August 2019 events in Tokyo

Plan your August in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including summer festivals, fireworks, gigs and dance parties

Asakusa Samba Carnival | Time Out Tokyo
By Time Out Tokyo Editors
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August in Tokyo is usually when the summer heat hits its peak, resulting in plenty of sweaty messes on the trains, peak electricity usage and incessant dehydration warnings. However, August is also the month for some of the city's best summer festivals, firework shows and outdoor drinking events, not to mention the Obon holidays and after-dark activities on water. Find the right beer garden, hit a public pool or head out to Chiba for Summer Sonic – our guide to all the best events in Tokyo this August helps you avoid FOMO for good.

Our August highlights

1
Hachioji Festival
Things to do

Hachioji Festival

icon-location-pin Hachioji Station Crossing, Hachioji
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Around 20 floats and portable shrines are carried around the north side of Hachioji at this summer festival, one of the top events of its kind in the Kanto region and held on the first weekend of August each year. When rival floats pass, their bands attempt to throw each other off their groove in a musical face-off known as buttsuke – a distinctive Hachioji tradition...

2
福生七夕まつり
Things to do

Fussa Tanabata Matsuri

icon-location-pin Fussa Station, Fussa
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Tanabata, the festival that celebrates the star-crossed lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi, takes place across Japan both in early July and in early August. You'll find one of Tokyo's longest-running incarnations in the western town of Fussa: while other such festivals tend to be fairly low-key affairs...

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3
1納涼盆踊り
Kids

Gessoji Monzen-Ichi & Bon Odori

icon-location-pin Gessoji, Kichijoji
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The Gessoji summer festival is a small Kichijoji classic, taking place on the temple grounds and along the Sun Road shopping arcade on the north side of the station, and featuring everything from bon odori performances to a watermelon-cutting competition, as well as the obligatory stalls hawking matsuri food and drink...

4
Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple Noryo Bon Odori Taikai
Things to do

Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple Noryo Bon Odori Taikai

icon-location-pin Tsukiji Hongwanji, Tsukiji
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Summer in Tokyo is defined by festivals and one of the most spectacular is the Bon-Odori (bon dance), which takes place in a number of neighbourhoods across the city. Originally a way to honour the spirits of the dead, Bon-Odori is now a fun, engaging family-friendly affair. There are celebrations across the city but Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple’s Noryo Bon Odori Taikai is one of the biggest...

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5
Kecak Matsuri
Things to do

Geino Yamashirogumi Kecak Matsuri

icon-location-pin Shinjuku Mitsui Building 55Hiroba, Shinjuku
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The Geino Yamashirogumi troupe is bringing the traditional Balinese dance and musical dramatic art of kecak to Tokyo this summer. Known for their world music and world arts performances with slight twists, such as adding in the score from hit film Akira directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, Yamashirogumi will be combining the Balinese choral dancing...

6
阿佐谷七夕まつり
Things to do

Asagaya Tanabata Matsuri

icon-location-pin Asagaya Pearl Center, Asagaya
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Asagaya has been holding its own distinctive Tanabata festival for over 60 years now, but the event has moved with the times: in recent years, the papier-mâché decorations dangling from the ceiling of the Pearl Center shopping arcade have included iconic characters like Jack Sparrow and Buzz Lightyear. The decorations are there to see all day long, but many people wait until dusk to go and enjoy them, accompanied by food and drink sold at stalls along the length of the street...

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7
下北沢一番街阿波おどり
Things to do

Shimokitazawa Ichibangai Awa-Odori

icon-location-pin Shimokitazawa area, Shimokitazawa
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Granted, it's a minnow compared to the Koenji Awa-Odori that takes place a week later, but Shimokitazawa's version of the famed dancing-in-the-streets fest (originally from Tokushima) has a unique charm of its own. Held for the 54th time this year, the Shimokitazawa Awa-Odori sees teams of dancers romp along the neighbourhood's main shopping streets...

8
Ome Noryo Fireworks Festival
Things to do, Festivals

Ome Noryo Fireworks Festival

icon-location-pin Nagayama Park, Ome
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First held in 1948 to mark the opening of Toei Bus service in the Ome region, this fireworks display is recommended for those who want to escape the crowds at Tokyo's big-name alternatives. The 'falling fire' effect caused by some of the explosions is impressive (and loud!), but the real highlight is when the nearby Nagayama Hill is lit up by the massive fountain of bursting colours set up on the hill's hiking trail...

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9
Things to do

Fuurin Matsuri

icon-location-pin Nishiarai Daishi, Adachi
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Find a pretty wind bell made of glass (fuurin) at this annual festival taking place at Adachi's Nishiarai Daishi temple. Craftspeople from all over the country will be peddling their wares, exhibiting a staggering variety of colours, shapes and sounds. As well as shopping for wind bells, you can also join a wind-bell painting workshop and watch live performances...

10
Koenji Awa-Odori
Things to do

Koenji Awa-Odori

icon-location-pin Central Koenji, Koenji
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Around 10,000 dancers pile out on to the streets of Koenji over the two days of the annual Awa-Odori, undoubtedly one of Tokyo's most energetic festivals – and one with crowds to match...

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