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.

Fireworks (Hanabi) Festival in Tokyo 2022

Every year there are many beautiful firework events lighting up the sky in Japan during summer. Why are there so many events being held? These events originated from the use of fireworks as a way of appeasing one’s ancestors during the “Obon” period. Obon is a traditional annual Buddhist event for…

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Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo 2022 - A Brief Guide to Hanami Culture & List of Popular Spots

According to the latest forecast ( as of March 1, 2022 ) by the Japan Weather Association (JWA), cherry blossoms in Tokyo have begun blooming. This year's cherry blossom season is expected to be broadly normal. The forecast for the cherry blossom season in Tokyo will start from March 22. The New Co…

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This year's EXPAT EXPO TOKYO will once again take place in the Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Trade Center, which is the only exhibition for foreigners residing in Japan. The third iteration of this year's event will take place on November 25 and 26. Businesses from all across Japan and across field…

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Traditional festivals in Tokyo: Summer 2019

Matsuri is the Japanese word for a festival. It is a local festival celebrated by the local people in different areas in Japan. In the summer time, matsuri is held everywhere all across Japan and dates vary from area to area. The usual matsuri are often based on one event with many different food s…

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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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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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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 t…

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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 fashion,…

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