See the haze of summer brighten up as the weekend events color the streets and skies of Tokyo.

Paper-maché creations at Asagaya Tanabata Festival
Paper-maché creations at Asagaya Tanabata Festival | Photo by ajari used under CC

First, let’s celebrate Tanabata— a love-story-turned-festival honoring the yearly meeting of two enamored deities who are separated by the Milky Way. There are two Tanabata festivals this weekend. One is the Fussa Tanabata Festival (Aug 6-9) and features 100 market stalls lining the streets of Fussa. The other is the Asagaya Tanabata Festival (Aug 5-9), which is known for showcasing a number of paper-maché cartoon characters. Both events are west of central Tokyo.

tanabata asagaya
Photo by ajari used under CC

As come to be expected of a summer weekend in Tokyo is more fireworks festivals. The biggie of course is the Tokyo Bay Fireworks Festival (Sat. Aug 8 starting at 7pm). The bay will mirror the 12,000 fireworks that’ll go off for an audience of about 115,000 folks. Another big player in the game is the Jingugaien Fireworks Festival with 10,000 fireworks illuminating the sky over Jingu Stadium.  And considerably smaller is the Okutama Nohryo Fireworks Festival with only 1,000 fireworks in the Tama area, but makes for a quaint night out.

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For a splash of culture, head Yokohama for the Aloha Festival and its “sister” event PacificRoots FEST 2015. Over their 3-day span, enjoy music, food, and performances of the Pacific region, including hula dancers.

Speaking of dance (and also in Yokohama) how about an army of 1,000 dancing Pikachu to entertain the kiddos and kiddos-at-heart starting this weekend and going until Aug. 16.

There’s also Gakuten—an all-student-created art festival featuring their original art work, live painting, music and original films at Tokyo Big Sight. The event’s not a freebie—1,000 yen entrance (800 yen in advance)—but you’ll feel good with the price tag since you’re supporting cheapo students.

Happy Weekend!

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