Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

O-eshiki Festivals in Tokyo

According to legend, the ground shook and the cherry blossoms bloomed out of season on an October day in 1282 when Nichiren Daishonin, a famous Japanese Buddhist priest, passed from this world.  Nichiren Daishonin was the founder of Nichiren Shoshi, a 750 year old orthodox Buddhist denomination centered at Taisekiji, near the foot of Mount Fuji, and is considered by many to be the One True Buddha.

His immortal life is celebrated at O-eshiki festivals throughout Japan each October with parades of mando and of matoi (firemen’s standards of the Edo period) accompanied by drummers and flautists.  A mando, literally “10,000 lanterns”, is an umbrella like structure built to resemble a five-story pagoda off of which hang a multitude of small paper lanterns and strings of artificial cherry blossoms in honor of that long ago day when the flowers bloomed out of season. The O-eshiki festivals and parades are very popular and offer yet another way to enjoy a bit of Japanese culture in Tokyo.  Three O-eshiki festivals will be held in and around area shrines over the next two weeks.


The O-eshiki Festival of Honmonji Temple takes place from October 11-13th.  Approximately 600 open-air stalls are set up along the street from Ikegami Station to the temple and the impressive Mando-oneri-gyoretsu (procession of lit lanterns) starts at 6PM on the evening of the 12th and ends at the temple around midnight.

Also on October 13th, a Mando-oneri-gyoretsu will take place from 7PM to 9:30PM around Myohoji Temple, a 15 minute walk from Higashi-Koenji Station.  This event may be canceled in the event of heavy rain.

In Toshima City, the O-eshiki festival will be celebrated from October 16-18.  The Mando-oneri-gyoretsu (procession of lit lanterns) will leave the Gokokuji Station at 7:30PM and arrive at Kishimojin Temple around 8PM on October 17th.  On the 18th the parade leaves Ikebukuro Station (East Exit, in front of Seibu Department Store) at 7PM. and arrives at Kishimojin Temple around 11PM.  Approximately 400 open-air stalls will will be set up each day of the festival.  Read an overview of last years event, and reference a map of the O-eshiki parade route at Tokyo with Kids.

Image Credit: Flickr, Oeshiki 2007 & Oeshiki 2007