Guide to Annual Matsuri and Other Events in and around Tokyo



Guide to Annual Matsuri and Other Events in and around Tokyo

Matsuri, or Japanese festivals, have been bringing local communities and visitors together to celebrate traditions specific to a particular area or neighborhood for hundreds of years. Often linked to a local Shinto shrine, they are deeply embedded in Japanese culture, history and everyday life.

Most matsuri are held annually, often in line with seasonal events like the harvesting of crops or to mark the beginning of a particular season - they can be small in scale lasting just a few hours, or large, loud and boisterous even, spanning several days. Matsuri usually involve dressing up in costume, playing traditional music and dancing/parading through the streets, often with a portable shrine carried on the shoulders of participants. There’s almost always an abundance of food and drink available too as well as activities for kids - matsuri welcome guests of all ages and walks of life. If you have the chance, we highly recommend checking one out while you’re in Japan!

With that being said, we have compiled a list of the more popular matsuri that take place in and around Tokyo on an annual basis. We have included links to further information for each event where it is available in English.

Please note, occasionally dates may change by a day or two due to adverse weather conditions or other factors so we strongly suggest searching for up-to-date information on any matsuri you plan to attend in the run up to the event itself.

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