Much Anticipated Tokyo Area Summer Festivals 2019

Summer in Japan is between the months of June and September where it can get very hot and humid. Perfect for a dip in an onsen or enjoy the beautiful beaches all around the islands and hiking in the countryside. Summer in Japan is also the season for festivals. If you find yourself in Japan during the summer months, you’re bound to find yourself in the midst of a matsuri (festival) of some sort. Towns and cities all across the country celebrate traditional matsuri with parades, floats, people dressed in yukatas and food stalls selling delicious street food. Beautiful fireworks light up the sky at night and beer and sake are always overflowing.

Check out some of the summer festivals in the Tokyo area:

Mitama Matsuri Festival, Tokyo, Japan. | midorisyu

Mitama Matsuri

Date: 13–16 July 2019

Mitama Matsuri (みたままつり) is a traditional obon festival (commemorative festival to celebrate ancestors) held at Yasukuni Shrine for four days in mid July. The pathway to the main hall is decorated with an astounding 30,000 lanterns making a spectacular display of lights. There are numerous stalls that offer mouth watering street foods and games. Mikoshi (portable shrine) ceremony and Bon odori dance are also a much anticipated even during Mitama Matsuri.

Sumida River Fireworks, Japan. | Toru MORI

Sumida River Fireworks Festival

Date: Saturday 27 July 2019

The iconic Sumida River (隅田川 ) is a beacon of Tokyo. The Sumida River stems from the Arakawa River and flows into Tokyo Bay, passing through several wards of Tokyo: Kita, Adachi, Arakawa, Sumida, Taito, Kōtō, and Chūō. One of Japan’s most anticipated fireworks displays is held there on the last Saturday of July each year.  Thousands of fireworks light up the Tokyo sky in a spectacular event that surely must not be missed when visiting Japan during the summer.

Shinjuku Eisa Festival, Japan. | Guilhem Vellut

Shinjuku Eisa Festival

Date: 27th July 2019

Shinjuku Eisa Festival is an annual traditional dance that can be traced to the Okinawan islands. Participants dress in traditional costumes, dance and play musical instruments customary to the event.

The festival takes place in the heart of the Shinjuku district throughout the day.

Tsukiji Honganji Temple Bon Odori Festival, Japan. | Guilhem Vellut

 Tsukiji Honganji Temple Bon Odori Festival

Date: 31 July – 3 August 2019

Tsukiji Honganji Temple Bon Odori Festival (築地本願寺納涼盆踊り大会)is held right beside the Tsukiji Fish Market. People celebrate by dancing to the beat of traditional taiko drums. Lanterns are also put up to illuminate the majestic Tsukiji Honganji Temple hall to add a more celebratory feel to the festivities.