Summer in Japan is a cherished season, brimming with traditional festivals and vibrant fireworks displays. After a considerable hiatus, it’s time to rejoice and embrace the excitement once again. Here is a curated list of highly anticipated festivals and fireworks events to look forward to in Tokyo 2023. Prepare to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage and revel in the dazzling displays that make summer in Japan truly unforgettable.
Mitama Matsuri is a vibrant and significant summer festival held annually at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, Japan. This traditional event takes place over several days and attracts thousands of visitors who come to pay their respects to the spirits of the fallen soldiers. The festival is characterized by its enchanting atmosphere, illuminated by countless lanterns that line the shrine grounds. Traditional music, dance performances, and parades add to the festive ambiance, creating a captivating experience for attendees. Mitama Matsuri is not only a time for remembrance and reverence but also a celebration of Japanese culture and heritage, bringing together people from all walks of life to honor and commemorate the spirits of the departed.
Date: Thursday-Sunday, July 13-17, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Adachi River Fireworks
With a history of over 100 years, the Adachi Fireworks Festival is Tokyo’s first summer fireworks extravaganza. Set against the scenic Arakawa River, it mesmerizes visitors with a dazzling display of over 15,000 fireworks launched within an hour. The event’s riverside location offers a unique opportunity to relax on the slopes and enjoy the breathtaking spectacle.
Date: Saturday, July 22, 7:20-8:20 p.m.
Sumida River Fireworks
The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival, or Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai, is a highly anticipated annual event. It takes place near Asakusa on the last Saturday in July. The festival showcases breathtaking fireworks over the Sumidagawa River. Rooted in Edo period traditions, it includes friendly competitions between rival pyrotechnic groups. With its historical significance and captivating displays, the festival attracts almost a million attendees, creating an unforgettable experience.
Date: Saturday, July 29, 7 p.m.
Minatomirai Smart Festival
The Minato Mirai Smart Festival stands out as one of the grandest fireworks events in the Greater Tokyo Area. Held in the vibrant Minato Mirai 21 area of Yokohama, this festival showcases a breathtaking display of approximately 20,000 fireworks, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that lasts for 30 minutes. In addition to the magnificent fireworks, the festival offers an array of live performances by talented street artists and captivating taiko drum ensembles. These captivating performances set the stage and build anticipation before the fireworks take center stage.
Date: Monday, July 31, 7:30-8 p.m.
Spanning almost 50 years, the Edogawa Fireworks Festival is a cherished Tokyo tradition. With over 14,000 rockets and ever-changing themes, the festival presents a breathtaking spectacle. The show begins in grandeur, with 1,000 sparkling rockets launched simultaneously within seconds. Don’t forget to secure a spot on either side of the river to fully enjoy the vibrant and captivating fireworks display.
Date: Saturday, August 5, 7:15-8:30 p.m.
Jingu Gaien Fireworks Festival
If you’re looking for fireworks in the heart of Tokyo, don’t miss the Jingu Gaien Fireworks Festival. As one of Tokyo’s premier summer festivals, it promises a dazzling display. Celebrating its 42nd year, this edition will feature an impressive 12,000 fireworks. For optimal views, head to the cluster of sports stadiums south of Sendagaya Station, where you can find seating at Meiji Jingu Stadium and Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium. Alternatively, explore the surrounding area to discover a free vantage point. The fireworks extravaganza lasts for one hour, from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
Date: Saturday, August 12, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Koenji Awa Odori Festival
The Koenji Awa Odori Festival is a lively and exuberant summer event held in Koenji, a neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan. This traditional dance festival brings together thousands of participants and spectators who gather to witness the vibrant and energetic Awa Odori performances. The streets of Koenji come alive with the rhythmic sounds of shamisen, taiko drums, and traditional Japanese instruments as dancers clad in colorful yukatas move in synchronized formations.
Date: Saturday-Sunday, August 26-27, 5-8 p.m.