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.
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.
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.
Here’s the list of participating parks and Japanese gardens. For more information, see the venues’ respective websites.
June 25-July 7
June 27-July 7
Kyu Furukawa Gardens
June 29-July 7
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