Shinjuku Eisa Festival
Photo: Teratani Kouichi

July 2020 events in Tokyo

Plan your July in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including fireworks, summer festivals, gigs and art exhibitions

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
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July is when summer really hits with full force in Tokyo, with fireworks shows, bon odori celebrations and a wide range of other seasonal festivals taking place. The list of unmissable events includes the Sumida River Fireworks, Ueno's Summer Festival and the many wind bell (fuurin) fairs going on around the city, but you'll also want to attend one of Japan's many great music festivals, head out to the beach for Marine Day, and get tipsy at a beer garden. Just make sure to hydrate – the heat and humidity can be suffocating, especially later in the month. Make sure you don't miss out on anything with our guide to all the best events going on in Tokyo this July.

Our July highlights

1
Japanese Whisky Festival

Japanese Whisky Festival

Things to do Food and drink events Ebis 303, Ebisu

Japanese whisky is some of the most sought after booze in the world, yet highball-happy Japan has never had a festival dedicated to its own whisky – until now. The first Japanese Whisky Festival will be held in Ebisu on July 5. It’s limited to 1,000 people, and tickets are on sale online now, so don’t assume you’ll be able to snag one at the door...

2
Sumida River Fireworks Festival

Sumida River Fireworks Festival

Things to do Sumida Park, Asakusa

Japan’s oldest fireworks festival dates back to 1733, where it was held in memory of the victims of a severe famine the previous year. It turned into an annual event in 1978 and is now Tokyo’s biggest hanabi event, with close to a million people oohhh and ahhing over some 22,000 rockets lighting up the night sky.

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3
国立能楽堂ショーケース・手話狂言
能「安達原」

2020 National Noh Theatre Showcase Performances and Kyogen in Sign Language

Theatre The National Noh Theatre, Sendagaya

The National Noh Theatre is pulling out all the stops this summer, putting on a programme of showcase performances featuring some of Japan's finest Noh and Kyogen plays. Curated to resonate with the ongoing Japan Cultural Expo's theme of ‘Humanity and Nature in Japan’, the shows will be compact and accessible: around two hours long, each performance will be subtitled in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean...

4
松山智一《Wheels of Fortune》2020 ステンレス ©Mariko ASAYAMA
松山智一《Wheels of Fortune》2020 ステンレス ©Mariko ASAYAMA

Meiji Jingu Forest Festival of Art

Art Meiji Shrine & Inner Garden, Harajuku

Note: The dates and hours of this event may change due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. Please see the official website for the latest details. A celebration of art and culture set in the forest surrounding Meiji Shrine, this festival – co-presented by Japan Cultural Expo – zooms in on the relationship between nature and Japanese arts and culture with a diverse programme that will be going on until 2021...

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5
Prismatic Cloud
Ginza Six

Prismatic Cloud at Ginza Six

Art Ginza Six, Ginza

The ritzy Ginza Six department store will be decked out with a mesmerizing cloud-like art installation created by Japanese designer and artist, Yoshioka Tokujin, from February 27 until the end of October. His works have been displayed all around the world including at the Musée d'Orsay and the Art Institute of Chicago. Recently, Tokujin turned heads with his designs for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic torches...

6
MANGA都市TOKYO ニッポンのマンガ・アニメ・ゲーム・特撮2020
MANGA都市TOKYO ニッポンのマンガ・アニメ・ゲーム・特撮2020

Manga Tokyo

Art The National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT), Nogizaka

Tokyo has both inspired and served as the setting for countless works of manga and anime, video games and special effects-heavy tokusatsu movies. Setting out to explore the impact of the city on Japanese pop culture and the effects of that culture on how Tokyo is viewed and understood around the world, ‘Manga Tokyo’, which takes place under the auspices of the ongoing Japan Cultural Expo, approaches its theme by way of a remarkable 93 titles and more than 500 distinct items...

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7
BANKSY展 GENIUS OR VANDAL?(バンクシー展 天才か反逆者か)

Banksy: Genius or Vandal?

Art Multiple venues

Banksy is the most notorious street artist of this generation, but his real identity remains a mystery to the world that admired his works as they spontaneously appeared on city streets overnight. Though images of Banksy's work have been widely circulated online, the artist has never organised conventional exhibitons, making it harder for international fans to see a collection of his works in person...

8
丹下健三 1938~1970 展
国立代々木競技場 第一体育館

Tange Kenzo 1938-1970

Art National Archives of Modern Architecture, Ueno

One of Japan's most prominent 20th-century architects, Kenzo Tange (1913-2005) was the first Japanese winner of the Pritzker Prize and is counted among the world's most influential proponents of modern architecture. This extensive retrospective explores Tange's work and the impact it continues to exert today through a wide variety of materials, including ones focused on the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, built for the first Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and set to host events at the upcoming Tokyo Summer Games as well...

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9
隈研吾展
隈研吾展

Kengo Kuma Exhibition

Art The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Takebashi

There seems to be no stopping Kengo Kuma: the world-conquering starchitect has been busy stamping his mark on cities around the globe for almost two decades now, and his wood-incorporating designs have become familiar urban features from Beijing to Besançon and Dundee. In Tokyo, some of the Yokohama native's more eye-catching recent creations include the New National Stadium, which is sure to feature prominently in this highly anticipated exhibition, and Takanawa Gateway Station...

10
中部山岳国立公園
中部山岳国立公園

National Parks of Japan

Art National Museum of Nature and Science, Ueno

The National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno serves as the host for this celebration of Japan's natural beauty as seen through the country's national parks, of which there are currently 34 across the archipelago. Part of the Japan Cultural Expo programme, the exhibition features zoological and botanical specimens, photos, paintings and other imagery that'll take you into the wilds of national parks from Hokkaido to Okinawa, plus a variety of experiences intended to inspire further exploration...

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