Experiencing the 45th Kichijoji Aki Matsuri
The latest video on the Maction Planet YouTube Channel comes from the Kichijoji Aki Matsuri, which we attended with Antonella as part of a day of street photography and amazing food in the Backstreets of Tokyo. Here’s some background to our amazing day.
Sunday 10th September 2017 was the climax of the 45th Kichijoji Aki Matsuri – the Kichijoji Autumn Festival. We were there with Antonella, who hails from Milan, Italy. She contacted us wanting three days of maction during which we could help her get to grips with The World’s Greatest Metropolis. Antonella completely shared our belief that tourism should not be ‘compartmentalised’. Your guide for your photo tour should know and understand the history and culture of the areas they are guiding you around. We expect nothing more when we travel, and we deliver nothing less!
We started early on Sunday morning. No time was wasted as 10 minutes after we met we were enjoying the sounds of taiko drumming! Antonella was the ONLY TRAVELLER at a truly local festival, where we walked the full 1.5km of the children’s mikoshi (portable shrine) parade.
After spending some time at the time shrine where the parade terminated, we walked round to the Hachiko crossroads, visiting Nonbei Yokocho – the famous ‘Drunkards Alley’ – along the way. Before boarding the train at Shibuya, we stopped to discuss the Myth of Tomorrow, Taro Okamoto’s monumental mural which adorns the length of the concourse which connects the Keio Inokashira Line to the rest of Shibuya Station.
We then headed for a bowl of ramen in Shimokitazawa and were first in line 10 minutes before the shop’s opening at 12pm. This was carefully orchestrated, as by the time its shutters opened quite a queue had formed! This is a true award-winning gourmet joint, and its reputation is completely justified.
Having explored the backstreets of Shimokitazawa, we jumped back on the train to Kichijoji. After wandering around Inokashira Park and enjoying the buskers and flea market, it was time to tackle the Kichijoji Autumn Festival,
As soon as we exited the park, we were in the middle of the action. Not everyone was impressed by it though.
Mikoshi had been carried on different routes from various shrines around Kichijoji. From 3pm they converged on Heiwa Dori in front of the north side of Kichijoji Station, and competed for the most energetic rally up the street in front of the gathered crowd, which in some places was three deep! We had managed to secure the perfect spot from which to take photos and video of the amazing action.
It was, as always, a fantastic spectacle. Throughout the day, the varied streetscape provided all sorts of interesting opportunities for some great photography.
Even watching the mikoshi being carried can be hard work, so we headed into Harmonica Yokocho for a glass of nihonshu, and chatted to some of the festival participants who had headed into the warren of tiny bars and restaurants to begin the post-matsuri celebrations a little early!
Kichijoji regained its crown as Tokyo’s most desirable places to live from Ebisu in 2017, and even a short amount of time there can help you understand why it is perennially voted as one of Tokyo’s coolest neighbourhoods by the residents of the city!
Enjoy this video compilation of the sights and sounds of the 2017 Kichijoji Aki Matsuri!
At Maction Planet Tokyo Private Tours we deliver the depth and breadth of experiences that we expect when we travel. A photography tour can also be a food tour, culture tour, history tour and an exploration of the backstreets of several of Tokyo’s coolest neighbourhoods! Whatever your interests, drop us a line at email@example.com and let us help you have a truly unique time in The World’s Greatest Metropolis.