Mitama Matsuri Yasukuni Shrine
Photo: Stephane Bureau Du Colombier/Dreamstime

July 2024 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

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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. Large events and festivals are also making a comeback including fireworks festivals, wind bell (fuurin) fairs and beer gardens. Just make sure to hydrate and stay cool – 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.

Looking for more things to do? 

- The best art exhibitions in Tokyo right now
- The best day trips from Tokyo

Our July highlights

  • Things to do
  • Nogata

Get ready to get your groove on this weekend at Daibon, a modern rendition of the traditional Bon Odori festival held at Hachiman Shrine in Yamatocho. Here, the traditional Bon Odori festivities are fused with a modern line-up of DJs and contemporary artists, merging the timeless customs with the energetic pulse of new-wave beats.

Watch as the festival comes alive with live DJ sets, featuring eclectic talents like Chinbantei Gorakushi and the invigorating performances of Korean traditional percussionists. Daibon takes the typical Bon Odori experience a step further, creating a fusion of sounds that strikes a chord with all, from the youth to those who've witnessed the beloved Japanese festival evolve over the years.

  • Things to do
  • Kagurazaka

While it's usually one of Tokyo's more peaceful neighbourhoods, Kagurazaka gets a little frenetic each July, as hordes of yukata wearers and Awa Oodori dancers flood the streets for four days of traditional festivities. This year marks the festival's 50th anniversary, so the 2024 matsuri could turn out to be the biggest one the neighbourhood has ever hosted.

The festival will kick off on Wednesday July 24, where food stalls will be open from 5pm until 9pm every night. Children can partake in traditional festival games, like fishing for colourful water balloon yo-yos, while adults can register for a guided tour of Kagurazaka (¥1,000) in their yukata, or pick up a Chinese lantern plant at the market in Bishamonten (Zenkokuji) temple.

The main festivities will take place over the weekend, with a two-hour Awa Odori procession scheduled at 7pm on Friday July 26. The next day, there will be a children's Awa Odori procession from 6pm to 7pm on the main street.

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  • Things to do
  • Mukojima

Tokyo's biggest fireworks display is returning this summer on Saturday July 27. The Sumida River Fireworks Festival is also Japan's oldest fireworks event, dating back to 1733, when it was staged as part of a ceremony to pray for victims of a severe famine the previous year. It turned into an annual event in 1978 and attracts close to a million people every year.

This year, the Sumida River Fireworks Festival starts at 7pm and will run for around 90 minutes, with a staggering 20,000 shells of fireworks. The fireworks are launched from two sites on the Sumida River around Asakusa Station: one near Umaya Bridge and the other near Sakurabashi Bridge. You can check out the locations on the festival website.

 

  • Things to do
  • Tachikawa

It may not be the biggest of Tokyo's many fireworks events, but Tachikawa's hanabi is certainly one of the more comfortable ones. Held at the spacious Showa Kinen Park, the festival always draws massive crowds, so make sure to arrive early to secure the best viewing spot.

This year’s event will see around 5,000 shells of fireworks launched during the hour-long show from 7.15pm to 8.15pm. Paid seating with the best views will be sold online from July 1 at 10am, on a first come first served basis. Tickets are priced at ¥8,800 for a seat, or ¥13,200 for a picnic blanket seating two people. Alternatively, you can catch the fireworks anywhere in the park for free.

Do note that the park charges a ¥450 admission fee. But for this event, entry is free after 6pm.

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  • Things to do
  • Katsushika

Held every year for more than half a century along the Edogawa River, Katsushika's popular fireworks festival is known for the short distance between where the around 15,000 rockets are shot up and where onlookers are allowed to sit, allowing spectators to watch, listen and feel the fireworks up close.

It also features the spectacular 'Niagara Falls' and 'Digital Star Mine' crackers, both supposedly representing the latest in firework technology. On your way to the river, walk along the picturesque street reaching from Shibamata's Taishakuten temple and you'll get a taste of what Edo must have been like in summer.

  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs
  • Ariake

Art, crafts, fashion, accessories and much more – it’s all here at the annual Handmade in Japan Festival, a massive two-day celebration of artisanal crafts and creativity. The event attracts over 3,000 artists, designers and craftsmen in addition to thousands of amateur DIYers from all over Japan.

Shop for one-of-a-kind items at the market, including clothing, homeware, handicrafts and interior decorations. Or pick up a new skill at one of the many workshops – think lamp making, building a herbarium and jewellery craft. You can also watch live painting performances, drop in on music shows, and fill up at the food stalls. It’s a full-day affair.

One-day tickets go for ¥1,500 (advance purchase ¥1,300) while two-day tickets are ¥2,500 (¥2,000). You can buy tickets in advance from Lawson Ticket, Seven Ticket, E Plus and KKDay.

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  • Things to do
  • Nakameguro

Beat the heat this July at one of Tokyo's premier sake festivals. Held three times a year, Washu Fes celebrates the culture and tradition of sake-making. For the festival's 25th edition, 45 breweries from around Japan will set up shop in Nakameguro, where you can sample over 200 varieties of sake. Some of the participating sake makers such as Hachioji Shuzo and Iwase Sake Brewing are based around Tokyo, while others hail from faraway prefectures like Akita or Yamaguchi.

Types of sake selected for the summer cover a wide range from chilled sparkling and fruity ginjo-shu to unpasteurised namazake and cloudy nigori sake. If you find something you like, you’ll be able to purchase full bottles of your favourite sake on-site.

Besides sake tasting, the festival's programme will feature performances including a shamisen showcase. Entry tickets are ¥3,300, and with limited spaces available, it's wise to arrive early (reception starts 15 minutes before opening) or secure your tickets online in advance.

  • Things to do
  • Festivals
  • Machida

This summer, enjoy a myriad of cuisines from all over the world at the Machida World Food Fair. This food festival is held at Machida Shibahiro Park for three days from July 19 to 21. Discover flavours from all corners of the globe, such as puff puff from Western Africa, tacos from Mexico, jerk chicken from Jamaica, and more. 

In addition to the outdoor food arena, there will also be a bazaar selling folk crafts, trinkets and fashion from all over the world. With a portion of the event proceeds going to support underprivileged children in Japan and African nations, you can help make a positive difference in the world while learning about and enjoying global cuisines.

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  • Things to do
  • Shiba-Koen

Tokyo Tower's alternative to the ubiquitous summer beer gardens is welcoming the outdoor drinking season with a double dose of whisky highballs. Head to the terrace at the base of the tower for a lengthy menu of highballs combined with a variety of drinking snacks (think karaage and grilled bacon).

There's also a meatier option on the roof of the Tower Foot Town building. The Tokyo Tower Rooftop Highball Garden serves up all-you-can-eat jingisukan, the Hokkaido-born lamb barbecue named after the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan.

Two hours of all-you-can-drink alcohol and limitless jingisukan can be had for ¥5,800 (teens aged 13-19 ¥3,800, primary school students ¥2,800, children aged 4-6 ¥1,800, all with non-alcoholic drinks, of course).

The Tokyo Tower Cho-Ten Highball Garden at the base of the tower is open until October 6, from 4pm-10pm on weekdays and 12noon-10pm on Sat, Sun & holidays.

The Tokyo Tower Rooftop Highball Garden is open until October 14, from 5pm-9.30pm daily. Make your reservations here.

  • Things to do
  • Oshiage

Tokyo Skytree is getting a Pokémon-themed makeover for summer. From now until September 24, the 634m-tall tower will be illuminated in colours inspired by popular Pokémon.

At one of its observation decks, the 450m-high Tembo Galleria, you’ll find photo spots featuring Captain Pikachu and friends. Avid fans will be delighted with the special Pokémon-themed menu at the lower observation deck’s Skytree Café. There’s a cute fruit parfait (¥1,400) with three ice cream flavours plus a Pokéball biscuit. And if you get the special kiwi-melon soda or the ginger mango soda with Pokémon illustrations (¥1,000 each), you can then order the mystery cupcake as a dessert set, which will come decorated with one of six Pokémon picks.

To make the most of your visit, be sure to stay until sundown and catch screenings of Pokémon anime. The evening shows are projected onto the observatory windows at the Skytree Round Theater. This will surely make the Tokyo skyline look even more mesmerising. Each screening runs for six minutes, with shows at 7.30pm, 8.15pm and 9pm daily.

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