Photo by nAok0 used under CC

Shitamachi Tanabata (July 6-10): Many Tanabata festivals take place throughout Japan and celebrate the love of two deities who are allowed to meet but once a year in the summer, as legend has it. During the festival, you write down a wish on a strip of colorful paper and tie it to a tree (usually) bamboo with everyone else’s wishes. The Shitamachi Tanabata event takes the celebrations up a notch on the weekend with a parade on Saturday (July 8) and dance/street performances on Sunday (July 9)  in the Asakusa and Ueno areas.

Photo by Zengame used under CC

Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival (July 7-9): Much like the one above, this Tanabata festival is more than just hanging wishes—be entertained by colorful festivities, such as musical and dance performances, near Hiratsuka Station spanning the whole weekend.

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Downtown Drinks #20 (July 7): Join the TC gang and fellow cheapos for a drink (or few) and casual mingling at ABC Coffee in Jiyugoaka—Japan’s first subscription cafe. This is our 20th casual monthly meet-up and all are welcome—from readers to travelers to mysterious strangers. Mention “Tokyo Cheapo” and you’ll get a discount on the Japanese craft beer selection—500 yen for a half pint, and 1,000 yen for a full pint!

Take On Me – 80s Music Party (July 7): Three live acts playing a bunch of sing-along 80s covers at Shibuya’s Ruby Room. Guest DJs will be playing the good, the bad and the cheesy of the 1980s pop, rock and dance songs. Feel free to to dress up in your best 80s party outfit for the occasion. Entry is 1,000 yen and includes 2 drinks.

Ocean Peoples Tokyo (July 8-9): Calling all beach lovers…to Yoyogi Park, where a beach-themed party will take place over the weekend. There will be food, music performances, a market and a healthy crowd!

hachioji summer market
Photo by Rosana Prada used under CC

Hachioji Summer Market (July 8-9): Head to West Tokyo for Hachioji’s annual summer market. Just a 3-minute walk from the station’s north exit are stalls selling local goodies, from morning glories to Edo-style wind chimes, and more. The market will be peppered with yukata-clad visitors, so if you’re also wanting to show up in Japanese summertime gear, try renting at these shops. And for an extra pinch of Edo-period flavor, go for a ride on one of the many rickshaws for hire.

Enoshima Tenno Festival (July 9): At this festival, a mikoshi (portable shrine) will leave Yasaka Shrine (Enoshima Shrine) at 11am,  carried over a bridge, pseudo-baptized in the water, and then carried off again to meet the mikoshi from Koyurugi Shine. Along with a big crowd, the portable shrines will subsequently parade through the streets together until 6pm.

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