Mitama Matsuri – 2016
What used to be one of the most amazing matsuri in Tokyo, has now become one of the saddest. Mitama Matsuri, first held in 1947, takes place annually at Yasukuni Shrine, and features around 30,000 lanterns. The purpose of this festival is to pray for the fallen soldiers of the past and for a more peaceful world.
Mitama Matsuri was one of the most crowded events in Tokyo, but since 2015, Yasukuni Shrine has started to ban the 200 or so food stalls that were once part of the festival and made it so popular with the Japanese youth. Since then, attendance at the event has declined greatly, almost deserted during the week with a peak in activity on the weekend.