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.


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. This year's event will take place on November 24 and 25. Businesses from all across Japan and across fields will gather at one lo…

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10 Top Tokyo Festivals to Satisfy Your Cultural Craving

One of the most enjoyable aspects of life in Japan is the many festivals that take place throughout the year, often distinct to an area or region. Tokyo is no exception, with a number of unique festivals ranging from religious parades where people carry shrines, to the enormous dance festivals of s…

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What is White Day in Japan?

White Day is the day on March 14 when men who received chocolates on Valentine's Day return the favor to the woman. On White Day, the most common sweets are candies, marshmallows, and chocolates.

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Where to buy Valentine’s Day chocolate in Tokyo

Valentine's Day in Japan Valentine’s Day (February 14th) is celebrated in Japan every year not just by couples, but also between friends and families. The one thing about Valentine’s Day, in Japan, that is probably uncommon in other countries is that women give presents to men. The custom of a woma…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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