Your favorite summertime festivals are all on this weekend: fireworks, traditional Japanese dance festivals and Summer Sonic!

Photo by muratama used under CC

Minato Mirai Bon Dance Festival (Aug 18-19): Those in/near Yokohama might want to swing by Rinko Park in Minato Mirai on Friday or Saturday evening for bon odori dancing, a beer garden and beautiful views of the illuminated Yokohama Bay Bridge.

awa odori
Photo by Zengame used under CC

Shimokitazawa Awa Odori Festival (Aug 18-19): Shimokitazawa’s Ichibancho shopping district will come to life this weekend as the local Awa Odori festival parades through the streets. Awa Odori is a traditional dance festival made up of many groups of choreographed dancers. It’s a chance to see participants donning traditional Obon outfits, singing, chanting and dancing throughout the neighborhood—a summertime classic!

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Tamagawa Fireworks
Photo by Big Ben in Japan used under CC

Tamagawa Fireworks Festival (Aug 19): This is the biggest fireworks festival in the Setagaya area (west Tokyo). This is a popular one, so be sure to get there early to snag some seat space!

Tsurumi River Fireworks
Photo by Marbo Ichihara used under CC

The Tsurumi River Summer Festival 2017 (Aug 19): A small fireworks show of 1000 illuminations. Takes place over Tsurumi River in Yokohama—so this event can easily be paired with a visit to the Minato Mirai Bon Dance Festival (above).

jingugaien fireworks
Photo by Banzai Hiroaki used under CC

Jingugaien Fireworks Festival (Aug 20): 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, you can just set yourself up anywhere within a 1-kilometer radius for free and you’ll still get a great view.


Photo by LuxTonnerre used under CC

Summer Sonic 2017 (Aug 19-20): Summer Sonic is one of the biggest music festivals of the summer. This year’s headliners include Calvin Harris, Sum 41, Kesha, 5 Seconds of Summer, Charli XCX, Circa Waves and Royal Blood. Plus Good Charlotte will be making an appearance as will Dua Lipa, Kungs, Zara Larsson and Pikotaro of Pen-Pineapple-apple-pen fame.

Live From The Kitchen Disco Vol. 39 (Aug 20): Live From the Kitchen Disco, “the most eclectic live show in Tokyo”, is a free monthly showcase of the capital’s melting pot of homegrown and international music in the intriguing setting of an Indian restaurant.

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