SUMMER FESTIVALS & MATSURI IN TOKYO

Japanese neighborhoods have a long tradition of holding festivals ('Matsuri') in the Summer months. These usually involve lots of food stalls and arcade games for kids, a parade of dancers or stage dancing, and the bigger festivals include a fireworks show. Below are some of the most popular festivals coming up.

MITAMA MATSURI - JULY 13-16

Held on the grounds of the controversial Yasukuni Shrine the Mitama Matsuri is a great mix of food stalls, religious sites and general revelry. Thousands of small lanterns are lit up at the shrines main gates.

A few minute walk from KUDANSHITA Station

SUMIDA GAWA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL - JULY 27

The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival features over 20,000 fireworks and is held along the banks of the Sumida River near Asakusa. It is usually extremely crowded, so get there early to get a place!

CLICK FOR ASAKUSA MAP

SHINJUKU EISA MATSURI - JULY 28

This is the 44th year of this Okinawan festival with dancing, drumming, costumes and food held on the west side of Shinjuku station. Over one million expected to attend so it will be jam-packed!

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FUKAGAWA FESTIVAL - AUGUST 11-15

Held in the middle of August, the Fukugawa Festival centered on the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine is considered one of Tokyo's top three festivals. Mobile Shrines called 'Mikoshi' are paraded through the streets on Sunday.

A few minute walk from MONZEN-NAKACHO Station

KOENJI AWAODORI FESTIVAL - AUGUST 24 & 25

A short train ride west from Shinjuku station, the Koenji neighborhood erupts every summer with this large festival featuring thousands of performance dancers and a street parade.

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ASAKUSA SAMBA FESTIVAL - AUGUST 25

This Samba Festival attracts almost a million visitors and is held in near Asakusa station in late August

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AZABU JUBAN MATSURI - AUGUST 26-27

The Azabu Juban Matsuri is a massive street festival with hundreds of food stalls and shops along the tight streets of the Azabu Juban Neighborhood. It has become more and more popular every year, so expect heavy crowds.

CLICK FOR AZABU-JUBAN MAP


 

GION MATSURI

Maybe the best known Matsuri, it is held at the Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto.

July 17 & 24


TENJIN MATSURI

At the Tenmangu Shrine in Osaka, this is one of the Kansai region's biggest!

July 24 & 25


FUJI ROCK

Giant music festival with acts from around the world held in Naeba, Niigata.

July 26-28


TANABATA MATSURI

Many Tanabata Matsuri are held all over, but the biggest is in the city of Sendai.

August 6-9


SUMMER SONIC

Outdoor Music Festival held in both Tokyo and Osaka.

August 16-18