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Things to do in Tokyo in August - fireworks, Bon-Odori festivals and events

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Kenzia V.

Last updated : Apr 28, 202211 min read

Things To Do

Looking forward to spending summer in Tokyo but don’t know what are the fun festivals and events to go to and experience? I’ve got you.

 

Keep on reading and find out the best events and festivals in Tokyo in August.

 

Through this article, I’m going to share with you not only the events and festivals in Tokyo in August but also some travel tips and more recommendations.

August Events and Festivals

It’s summer in August! It’s the time where Japan is filled with many festivals and events, so if you are in Tokyo in August, you’re in luck! Experience some of the best festivals you can’t find anywhere else.

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Fireworks Festivals

Different from most countries, where fireworks are used to celebrate the New Year, Japan doesn’t do the same, but it has its own fireworks festivals.

 

The fireworks festival, known also as Hanabi festival, is definitely the most prominent festival during summer. Hanabi festivals have a long history in Japan and are an important tradition during summer. It tends to be very crowded as locals and tourists gather to watch the fireworks. People show up hours in advance before the firework shows start to reserve the best viewing spots.

 

Not only fireworks, the streets are lined with food and game stalls for people to enjoy before the shows. People come to enjoy not only the fireworks, but also the festive atmosphere, some people even dressed in yukata (a light cotton kimono).

 

Again, keep in mind that it can get really crowded, not only in the venues but also for transportation to the venues and accommodation around the venues.

 

Some of the best places to enjoy fireworks festivals in Tokyo:

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Event

Date

Venue (location)

Koto Fireworks Festival

Early August (no specific date yet)

Arakawa Sunamachi Riverside Park (map)

Ome City Nohryo Fireworks Festival

Early August (no specific date yet)

7:30- 8:50 pm

Nagayama Park (map)

Akishima Citizen Whale Festival Yume Hanabi

Early August (no specific date yet, usually first Sunday of August)

Showa Park (Athletics Stadium) - (map)

Itabashi Fireworks Festival

Early August (no specific date yet)

Itabashi Fireworks Festival Venue (map)

Edogawa Fireworks Festival

Early August (no specific date yet)

Edogawa Fireworks Festival Venue (map)

Okutama Nohryo Fireworks Festival

Mid August (no specific date yet)

In front of Okutama Station (map)

Tamagawa Fireworks Festival

Mid August (no specific date yet)

Above Tama River near Futakotamagawa Station (map)

The Tsurumi River Summer Festival 2018

Mid August (no specific date yet)

Near Tokyo, in Tsukuno Park (map)

Jingugaien Fireworks Festival

Mid August (no specific date yet)

Meiji Jingu Stadium (map)

 

Fussa Tanabata Festival

Tanabata festival, known also as the star festival. The Fussa Tanabata festival started in 1951, celebrating the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi. There will be a wide range of events, including character shows, Princess Orihime Contest, and various parades, including a folk dance parade, and 100 stalls will line the street.

Date

Early August (specific date to be determined)

Location

Near Fussa Station and Okana Plaza (map)

 

Ueno Summer Festival

During this 5-week-long festival, there will be various events and festivities including parades, paper lantern floating festival, antique market, and an ice sculpture market display.  The highlight of the festival is the parade consisting of 38 teams of dances, ranging from Yokasoi to Samba.

Date

Mid July –Mid August 2018

Location

around Shinobazuno-ike Pond in the center of Ueno Park (map)

 

Fukagawa Festival

One of the big three Shinto festivals of Tokyo along with Sanno and Kanda Matsuri. Experience the festivities and enjoy the food stalls around.

The festival is centered around Tomioka Hachiman Shrine (also referred to as Fukagawa Shrine). The closest stations are Monzennakacho on the Oedo and Tozai lines and Kiba Station on the Tozai Line.

Date

Mid August 2018 (specific date to be determined)

Location

Tomioka Hachiman Shrine (map)

 

Summer Comiket 

blog imageKnown also as Comic Market, is one of Japan’s biggest comic-related events occurring twice a year. There will be an incredibly wide range of genres and styles displayed.  You can even cosplay (with a fee of 800 yen). If you are a fan of manga, comic, and sort of things like this, this is definitely a must-visit! Keep in mind that it tends to be crowded.

Date 10th Aug–12th Aug, 2018  10:00am – 4:00pm
Location Tokyo Big Sight (map)
Website  http://www.comiket.co.jp/

 

Shimokitazawa Awa Odori Festival

Awa Odori is a traditional dance festival consisting of many groups of choreographed dancers. They will parade through the streets and you can see participants wearing traditional Obon outfits, singing, chanting and dancing. Where else can you experience this!

Date

Mid August (specific date to be determined)

Location

Shimokitazawa’s Ichibancho 

 

Hibiya Park Marunouchi Ondo Bon-Odori Festival

One of Tokyo’s largest and most accessible Bon-Odori (Bon dance) festivals. Tens of thousands of participants will dance in circles around the central fountain to the Marunouchi song, one of the most famous Bon-Odori song. You can enjoy the culture through the dance and the food from the food vendors.

Date

Late August 2018 (specific date to be determined)

Location

Hibiya Park (map)

 

Asakusa Toro Nagashi

Toro Nagashi is a tradition where candle-lit lanterns are set afloat on rivers to guide spirits of the ancestors back to the other side during the Obon Holiday. See the beautiful view of 2,500 candle-lit lanterns with handwritten messages being floated down the Sumida River in the evening.

 

Date

Mid August (specific date to be determined)

Location

Sumida Park (map)

 

Koenji Awa Odori Festival

The festivities start during the cool evening, with around 10,000 dancers and musicians filling the street and 1 million people turned up to watch and enjoy the festivities. This is a great way to experience the culture of Japan through the Awa dance festivals.

Date

August 25- 26, 2018

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location

Koenji

 

Other events in Tokyo in August

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Here are some other events in Tokyo you can visit during your trip to Tokyo in August:

Event

Date

Location

Design Festa Summer + Gakuten 2018

4th –5th August 2018   11:00am – 7:00pm

Tokyo Big Sight (map)

Tsukiji Honganji Bon Dance Festival

Early August 2018

Tsukiji Honganji (map)

Nogi Shrine Summer Festival

Early August 2018

Nogi Shrine (map)

Sri Lanka Festival 2018

4th Aug–5th Aug 2018 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Yoyogi Park Events Square (map)

Asagaya Tanabata Festival

Early Aug 2018

Mode Off Asagaya Pearl Center

Shimokitazawa Summer Festival

Mid Aug 2018

Near Shimokitazawa Station (map)

Summer Sonic 2018

18th Aug–19th Aug 2018

Zozo Marine Stadium Chiba (map)

Minato Mirai Bon Dance Festival

Mid Aug 2018

Rinko Park (map)

Golden Gai Chill Out Festival

Late Aug 2018

Golden Gai (map)

Hodogaya Candle Night

Late Aug 2018

Hodogaya Park (map)

2018 Asakusa Samba Carnival

25th Aug, 2018   1:00pm – 6:00pm

Kaminarimon (map)

Chofu Yosakoi 2018

Late Aug 2018

Street of that connects Fuda and Chofu

Roppongi Hills Bon Dance 2018

Late Aug 2018

Roppongi Hills Arena (map)

Azabu Juban Festival

25th Aug–26th Aug 2018 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Azabu Juban Shopping Street

Super Yosakoi 2018

Late Aug 2018

Yoyogi Park Events Square (map)

Art Aquarium 2018

Early Jul–Late Sep 2018

Coredo Muromachi (map)

Forest Beer Garden

Mid May–Late Sep 2018

Forest Beer Garden (map)

Mt. Takao Beer Mount

Mid June–Mid Oct 2018

Mt. Takao (map)

 

August Travel Tips

  •  It’s summer and scorching hot during August with the average temperature of 31°C (88°F) at highest and 24°C (75°F) at lowest. But, it can get (will be!) even hotter and very humid, so wear clothes accordingly and hydrate.
  • It’s also summer break for students in Japan, so places and transport can get very crowded, so book ahead if you are traveling to other places in Japan other than Tokyo.
  • Keep in mind that it’s peak season, so the cost of transport can go a little higher.

 

Make your Tokyo trip more interesting! How?

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If you want to make your August Tokyo trip filled with more interesting events and things to do, you can hire a private guide.They know the best places and events to go to, and things to do while you are in Tokyo! Especially if it’s crowded, you can ask your private guide for recommendations to less-stuffy places or off-the-beaten-path spots.

 

By hiring a private guide, you will also get a free itinerary made by your guide to meet your preferences and needs. You can customize them. There are still more advantages in hiring a private guide in Tokyo, including an enhancing your experience and make it more interesting.

 

Don’t know where to hire them?

The thing is that there are many places on the web offering private tours in Tokyo, or private guides. However, it’s difficult to determine whether it’s good and trustworthy website or not. That’s why I’m recommending you GoWithGuide website. The website offers many local tour guides and also private tour options in Tokyo, from which you can choose according to your needs and preferences.

 

Recommended tours in Tokyo

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There are so many great private tours available from the website, but one of my recommendations is Private tour as-you-like in Central Tokyo, you can choose where you want to go in Tokyo, including the festivals and events along the way!

 

Another recommended one is One day-Private Tour based on your request, where you can explore Tokyo anywhere you’d like, major spots, off-the-beaten-path ones, or even events and festivals of your choice!

 

Wait, there's more:

Here is a list of more tours in Tokyo to take into consideration to make your trip more interesting, and also you can click here for tours in other areas of Japan.

 

If you don’t prefer looking through the private tour options but prefer to find the perfect guide for you, here is a list of great tour guides in Tokyo.

 

 

I hope this article helps provide useful information you can use for your trip to Tokyo in August, including the events and festivals in August, where to enjoy the fireworks, travel tips, and more recommendation. Wishing you a great time in Tokyo!

Tokyo Tour Guide - Yasuro C.

Yasuro C.

4.80 / 5
(64 reviews)
Japan

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.                                                                                                                                 

Yokohama Tour Guide - Haruo T.

Haruo T.

4.90 / 5
(10 reviews)
Japan

I live in Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture. I have a license to teach in high schools and was admitted to the degree of Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language in the University of Birmingham. Until 2015 I had been teaching English at public high schools in Kanagawa for 37 years. During that time, I had some experience of guiding students from overseas through sister-school relationship around Tokyo and Kanagawa. Therefore, I had good command of English with the TOEIC score of 935. As for a tour guide experience I earned the certificate of National Government Licensed Guide-Interpreter in English and since then I have guided tourists to the popular sites around Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura and Yokosuka. My guiding focuses on introducing not only Japanese historical and cultural backgrounds but also giving tourists some tips to travel Japan only by themselves, such as how to use trains and subways, find good restaurants, reserve tickets, buy survenier, and speak basic Japanese. In addition, my tour includes opportunities to experience Japanese culture like Zen meditation, ninja performance, visiting anime's location sites based on tourists' request. Besides, by means of my hobbies of writing English Haiku and Waka (traditional Japanese poems) and performing Rakugo (traditional Japanese funny story telling) in English, I can surely entertain tourists during the tour. My moto as a tour guide is let the tourists have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Japan with my profound, intelligible and interestiog guiding.                                                                                                                                 

Tokyo Tour Guide - Grant A.

Grant A.

5.00 / 5
(14 reviews)
Japan

My name is Grant I lived more than 10 years in Japan. I graduated University and translation school in Tokyo. I am fluent in Japanese. I have a degree in Asian studies and have expert-level knowledge of Japanese culture and history. I have memorized the JR rail system across all of Japan, I use the same train timetable calculators as the station staff, and I have experience using bullet train passes that are exclusive to foreign visitors. I can optimally navigate the Tokyo underground and maximize value from a Tokyo metro pass and also understand Tokyo above ground which will allow for seamless transitions between different metro stations and landmarks with minimal backtracking. *There will be a price revision at the end of June* My tour fee is Half-Day Tour: 30,000yen for 1-5hours Full-Day Tour: 50,000yen for 5-12hours The time transiting to and from your hotel for pick up or drop off within Tokyo 23wards does not count towards the time. I am also able to guide historical sites and cities such as Kyoto, Kanazawa, Nikko, and Kamakura on request if you pay my rail fare. If your group is not a tour company and you simply ask me kindly for a 10,000yen discount and I will reduce the price of your tour until the end of June.                                                                                                                                 

Kanagawa Tour Guide - Kaneo U.

Kaneo U.

4.98 / 5
(43 reviews)
Japan

I’m so excited to have a chance to show you around my favorite spots in Kanagawa prefecture. I was born in Kanagawa. I spent my whole school life, including university, here in Kanagawa. I worked as a high school English teacher here for 40 years. I love Kanagawa so much. We have many interesting tourist spots, like Hakone, Kamakura, Enoshima and Yokohama. I got my tour guide license in English in 2009. I am still an English teacher. To give an interesting and impressive lesson to young high school students, I’ve learnt and gathered many kinds of information. I also have a license to teach social studies, so I have a wide range of knowledge about Japanese culture and history. I’m sure to provide you an interesting tour.                                                                                                                                 

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