Festivals & Events

Traditional festivals & seasonal events in Tokyo

Japan experiences all four distinctive seasons. Each season; spring, summer, autumn, and winter, has its own special festivals and events. In Tokyo, many unique festivals and events celebrating various holidays and seasons, are held throughout the year. They include traditional religious festivals, modern anime conventions, and fireworks displays.

Below, we have gathered a selection of some of the most well-known/popular festivals in Tokyo such as firework festivals, cherry blossom viewing (Hanami), autumn leaf viewing, and Christmas illuminations. We also included some of our suggestions for seasonal recreational activities.

Christmas in Roppongi: Six Christmas Illuminations in the Roppongi Hills Area

While not a traditional Japanese cultural festival, the country has adopted Christmas with much enthusiasm with its own unique take on the holiday. One of the most notable traditions that has appeared over the years is that of Christmas illuminations, which takes the essential concept of Christmas l…

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Christmas in Roppongi: Things to do

As the holiday season approaches, you may be wondering whether Christmas is celebrated in Japan or not. While it is not a traditional holiday in Japan, the Japanese people have adopted it as one of their own and it is celebrated in all manner of forms.Roppongi is no exception and with the many expat…

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Where to buy Halloween costumes and decorations in Tokyo

Halloween is coming up very soon. Have you decided your costume for this year? In recent years, Halloween's popularity has clearly increased in Tokyo. People in Tokyo spend a lot of time and money putting together their costumes every year. Streets in Tokyo and shopping malls put up spooky Hallow…

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Tokyo Flea Market Guide: 10 Bastions of Bargain-Hunting

There are many different ways to experience the culture of a foreign place, but nothing gives quite the same insight into local pop culture, history and everyday life as a flea market. Tokyo has plenty such gatherings (known as "furima" in Japanese) on offer, so whether it’s antiques, local fashio…

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Nengajo – New Year’s Cards

Every year in late December the Japanese postal system is inundated with colorful post cards crisscrossing the country. These are 年賀状 (Nengajo) or New Year’s cards. Similarly to the way many westerners send Christmas cards to family and friends, Japanese people send nengajo to friends and family, co…

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6 Great Places for 'Hatsumode' during the Japanese New Year

On the first day of the Japanese new year, you will see many people heading to shinto shrines and temples for "hatsumode," or the first prayer of the year. On this day, people bring back old omamori protective amulets - which are supposed to have a shelf life of one year - and obtain new ones from…

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Tokyo Art Exhibitions: 9 Inspired Events for Culture Lovers

The kaleidoscopic cultural canvas of Tokyo is home to a range of multi-disciplinary art festivals. For visitors, this means the opportunity to see works from emerging and established artists across a range of mediums and subject areas. From innovative ideas about home and lifestyle to modern inter…

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Koyo: Autumn Leaf Viewing in Tokyo

Koyo is the Japanese word for autumn leaves changing colors, and like Hanami in the spring, it offers a great opportunity to get out and enjoy a picnic on a fall afternoon in Tokyo. For those of you living in the Hiroo, Azabu, or Roppongi areas, there are some great options nearby where you can do j…

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Setsubun: Welcoming Spring with Ogres, Beans, and Sushi

Famous for bean-throwing antics and parents dressed in ogre costumes to scare children, Setsubun is celebrated on February 3 to mark the first day of spring that lands on February 4. The holiday is a chance to banish evil spirits from your home and bring in good luck for the year ahead, and may be o…

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Welcoming the Obon Holiday: Exploring Japanese Tradition

Japan is well-known for its festivals, especially during the summertime. Fireworks, festivities, and food is the image that comes to mind for most people. However, Obon is a festival with a difference. With a far more sombre meaning and background, Obon is one of the most important holidays and fe…

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