Tokyo in summer: the best things to see and do

Tokyo’s warm, humid summers can get locals grumbling, however there’s plenty of seasonal amusing to be had with traditions (both antique and new) to make the maximum of heat summer nights and help maintain you cool, even as seasonal gala’s bring joyous shades and explosive sounds.

that is a time of year when the standard sightseeing can take a backseat and visitors should just revel in the metropolis. study on for our pleasant things to look and do in Tokyo at some point of the summer.

Tokyo summer time – Fireworks explode over the Sumida river at night
Fireworks explode over Tokyo’s Sumida river © Shenyang’s photo / Getty snap shots

capture a firework display

Hanabi (fireworks) literally way ‘hearth flowers’, and Tokyo places on numerous gorgeous displays each summer. the most important displaying, with some 20,000 fireworks, is the Sumida-gawa Fireworks festival in Asakusa (2019 date: 27 July). Get there early to get a great spot, however it’s nonetheless amusing even in case your view is handiest so-so. There are other suggests, massive and small, held across the city via July and August; see move Tokyo for listings.

Tokyo summer – Performers dressed in purple and white parade as a part of Koenji’s Awa Odori competition
Performers dancing in Koenji’s Awa Odori pageant © Julianne hide / Shutterstock

See the O-bon festivities

O-bon (13–15 August in 2019) is one of the most critical activities at the conventional calendar, at the side of O-shōgatsu (the party of the new year). It takes location over three days in mid-August, during which it became lengthy believed that the spirits of one’s ancestors returned to the abode of the dwelling.

Many Tokyoites go back to the their hometowns to enroll in their extended families to comb graves, carry out Buddhist rites and take part in local gala’s. however there are some public O-bon occasions inside the metropolis: Yasukuni-jinja places on its annual Mitama pageant, which sees the shrine adorned with tens of heaps of lanterns, over thirteen–16 July (O-bon in step with the antique lunar calendar). throughout kōenji’s Awa Odori, ten thousand folks dancers take to the streets, drawing one million-plus spectators. It’s held in the evenings over the last weekend of August.

notice that a few smaller groups near over O-bon, frequently for the entire week.

Tokyo summer time – two beers and a bowl of edamame beans are pictured on a table within the sunshine
Beers and edamame beans: a conventional japanese summer time combination © Gyro / iStock / Getty snap shots Plus

Knock back a cold one (or numerous) at a summer beer garden

stroll the streets of Tokyo in summer season and it is able to appear like everyone is sealed inner air-conditioned boxes. but it is handiest because the al fresco alternatives are not obvious from avenue degree: each 12 months, a lot of Tokyo’s foremost department stores host rooftop beer gardens. in case you need to drink in an real garden, forest Beer lawn is a summer season institution (that has a incredible all-you-can-drink and -eat deal). Or cross up-marketplace at Beer Terrace Sekirei, which sets up on a fantastically manicured garden (otherwise used for fancy weddings). any other summer conventional: Mt Takao Beer lawn, on a mountain within the city’s a ways west.

maximum beer gardens run from may additionally through September (mid-June to mid-October for Mt Takao Beer garden), so even in case you’re now not visiting all through the peak warmth you can still take advantage of the opportunity to clink glasses outside.

rejoice authentic love during Tanabata

Tanabata (rooted inside the chinese Qixi competition) takes location on the seventh day of the seventh month. On that day, in line with delusion, the stars Vega and Altair, stand-ins for two megastar-crossed lovers, meet throughout the Milky way. To celebrate, colorful lanterns and streamers (symbolising the Milky way) are hung from buying strips round metropolis. look for displays at the entrances to Harajuku’s Takeshita-dōri and Shibuya’s middle-gai.

Asagaya’s Pearl Centre shopping arcade does an unorthodox show of paper mache lanterns – regularly with popular culture references – made (or backed) by means of neighborhood agencies, network agencies and colleges.

Tanabata is typically celebrated on and round 7 July, although Asagaya is going with the lunar calendar and celebrates in August.

pass for a bay cruise on a yakatabune

Taking to the water on a yakatabune, a conventional wooden pleasure boat, is some other of Tokyo’s long-strolling summer time traditions. most customarily these low-slung barges are chartered by means of businesses for private events, but Tsukishima Monja Yakatabune takes reservations for its institution cruises from simply human beings.

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