The Autumn Festival at Nikko Toshogu Shrine is held on 16 & 17 October every year in honour of the Tokugawa clan, under whose 260-year rule Japan’s culture flourished. The festival starts with a ceremony at 10am on the first day, followed by a display of Yabusame (horseback archery) held from 1pm. But it is the procession of 1,000 samurai (百物揃千人武者行列, Hyakumonozoroi Sennin Musha Gyōretsu) held from 11am on the final for which the festival is most famous. Here, over 1,200 attendants divided into 53 categories parade escort portable shrines to the Otabi-sho (Sojourn Hall), a resting point for a shrine during a procession, before returning to Toshogu Shrine to re-enact the burial of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Event details are taken from official sources whenever possible. It is always prudent to check the official event website before attending to make sure that there have not been any changes. If you know of an error in the calendar, then please let me know through the contact form.