Chidorigafuchi Lantern Festival

It’s the first summer in two years that events are happening again in Tokyo, so much so that there’s something new to do every weekend.

Last week, we live streamed the lantern festival at Chidorigafuchi Park, a 700m long stretch of dense green trees running parallel to the outer moat of the Imperial Palace. Though the event started at 19:00, people flocked to occupy almost every bit of space offering a good view of the river in the last 30 minutes before. The warm summer air was accompanied by the sound of cicadas screeching away.

A woman squeezed in next to me, stepped up onto the lower railing and bent far forward holding her phone to capture a photo of the boats. The boat she zoomed in on had two little boys on it.

They yelled, ママの願いは?(What do you wish for?)

She yelled, 二人いつも元気! (For the both of you to always be healthy!)

They yelled, 何? (What?) and turned away to scribble a different wish on the lantern.

To get on a boat requires entering a lottery a month in advance, so everyone who got on a boat were lucky! People also have the option to purchase a paper lantern for 1000yen on that day itself to write wishes on. Or you could just watch the river fill up with these lanterns for free. What would you wish for this year?

P.S. Chidorigafuchi Park is also a great sakura spot! You can read about our visit there in spring here.