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5 Wonderful Festivals In Tokyo For Your Enjoyment!

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Amy D.

Last updated : Jan 11, 20246 min read

Events & Festivals

The top 5 best festivals in Tokyo that you must see are the Kanda Festival, Sanja Festival, Sanno Festival, Asakusa Samba Festival and the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival. Summer is the best season to see festivals and fireworks in Tokyo and throughout Japan. The Kanda festival represents one of Japan's 3 great festivals, so it is not one to miss! At the Samba festival, you can see a fusion of Brazilian and Japanese cultures that explodes with colour. For something more traditional, don't miss the Sanno festival which dates back to the Edo period. Of course, no summer festival season would be complete without a fireworks show on the Sumida River.

The Kanda Festival

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Photo by Planetyze

The venerable Kanda Festival under the patronage of the Tokugawa shoguns is a celebration representative of not only Tokyo, but also of Japan
Peerless in both The Three Great Festivals of Japan and The Three Great Festivals of Edo, the Kanda Festival boasts a 1300-year history. The festival which is the pride of any Edokko (true Tokyoite) not only includes the highlight of mikoshi (portable shrines) but also a parade.

The origins and history of the Kanda Festival The Kanda Festival is a festival held at Kanda Shrine in the Kanda district of Tokyo. The 1300-year-old shrine was worshipped as the guardian deity for the streets of Edo during the Edo Era, and although the origins of the following festival are unclear, during the turbulent times in the year 1600, Ieyasu Tokugawa made it a standing order to pray for victory daily. When he did achieve victory, he was able to unify the entire nation, and as a result, Kanda Shrine received protection from the Edo sh...

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Phone
03-3254-0753 
Price
- Free

Sanja Matsuri (Sanja Festival)

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Photo by Planetyze

A thrilling festival of Asakusa tradition with vigorous shouts accompanying the parade of mikoshi through the streets
Asakusa’s Sanja Festival boasting 700 years of history. Mikoshi (portable shrines) and floats are pulled through the streets while loud shouts accompany them, and during the festival’s 3 days, 1.5 million people come out to celebrate.

The history of the Sanja Festival The origins of the Sanja Festival lay with the Hinokuma brothers who discovered a statue of the Bodhisattva Kannon, the principal image of Senso-ji Temple, and the landlord who consecrated the statue and established the temple, Nakatomo Hajino. The three spirits of the men were then enshrined. The Hinokumas, who were fishermen, found the statue in the middle of a fishing net, and in 1312 when the festival was first started, it took on the form of a boat festival with mikoshi being placed on boats. And then wi...

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Phone
03-3844-1575
Price
- Free
Website
www.asakusajinja.jp

Sanno Festival (Tokyo)

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Photo by Planetyze

An Edo festival that features a magnificent procession through the streets which resembles a picture scroll at the beginning of summer in the heart of Tokyo
The Sanno Festival, which can be counted as one of the Three Great Festivals of Edo as well as one of the Three Great Festivals of Japan, is a refined grand celebration that was also beloved by shoguns in the Edo Era. It is held alternately with the Kanda Festival every other year.

Hie Shrine’s great annual festival safeguarded by Edo Castle The Sanno Festival has a history which began from the Edo Era, and is said to be one of the Three Great Festivals of Edo alongside the Kanda Festival and the Fukagawa Festival. Under the protection of Edo Castle, it was first launched as an annual festival of Hie Shrine which garnered considerable support from the shogunate, and that tradition continues even today. The elegant and refined procession that evokes history is exactly like the world of a dynastic picture scroll. It...

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Phone
03-3581-2471
Price
- Free

Asakusa Samba Carnival

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Photo by Planetyze

An exciting samba parade with dazzling costumes and impressive dancing
Top teams gathering from all over Japan take part in a genuine samba dance contest competing for top scores. Enjoy this samba carnival which is said to be the largest of its kind in the northern hemisphere.

A competitive parade with a contest filled with energy Japan’s biggest samba carnival contest takes place on the final Saturday of August in which genuine samba dance teams gather from all over the nation. Originating in 1981, 2016 marks the 35th anniversary. Every year, 500,000 visitors come to see this spectacle which is an Asakusa summer event. The parade contest consists of an S1 league with 9 teams and an S2 league with 11 teams for a total of 20 teams, with the top S1 teams having a total of 150-300 participants. The teams have th...

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Price
- Free

Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival

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Photo by Planetyze

A Tokyo summer tradition which is counted as one of the Three Big Tokyo Fireworks Festivals
The fireworks are launched from 2 sites along the Sumida River. Approximately 20,000 fireworks are involved, in which the most cutting-edge fireworks and competition prize-winning explosions are included.

A fireworks' festival in Tokyo to herald the summer, The 20,000 fireworks that are launched from along the banks of the Sumida River in Tokyo have a long history that signify a Tokyo summer. That history began from 1733 and the festival gained in popularity until it was stopped in World War II. However, from 1978, it has continued to be held, and currently it has regained popularity as one of the Three Big Tokyo Fireworks Festivals alongside the Tokyo Bay Grand Fireworks Festival and the Edogawa Ward Fireworks Festival. One feature of the Sumida...

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Phone
03-5608-1111
Price
- Free
Website
sumidagawa-hanabi.com
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4.80 / 5
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Hello, my name is Yasuro (Mr). I was born and brought up in Kansai, graduated from a univ in Kobe city, after moved into Kanto, 30 years in Tokyo, 2.5 years in Nagoya city, 7.5 years abroad (KL & S'pore) as a rep of a construction company and I got the National Guide Certificate in 2011. My hobbies are making Haiku poems, singing various songs (voice-training for 18 years), playing the folk-guitar, trekking in mountains like Takao and Okutama in the West of Tokyo, visiting museums like in Ueno Park and travelling around Japan to make Haiku poems. Thank you for your attention.                                                                                                                                 

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4.90 / 5
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5.00 / 5
(14 reviews)
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4.98 / 5
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