Koishikawa Korakuen Tanabata
Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Park AssociationTanabata decorations at Koishikawa Korakuen

Write your wishes for Tanabata festival at these Tokyo gardens

Partake in this special summer event at nine Japanese gardens across Tokyo between June 25 and July 7

Tabea Greuner
Written by
Tabea Greuner
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Also known as the Star Festival, Tanabata is one of Japan’s most colourful traditional celebrations, taking place annually on July 7. Legend has it that star-crossed lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi are separated by the Milky Way and they can only meet once a year on the night known as Tanabata. In the lead up to the festival, streets are decorated with colourful streamers while people write their wishes on strips of paper known as tanzaku and tie them to bamboo branches.

Kiyosumi Garden Tanabata
Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Park AssociationTanabata decorations at Kiyosumi Garden

To join in the festivities, you can visit Tanabata festivals across Tokyo, such as this one-night-only event at Zojoji Temple near Tokyo Tower. You could also head to these parks and Japanese gardens in the city. 

Hamarikyu Gardens Tanabata
Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Park AssociationTanabata decorations at Hamarikyu Gardens

Nine Tokyo gardens are celebrating the Tanabata festival this year, giving you the chance to write your wishes on colourful tanzaku and attach them to bamboo branches. The activity is free but you’d need to pay an entry fee to go into the venues.

Rikugien Tanabata
Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Park AssociationTanabata decorations at Rikugien

Here’s the list of participating parks and Japanese gardens. For more information, see the venues’ respective websites.

June 25-July 7
Hamarikyu Gardens

June 27-July 7
Kyu Furukawa Gardens

June 29-July 7
Mukojima Hyakkaen

July 1-7
Kiyosumi Garden

Koishikawa Korakuen

Kyu Iwasaki Teien

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

Rikugien

Tonogayato Garden

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