Tokyo events for Monday, August 5 to Sunday, August 11, 2019
A week of ultimate summer fun—with the Fukagawa “water fight” Festival, the Dancing Pikachus parade, a night market, Tanabata celebrations and fireworks.
Asagaya Tanabata Festival
The Asagaya district is celebrating its version of the Tanabata festival. The festival is known for its large and colorful paper-mâché recreations of cartoon characters, which are hung from the ceiling in the Asagaya Pearl Center. There will also be traditional Japanese games and tons of food stalls.
National Museum of Western Art – Free Admission Day
Check out the extensive permanent collection at the Museum of Western Art in Ueno Park for free. Works include paintings from the late Medieval period through to the 20th century and modern French sculpture.
Okutama Nohryo Fireworks Festival
There will be a small fireworks festival (a modest 1,000 illuminations) in west Tokyo’s Tama area. The event lasts for 30 minutes starting at 7:45pm.
Jingugaien Fireworks Festival
A display of 10,000 fireworks over Meiji Jingu Stadium, the most urban venue of Tokyo’s fireworks festivals. To avoid paying for a seat at the stadium, set yourself up anywhere within a 1 km radius for free and you’ll still get a great view.
Asakusa Toro Nagashi
For a sense of old Japan, hit up the Asakusa Toro Nagashi event. Starting at 6:30 pm at Sumida Park (in the bit between Azumabashi and Kototoibashi bridges), lanterns will be lit and and sent floating down the river in honor of the Obon holiday.
Citta’ Summer Festival 2019
The Citta’ Summer Festival is an annual festival filled with summertime festival favorites, including a night market, food stalls, traditional dance performances and a line-up of entertainment.
Shimokitazawa Bon Dance Festival
The trendy neighbohood of Shimokitazawa throws its own traditional summer festival, complete with a yagura (festival tower), kimono-clad bon dancers, plus games and live music.
The summer edition of Comiket is one of Tokyo’s biggest pop culture events. Comiket is a comics festival, with a focus on independently created and published manga (or dojinsha). You can buy merch, meet the creators and even cosplay at the festival (just be sure to arrive/leave the venue in “normal” clothes).
Takeshi Obata – Never Complete
This exhibition is a rare chance to see the original artwork of Takeshi Obata, the legendary artist behind smash-hit manga series including Hikaru no Go, Death Note, and Bakuman.
Dancing Pikachu Horde
One of Tokyo’s newer events, the Dancing Pikachu Horde is back by popular demand. Catch (and join) the 2,000 electric mice shimmying and shaking around Yokohama’s Minatomirai area.
Known as one of the the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo, this festival takes place at the Tomioka Hachiman-gu Shrine and features a procession of 120 mikoshi (portable shrines). The featured act, however, is when spectators (approximately half a million of them) splash water on the shrine bearers to keep ’em cool. Boiled down, you can treat this festival as a well-deserved and super-fun water fight to ward off August’s heat and humidity. The main parade is on August 11th this year.
For more top Tokyo events happening this month, see our August recommendations.
Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market