Japan’s Summer Festivals

Tokyo in Summer is HOT. But there’s one thing that can tempt us out of our cool, air conditioned HQ: a great summer festival. We polled the FunkyCorp team for their favorites across the summer, so put on a cotton yukata and enjoy.

Yosakoi dance by Priscilla du Preez
Yosakoi dances bring the color and noise to summer

Funky Favorites

Mitama Matsuri at Yasukuni Shrine—the spirits of the dead are remembered with lanterns and dancing at one of Tokyo’s biggest Obon festivals. 13-16 July.

Gion Matsuri —Kyoto turns into a giant party for four nights. 14-17 July.

Harajuku Omotesando Genki Super Yosakoi Festival—6,000 performers take over the streets of Harajuku for two days of spectacular team dancing. August 24-25.

Mitama Matsuri by Takashi Wakamatsu
Mitama Matsuri

Kagurazaka Matsuri—summer markets and a dance-off along the streets of this chic Tokyo neighborhood. 24-27 July

Asakusa Hozuki-Ichi—the grounds of Sensoji Temple turn into a giant market every July 10, selling vivid orange lantern plants. July 10.

Young woman selling hozuki lantern plant at Asakusa Hozuki Ichi
Pick up a lantern plant and some good luck in Asakusa

Koenji Awa-odori Festival—10,000 dancers wind through the narrow streets. Bars are set up along the route, turning it into a giant street party. 24-35 August.

Kawagoe Hyakumanto Natsu Matsuri—stroll the traditional streets of Kawagoe, illuminated by thousands of colorful paper lanterns. 27-28 July.

Japanese paper masks by Finan Akbar
We love the food stalls and the traditional masks at summer festivals

Fuji Rock in Niigata and Summer Sonic in Chiba and Osaka—the biggest music festivals of the summer, full of local and international talent. Fuji Rock July 26-28, Summer Sonic August 16-18.

Fireworks by Mio Ito
Summer nights mean fireworks

Fireworks festivals—all through July and August, summer nights are alight with spectacular fireworks. We recommend enjoying them FunkyCorp style, from the deck of a Yakatabune boat.

The women of FunkyCorp, dressed up for our annual Yakatabune party

There are more great ideas for festivals, fireworks and summer fun on the websites we created with JNTO and Go Tokyo. Did you catch a festival this summer? We’d love to hear your recommendations! Please let us know in the comments below.


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