Early spring is the best time to be in Tokyo — you can take advantage of all the events and festivals dedicated to spring flowers, among other things.

The cherry blossoms are blooming later than expected this year, so you can still catch them at the beginning of April. There are also plenty of late-blooming varieties at the end of the month. As the weather warms up, Tokyo residents take to the streets for parades, traditional festivals, and puppies.

For the top events in Tokyo throughout the year, check out our complete events guide — organized by month.

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1. Kanamara Matsuri

April 7
Kanayama Shrine, Kawasaki
The world-famous “penis festival”

Kanamara Penis Festival tokyo
A rather unique festival. | Photo by David Ishikawa

It’s that time of the year again: the slightly controversial Kanamara Matsuri, better known as the “Penis Festival”, is back. While the event has certainly gotten bigger and more crowded over the years, it still seems better known among foreigners than locals.

The highlight of the event is a procession in which three steel phalluses — in honor of a blacksmith who used a steel phallus to kill a demon living in a woman’s naughty bits (allegedly) — are paraded around the neighborhood.

The side attractions and activities, such as a radish-carving contest (guess the shape you’re supposed to carve) are also popular. Genital-shaped candy is a crowd favorite, with long lines forming at booths that sell them.

Have fun, but don’t go too wild — wacky as the event may seem, it still does have a religious element to it, after all.

2. Yoyogi Park Wanwan Carnival

April 6–7
Yoyogi Park
Cute dogs everywhere

So cute. | Photo by iStock.com/AnastasiiaCherniavskaia

If you love dogs, doggos, doges, puppers, or whatever you call them, head to Yoyogi Park to see some real good boys at the Wanwan Carnival (“wanwan” being the Japanese term that kids use to refer to dogs). Bring your good boy/s too if you have some of your own.

With activities and attractions such as a dog café, opportunities to meet therapy and rescue dogs, free check-ups and nail-trimming services for your dog, contests, and games, this is the perfect event for dog lovers. Additionally, there will be a “Wanwan Shopping Mall” — that is, rows of booths selling doggy treats and other goodies for our canine friends.

3. Tokyo Pride

April 19–21
Yoyogi Park and the surrounding area
The biggest LGBTQ+ event of the year

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Celebrate love at Tokyo Pride. | Photo by Getty Images

Celebrate love and diversity at Tokyo Rainbow Pride. You can expect various activities — movie screenings, parties, talks, and more — but the highlight is the Pride Festival and Parade. The festival will be held at Yoyogi Park Events Square, while the parade on Sunday will make its way around Shibuya and Harajuku.

4. Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival

March 30–April 30
Nezu Shrine, Bunkyō
Exquisite flowers

Azalea flower festival at Nezu Shrine
An array of colors can be found at Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival. | Photo by iStock.com/Tatiana Petrova

If you’re a fan of flowers, then the Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival is for you. This isn’t just a festival where you go and “smell the azaleas”; there are several events in store. Get the chance to take home potted plants at the daily flower market, cheer on those parading the mikoshi (portable shrine) on April 7, and enjoy the Sunday drum performances on April 13, 20, and 28.

5. Kamakura Festival

April 14 and April 21
Tsurugaoka Hachimangū Shrine, Kamakura
Archery, tea, and other traditions

Warrior procession Kamakura Matsuri Festival
Watch the procession at Kamakura Festival. | Photo by iStock.com/7maru

A yearly tradition since 1959, the Kamakura Festival is Kamakura’s major spring festival. Activities mostly take place on the grounds of Kamakura’s famous Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine and include a procession, Japanese archery competition, traditional dances, and an open-air tea ceremony.

Bonus: cherry blossoms and tulips

tourists looking at cherry blossoms in ueno park
You can still catch the cherry blossoms. | Photo by Getty Images

Thanks to the cold weather, the cherry blossoms have been delayed in 2024. This means they will still be in bloom (weather permitting) at the beginning of April, and luckily some festivals are still ongoing:

And don’t forget the tulips:

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post first published in March 2017. Last updated in March 2024 by Alex Ziminski.

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