The Mitama festival is taking place at Yasukuni Shrine from July 13th to July 16th this year. This festival is well-known for the thousands of lanterns that are hung along the paths leading to the shrine. At night the golden glow of the lanterns lends a subtle beauty to the shrine grounds.
The festivities start at 6 pm every evening and end at 9 pm. On Sunday the 15th, you will also be able to see nebuta, which is an illuminated float, and hear some live music.
On Saturday there was some high-energy bon odori dancing, which can be seen in the short video clip below.
Although the summer days are really hot, going to a festival is a great way to forget about the heat and humidity and relax with friends. You can also try festival foods such as yakisoba (grilled noodles), yakitori (grilled chicken) and yakiika (grilled squid).
The closest station to the shrine is Kudanshita station. Visit the Yasukuni Shrine website for more details or see our map for the exact location.
The shrine does have a bit of a controversial reputation because of the fact that several war criminals' names are included in the list of people commemorated for giving their lives for Japan during war. If you are interested in this aspect of the shrine's history you might want to get there early and take a look around the museum located just next to the main shrine, within the shrine grounds.