On July 7, the Japanese Hoshi Matsuri (star festival) called Tanabata is celebrated. The streets of Hiratsuka in Kanagawa Prefecture will be lined with food carts visited by young women in yukata (traditional summer clothes) and the young men escorting them.
Millions of Japanese people all over Japan will enjoy one of the first festivals of the summer. Children will hang tanzaku (wishes written on strips of paper) on tree branches, and adults will nostalgically recall the summer festivals of their own youths.
If the sky is cloudless, those with romantic inclinations will look expectantly at the sky to see two specific stars on opposite sides of the milky way galaxy.
The legend behind the Japanese star festival is that a herder boy, Hikoboshi, and a weaver girl, Orihime, fell so deeply in love with each other that they neglected their jobs causing great trouble in their respective professions and forcing their superiors to separate them for all but one night of the year. On that specific night the lovers, represented by two actual stars, Altair and Vega, are said to be allowed to approach the heavenly river that separates them to cast longing eyes upon one another, and by doing so, lessen the pain in their lonely hearts.
Variants of this sad love story have been told and celebrated throughout Asia for centuries. Somehow this story, most likely originating in China and first recorded thousands of years ago, has been interpreted as a story of hope and endless fidelity for the most impossible of romantic relationships. In a sense, it teaches the importance of sincerity, constancy of heart, and eternal fidelity. …continue reading
The largest Tanabata event in the Kanto area, this three-day festival is jam-packed with lively events, including its famous 1,000-people-parade, giant dinosaur robot displays, rock-climbing for kids and lots and lots of food. The Shonan Star Mall shopping area will also be decorated with large colorful streamers that cascade from the ceiling, making it an amazing photo spot. Crowded for sure, but definitely worth visiting. Stay safe!
FRI, JUL. 8-SUN, JUL. 10, 2022
ALL DAY UNTIL 9 P.M. (UNTIL 8 P.M. ON SUNDAY)
THE AREA AROUND JR HIRATSUKA STATION’S NORTH EXIT – Map
RECOMMENDED FOR: COUPLES, FAMILIES, SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS, MATSURI FANS
This annual sea-themed festival in Yoyogi Park is packed with around 30 food booths, beer gardens, live dance and music performances, and a beach culture market, where you can buy everything you need for your summer getaway. Shop as you groove to the live ocean tunes by local and international artists.
July usually marks the start of festival season, but in the cautious world of Japan in 2022, most big events (including the majority of fireworks festivals) remain canceled while others are scaled back. Despite the dearth of events, July of 2022 looks to be the most event-filled July since 2019. Here’s a list of events that are worth checking out.
1. Earth Garden Summer Festival and Arabian Fes (July 2–3)
These seemingly quite different festivals will be filling the Yoyogi Park Events Square for one of the first large scale events to be held here in a while. The Arabian Fes is being organized by commercial interests, so we’re picking that the event will be more Disney Alladin than authentic cultural celebration. Earth Gar
The breathtaking event is back after being cancelled due to the pandemic.
When it comes to scenic spots in Tokyo, Chidorigafuchi, the moat that surrounds the Imperial Palace, is consistently ranked as one of the best. Not only is it one of Tokyo’s best spots to see cherry blossoms in the spring, but it’s also known for its famous Chiyoda Lantern Floating Evening, where paper lanterns are released into the moat.
The event first began back in 1958, as a way to bring comfort to people after World War II. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the event has not taken place since 2019, but will return once more for two days on the evenings of July 29 and 30.
It’s free for guests to come and watch, but for those who want to be more involved in the event there are a number of options. Boats are available for rent so you can float along with the paper lanterns. Renting a boat costs 2,000 yen (US$14.79) per person, and up to three people are allowed in one boat. Due to heavy demand, the boat rental service will be done via lottery, and anyone interested will need to apply via the event’s website. Applications are open until June 30, and winners will be notified by July 4.
Alternatively, you can write your own message of hope on a paper lantern. Paper lanterns cost 1,000 yen (US$7.40) each and can be bought at the nearby Chidorigafuchi Boathouse on the day of the event between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., or pre-ordered before the event. As the limit to the number of lanterns …continue reading
Join ecologists and free minded Tokyo hippies for a yet another celebration of Earth Garden, one of the best known eco-conscious events in the capital. Bring your own cups and plates, or buy some at the venue for discounts. This year Earth Garden is collaborating with a festival that puts the beauty and culture of the Middle East and other Arab regions in the spotlight for two days. Enjoy various stage performances (belly dance, anyone?) henna art, an Arabian bazaar, plenty of mouth-watering nibbles (yes to authentic kebab) and even a chance for a selfie with a camel.
Goldfish have been familiar to the common people since the Edo period as one of the cooling symbols of summer in Japan. This exhibition will focus on the color and shape of goldfish alongside cute penguins. The works of aesthetic fishy imagery and illustrations will not only capture the beauty of summer but also cool us down during the hot and humid weather.
NOW THROUGH SUN, JUL. 10, 2022
11 A.M.-7 P.M.
TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO, 5-27-6 ASAKUSABASHI, TAITO CITY, TOKYO – Map
¥600 (UNDER 3 FREE)
RECOMMENDED FOR: ARTISTS, THOSE IN NEED OF A THERAPEUTIC SESSION
A celebration of music and food from all over the world, you can get a chance to try various dishes from around the world without stepping out of the country. Enjoy a variety of cultural dances and live music performances while indulging in delicious international cuisines.
SAT, JUN. 25-SUN, JUN. 26, 2022
10 A.M.-7 P.M.
YOYOGI EVENT SQUARE, 2-2-3 JINNAN, SHIBUYA-KU, TOKYO – Map
RECOMMENDED FOR: FRIENDS, COUPLES, FAMILIES, FOODIES, MUSIC FANS
Have you ever dreamed of watching the Milky Way unveil before your eyes across the night sky? Well, this summer, although not exactly the actual thing, you can see this in the heart of Tokyo. This weekend, follow the 600-step, star-studded outer staircase up to Tokyo Tower’s main observatory for a 360° Milky Way illumination. Inspired by the Tanabata love story legend, this is the perfect place to take that special someone out this summer.
Now through Sun, Sep. 4, 2022
9 A.M.-11 P.M.
TOKYO TOWER, FIRST FLOOR OF MAIN OBSERVATORY, 4-2-8, SHIBAKOEN, MINATO-KU, TOKYO – Map
This week in Tokyo, the temperatures are set to soar and the rain to pour. Luckily, the events line up for this week is 100% weatherproof!
Dog Stories Exhibition, Daikanyama
Dog Stories features three Japanese artists, all with canine inspired themes in their work. Even if you’re not a dog lover yourself, there’s a lot to love in this exhibtion. Both art work and merchandise is available for purchase.
Dog Stories Exhibition
Dates:16th Jun–25th Jun, 2022
Roast Battle Tokyo BEGINS! Championship Tournament, Shibuya
Watch and cringe with empathetic pain as Japan’s top English-language comedians insult and belittle each other for the honor of being able to call themselves very na
Tokyo events for Mon, June 13 to Sun, June 19, 2022
This week enjoy the in-the-flesh return of the Taiwan Festival, seasonal flower festivals and the annual opening of one of Tokyo’s most unique beer gardens.
Taiwan Festival Tokyo, Ueno Park
Since travel has been off the cards for so long, this is one of your best chances to get a taste of Taipei’s famous night markets with Taiwan Festival Tokyo returning to Ueno Park.
Taiwan Festival Tokyo
Dates:16th Jun–19th Jun, 2022Read more
Bunkyo Ajisai Festival, Hakusan Shrine
Ajisai is the Japanese word for hydrangea. Nothing marks the start of Tokyo’s rainy season quite like these beautiful flowers. There are lots of hydrangea festivals on throughout Tokyo, but the on
The most popular show of its kind in Japan, the International Tokyo Toy Show attracts more than 160 exhibitors and 35,000 toys each year. Although plenty of traditional toys will also be exhibited, the star of the show will be the latest technology-infused gadgets for kids (and adults), including virtual reality games and robotic toys.
THU, JUN. 16-FRI, JUN. 17, 2022
9:30 A.M.-5:30 P.M. (THU), 9:30 A.M.-5 P.M. (FRI)
TOKYO BIG SIGHT, WEST EXHIBITION HALL 1, 2, 3, 4, 3-11-1 ARIAKE, KOTO-KU, TOKYO – Map
RECOMMENDED FOR: FAMILIES, KIDS, PEOPLE WHO LOVE TOYS
Taste over 500 award-winning kinds of Japanese sake made across the archipelago. One of the largest sake events in the capital, this one also gives you access to seminars on sake in English, a chance to taste, buy and learn everything you need to about the country’s national drink — plus a few small souvenirs to take back home!
FRI, JUN. 17-SAT, JUN. 18, 2022
VARIOUS (SEE SITE)
Tokyo International Forum Hall E, 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo – Map
Recommended for: Sake Fans, People who want to know more about Japanese sake
Hula your way to Yokohama for a weekend full of everything Hawaii-inspired — from live dance performances and ukulele tunes to macadamia nuts pancakes, tropical juices and so much more. There will also be many booths to buy authentic island goodies for your interior.
In Focus presents a solo exhibition by sound artist Ray Kunimoto.
Kunimoto combines traditional Japanese aesthetics and contemporary technology to express a new acoustic experience. The theme of this exhibition, Seiu, focuses on the rainy season, a seasonal transition unique to Japan and reinterprets the tranquility and spirituality brought by rain.
Sat, Jun. 11-Sun, Jun. 26, 2022
3 P.M.-8 P.M. (WEEKENDS FROM 1 P.M.) CLOSED TUE
Contrast 1F & B1F, 1-49-4 Tomigaya, Shibuya, Tokyo – Map
%7D” description=”The Turkey Festival in Yoyogi Park celebrates the country’s unique cuisines, coffee, craft and music. There will be various Turkish dishes, unique finds in the square, workshops and on the outdoor stage, folk music and dance. A great way to deepen the friendship and cultural exchange between Turkey and Japan, for everyone!” date=”SAT, JUN. …continue reading