Meiji Jingu Haru no TaisaiMeiji Jingu, which is a 1-minute walk from Harajuku Station of JR Yamanote Line, is one of the most prestigious Shinto Shrine in Japan. It was established as a national memorial to commemorate Emperor Meiji and Emperess Shoken in 1920. For details about this shrine, see the article on Meiji Shrine.
This shrine holds a grand festival (taisai) biannually -in spring and in fall. The Haru no Taisai, or the Spring Grand Festival, is held from late April to May 3rd every year.

Haru no Taisai at Meiji Shrine, Tokyo (明治神宮 春の大祭)


At the spring grand festival, rituals are practiced every year by Shinto priests at 10am and 2pm on May 2 and at 10am on May 3. These are solemn rites held inside the shrine building. Below photos are of priests getting out of the shrine complex after their services.

May 2
Haru Taisai at Meiji Jingu
May 3
Haru Taisai at Meiji Jingu

Votive performances & offerings

Every year, bugaku, noh & kyogen, hogaku hobu, sankyoku, satsuma-biwa, and rural performances are dedicated to the shrine at this event. Of these, noh & kyogen are not allowed to take photos.

Haru Taisai at Meiji Jingu

Bugaku is gagaku (ancient court music) accompanied by dance. It is performed on Saturday just before May 2.

Haru Taisai at Meiji Jingu

Satsuma-biwa, performed on either May 2nd or 3rd, is a kind of biwa. Biwa is an instrument which originated in Persia and Arabia and came to Japan in the 8th century.

Haru Taisai at Meiji Jingu

Sankyoku is three kinds of music with three traditional instruments -koto, shamisen, and shakuhachi. It is played on either May 2nd or 3rd

Hogaku hobu
Haru Taisai at Meiji Jingu

Hogaku is a genre of music formed after the 17th century. Hobu is a dance performance formed in the 15th century. It is played on either May 2nd or 3rd.

Rural performances
Haru Taisai at Meiji Jingu

Rural performances from the Kanto region is performed on May 3.

Haru Taisai at Meiji Jingu

Ikebana is Japanese traditional flower arrangement.

Votive offerings from around the nation
Haru Taisai at Meiji Jingu

Local specialities from around Japan are also dedicated to the shrine deities.

Meiji Jingu Shrine
1-1 Yoyogikamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo MAP
Nearest station for south entrance: JR Yamanote Line Harajuku Station, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line or Fukutoshin Line Meiji-Jingu-mae Station
Area guide around this siteArticle on Meiji Shrine