Summer in Tokyo is hot hot hot! But it is also a great time for colorful and delicious events around the city! Check out our top three recommended happenings this month.
Tokyo Tapioca Land
6-35-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokio
Date and time:
From August 8th to September 16th
August: 10:00 – 19:00. (last order 6:45)
September: Monday to Friday from 13:00 – 19:00 (last order 6:45), weekends and national holidays 10:00 – 19:00 (last order 6:45)
Same day entry: ¥ 1,200 (includes one drink).
You can buy tickets in advance for ¥ 1,000 on the following website (only available in japanese):
Also children elementary or younger are free.
All Bubble Tea lovers gotta see this! In the past few months there’s been an explosion in bubble tea shops in Tokyo and for a limited time you can visit the first Tokyo, Bubble Tea Thematic Park “Tokyo Tapioca Land”.
From August 8th until September 16th you will be able to find it in the bubbling district of Harajuku, the perfect place for this kind of attraction, surrounded by colorful and kawaii culture. Inside Tapioca land you will be able to enjoy stands, food, photo-booths and even a tapioca ride?!
Bubble tea (Boba) is originally from Taiwan, is made with tea and tapioca balls, and has been in Japan for many years. Lately, however, there’s been a biggest bubble tea boom around the city. Shops are springing up in every district and you can find everything from colorful beverages layered in colors, to tapioca beer, tapioca ramen, etc.
Bubble Tea has become the “IN” thing; and people are queueing in long lines just to try the speciality of each different shop, sometimes with waits of one hour or more. Especially during the summer join the trend and enjoy something refreshing to bare the heat and humidity of Tokyo.
If you love Boba, you cannot miss this chance!
Asagaya Tanabata Festival
- Location: Asagayaminami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo Date:August 3rd – 7th, 10:00 am – Last trainEntrance cost:Free
If you are a street food lover you must join this Tanabata Festival!
As a former resident of Asagaya district in Tokyo I can say you really must explore Asagaya and its neighbours Koenji and Ogikubo. Following the tracks of the Chuo-Sobu Lines from JR and Tozai Line from Metro, Asagaya is about 10 minutes from the main district of Shinjuku, here you will find a quiet and simple neighbourhood, it doesn’t stand out too much until you get a closer look, then you can find its hidden secrets. Explore amazing live music bars, izakayas and tons of ramen shops, as well as an independent movie/ cinema.
In August the Tanabata Matsuri is held, it mainly across the whole Pearl Center Shotengai (shopping street). You can find hundreds of food and drink stalls owned by the shops; the whole Shotengai is decorated with paper-mâché sculptures created by the residents of the area that work hard for months to create unique pieces inspired by traditional Japanese topics to politicians, movie characters, cartoons, etc. This festival has been going on for 66 years now, so it is a must in Tokyo traditional things to see if you are around, you will find things to do not only on the Shotengai but all over Asagaya.
And the food… omg!!, last year I had the chance to join this festival wearing yukata (cotton kimono) for the first time, and I cannot say enough about it. From takoyaki to yakitori, grilled squid, beer, sake, dango, deep fried spaghetti, kobe beef on a stick, even burgers. If you love street food make sure to go! You can do go food/drink hopping all over the shotengai and there will be no end to it, so come hungry!
If you want to keep having fun you can get into one of the bars along the Star Road, my personal recommendation is the Gamuso live music-house bar.
So stop thinking about it because this festival goes from August 3rd-7th!!!! Don’t miss the chance to join one of the three greatest festivals of its kind throughout Japan.
Koenji Awa Odori, dance festival
August 24th – 25th, dance 17:00 – 20:00 so go early to get a good spot to see them, but the party can go all night long.
As you can see in Tokyo, summertime means festivals, which are the best way to bare with the hot and humid weather of the city. Close to Asagaya (10 minute walking distance, less than 1 on the train) you can find the amazing and not too crowded district, Koenji. Packed with some of the best music bars in Tokyo, during August the area overflows with dance and happy people.
Awa Odori is a traditional dance from Tokushima town on the island of Shikoku, it was born after a Daimyo was celebrating the opening of the Tokushima castle in1586, it was expected to dance on the street and drink for 3 days in a row. A year later it started to be a yearly celebration until it became a formal festival as part of the Obon, a budist celebration to welcome the ancestors to this world for a few days. The dance is different for men and women and it welcomes everyone to join, almost every japanese person knows how to do it, and during the festival you can see many foreigners dancing with the troupe.
Again, and as in every festival around Japan, food is a must. You will find all kinds of street food and drink stalls all at the festival. One of the things that you must try while you are there is the izakaya area located on the west side of Koenji station under the train tracks. You can sit outside having a beer and a delicious stick of yakitori (skewered chicken). On the north side of the station, you can find all kinds of little bars and restaurants, you name it, you’ll find it.
Don’t miss one of the biggest and greatest Awa Odori (traditional dancing) festivals in Tokyo, you won’t regret it, especially if you complete your experience by exploring Koenji before, after or during the festival!
Looking to cool off after a busy day of events and eating? Be sure to join our Nightlife tours in Japan for a refreshing summer!