On a hot Sunday in July, Mrs. Bag-O and I took the train into Tokyo to go to the Mitama Matsuri festival at Yasukuni Shrine. The best thing about this shrine, is that it is located just blocks away from the apartment my grandparents lived in when they were in Tokyo in the early 1990's. We planned to visit their apartment and then head to the festival.
We had to change our plans though, when we arrived at Ichigaya Station and found that it was POURING rain. It was so bad, that even the Japanese people (prepared with umbrellas) were waiting it out. We decided to go back to Shinjuku and find somewhere to have dinner.
It turned out to be a great side trip because we found that there are TONS of places to eat in Shinjuku without even having to leave the train station AND we discovered that my favorite Thai restaurant from Bangkok has a branch in Tokyo!
After we had stuffed ourselves full of Thai, we decided to try again. Thankfully, when we reached the entrance to Ichigaya, the rain had stopped. We made our way to Yasukuni and were not disappointed. This festival is one of Tokyo's biggest Obon Festivals and is known for the 30,000 lanterns that light the path to the shrine.
Lanterns inside the shrine grounds
The main shrine building
The entrance leading out to the lantern lined path
Standing on the steps of the shrine's entrance, looking out at the lantern lined path
Looking back at the main entrance to the shrine
It was a gorgeous sight!
I am so glad that the rain let up so we could attend this festival! Afterwards, we made our way over to 20 Ichiban-cho to see my grandparents old stomping grounds. It was dark, so I didn't get any good pictures but it was exciting to see that it was still there! I plan to go back during the day before we leave Japan!
The business card, that opens into a map, for my grandparents