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Introducing "Nouryomatsuri" (Summer Festivals) in Tokyo

This video, titled "[4K]Tokyo summer, Bon odori, Tokyo Trip, Tokyo Travel, Tokyo tourism" ([4K]Tokyo summer 夏の東京•納涼祭(夏祭り) 東京観光 盆踊り Bon odori Tokyo Trip Tokyo Travel Tokyo tourism) is a video about "Nouryoumatsuri" (Tokyo summer festival), produced by Discover Nippon.

Japan is colored by the nature of the four seasons.
Tokyo is the capital and has many popular sightseeing spots where the past and present intersect.
In Japan, there is a tradition of enjoying the coolness of the summer months by making various efforts to avoid the hot weather.
The gentle, cool sound of wind chimes and the sprinkling of water along roads and in gardens to relieve the heat have become an ancient Japanese tradition.

This is one of those summer festivals that have been passed down throughout Tokyo, and we present it to you with high quality 4K video clips.
There are many photogenic and Instagram-worthy spots, such as yukata-clad, colorful and spectacular fireworks displays, goldfish swimming gracefully at food stands, and rows of wind chimes.
Nowadays, many foreign tourists come to Japan for these summer festivals, and this article and video will give you information about Japan's most popular summer festivals across the globe.

Tokyo's summer festival "Jindaiji Ondo Matsuri (Hozuki Festival)

Image of hozuki

We'll start with "Jindaiji hozuki matsuri," introduced at 0:42 in the video. This festival is held at a Jindaiji Temple in Chofu City, Tokyo, where spirits are welcomed with lantern-like "hozuki" decorations.
There are stalls such with wind chimes, ground cherries, ramune, dumplings and shaved ice on the approach to the temple, and you can see people wearing Yukata, enjoying themselves at the festival.
The sound of the water flowing in the Chozusha provides a cooling effect in the hot Tokyo summer.

The 2023 Jindaiji Ondo Festival was held for the first time in four years. Although no sales of hozuki were held, an Ondo Happy Gate made of beautiful orange hozuki was set up in front of the Jindaiji temple gate from July 13 to August 15.

As of June 2024, the schedule and other details of the 2024 Jindaiji Ondo Festival have not been announced, so we will wait for an announcement from the Executive Committee.

Asagaya Tanabata Festival, a summer festival in Tokyo 2024

The Asagaya Tanabata Festival, which can be seen from 1:25 in the video.
Colorful Tanabata decorations line the shopping street in front of Asagaya Station.
The highlight of the Asagaya Tanabata Festival are the Tanabata decoration of deformed anime characters made with "Haribote" (paper mache)."
You can also see characters such as Anpanman in the video from 1:51.

We can't wait to see what kind of characters we can expect to see in 2024.
Information on the 2024 event is as follows.

Dates: Wednesday, August 7, 2024 - Monday, August 12, 2024
Location: Asagaya Pearl Center Shopping Street
Access: 1 minute walk from JR Asagaya Station

Tokyo Summer Festival "Asakusa Hozuki Market" 2024"

Next up is "Asakusa Hozuki-Ichi."
This festival is held on July 9th and 10th on Asakusa Nakamise Street, and can be seen from 2:04 in the video.

The solanaceae perennial "Hozuki" is written in Kanji as 鬼灯 (devil's lamp).
Japan's "oni" (demons) are a scary image, but before Buddhism became popular among the common people, it was believed that human souls would leave their bodies and become oni.
In other words, oni were a subject of worship as well as fear.
It is said that when the idea of Shinto and Buddhist practices were established, hozuki, whose shape resembled a lantern, were used as a guidepost to guide the souls of ancestors who had turned into souls/oni.
Based on the Buddhist belief that the spirits of the dead become Buddhas, Hozuki-ichi was established as a summer evening festival at Sensoji Temple.

Many people wear yukata and enjoy shooting games and goldfish scooping, as well as yakisoba and takoyaki, staples of the festival.

This "Hozuki-Ichi" has another special meaning as well.
It is also known as the "46,000 days"
If you visit Sensoji Temple on this day, you will be recognized by the Goddess Kannon for having accumulated 46,000 days of virtue.
It's great to be able to gain virture while having fun. At Sensoji Temple, "yellow fuda" and "thunderbolt-removal fuda," which are prayer cards, can be awarded only during the two days of the Hozuki-Market.

Information on the Asakusa Hozuki Market in 2024 is as follows.

Date: Wednesday, July 9 and Thursday, July 10, 2024
Place: Precincts of Sensoji Temple
Access: 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station

Tokyo Summer Festival "Edogawa-ku Goldfish Festival" 2024

Next we have the “Edogawa-ku Goldfish Matsuri” which can be seen from 3:05 in the video.
At the Goldfish Festival held in July every year in Edogawa-ku, Tokyo, where goldfish farming has been popular since the Meiji period (1868-1912), there's goldfish as far as the eye can see!
Various types of goldfish will be on display and for sale, as well as a variety of breeding products, and there's also the very popular luxury goldfish scooping event.

Information on the 53rd Edogawa Ward Specialty Goldfish Festival to be held in 2024 is as follows.

Dates: July 20 (Sat.) and 21 (Sun.), 2024
Time: 10:00 - 17:00 *Close at 16:00 on the 21st
Place: Gyofune Park, Edogawa Ward

Tokyo Summer Festival "Yukata de Ginbura" 2024

Inage of A couple wearing Yukata
Photo:A couple wearing Yukata

The next introduction is “Yukatadeginbura.” It can be seen from 3:51 in the video.
Put on a yukata and enjoy "Dai-Ginza Bon-Odori," and "Uchimizu" to help you cool down!

There are kimono rental stores in Ginza where you can rent a complete set of yukata, so feel free to enjoy wearing a yukata.

Information on the "Yukata de Ginbura" in 2024 is as follows.

Date: Saturday, August 3, 2024

Please check the official website and SNS for updated details.

Tokyo Summer Festival "Sumiyoshi Shrine Festival" 2024

At 4:27 of the video, you can see the Yin Matsuri of the "Sumiyoshi Shrine Festival". The main festival, held once every three years, includes the unveiling of the lion head and octagonal portable shrines and the boat-tingo, in which the portable shrines are further carried on boats.

The three pairs of lion heads are carried by young men, and the day before the parade of the mikoshi, they go around the town to purify the mikoshi by purifying it of evil spirits. The octagonal mikoshi, designated as a folk tangible cultural property of Chuo City and rare in the Kanto region, also makes its rounds.

The video shows the shrine parishioners carrying the mikoshi sprinkling water on it to cool off.

Information on the "Sumiyoshi Shrine Festival" in 2024 is as follows.
Dates: Tuesday, August 6 and Wednesday, August 7, 2024
Location: Sumiyoshi Shrine and Tsukishima area
Access: 10-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Tsukishima Station

Bon Dance in Tokyo "Zojoji Temple, Jizo Son Bon Dance Festival" 2024

You can see Bon Odori from 7:06 in the video.
Various summer festivals are held in various parts of Japan, and among them, Bon Odori is a very festive summer festival.
In recent years, Bon Odori has attracted attention from overseas as a very unique event.

Lively music and drums, as well as stalls and yukata, are the standard features of Bon Odori.
People dressed in yukata and jinbei form a circle around a Yagura (tower) and dance happily with fans. This is an important part of the festival as you can enjoy the company of your ancestors that have returned to Obon. (It is a time when Buddhists remember people in their family who have died).
"Tokyo Ondo" is the most popular Bon dance in Tokyo, but the choreography differs by region.

It would be fun to learn how to dance all the Tokyo Ondos in the 23 wards and become a Tokyo Ondo Master.
In addition to the Tokyo Ondo, Tokyo's Bon Dancing is also known for its unique theme songs. Songs from “Ikyyu San” based on the monk (Rinzai sect, Ikkyu Sojun) of the Muromachi period (1336 to 1573 AD), as well as world-renowned songs like Living on a Prayer by rock musician Bon Jovi, are used to create a unique experience. Bon Jovi even mentioned it on his twitter page and it was a hot topic for a minute.
One of the characteristics of Bon Odori is that it is highly diverse, not bound by tradition.

The Jizo Bon Dance Festival at Zojoji Temple is held in the immediate vicinity of Tokyo Tower, the symbol of Tokyo.

Many windmills can be seen at the Jizo-san of Zojoji Temple. Dancing with windmills, which can be purchased at booths at the Bon Odori Festival, attached to the sashes of yukata (light cotton kimono) may be seen only at the Bon Odori Festival at Zojoji Temple.

Information on the Jizo Bon Dance Festival to be held at Zojoji Temple in 2024 is as follows.

Dates: Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20, 2024
Time: 18:00 - 21:00 *Jizoson memorial service starts at 17:30
Place: Zojo-ji Temple, plaza in front of the Main Hall
Access:10 min. walk from Hamamatsucho Sta. on JR line or Tokyo Monorail.
*For details, please check the official website.

Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival" and "Itabashi Fireworks Festival" in Tokyo 2024

Image of fireworks

The Sumida River in Tokyo Bay and the Jingu Shrine, which are crowded with people in yukata every year, are also popular places to visit in Tokyo.
This can be seen at 9:35 in the video.
Did you know that these fireworks have a spiritual meaning as well?

The loud noise of fireworks is a deliberate design, and summer was a time when infections and food poisoning were more likely to occur In the Edo period (1603-1867), when medicine was not as advanced as it is today. The loud sound of fireworks was used to exorcise evil and bring good health. It is said that prayers were made at the beginning of the fireworks display.
It is said that the origin of the ceremony comes from the practice of beating drums when paying a visit to a shrine, and the beating of drums at festivals and Bon Odori.
Fireworks festivals are held all over the country, and many people enjoy the colorful fireworks in the summer's night sky.

The following are the dates of two fireworks displays in Tokyo.

Sumida River Fireworks Festival
Date: Saturday, July 27, 2024 from 19:00
Location: First site (Sakura Bridge downstream - Kototoi Bridge upstream), Second site (Komagata Bridge downstream - Stable Bridge upstream)
Access:15 min. walk from Tobu Railway, Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway Asakusa Stn. at the 1st site, 5 min. walk from Tobu Railway, Tokyo), Toei Subway Asakusa Stn. or Toei Subway Kuramae Stn. at the 2nd site

Itabashi Fireworks Festival
Date: Saturday, August 3, 2024 from 19:00
Place: Arakawa riverbed, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo
Access: Toei Mita Line Takashimadaira Station/Nishidai Station/Hasune Station, approx. 20 min. walk from each station Approx. 20 min. walk from JR Saikyo Line Ukima Funawatari Sta.

Summer Festival "Mitamatsuri" in Tokyo 2024

“Mitama Matsuri,” introduced at 12:04 in the video, is a festival held at Yasukuni Shrine in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, to memorialize the souls of those lost in the war. It began in 1947.
More than 30,000 large and small lanterns and Bonbori (paper lanterns) decorate the grounds of the temple, and the whole area is colored gold.

Information on the Yasukuni Shrine Mimatama Festival in 2024 is as follows.

Dates: Saturday, July 13 - Tuesday, July 16
Place: Yasukuni Shrine
Access: Public transportation: 5 min. walk from Tokyo Metro Kudanshita Sta.

Tokyo Summer Festival "Sumida River Touro Nagashi" 2024

The Japanese event "Touro Nagashi (floating lanterns or lantern floating down the Sumida River)," in which lanterns made of Japanese paper are floated down rivers and into the sea to mourn the souls of the deceased during the Obon festival, is held not only in Tokyo but also in many other places throughout Japan.

Here is information on the Sumida River Toronagashi to be held in 2024.
If you would like to experience the Toronagashi yourself, you can also purchase the lanterns. You can either purchase in advance online (1,720 yen *including postage) or at the Asakusa Tourist Federation office (2,000 yen *until 8/9).

Date: Saturday, August 10, 2024
Time:18:30(Ceremony, Nagashihajime)18:45-20:00(Lantern floating)
Place: Azuma-bashi Water Terrace, Sumida River

Summary of Summer Festivals and Noryosai in Tokyo

As summer approaches, posters and illustrations of summer festivals are posted on the bulletin boards of shopping streets and stations, people are seen in yukata, and when you hear the sounds of the music and the shouts of the portable shrines and floats from the streets, you know that summer has finally arrived.

Many festivals were introduced in this video, but don't forget to check online articles and magazines for the schedules of events, including times and locations, as Tokyo hosts many more popular summer festivals!
Some of the other popular summer festivals and events in Tokyo are listed below.

Asakusa Sansha Festival : Sensoji Temple in Taito Ward
 Date: Friday, May 17 - Sunday, May 19, 2024

Iriya Asashio City : Iriya in Taito Ward
 Date: Saturday, July 6 - Monday, July 8, 2024

Shinjuku Acer Festival : Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku
 Date: Saturday, July 27, 2024

Hachioji Festival: Koshu Highway in Hachioji City
 Date: Date: Friday, August 2 to Sunday, August 4, 2024

Azabu Juban Festival : Azabu Juban, Minato Ward
 Date: Saturday, August 24 and Sunday, August 25, 2024

Koenji Awa Odori : Koenji Temple in Suginami Ward
 Date: Saturday, August 24 and Sunday, August 25, 2024

Asakusa Samba Carnival : Asakusa International Street, Taito Ward
 Date: Sunday, September 15, 2024

Enjoy the summer atmosphere of Tokyo in this high quality 4K video of Tokyo's Summer Festivals.
Tokyo, a popular tourist spot where past and present intersect, has a ton of traditional festivals that have been passed down since the good old days of Japan!

Written By
Last Updated : Jun. 24, 2024
児玉 勇(Yu Kodama)
A writer who loves Japan and yakitori
Get over the hot summer weather by participating in Tokyo's summer festivals and Noryosai! These are the recommended events for summer sightseeing in Tokyo!
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