Kuri Matsuri, the Chestnut Festival
Kuri Matsuri (Chestnut Festival) is held on the 27th and 28th of September at Okunitama Jinja, one of the oldest shrines in Tokyo, located in the center of Fuchu City. Okunitama is known as one of the five major shrines in Tokyo, the others being Tokyo Daijingu, Yasukuni Jinja, Hie Jinja and Meiji Jingu.
This event came to be called the “Chestnut Festival” during the Edo period. High quality chestnuts, which served as a useful type of preserved food, are collected in the Musashino region. For this reason, they were also presented to the Tokugawa Clan. The chestnut season overlapped with the kagura dance performances, so the festival became known as the “Chestnut Festival.”
The festival is also known for the around 260 paper lanterns that light the precincts during the festival period. Offerings of hand-drawn pictures are currently sketched on the lamps, which help enliven the night of the festival.
Chestnuts are sold at stalls and in the streets traditional Japanese dance and musical accompaniment is held on floats.
photos: Junko Nagata © Japanbyweb.com
Okunitama Jinja is 5-minute walk from Fuchu-Honmachi Station on the JR Nambu Line/Musashino Line and 5-minute walk from Fuchu Station on the Keio Line.