Spring is coming to a close, so best to make use of the pleasant weather in May before it begins to get uncomfortably humid in June.

We’ve rounded up the best festivals and events you’ll find in Tokyo this month, and believe us, there’s a lot going on.

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

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1. Golden Week events

April 28–May 6
All over and around Tokyo
Food, traditional and international festivals

Look up. | Photo by Getty Images

Golden Week, a string of holidays in late April to early May, is a welcome respite for Tokyo’s frazzled workforce, a cash cow for the travel and transport industries, and a bane (in terms of price, traffic, and crowd density at tourist areas) to travelers — all at the same time.

If you’re in Tokyo for Golden Week, it might be better to just stay where you are and check out the many events that will be held during this time (and read our guide to Golden Week while you’re at it).

Here are some of the top things to see and do, split into categories:

International festivals

Food festivals

Traditional festivals

Still stuck on what to do? We have plenty more events listed on our website.

2. Sanja Matsuri

May 17–19
Sensōji Temple, Asakusa
Tattooed men and rowdy processions

It can get rough at this festival. | Photo by Grigoris Miliaresis

Also a major Tokyo festival, Sanja Matsuri features three main mikoshi (portable shrines) in honor of the three founders of Asakusa’s famous temple, Sensōji — which is also the festival’s center of activity. The mikoshi depart from Sensōji early in the morning and are carried around town, as performers — including geisha — join in. Yakuza members are also known to show off their intricate tattoos at this rowdy, energetic festival. Meanwhile, back at Sensōji, there will be taiko performances and traditional dances by miko (shrine maidens).

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Go Karting with Cosplay through Asakusa & Akihabara (See Skytree)
Don your favourite video game or superhero outfit and drive go-karts through Asakusa and Akihabara — passing Tokyo Skytree! International driving license required.

3. Design Festa

May 18–19
Tokyo Big Sight, Ariake
The best designers in Asia

The twice-a-year Design Festa is known as Asia’s largest art event. With over 15,000 exhibitors and 4,500 booths, this two-day fair is dedicated to all kinds of art—performance art, paintings, live drawing sessions, handmade crafts, fashion, and more. Attending in alternative fashion such as steampunk or Lolita (but not in cosplay, as it involves copyrighted characters) is very much welcome at this event.

Get tickets here!

4. Zushi Beach Fireworks Festival

May 30
Zushi Beach, Kanagawa
Sun, sea, and thousands of fireworks

Watch the sky light up. | Photo by Getty Images

A sample of what’s to come this summer, the Zushi Beach Fireworks Festival is one of the earliest fireworks festivals on the calendar. 7,000 jets of light will blast off into the sky for 45 minutes from 7:30 p.m. With one of the most impressive finales of the year, 5,000 of those fireworks will go off in the last 15 minutes.

5. Thai Festival

May 11–12
Yoyogi Park Events Square, Shibuya
The very best Thai food and live demonstrations

Check out the stage. | Photo by Alex Ziminski

Spicy foods, Thai massages, music, and mascots — this cultural festival has it all. Experience the very best Thailand has to offer, in the welcoming atmosphere of Yoyogi Park Events Square. The stage schedule will be packed with Thai dancing, Muay Thai displays, and live shows by Thai music artists.

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

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