Traditional festivals in Tokyo: Summer 2019

Poste date: Tuesday, May 28, 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 stalls, entertainment, carnival games or performances. Today, it seems like matsuri is held to unite the community through an event that brings the young and old together. If you see a Yagura which is usually set up in the centre of the matsuri, do not hesitate to join others who are dancing. This is called the “bon-odori” dance giving the honor to the departed soul.

Every matsuri has a different theme so you should be able to enjoy new taste of different matsuri food each time.

Below are the most popular matsuri you can experience in Tokyo this summer!

Iriya Asagao Matsuri

“Morning Glory Festival“ by kevin_lavorgna is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Iriya Asagao Matsuri is held from July 6th to 8th every year around the Iriya Kishimojin temple. The festival is dedicated to morning glories. Around 400,000 people joins to celebrate every year.

Dates July 6th - 8th
Time 5:00 - 23:00
Location In & Around Iriya Kishimojin
Address 1-12-16 Shitaya, Taito-Ku
Access 1 min walk from Iriya Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
5 min walk from Uguisudani Station (JR Yamanote Line/ Keihin Tohoku Line)
More Info https://old-tokyo.info/iriya-asagao-matsuri-morning-flowers-festival/

Hozuki-Ichi at Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji Temple was built in 628 and is known as the oldest temple in Tokyo. You will see many stalls selling Ground Cherry Pods and hear the breezy sound of wind bells (fu-rin) and see many people wearing colorful Yukatas experiencing the Shitamachi atmosphere.

Dates July 9th - 10th
Time 9:00 - 22:00 (About)
Address Senso-Ji Temple
2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-Ku
Access 5 min walk from Asakusa station
More Info http://www.asakusaguide.jp/funky/column01.html
http://www.taito-culture.jp/history/sensoji/english/page_04.html

Kagurazaka Matsuri Festival

“Kagurazaka Matsuri 2013“ by Guilhem Vellut is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Kagurazaka Festival lets you experience the old Tokyo atmosphere. The highlight of this festival is the Awa-Odori dance.

Dates July 24th - 27th
Address Around Bishamonten Zenkoku-ji temple, between Kagurazaka 1-chome and Kagurazaka-dori street.
Access 1 min walk fromIidabashi Station (JR Line)
0 min walk from Iidabashi Station Exit B3 (Tokyo Metro Tozai Line / Yurakucho Line / Nanboku line)
More Info https://www.japanistry.com/event/kagurazaka-matsuri/

Mitama Matsuri

“Mitama Matsuri (Festival) at Kudanshita“ by Manish Prabhune is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mitama matsuri started in 1947. You can witness the beautiful 30,000 Chochin (lanterns) decorated every year for this festival. The lanterns will light up from 6PM.

Dates July 13th - 16th
Address Yasukuni Shrine
3-1-1, Kudan-Kita, Chiyoda-Ku
Access 5 min walk from Kudanshita Station (Tozai Line / Hanzomon Line)
10 min walk from Ichigaya Station and Iidabashi Station (JR Line)
More Info https://tokyocheapo.com/events/mitama-matsuri/

Azabu-Juban Noryo-Matsuri Festival

“Azabu Juban matsuri 1“ by Jacob Ehnmark is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Azabu-Juban shopping district has been hosting the Azabu-Juban Noryo-matsuri festival for more than 40 years. You must experience this local matsuri organized by the shop owners.

Dates August 24th - 25th
Address AzabuJuban Shopping Street, Minato-ku
Access Short walk from Azabu Juban Station (Namboku Line / Oedo Line)
More Info https://www.japanistry.com/event/azabu-juban-noryo-matsuri/
About Azabujuban Shopping Street

Asakusa Samba Carnival

“2015 Asakusa Samba Carnival“ by Shih-Chi Chiang is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This festival held in Asakusa is the largest samba festival in Japan. Authentic samba dance teams from across Japan performs on this day.

Dates August 31st
Address Umamichi-dori Street and Kaminarimon-dori street Asakusa, Taito-Ku
Access Short walk from Asakusa Station (Tobu Skytree Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Ginza Line) and Tawaramachi Station (Ginza Line)
More Info https://tokyocheapo.com/events/asakusa-samba-carnival/

Harajuku Omotesando Genki Matsuri Super Yosakoi Festival

“原宿スーパーよさこい2007“ by 工房 やまもも is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the largest festivals in Tokyo, you get to see the traditional yosakoi dance from Kochi city in Harajuku Omotesando. 830,000 people came to see this performance past year.

Dates August 24th - 25th
Address Around Harajuku Omotesando, Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park etc.
Access 1 min walk from Harajuku Station Omotesando Exit (JR Yamanote Line)
More Info https://www.japanistry.com/event/harajuku-super-yosakoi/
  • Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo 2019 - A Brief Guide to Hanami Culture & List of Popular Spots

    This is the Cherry blossom forecast of 2019 and list of popular viewing spot in Tokyo. Hanami, which literally means, “flower viewing” in Japanese, is an occasion where people gather to admire the cherry blossoms. While Hanami parties can be quite lively and fun, there are some rules to follow that will make everything go smoothly.
  • Christmas in Roppongi: Things to do

    If you need to do any Christmas shopping or decorate your apartment while in Tokyo, there's no better place to do it than at the Roppongi Christmas Market. For those wanting to see Christmas Illumnations, head to the Roppongi Hills Area. If you're looking for things to do during Christmas in Roppongi, check out this guide!
  • 10 Top Tokyo Festivals to Satisfy Your Cultural Craving

    Throughout the year Tokyo is home to many festivals and events. Tokyo has everything from traditional festivals to events such as Anime conventions. Craving a bit of culture in the city? From traditional and modern to pop-cultural, these awesome Tokyo festivals are sure to keep you busy all year!
  • Koyo: Autumn Leaf Viewing in Tokyo

    Koyo is the Japanese word for autumn leaves changing colors, and can be considered the autumn version of Hanami. This time of year offers a great opportunity to get out and enjoy an afternoon picnic in Tokyo. There are many opportunities and locations to enjoy Koyo while in Tokyo. Here are some of the best spots.
  • Fireworks (Hanabi) Festival in Tokyo 2019

    Fireworks (hanabi) festivals in Tokyo 2019. Many large-scale firework events that light up the sky beautifully during summer are held all around Japan each year. These are the major firework events that are scheduled for the Tokyo area.
  • Where to buy Valentine’s Day chocolate in Tokyo

    Towards the end of January many retail and department stores will play home to many stalls and booths selling specialty Valentine's Day chocolate. Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Japan every year, not just by couples, but by friends and families as well. Here's where to buy Valentine’s Chocolate in Tokyo.