The great thing about Tokyo is that there’s always something to do. Here’s our month-by-month guide on the best festivals, events, and things to do for each season and month.
January Events In Tokyo
Japanese New Year (January 1st) – is an occasion for family reunions. It is also an occasion for wearing traditional Kimono and visiting Meiji Jingu shrine. December 25th is not a national holiday in Japan. Japanese people work and go to school as usual. Japanese Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas Eve.
See More: Japanese New Year
February Festivals In Tokyo
Japanese Plum Festival – Cherry blossoms get all the glory. But the sturdy and humble plum blossoms are not a sight to be Missed! Japanese Plum Festival also known as Ume Festival or Ume Matsuri, begins in February, so you’ll still have to bundle up to go see it, but at least you’ll know spring is on its way. See More: Japanese Plum Festival
February 3rd or 4th – Setsubun – “Bean Throwing Festival”. Japanese people celebrate this Traditional Japanese Festival by throwing soybeans and chanting to chase away evil and welcome good luck. According to Japanese tradition, if you eat the same number of beans as your age, you will enjoy a year of good health. See More: Setsubun Festival in Japan
March Tokyo Events And Holidays
March 3rd – Hina-matsuri – Doll Festival. Dolls in traditional clothes are displayed on shelves. Hotels may also display dolls in their lobby. Japanese families Pray for the health of their daughters. See More: Hinamatsuri Doll festival
End of March and beginning of April – The Japanese Cherry Blossom festival. The Cherry festival in Japan is one of the most famous and popular festivals in the world and the Major Event in Japan. The start of the cherry blossom season can vary from year to year by as much as two weeks, so check it out before you arrive. Cherry Blossom Festival,
10 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid During Cherry Blossom Festival Tokyo
April Tokyo Holidays And Festivals
April 8th – Hana Matsuri (Floral Festival) or Buddha’s Birthday has Wonderful celebrations: Small shrines decorated with flowers, baby Buddha figurines and Parades with children in fancy attire, pulling a papier-mâché white elephant. See More: Hana Matsuri Floral Festival in Tokyo
April 29th to May 5th – Golden Week– During this week there are 3 Traditional Japanese Festivals. Many Japanese take the entire Golden Week off from work. Golden Week is certainly a peak travel season in Japan. See More: Golden Week in Japan
See Also: Japanese Festivals in Tokyo: mystical night parades, portable shrines, drums and horses, Romantic Star Festival, Kimonos and FirIn Tokyoeworks.
May Festivals In Tokyo
May 5th – Children’s Day. This event used to be known as Boy’s Festival Day. It usually includes parades with with wonderful traditional costumes and floaters. See More: Children’s Day in Japan
Mid-May (The Saturday and Sunday closest to May 15th) – Kanda Matsuri – held in Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo, this event is considered among the three largest Traditional Japanese Festivals of Tokyo. The main attraction is the parade on the Saturday, when hundreds of people march through central Tokyo with portable shrines and decorated horses. See More: 10 Fun Tokyo Attractions On Kanda Matsuri in Tokyo
May – (Third Sunday and preceding Friday and Saturday) – Asakusa Sanja Matsuri – held at Asakusa Shrine in Tokyo. Prepare for huge parades with portable shrines, Geisha, dancing, costumes and music. Its a huge event, so get ready to celebrate with the locals. See More: 7 Things To Do On Asakusa Sanja Matsuri
June Tokyo City Events And Holidays
June Around 10th-l6th- Sanno Matsuri Festival of Hie-jinja Shrine in Akasaka district. People dressed in ancient costumes parade through the heart of Tokyo carrying golden Mikoshi portable shrines, and dressed as a legendary goblin called Tengu with a red face and a long nose. See More: 5 Best Places To See Sanno Matsuri Festival in Tokyo
July Tokyo Events And Holidays
July 7th- Tanabata – Star Festival. According to a legend, two separated lovers represented by the stars Vega and Altair are allowed to meet each other once a year, on the evening of July 7th. The custom is to put bamboo branches in the garden, and Japanese people write poems or wishes on strips of paper which they tie on the bamboo leaves. See More: (Star) Tanabata Festival
Last Saturday of July- Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai – Sumida River Fireworks Display (postponed if the weather is bad). One of nicest Tokyo events. The evening skies turn into a magnificent scene when an hour long of fireworks light the sky. One of the best Tokyo places to view the fireworks is along the Sumida River. See More: Sumida River Fireworks Display
July 13th-15th- Bon festival (starting date varies within different regions of Japan) is the reunion of the dead souls of the ancestors with the living. In spite of the somewhat depressing theme, you’ll be surprised to see it’s one of the happiest Japanese celebrations, with dancing and drinking all night long. See More: Obon Festival In Japan
October Tokyo Holidays
October 11th – 13th- Oeshiki Festival at Hommonji Temple, Tokyo. Celebrated in memory of the Buddhist leader, Nichiren. On the evening of the 12th there is a Parade with lights fixed on tall poles. Followers chant and pray to the unique tunes of drums and flutes. The parade that starts at Ikegami Station and proceeds to Ikegami Honmon Temple is very impressive.
November Tokyo Festivals
Autumn In Japan – Not really a festival as such, but treated with such religious devotion that it might as well be.
November is the month where Japan’s glorious trees turn all manner of beautiful colors. Autumn in Tokyo is a great time to set off on foot and hike through the Japanese Autumn Spots recommended here: 10 Beautiful Places for Autumn In Japan
November 15th– Shichi-go-san – the shrine-visiting day for children aged 3, 5 and 7. The children wear their Kimonos, which makes it a great photo opportunity.
Meiji Jingu Shrine is an excellent place to participate in this traditional Japanese festival. See More: Shichi-Go-San Festival in Tokyo
See Also: Meiji Shrine Festivals
December Events In Tokyo
Christmas in Japan has Christmas traditions which are uniquely Japanese. Christmas in Japan is a time to express romantic love, more like Valentine’s Day.
It’s the time of the year that people do the most Romantic Things like giving Teddy Bears, flowers and jewelery…
See More: Christmas in Japan
All Tokyo Holidays And Festivals
Cherry Blossom Festival
Asakusa Shrine Festival
Star Festival, Tanabata
Sumida River Fireworks Display
Obon Festival In Japan
Meiji Shrine Festivals
Christmas in Japan
Japanese New Year
Setsubun Festival in Japan
Hinamatsuri Doll festival
Hana Matsuri Floral Festival in Tokyo
Golden Week in Japan
Shichi-Go-San Festival in Tokyo