Wednesday, 11th June 2014
In Events In Japan,
Ueno Summer Matsuri
There is no better time to visit Tokyo's Ueno district than during its eponymous summer festival, which has been confirmed to start from July 16th and run until August 7th this year.
Throughout this period, local artists and creatives can be seen all over the ward's central streets, and anyone still lingering under the impression that Japanese society is reserved will have their preconceptions removed.
Ueno Park is set to be particularly magical, with a toro nagashi ceremony taking place from 7pm on the evening of July 17th that will see hundreds of paper lanterns floated across the surface of Shinobazu Pond.
Stalls selling everything from Japanese fans to local cuisine can be found lining many of the paths in the park, including the walkway across the main pond that leads to the picturesque Bentendo temple hall.
It's also worth being around on the afternoon of July 19th when artists will be constructing intricate ice sculptures, although given the time of year, these aren't likely to last very long, so make the most of the photo opportunity!
There will be a daily programme of performances at the Suijo Ongakudo open-air stage, and if you're going during the weekend, watch out for the clowns that are out to entertain the children.
Other highlights include the opening parade on July 19th, which sees thousands of floats and performers take on the spirit of carnival as they don outrageous costumes and dance to all types of music, and the yukata catwalk taking place on July 24th.
Ueno is best known for its public park, which is one of the largest in Tokyo. It is a particularly magical place to be when the cherry blossoms burst into bloom during the spring, and its collection of beautiful temples make for some great photo opportunities.
Written by Mark Smith