Wondering what to do in Tokyo during the summer season? No problem, we got you!
The summer season in Tokyo is also the festival season. Matsuri or Festivals, in English, are the most famous attractions in Tokyo during the Summer season. There are many festivals that you can choose what to attend and visit. These festivals are rich with different traditional dances, costumes, and cultures of Japan.
Here are some of the MOST famous and MUST-SEE festivals in Tokyo:
The annual Shinjuku Eisa Festival is a festival where Japanese dances Eisa, which is a dance originated from Okinawan Islands. The traditional costumes, drumming, and dancing is a little different from other festivals in Japan that you see. This year will be its 45th Eisa Festival and the organizers are expecting about one million people to go and to watch! Well, maybe you will not notice it because remember, it is Shinjuku.
When: Late July, 12:00nn to 08:00pm Where: Shinjuku Station West & East exits Entrance Fee: Free Access: Shinjuku Station *Exact date will be posted once announced.
2. Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival
Image Credit to Favy
Sumidagawa Fireworks Festivals is one of the biggest and most popular summer firework festivals in Tokyo. It attracts massive crowds (almost a million) as it is already in it more than 40 years. It is a full 90mins firework show of more than 20,000 fireworks.
When: July 27, 2019 (Sat), 07:00pm to 08:30pm Where: Taito Riverside Sports Center Entrance Fee: Free Access: Asakusa Station *If it is a rainy day on the scheduled date, the festival may be postponed and will be reached until the following day.
Mitama Matsuri, one of the biggest Obon Festivals in Tokyo which started in 1947, is a festival where 30,000 orange/yellow lanterns light in Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine. Traditional food stalls offer their fare around the temple. Most of the attendees wear Yukuta (traditional kimonos). You will also see traditional dances, theatrical performances, and floats. It will be a four-day festival this year.
When: July 13-16, 2019 (Sat to Tue) Where: Yasukuni Shrine Entrance Fee: Free Access: Kudanshita Station (Tokyo Metro)
4. Koenji Awa Odori
Image Credit to Japan Travel by Navitime
Awaodori is a popular traditional dance originated from Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku over 400 years in history. In Tokyo, Koenji Awa Odori started in 1957 and grown and now have over 10,000 dancers and over a million watchers. There are two main types of dance, the “men’s dance” and the “ladies dance”. Tokyo’s Koenji Awa Odori is one of the many festivals that represent Summer in Tokyo. It is an annual event held on the last weekend of August.
When: August 24-25, 2019 (Sat to Sun), 05:00pm to 08:00pm Where: Sugunami-ku, Tokyo, Koenjiminami 2nd, 3rd and 4th Chome, and Koenjikita 2nd and 3rd Chome Entrance Fee: Free Access: Kudanshita Station (Tokyo Metro)
Fukagawa Matsuri or also known as the Fukugawa Hachiman Matsuri is one of the three great Shinto Festivals in Tokyo. The other two are Kanda Matsuri and the Sanno Matsuri. The Fukagawa Matsuri is held at the vintage Tomioka Hachiman Shinto shrine in Koto district in Tokyo. Started in 1642, the festival sees the shrine’s more than 100 mikoshi being carried down the local streets while some people splash water at the mikoshi-bearers. In this event, you should be ready to get wet. It’s at its wildest when it’s a “hon matsuri” year. The Hon Matsuri happens every three years, the last one was 2017.
When: Mid of August 2019 Where: Tomioka Hachiman Shrine Entrance Fee: Free Access: Monzennakacho, Kiba
Last weekend of August, Azabujuban Noryo Matsuri is one of Tokyo’s famous summer matsuri. The word “noryo” literally means “cool of the evening”. It has a great and rich 40-year history and local vendors along Patio Street and Zoshiki Street.
When: Late August 2019 Where: Azabu Juban Shopping Street Entrance Fee: Free Access: Azabujūban Station (Nambuku Line/Oedo Line), Akabanebashi Station (Oedo Line)