  • ・Offering of the First Water Drawn from a Well in the New Year: 12:00 a.m., January 1
  • ・New Year’s Rites: 8:00 a.m., January 1
  • ・Second Day’s Rites: 8:00 a.m., January 2

■New Year’s Events

  • ・Ritual Performances
  • ・New Year’s Archery Rites
  • ・Special Exhibition of Flower Offerings
  • ・Exhibition of Votive Tablets from Shrines Nationwide
  • ・Exhibition of Ritual Sake Brands
  • ・Free Sake/Amazake
  • ・New Year’s Lottery
  • ・Ritual New Year’s Sword Exhibition

family crestAnnual Spring RitesApril 21-23

The most important events at Yasukuni Jinja are the annual rites held in the spring and fall.
The Annual Spring Rites are held from April 21 to 23. A purification ceremony, first day’s rites, second day’s rites, and closing banquet are held over the course of these three days. Before the first day’s rites, a ceremony is carried out to purify not only the priests, but also every object used in in the rituals. In the first day’s rites, the enshrined spirits are consoled with fifty offerings of sacred sake, consecrated rice, seafood, mountain vegetables, and other foods they enjoyed during their lifetimes, and prayers are made for world peace. The events on this day also include a procession of Imperial envoys, the dedication of an offering from His Majesty the Emperor, and an address to the gods. During the Annual Spring Rites, the shrine grounds bustle with celebratory events such as a variety of ritual performances, a special exhibition of flower offerings, and a primrose exhibition.

■Schedule

  • ・Purification Ceremony: 3:00 p.m., April 21
  • ・First Day’s Rites: 10:00 a.m., April 22 (Procession of Imperial Envoys: 10:30 a.m.)
  • ・Second Day’s Rites: 10:00 a.m., April 23
  • ・Closing Banquet: 6:00 p.m.

■Reception Hours for Formal Worship at the Main Sanctuary

  • April 21: 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • April 22-23: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • (Worship at the front of the shrine during the Annual Spring Rites is from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

family crestMitama FestivalJuly 13-16

Based on Obon, an ancient Japanese festival to honor the spirits of deceased ancestors, the Mitama Festival began in 1947. Nowadays, it has become a beloved staple of summer in Tokyo and is packed with many visitors every year.
During the festival, the shrine grounds are hung with more than 30,000 small and large votive lanterns, as well as paper lanterns bearing writing and art by notable figures from various fields, which beautifully illuminate the night sky over Kudan. Rituals to comfort the enshrined spirits are performed nightly at the Main Sanctuary. Ritual events including processions of Mikoshi (portable shrines) and Nebuta floats from Aomori, a special exhibition of flower offerings, and various performances are held. In addition, the brightly illuminated main approach to the shrine hosts the earliest Bon Odori dance in Tokyo. This dance, as well as the rows of night stalls, recreates the nostalgic atmosphere of ancient festivals for the modern day.

■Schedule

  • Festival’s Eve: 6:00 p.m., July 13
  • First Night: 6:00 p.m., July 14
  • Second Night: 6:00 p.m., July 15
  • Third Night: 6:00 p.m., July 16

■Reception Hours for Formal Worship at the Main Sanctuary

  • July 13-16: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • (Worship at the front of the shrine during the Mitama Festival is from 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

family crestAnnual Fall RitesOctober 17-20

The most important events at Yasukuni Jinja are the annual rites held in the spring and fall.
The Annual Fall Rites are held from October 17 to 20. A purification ceremony, first day’s rites, second day’s rites, third day’s rites, and closing banquet are held over the course of these four days. Just like in the Annual Spring Rites, the events on the first day include a procession of Imperial envoys, the dedication of an offering from His Majesty the Emperor, and an address to the gods. Afterwards, rituals are performed on the second and third days similar to those on the first day. On the last day, a banquet is held in appreciation for the successful completion of the annual rites. To celebrate the Annual Fall Rites, other events are held such as a tea offering ceremony and an archery ceremony in which archers shoot at a deer-shaped target. In addition, during the annual rites, the shrines grounds bustle with a variety of ritual performances, a special exhibition of flower offerings, and a ritual chrysanthemum exhibition.

■Schedule

  • Purification Ceremony: 3:00 p.m., October 17
  • First Day’s Rites: 10:00 a.m., October 18 (Procession of Imperial Envoys: 10:30 a.m.)
  • Second Day’s Rites: 10:00 a.m., October 19
  • Third Day’s Rites: 10:00 a.m., October 20
  • Closing Banquet: 6:00 p.m.

■Reception Hours for Formal Worship at the Main Sanctuary

  • October 17: 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • October 18-20: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • (Worship at the front of the shrine during the Annual Fall Rites is from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
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