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Summertime in Tokyo: What to Do
Despite some of the challenges the weather in Tokyo presents in the summer (see our article on that here), it's a season filled with really fun events and activities. From festivals and fireworks to beaches and beer gardens, there's something for everyone in the family. Pull out your yukata and jinbei and check out the suggestions below!
Nothing says "summer" more than the blinking lights of hundreds of fireflies, or hotaru. A visit to the Fussa Firefly Festival is the perfect kick-off to the season.
Traditionally thought of as the only day in the year when two stars, Altair and Vega, cross paths, the Star Festival is a time for wishful thinking. The Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival is the largest in Japan, with nearly two million attendees.
13 -15 August
Obon Festival is a time to remember and celebrate loved ones that have passed away. Many Japanese people will take a vacation during this time, often visiting their hometowns. In Tokyo, the Asakusa Toro Nagashi is a lovely event to watch. Thousands of candle-lit lanterns will float along the Sumida river, taking handwritten notes to guide spirits to the after world.
24 - 25 August
Thousands of dancers and musicians headline this festival, which takes place in the (relatively) cooler hours of the evening.
Another large parade of dancers, the Omotesando Super Yosakoi is a giant competition between more than 6,000 performers, with day-long processions and two stages near Yoyogi park.
Everyone loves a good fireworks show and there is no shortage of them in and around Tokyo in the summer! Not surprisingly, these can be very crowded events, so try to get there early and bring a nice blanket or sheet to sit on.
Children attending international schools have a long summer break, from mid-June through August. Those attending Japanese schools also get around five weeks off toward the end of the summer.
Additionally, there are two national holidays in the summer: Marine Day and Mountain Day. Marine Day is celebrated on the third Monday in July (15 July). The Odaiba Lantern Festival is a photogenic celebration on the water, with thousands of lanterns floating in the bay.
Mountain Day is a new holiday - this will be the third year - and is celebrated on 11 August. As it's a day meant to enjoy mountains, a day trip to one of the many surrounding the city is a perfect way to observe. Check out the suggestions from LiveJapan here.
It's going to get pretty hot and humid, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy being outside.
Beer Gardens are a quintessential warm weather treat. Many offer all you can eat and drink specials, and discounted prices for younger children.
15 June - 15 October
8 - 16 June, 30 August - 8 September
13 June - 13 September
*This one is adult-only. A beautiful date night destination!
A day trip or weekend at the beach is a must when you're looking to cool off - Japan is an island, after all!. There are several beaches easily accessible by mass transit just to the south of the city; Zushi, Enoshima, Hayama and Kurakama are all worth visiting and only a short train ride away. Odaiba Beach is also an option. The sandy beach is a great place to lounge, sunbathe and play Frisbee, though swimming is not allowed.
An easy escape from the concrete jungle, the many parks in and around Tokyo are filled with fun distractions and ways to cool off.
Have fun pretending to be a fairy tale character or visit the petting zoo.
This whimsical park was inspired by the artwork of a Finnish cartoonist.
The 240 acres of Kodomo no Kuni include swimming pools, barbeque pits and a mini zoo.
In addition to a tropical botanical garden, Yume no Shima will also be home to the 2020 Olympics archercy events.
When the kids are on break from school, keeping them engaged and entertained can be tough. Whether you're working, or need some "grown-up time," CareFinder is here to help! Our sitters are highly qualified and can ensure your children have a safe and enjoyable summer.