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Summer Festivals in Tokyo


You may see summer festivals while strolling around the streets of Tokyo in August. Summer festivals are ones of the summer traditions in Japan and they have been loved by local people of all ages for such a long time. At those festivals, you would see many food stalls and people wearing Japanese traditional clothes called Jinbei and Yukata. Why don’t you get a glimpse of how Japanese people spend their time in summer season?


9 summer festivals in Tokyo in 2019

Tsukiji Honganji Noryo Bon-odori Taikai

Date: July 31st-August 3rd

Place: Tsukiji Honganji Temple

Access: Take Hibiya Line from Iriya Sta. to Tsukiji Sta.

People in old times considered that spirits of ancestors return to the earth during a certain period in summer season. Bon-odori;a kind of dance, was originally produced in order to welcome them. Nowadays, people casually have fun dancing Bon-odori. Tsukiji Honganji Noryo Bon-odori Taikai is counted as the 3 biggest Bon-odori festivals in Tokyo.


Asagaya Tanabata Festival

Date: August 3rd-7th

Place: Around JR Asagaya Station

Access: Take Hibiya Line from Iriya Sta. to Akihabara Sta and transfer to JR Sobu Line to Asagaya Sta.

A highlight of this festival is, needless to say, handmade paper-maches which are imitated as famous cartoon characters. They are decorated on the ceiling of the roofed shopping arcade and each shop along the street sets up stalls.


Sumida River Toro Nagashi

Date: August 10th

Place: Sumida Park

Access: Within a walking distance

This lantern floating has been lasted for over 7 decades in order to send off spirits of those who died by World War 2 and floods on the water of rivers and seas. The river turns into mystical scenery filled with tons of lanterns and it is recommended to keep your place a few hours early on the day.


Fukagawa Hachiman Festival

Date: August 11th-15th

Place: Tomioka Hachiman Shrine

Access: Take Hibiya Line from Iriya Sta. to Kayabacho Sta. and transfer to Tozai Line to Monzen-nakacho Sta.

One of the 3 major Edo (a former name of Tokyo) festivals; it is also known as a “Water Splashing Festival”. As it is called Water Splashing Festival, an enormous amount of water will be splashed over Mikoshi (a portable shrine) and those people who are carrying them during its procession. The water splashing was originally started as a cleansing ritual, but it also plays a role of not to get heatstroke.


Hibiya Park Marunouchi Ondo Bon-odori Festival

Date: August 23rd-24th

Place: Hibiya Park

Access: Take Hibiya Line from Iriya Sta. to Hibiya Sta.

While “Tsukiji Honganji Noryo Bon-odori Taikai” has a long history, this Bon-odori festival is a quite new one. However, as the park is located in the middle of a business district, it is loved by people who work in the surrounding area, local people as well as foreigners. They all have fun dancing Bon-odori around a fountain at the park.


Harajuku Omotesando Genki Matsuri Super Yosakoi

Date: August 24th-25th

Place: Yoyogi Park

Access: Take JR Yamanote Line from Uguisudani Sta. to Harajuku Sta.

An opportunity where you can witness a fusion of, traditions of Kochi Prefecture where Yosakoi dance was invented and the cutting edge city Omote-sando. Over 6,000 dancers from more than 100 groups will fill the main street and overwhelm you with its stunning performance.


Koenji Awa-odori Festival

Date: August 24th-25th

Place: Around JR Koenji Station

Access: Take Hibiya Line from Iriya Sta. to Akihabara Sta. and transfer to JR Sobu Line to Koenji Sta.

This event was started in order to revitalize the town in 1957. Koenji thereby became well known and it is now one of the representative festivals in Tokyo. It is even said as the biggest Awa-odori (a kind of traditional dance from Tokushima Prefecture) festival in Eastern Japan as more than 10,000 people will perform on the street.


Azabu-jyuban Noryo Festival

Date: August 24th-25th

Place: Azabu-jyuban Shotengai

Access: Take a Hibiya Line from Iriya Sta. to Roppongi Sta. and transfer to Toei-oedo Line to Azabu-jyuban Sta.

A highlight of this festival is the number of stalls. They have not only typical food stalls but also you can find many booths selling Japanese local dishes. Music performances and traditional performing arts are available to watch as well.


Asakusa Samba Carnival

Date: August 31st

Place: Around Kaminari-mon

Access: Within a walking distance

Every year, over 500,000 spectators come visit Asakusa for this samba performance. The festival has been lasted since 1981 and grown bigger to be said as the biggest samba carnival in the northern hemisphere.