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2017 Tokyo Summer Festivals - Best Japanese Festivals - 夏祭り

2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り

2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals are one of our favorite summer activities with the family. Despite the heat and humidity, throw on your yukata and head to a Tokyo Summer Festival.  I love the noise, sights and smells at Japanese summer festivals. All of your senses are bombarded at once screaming “Japan.” Enjoy the food, the games and the dancing at local festivals and get to know the flavor of each neighborhood of this huge metropolis we call home. Enjoy!2016 Tokyo Summer Festivals, Best Living Japan

The list will be updated with more details as the summer progresses. The list below is in order of the Tokyo Summer Festival date.

2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り

Hie Jinja Sanno Matsuri

June 7 – June 17, 2018 – Sanno Festival (Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku) – This multi-day festival that goes back hundreds of years kicks off the beginning of summer. The key highlights we recommend are Saturday, June 9th between 12:00 – 14:00 to see the adorable kids dressed for the children’s Matsuri, and June 13 – 15 from 18:30  to see traditional dancing under lanterns in tents up the long slope up to the shrine.

Address: Hie Jinja Shrine, 2-10-5 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Date: June 7 – June 17, 2018
Access: 5-min walk from Exit 5 of Kokkai-gijido-mae Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, 3-min walk from Exit 7 of Tameike-Sanno Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line or Namboku Line
Website: http://www.hiejinja.net/en/

Festival Site: http://www.tenkamatsuri.jp/

***** 2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り*****

2017 Tokyo Summer Festivals - Best Japanese Festivals - 夏祭りTorikoe Jinja Annual Festival (Torikoe, Taito-ku) – We attend this festival every year and LOVE it. The energy and size are staggering. For two straight days neighborhood groups carry huge portable shrines through the streets singing and chanting. At night the mikoshi are hung with lanterns which adds to the magic.

Address: 2-4-1 Torikoe, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Date: June 10 – June 11, 2017
Acces: 5 min walk from Kuramae station on the Asakusa Line
Website:http://www004.upp.so-net.ne.jp/kab_ra/TORI1.HTM( External link )


***** 2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り*****

Iriya Asagao Matsuri July 6 –  8, 2018:  Iriya Asagao Matsuri (入谷朝顔まつり Morning Glory Festival) (Shitaya, Taito-ku) – More than 100 vendors are on hand to sell their Irya plants and flowers to you at this annual event. The Iriya is a very popular summer flower in Japan; a symbol of the goddess of childbirth and children. Over 400,000 visitors will come to shop and have fun searching for flowers, food stalls, and other merchandise.Iriya Asagao Matsuri
Address: Iriya Kishimojin, 1-12-16 Shitaya, Taito-Ku
Date: July 6 – July 8, 2018
Time: July 6 & 7 – 17:00 – 21:00, July 8 12:00 – 21:30
Access: Train to Uguisudani Station (JR Yamanote Line or Keihin Tohoku Line) then a 5 min walk or Metro to Iriya Station (Hibiya Line) then a 1 min walk
Website: http://www.asagao-maturi.com/

***** 2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り*****

July 1 –  7, 2018: Tokyo Daijingu Tanabata Kigansai (Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku)  – Enjoy the festival from July 1 to 7 to celebrate Tanabata. Make a wish on a tanzaku slip for 300 yen and hang it a nearby bamboo. The bamboo with beautiful colored slips of paper will be illuminated on Tanabata night, July 7th. A beautiful sight.ph_saiten
Address: Tokyo Daijingu, 2-4-1 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo (東京都千代田区富士見2-4-1)
Date: July 1  – July 7, 2018 (illumination on July 7)
Time: 14:30 – 22:00
Website: http://www.tokyodaijingu.or.jp/saiten/ (Japanese language only)
Access: 3 min walk from JR Iidabashi Station; 5 min walk from Tokyo Metro Tozai Line / Namboku Line / Yurakucho Line / Toei Oedo Line Iidabashi Station

***** 2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り*****

July 1 –  7, 2018 :  Zojoji Tanabata Festival (Shiba, Minato-ku) –  Grab a friend or bring your family and appreciate the hundreds of candles displayed on July 7th. Join Zojoji as they celebrate the Tanabata festival, the night when two lovers separated by the Milky Way meet. Write your dream and wishes on colorful tanzaku and enjoy the matsuri stalls or the romantic atmosphere.
Address: Zojoji Temple,4-7-35 Shiba-koen, Shiba-Koen
Date: July 1 – July 7, 2017  (Candles are lit up on July 7)
Time: 09:00 – 20:00
Access: Metro to Shiba-Koen Station (Mita Line) A4 exit or Daimon Station (Asakusa Line, Oedo Line) A6 exit

Fuurin Matsuri 2015July 3 – 30, 2018: Fuurin Matsuri, Nishiarai, Adachi-ku – A fuurin means wind chime in Japanese. Summer is a time when Japanese families place glass, metal and ceramic fuurins in their gardens to hear the beautiful ting-a-lings of summer breezes. At the Adachi Nishiarai Daishi temple fuurin craft people from across Japan set up booths to sell their creations. There are thousands of fuurin on display and if the breeze is blowing the sound is amazing. Highly recommend the beauty of sight and sound.
 Monday, July 2 – Sunday, July 29, 2018; 10:00 – 16:00, Sundays until 17:00
Address: Nishiarai Daishi, 1-15-1 Nishiarai, Adachi-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3890-2345
Website: www.nishiaraidaishi.or.jp
Access: 5 min walk from Daishimae Station on the Tobu Daishi Line

***** 2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り*****

Shitamachi Tanbata festivalJuly 8 & 9, 2018: Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri This festival is a fun event which runs between the Asakusa shrines and Kappabashi Dori (Kitchen town) so you can spend a fun full day in the area. The streets are lined with colorful streamers from July 6 – 11, but the main vendors, performers, and parades are on Saturday and Sunday.
Address: Kappabashi-Dori, Asakusa
Date: Thursday, July 5 – Monday, July 9, 2018
Time: All Day
Access: Asakusa Station (Ginza Line, Asakusa Line), JR (Tobu Skytree Line, Tsukuba Express)
Website: http://shitamachi-tanabata.com/ (Japanese link)

July 6 – 8, 2018: Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Matsuri (Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa-Ken) This is one of the Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Matsurilargest Tanabata festivals in the Kanto area. It is well known for the huge size of the tanbata decorations, lively parade and illuminations. I have never had the chance to attend, but my friends speak highly of the event.
Dates and hours: Friday, July 6  – Sunday, July 8, 2018; Runs from around noon to 21:00 on Saturday and until 20:00 on Sunday
Address: Whole city around JR Hiratsuka Station north exit mall (Beniyacho, Hiratsuka-shi, akasityou play a key role.)
Official website: http://www.tanabata-hiratsuka.com/
Access: 2 min walk from JR Hiratsuka Station north exit
It is approximately 60 minutes by … JR Tokaido Main Line from Tokyo Station.
It is approximately 65 minutes by … JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line from Shinjuku Station

***** 2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り*****

Senso-ji image

July 9 –  10, 2018: Asakusa Hozuki-Ichi (Asakusa, Taito-ku)  – Senso-Ji is of the oldest temples and a great place to celebrate July 10th. It is believed that if you make a prayer on July 10th at this temple that it is worth 46,000 other prayer days. Needless to say, this temple is very busy on July 10th. You will also find over 250 vendors selling ground cherry pod plants (Hozuki-Ichi) and wind chimes; both symbols of summer in Japan.
Address: Senso-ji Temple, 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Date: Monday, July 9 – Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Time: 08:00 – 20:00
Access: 8 min walk from Asakusa Station Metro (Ginza Line, Asakusa Line), JR (Tobu Skytree Line, Tsukuba Express)
Website: http://www.senso-ji.jp/about/index

Mitama MatsuriJuly 13 – 16, 2018: Mitama Matsuri (Kudansita, Chiyoda-ku) – One of the most attended festivals in Tokyo. This festival is to honor the dead each year, and over 30,000 lanterns are displayed. This festival does not offer food or drink but has a great line-up of traditional dances, music performances.
Address: Yasukuni Shrine,3-1-1 Kudan-kita, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Date: July 13  –  July 16, 2018
Time: 18:00 – 21:00 (Lanterns will light up during this time)
Access: Kudanshita Station Metro (Hanzomon Line, Shinjuku Line and Tozai Line) then a 10 min walk
Website: http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/schedule/mitama.html (Japanese Link)

July 14-15, 2018 TBConfirmed: Setagaya Firefly Festival and Sagiso Market (Kamimachi, Setagaya-ku) – If you have attended the twice annual Setagaya Boroichi, you will know where you are going. This entire market street is taken over by food, game and merchandise vendors. You will also be able to see the local flowers and fireflies as a special treat during the festival. A great example of a local festival that attracts over 20,000 visitors. I do not recommend bringing stroller due to the crowds.
Address: Boroichi-dori, Kamimachi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Date: Saturday, July 14  – Sunday, July 15, 2018
Time: 13:00 – 21:00
Access: 10 min walk from Kamimachi Station on the Tokyu Setagaya Line

***** 2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り*****

New Bon Odori. IkebukuroJuly 15, 2018: New Bon Odori (Ikebukuro) – This festival is where one wears a yukata and dances or learns to dance. Everyone is encouraged to jump right in and enjoy the evenings. Not for the shy at heart, but a total blast to dance the night away Japanese Obon style. Here is a great video to get you in the mood!
Address: 1-8-26 Nishi Ikebukuro, Toshiba-ku, Tokyo
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Time: starting at 17:30 running until about 22:00
Access: 2 min walk from Ikebukuro Station (West Exit)  on the Yamanote, Saikyo, Seibu, Marunouchi and Fukutoshin lines
Website: http://www.owlspot.jp/special/newbonodori/

July 14 – August 12, 2018: Ueno Summer Festival 2018 (Ueno) – This is a summer festival not to be missed. While you are in Ueno I highly recommend you visit the National Museum of Nature and Science. The festival is throughout the park and includes music, food booths, plant sales and all kinds of antiques for sale. You can also enjoy the beautiful lanterns that are set a float on Shinobazu Pond. Put on your Yukata one summer day and enjoy.
Event: Saturday, July 14th  – Sunday, August 12, 2018
Time: Everyday 9:00 – 20:00
Address: Shinobazu Pond area, 2-Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3832-0084
Website: www.city.taito.lg.jp/index/event/kanko/uenonathumathuri.html
Access: 5 min walk from Ueno Station (Park Exit) on the JR Line, Ginza Line and Hibiya Line

***** 2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り*****

Yutenji Temple Matsuri (Yutenji) – Yutenji Temple holds their annual Yutenji Mitama Matsuri (祐天寺み魂まつり)  on July 16, 17 & 18, 2018. Parents and children from the neighbouring school, Yutenji kindergarten, participate by dancing in colourful yukatas every year. Stop by the grounds late afternoon to learn about the eight different Temple structures and buildings then stay late for the dance festival, food stalls and games. Don a yukata and join in the fun!

Address: 5-24-53 Nakameguro, Meguro, Tokyo (東京都目黒区中目黒5丁目24-53)
Phone: 03-3712-0819
Hours: Temple open year round. Free entry.
Access: A 5 min walk from Yutenji Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line (Google Map)
Website: http://www.yutenji.or.jp/ (in Japanese)


July 25-28, 2018: Kagurazaka Matsuri (神楽坂まつり) (Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku) – This is a festival that you will definitely want to wear a yukata. If you wear a yukata the first two nights (Wednesday or Thursday), you can pick-up a lantern at Bishamonten (Zenkokuji) temple and join a group to tour the area. On Friday and Saturday, the festival becomes a bit busier and exciting as dancing begins and restaurants join in with great food and beverages discounted for visitors in yukata.
Event: Wednesday, July 25 – Saturday, July 28th, 2018
Time: July 27 & 28 17:30 – 22:00 is Ground Cherry Fair; July 29 & 30 17:00 – 21:00 is Awa Dori
Address: Bishamonten Zenkokuji, Kagurazaka
Website: http://kagurazaka6.jimdo.com
Access: The festival held in the Kagurazaka 1-6 neighbourhoods accessible via the Ushigome Kagurazaka station on the Oedo Line or Iidabashi Station on the Chuo-sobu, Tozai, Namboku or Oedo Lines. 

July 28, 2018: Shinjuku Eisa Festival (新宿エイサーまつり) – Eisa dance is a traditional dance of Okinawa, which was originally conducted for the worship of ancestral spirits during the Obon period. However post WWII Eisa dancing has changed to focus more on youth and cultural competition in Okinawa where young groups of Eisa performers show great creatively in their music and dance. At the Shinjuku Festival, you can see close to 25 dance groups perform. Great way to experience Okinawa culture.
Event: Saturday, July 28th, 2018
Time: 12:00 – 20:00
Address: Shinjuku station east exit area
Website: http://www.shinjuku-eisa.com/ (In Japanese)
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shinjuku.eisa/

2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り

August 3 – 5, 2018: Hachijoji Festival (八王子まつり) – This is one of the largest festivals in Tokyo with over 750,000Hachijoji Festival  people attending. The main highlights include the close to 20 floats and portal shrines. During the progression of floats and shines rival teams compete with cheers and music. A lot of power, sweat and passion in this festival so watch your little ones.
Date: Friday, August 3 – Sunday, August 5th, 2018
Time: Friday from 18:30 ~, Saturday and Sunday 12:00 – 20:00
Website:  http://www.hachiojimatsuri.jp
Access: Area around the north side of Hachioji Station


The 53rd Shimokitazawa Ichibangai Awa-Odori – Great food, music and Awa Dori Dance. I believe this is one of the best neighborhood festivals in Japan. Do not take your stroller or pets since it is a very busy festival in narrow streets. Enjoy Shimokitazawa which is an artsy and young neighborhood.
Event Dates: Saturday & Sunday, August 18 & 19, 2018; 18:30 – 20:30
Address: Held in the small streets around the station. Shimokitazawa area , Shimokitazawa
Website: http://www.shimokita1ban.com/en/awaodori


August 25, 2018: Asakusa Samba Matsuri (浅草サンバ) (Asakusa) –  If you love Samba, this is the place to be Saturday, August 25th! Brazil and Japan are deeply intertwined since millions of Japanese migrated to Brazil in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. If you ever want to learn more about Japan migration history check out the Japan Overseas Migration Museum in Yokohama. The Asakusa Samba Matsuri is celebrating the 37th year and is one of the biggest summer festivals in Japan. Over one half a million people come to see 16 teams compete for the grand award. The parade of samba dancers, floats and drummers travel down Kaminarimon Dori in front of the huge Asakusa shrine gate (Kaminarimon Gate).  I find the best place to access and view is closer to Tawaramachi Station on the Ginza Line (always thinking about kids Tokyo Area Family Weekend Activities - August 29 and 30, 2015with easy in and easy out).
Address: Kaminarimon Dori in Asakusa
Event dates and times:
Saturday, August 25th, 2018; 13:00 – 18:00
Website: http://www.asakusa-samba.org/ (Japanese language only)
Access: Asakusa Station on the Tobu Skytree Line, Toei Asakusa Line or Ginza Line, or Tawaramachi on the Ginza Line.

August 25-26, 2018: Harajuku Omotesando Genki Matsuri Super Yosakoi Festival (Harajuku/Omotesando) – The Harajuku Omotesando Genki Matsuri festival is a two day festival in the center of fashion forward Harajuku and Omotesando. Over 5,000 dancers from 100 teams come to Japan to dance.
Address: Matsuri takes place around Harajuku and Omotesando, Shibuya-ku
Event dates and time: Saturday, August 25th, 2017 10:00 – 20:00, Sunday, August 26th, 2017 10:00 -17:30
Website: http://www.super-yosakoi.tokyo/ (Japanese language only)
Access: 1 min walk from Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line or Chiyoda Line; 2 min walk from the Meiji-jingumae Harajuku Station on the Fukutoshin Line

August 25-26, 2018: Koenji Awa-Odori (Kenji, Suginami-ku)  – This festival is short (3 hours), but filled with Koenji Awa-Odori extreme energy both Saturday and Sunday night. This year is the 62nd Koenji Awadori which has over 10,000 dancers both professional and everyday fun folk having a great time. Over one million people are said to attend this festival so be ready for a crowd. Enjoy an energetic evening dancing away.
Address: Koenjiminami 2, 3, 6 4-chomes, and Koenjikita 2 & 3-chomes, Suginami-ku, Tokyo (held in shopping streets north and south of JR Koenji Station)
Event date and time: Saturday, August 25th – Sunday, August 26th; 17:00 – 20:00 each day
Website: http://koenji-awaodori.com/index.html (Japanese language only, there is an English tab but no content)
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TokyoKoenjiAwaodori/
Access: Koenji Station in on the JR Chuo and Sobu Lines.

August 25-26, 2018: Azabu-Juban Noryo Festival 2018 (Azabu Juban, Minato-ku)  – This is one of my favorite annual festivals. The main Azabu shopping street and side streets are closed down to traffic and filled with festival goers enjoying local restaurant specialties. Ajiro Park (aka the slide park) is filled with games for the kids and musical live entertainment each night. Dress the family in Yukata and enjoy. This festival is so crowded that I highly advise not to bring strollers or pets. If you want to avoid the crazy time of 18:00 – 21:00 go when it opens from 15:00 – 17:00.
Address: main shopping street and side streets
Dates and times: Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th; 15:00 – 21:00 both days
Website: www.azabujuban.or.jp
Access: Azabu Juban station on the Namboku or Oedo Lines


2018 Tokyo Summer Festivals – Best Japanese Festivals – 夏祭り


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