Even in this record heat, fantastic events are taking place in all corners of the country. Here is a list of festivals being held in and around Tokyo. Many focus on spectacular fireworks and/or traditional dancing. Check the list on occasion. As I come across other events that I think are worth sharing, I’ll add them.
7/15-8/12 Ueno Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival), beside Shinobazu Pond, Ueno Park, Taito Ward, Tokyo. Various entertainment and Kotto Ichi (antique fair). Nearest Station: Ueno
7/29-8/5 Hono Asagao-ten (Morning Glory Fair), Yasukuni Shrine, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Daily 6:00-11:00am. Flowers bloom early. Nearest Station: Kudanshita then walk 5 minutes.
7/28-8/3 Asagao-ten (Morning Glory Fair), Hibiya Park, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. 7:00 – 12:00. Nearest stations: Hibiya Station or Yurakucho Station, and then walk 8 minutes.
8/1-5 Fuji Five Lakes Summer Festival, Yamanashi Prefecture
8/1: 20:00-21:00 Fireworks over Lake Yamanakako (8,000)
8/2: 19:30-20:00 Fireworks over Lake Saiko (700)
8/3: 20:00-20:40 Fireworks over Lake Motosuko (1,000)
8/5: 19:30-21:00 Fireworks over Lake Kawaguchiko (7,000)
Access: (1) Highway Bus (for Fuji five lakes area) from Shinjuku Sta. Bus Terminal (South Exit). (2) Fuji-Kyuko Line to Fujisan-eki Sta. or Kawaguchiko Sta., and then take bus.
8/1-4 Tsukiji Honganji Noryo Bon Odori Taikai (traditional dance festival at Tsukiji Honganji Temple), Chuo Ward, Tokyo. 8/1-3 from 19:00 – 21:00. 8/4 from 18:00 – 20:30. Nearest Station: Tsukiji Station.
8/2-5 Fussa Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival), Fussa City, about a 90-min. train ride from Tokyo Station. Daily from 13:00 – 21:00. Various decorations of colored paper streamers and strips along the shopping streets delight the eyes of visitors. Festival is packed with events, including a ‘Princess Orihime contest’, yurukyara appearances, parades and plenty of irresistible food sold at the around 100 stalls set up around the station. Access: The JR Ome Line to Fussa Station.
8/4-5 Mitama Matsuri, Soul Festival of Ikegami Honmonji Temple, Ota Ward, Tokyo. Features Bon Odori (folk dancing) in the precincts, from 7 pm to 9 pm on both days. On 8/4, the Bon Odori will parade from Honmonji-dori shopping street to the temple’s main gate (from 6:00pm). Access (1) The Toei Asakusa Subway Line to Nishi-Magome Station, and then walk 10 min. (2) The Tokyu Ikegami Line to Ikegami Station, and then walk 10 min.
8/4-5 Sri Lanka Festival, Yoyogi Park, Shibuya Ward. From 9:00am on both days.
8/4 Edogawa Hanabi Taikai (Fireworks Display) over the Edogawa River, Edogawa Ward, Tokyo, from 7:15 pm to 8:30 pm (13,000 fireworks). Nearest Stations: Shinozaki, and then walk 15 min. (2) Koiwa Station, then walk 25 min.
8/6-8 Setomono-Ichi (Ceramic Fair), Ningyocho-dori, Chuo Ward, Tokyo. 9:00 – 21:00. Nearest Stations: Ningyocho or Suitengu-mae.
8/11 Tokyo Fireworks Festival – Edomode, Odaiba Seaside Park, Odaiba (12,000 fireworks), from 7:10-8:30. Nearest Station: Odaiba Kaihin Koen.
8/11 Jingu Gaien Hanabi Taikai (Fireworks Display), Jingu Kyujo Baseball Stadium, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm (12,000 fireworks), which is preceded by the music concerts. (1) at Jingu Kyujo Baseball Stadium, (2) at Chichibunomiya Rugby & Football Ground, (3) at Jingu Nanshiki Kyujo Baseball Park, etc. Tickets required. Nearest Stations: Kokuritsu Kyogijo, Shinanomachi, Sendagaya, or Gaien-mae.
8/11 Asakusa Toro Nagashi, Sumida Park, Asakusa. Lanterns are set sail on the river from 6:45pm – 8:00pm. If you’d like to participate, lanterns on sale from 2pm. Nearest Station: Asakusa.
8/11-15 Fukagawa Hachimangu Matsuri, Annual Festival of Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine, Koto Ward, Tokyo. This festival is one of the Tokyo’s Three Greatest Summer Festivals and called Mizukake Matsuri , literally meaning a festival in which local people scatter water drops over Mikoshi (portable shrines) carriers. Various events are scheduled in the precincts during the festival period. Nearest Station: Monzen-Nakacho.
8/17-18 Bon Odori in Rinko Park, Minato Mirai, Yokohama. Traditional dance festival from 4:30 – 8:30pm. Closest Station: Minato Mirai.
8/18-19 Shimokitazawa Ichibangai Awa-odori, near Shimokitazawa Station, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo. Dancing that originated in Tokushima, Shikoku. From 6:30-8:30pm. Nearest Station: Shimokitazawa.
8/18-28 Kiyose Sunflower Festival, Ishii Farm, Kiyose City, Tokyo. 100,000 blooming flowers, sales of fresh produce,… 9am-4pm. Access: by car.
8/24-25 Kameido Tenjin Taisai, Grand Summer Festival of Kameido Tenjin Shrine, Koto Ward, Tokyo. The festival’s main event: 8/25 from 19:00, 1,000 Kentomyo (lighted lanterns) and Takigi-kagura (torch-lit Shinto dance) performed in the precincts of the shrine. Access: Kameido Station, and then walk 15 min.
8/24-26. Roppongi Hills Bon Odori, summer traditional dance festival. Wear your yukata and join in (no dancing on Friday). 5pm – 9pm. Closest Station: Roppongi.
8/25 Asakusa Samba Carnival, Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo. 18 teams, in samba attire, parade along Kaminarimon-dori and Umamichi-dori streets near Sensoji Temple, from 1 pm to 6 pm. Nearest Station: Asakusa.
8/25-26 Azabu Juban Noryo Festival, along the shotengai, Azabu Juban, Minato Ward, Tokyo. 3pm-9pm. Closest station: Azabu Juban.
8/25-26 Koenji Awa-Odori, near Koenji Station, Tokyo. Dance originating in Tokushima, Shikoku. 10,000 dancers, from 5pm to 8pm. Nearest Station: Koenji.
8/25–26 Genki Matsuri Super Yosakoi 2018, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. A big folk dancing event similar to that of Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku. About 100 teams from all over Japan participate. The event is held on Harajuku-Omotesando Street, at Meiji-Jingu Shrine, in Yoyogi Koen, and on Keyaki Namiki-dori in front of NHK, from 10 am to around 8:00 pm on the 25th and from 10 am to around 5:30 pm on the 26th, regardless of the weather conditions. Nearest Stations: Harajuku, Meijijingu-mae, or Omotesando.
8/25-26 Yoshida-no-Hi-Matsuri, Fire Festival of Fuji Sengen Shrine and Suwa Shrine, Fuji-Yoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture, designated as one of the National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Assets, is held to mark the end of the Mt. Fuji climbing season. On the 26th, a parade of two Mikoshi (portable shrine) starts from Sengen Shrine to Otabisho (portable shrine resting place), and then Himatsuri , the main event of this festival in which about 70 giant torches placed along the National Road No. 139 (near Fujisan-eki Station) are set on fire, is held. On the 27th, these Mikoshi start from Otabisho and return to the Shrine. Access: The Fuji Kyuko Line to Fujisan Station, and then walk 3 min.