Cheapo Weekender for the Weekend of July 7/8: The Tanabata Festival

Greg Lane


On the 7th day of the 7th month – which happens to be this Saturday – the lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi cross the vastness of the Milky Way for their once a year trist – as long as it doesn’t rain.  Anyway, it’s a good excuse to bust out the yukata for a festival.  There will be various related events throughout Tokyo and surrounding areas.

Step into the playful world of Akihabara. Akiba, as it's known for short, is the gaming and geek center of Tokyo, known for its arcades, click here for details
 Suggested Activity 

One event that will attract a big crowd is ‘Light Up Nippon Tanabata Matsuri’ at Tokyo Midtown on both Saturday and Sunday.  The objective is to raise money to send fireworks to cheer the people still suffering the after effects from last year’s earthquake and tsunami.   There will likely be lots of Tanabata type activities like writing wishes on small pieces of paper and tying them to bamboo branches as well as festival food and refreshments.

The big daddy of Tanabata events is held this weekend in Sendai.  However, it has a little brother in Kanto – The Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival (about a 1 hour journey south from Tokyo station on the Tokaido Line) is officially the second biggest Tanabata festival in the country.  The festival features various floats and decorations and runs from the 6th to the 8th of July and will attract a couple of million visitors – so prepare for some big crowds if you go.  You can find more info at this rather trippy site maintained by a Tanabata enthusiast.

Image above by Leonard Chien used under a Creative Commons license.

Watch this next
New Video: Free Things To Do In Shibuya

Photograph the famous Shibuya scramble crossing, wander around the curious and quirky love hotel hill, visit Yoyogi park and Meiji shrine...

Get our Tokyo Cheapo Hacks direct to your inbox

Questions or comments about this article? Start a thread on our community forum