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GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

Things to do in Tokyo in May - Events and Festivals

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Fidelia A.

Last updated : Nov 18, 20236 min read

Itinerary Ideas

For those who are planning to visit Tokyo in May, there’s something you need to be aware of:

 

A lot of places are going to be really, really, crowded.

 

There’s something called the Golden Week in Japan. This is a week full of national holidays that fall on May every year. During this week, visitors from all over Japan would come and travel with their family.

 

But don’t worry!

Although places might be crowded, you can still enjoy special events and festivals that happen in May! In this article, I will talk about events that will occur in May. Sit tight and hold on!

 

 

What to do

May marks the end of spring, so the weather is neither too cold nor too hot. It's the perfect weather for you to enjoy the festivals and nature! 

Below here is a list of things you might want to join during your holiday in Tokyo.

 

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  1. Take a look at a Samurai Procession

The Kachiya festival is an ongoing tradition that dates back to around 1000 years before. The story behind this festival is that in the past, Fijiwara no Hidesato prayed in Katori shrine for victory before a battle. When he won, he dedicated his bow and arrow to the shrine.

 

This festival includes a dedication of offerings to the kachiya (victory arrow) and a traditional samurai procession. The Kachiya festival has attracted thousands of visitors each year.

 

It’s the perfect chance for you to get a taste of Japanese culture!

Location

Katori Shrine (map)

Nearest Station: Kameido Station

Schedule

Early May

Entry

Free

Website

Kartori Shrine Website

 

 

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  1. Enjoy the Showa Kinen Flower Festival

Although May is technically the end of Spring, you can still catch some flowers that are still in full bloom. Showa Kinen park is one of the largest parks in Tokyo area, and they are famous in both spring and autumn for their sceneries.

 

Visitors who visit in spring can visit Showa Kinen park to enjoy their Flower Festival. This festival starts from late March with sakura blooms and ends in late May as the Shirley poppies blooms. You could also join a flower picking course during the time the Shirley poppies are in full bloom.

Location

3172 Midoricho

Tachikawa-shi

Postal code:190-0014

(map)

Entry

Adults: 410 yen

Seniors (ages 65+): 210 yen

Middle school students: 80 yen

Elementary school students: 80 yen


*April 1 and later

Adults: 450 yen

Seniors (ages 65+): 210 yen

Middle school students or younger: Free

Schedule

Late March until Late May

 

Start/closing time:

9:30-17:00 (March-October)

 

*To 18:00 on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from April to September

* Hours vary by event.

Website

https://www.showakinen-koen.jp/guide-english/

 

 


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  1. Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Flower Festival

This garden, in particular, has been famous for their lavender colored wisteria flowers. The wisteria flowers in this shrine have been planted back in the Edo period. Their beauty has been recorded into ukiyoe (woodblock prints) since the old times.

 

The best time to visit it is from mid-April until early May, where flowers will be in full bloom. Visitors could enjoy their walk from Kameido station to the Kameido Tenjin Shrine that would be filled with the old downtown area atmosphere.

Location

3-6-1 Kameido

Koto-ku

Kameido Tenjin Shrine

(map)

Schedule

Mid April until Early May

Entry

Free

Website

http://kameidotenjin.or.jp/

 

 

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  1. Kanda-Matsuri Festival

This is one of the largest festivals in all of Japan. The whole celebration last 6 days, but the crowds would gather on the two days that are the peak of the festival. In the festival, there will be mikoshi portable shrines that would go from Kanda and ends in Akihabara.

 

Along the way, there will be hundreds of festival floats prepared by parish towns that would come to the shrine to worship. If you are planning to visit Japan in May, this would be the perfect chance for you to experience Japan’s Mikoshi festival.

Location

2-16-2 Soto Kanda

Chiyoda-ku

Kanda Myojin

(map)

Schedule

Mid May (check their website for specific dates)

Entry

Free

Website

http://www.kandamyoujin.or.jp/

 

 


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  1. Spring Design Festa

Design Festa is the largest design and art event in Asia. This convention would be filled with artists and creators opening booths and selling art items over the two dates of the event. There would also be performances by some artists.

 

There would be visitors and artists from all over the world that would come to Design Festa, so it would be wise for you to save time and booked your ticket in advance. However, you could also buy tickets on the spot too. It is definitely worth it if you’re looking for artsy places.

Location

Tokyo Big Sight

Schedule

Early May

11.00 - 19.00

Entry

Advance ticket: 800 yen

On the spot: 1000 yen

Website

https://tokyocheapo.com/events/design-festa-spring/

 

...or, if you’re still looking for more ideas for your Tokyo trip, you could also check this link that contains all the best destination spots around Tokyo.

Of course, you might want to check out some day trip itinerary to Yokohama and Kamakura from Tokyo. Both could be reached by train in about an hour from Tokyo.

 

 

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More tips

You know, there’s another tip for you to have an easier journey in Tokyo:

 

Hire a private guide!

 

Look, contrary to what you might expect, hiring a private guide would be very useful for you. They would help you navigate your way to get to Tokyo’s best spot. On top of that, they would know what events are happening during your visit!

 

Now, here’s the next question:

Where can you get a trustworthy guide?

 

Now, for this question, I would recommend you to book one from GoWithGuide! They have the best list of a private guide that would definitely help you make your way through Tokyo.

Booking a sightseeing tour would greatly save your time from getting lost in Tokyo’s complex public transport system!




Now that we’ve gone through this article, I hope that you have a better understanding of the things and events you can do in May for your Tokyo trip. I wish you the best for your Tokyo holiday!

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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