Rainy Season Summer Travel Guide

What to do in Tokyo in Summer 2024

A visit to Tokyo in the summer will be an extraordinary lifetime of achievement, despite the hot humid weather and rain. I always think that Tokyo is a fantastic city with a really good mix of things to do and see.

Perhaps this is the most beautiful and popular city in Asia to live and visit as it has got fascinating history, festivities, foods, culture, breathtaking seasonal highlights, shopping stores, skyscrapers, museums, parks, and so on. In fact, the city has got something for everyone.

Kinuta Park in July, Setagaya, Tokyo. Photo Credit: mrhayata at Flickr.

When it comes to visiting the city in summer, the first thing that comes to my mind is the fireworks festivals. They are simply the best and acclaimed things to see during the summertime in Tokyo.

Besides, I like viewing the inspiring summer dance festivals that take place in various neighborhoods in Tokyo. Shinjuku Eisa Festival, Asakusa Samba Carnival, and Koganei Awa odori are few examples that I can gladly recommend you to experience.

So here are my best travel guides for making the most of your trip to Tokyo this summer.

Please note most of the festivals that usually held annually in summer in Tokyo have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

1) Enjoy Fireworks (Hanabi) Displays

Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival – It feels like every night is a fireworks night in Tokyo during summer.

There are a number of things to enjoy summer in Japan to the fullest. Even though hot and humid summer weather often makes me not to explore Tokyo very much, I myself find some inspirations to get there. What are my inspirations anyway? Fireworks shows are my inspirations including walking down the street wearing summer yukata.

Tokyo boats some of Japan’s best summer events, landmarks and activities. Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival, Edogawa Fireworks Festival, Adachi Fireworks Festival, Katsushika Fireworks Festival, Tamagawa Fireworks Festival are some of its top hanabi events you can gladly enjoy fireworks shows.

These events usually take place between late July and mid August. They are packed with lots of people, so make sure you find a perfect spot to sit on.

Adachi Fireworks Festival. Photo Credit: Marufish at Flickr.

For one of the best fireworks show across Tokyo, head to Sumida Park in Asakusa district as from there you can view breathtaking fireworks displays.

The event is called Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival, originated in 1733 and considered the largest fireworks festivals in Japan.

Every year, a million of visitors experience its overwhelming fireworks displays in the evening. You can buy delicious summer foods from the traditional food carts stretching along the park.

2) Acknowledge the Summer Matsuri

Dance parade during Koenji Awa Odori. Phot Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Japanese summer is most often associated with fireworks shows, and traditional festivals. Many events and festivals are held throughout the summer months across the country.

Surprisingly, Tokyo city hosts most of Japan’s popular summer events and festivals. Does not it sound awesome, especially if you are planning to visit the city between July and August?

Every summer festival in Tokyo is well worth attending as they have got something hilarious to blow your mind. Except the fireworks festivals, some of the famous summer festivals are Asakusa Samba Carnival, Koenji Awa Odori, Shinjuku Eisa Festival, Koganei Awa odori Dance Festival, and Mitama Matsuri.

All these festivals are remarkably entertaining to watch as participants perform dancing out wearing colorful costumes on the streets of Tokyo.

Asakusa Samba Carnival! Photo Credit: Hetarllen Mumriken at Flickr.

To participate one of these festivals you have to plan a trip accordingly. For students and tourists alike, there are many language schools in Tokyo. They offer special summer courses that are well crafted with language study and various cultural activities.

The activities include participating in a tea ceremony, calligraphy, ikebana, and attending some summer festivals.

If you are a solo traveler, who does want to enjoy it on your own, they best way to do is to prepare yourself a travel plan considering the date of the festivals given on this page. Don’t forget to arrive in Tokyo on time!

If you don’t know which area of the city is perfect to stay overnight, please stay in a cozy hotel located nearby JR Shinjuku Station.

Summer Sonic 2018 will be held at Zozo Marine Stadium in Chiba from Aug 18 to Aug 19, 2018. This music event is exclusively entertaining, where popular local and international artists perform in front of thousands of music lovers.

3) Try Delicious Summer Foods

Matcha Kakigori. Photo Credit: kanegen at Flickr.

What to eat in Tokyo in the summer?! Before visiting Tokyo, almost every traveler has thought of this question. I think you are going to ask this question to someone or search for the answer online to get some food recommendations from.

I won’t recommend all types of traditional Japanese dishes that are consumed year-round. Instead I can help you mentioning some very special foods that are eaten by the Japanese mostly during summer.

Kakigori, a shaved ice dessert, flavored with different kinds of special fruit syrup. This is one of the best foods that can beat the heat of Tokyo’s summer.

Need to know where to but this special treat from? There are a number of shops/restaurants in Tokyo such as Himitsudo, Shimokita Chaen, Asakusa Naniwaya, Kakigori Kobo Sekka, and etc.

Morioka Reimen. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

I like eating Morioka reimen in this season. It’s a cold noodles (ramen) dish, originated in Morioka city of Iwate Prefecture. Visit the restaurant called Pyon Pyon Sha in Ginza and enjoy its taste. I think you will never forget its taste, I bet you!

There is another quite a popular summer treat called Grilled eel. Japanese love eating eel (Unagi) in summer and many restaurants can be found in Tokyo to try Unagi. I am not that much fond of it, but you definitely try it.

Kakigori and Morioka Reimen are not only the two foods you can try in Tokyo. There are other types of foods to eat, you can check out our top 10 Japanese summer foods list.

Washu Fes, a Japanese sake testing event take places at Nakameguro in Tokyo. This is a great opportunity for sake lovers to try different types of sakes offered by 35 sake makers coming from all over Japan. This is not a free event to attend to as you have got to purchase your ticket in advance.

4) Take a walk in the Garden

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden in Tokyo. Photo Credit: mrhayata at Flickr.

Tokyo’s skyscrapers and busy city life may sometimes make you feel boring. No matter who you are, everyone can feel it. When the temperature is high, and it’s very hot outside, we will have to find a way to get rid of it.

Apart from eating the above mentioned summer foods to beat the heat, I suggest you to take a walk in the garden you find nearby. No worries, Tokyo has no shortages of beautiful and tranquil gardens.

Taking this into account, you can visit some of its picture-perfect traditional Japanese gardens such as Koishikawa Korakuen, Imperial Palace East Garden, Rikugien, Kyu Shiba Rikyu, and Hama Rikyu. Stroll along the designated garden paths, and enjoy their beautiful surroundings.

In addition, a visit to Shinjuku Gyoen in summer would be a perfect choice as it has a breathtaking traditional Japanese landscape garden including English landscape garden and French garden.

Note that this park is considered one the largest parks in Tokyo. And during spring, it becomes the place of hanami hunters!

5) Climbing Mount Fuji

Climbers ascending the Mount Fuji. Photo Credit: Marufish at Flickr.

We can count it as a day trip from Tokyo. If you are in Tokyo during the Mt. Fuji climbing season, then don’t hesitate to experience this exclusive adventure.

It will make your Tokyo trip unforgettable; and even can exceed your expectation at the same time. This is without question one of the best day trips from Tokyo.

The official climbing season of Mount Fuji is from early July to mid September. There are four designated hiking trails to climb the mountain. Among them Yoshida trail is the most popular for tourists and locals alike.

To start off your hiking trip, at first you will have to reach at Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station by direct highway buses from Shinjuku Bus Terminal in Tokyo.

What an incredible view! Photo Credit: Marufish at Flickr.

All sorts of useful hiking gears including foods can be purchased at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. Therefore, if you need anything, please buy from the shops you find there.

In order to climb Mount Fuji, one has to be prepared with necessary hiking accessories, drinks, and foods. And it takes determination, time and preparation to climb the mountain. While on the other hand, if you think you don’t have that much time to spend for this expedition, there is an alternative.

Why don’t you just hike Takaosan (Mount Takao)? It’s easy to hike up the mountain with less preparation. The views from the top of the mountain are absolutely stunning. Besides, there is beer garden known as Mt. Takao Beer Mount. The foods and drinks it offers are very delicious.

6) Temples and Beaches in Kamakura

Beach in Kamakura. Photo Credit: Atsushi Ozawa at Flickr.

Let’s get to Kamakura by train! This is not a long ride as you need only an hour of train journey from Tokyo.

Kamakura, the ancient capital city of Japan is packed with historic temples. That’s the highlight of Kamakura. Even though they are considered the most valuable treasures in the area, we can’t ignore visiting its sandy beaches during summer. How can we?! That’s my question to those who are not aware of them.

Indeed, the beaches in Kamakura are beautiful and you have lots of spaces for sunbathing, surfing, and swimming. Yuigahama and Zaimokuza are the most popular beaches here, and they are located adjacent to each other.

Kamakura Daibutsu. Photo Credit: Brian Sterling at Flickr.

The official beach season in Kamakura is from July to August. So, alongside visiting Kamakura’s beautiful temples, you must pay a visit to its beaches. Note that a lot of visitors come to visit the beaches especially over the weekends from nearby towns and cities.

The Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu) is located on the grounds of Kotokuin temple that is very close to the famous Hasedera temple.

If you emphasis on spending more time on the beaches, and you don’t have much time to visit other attractions, my advice to you is – at least pay a visit to the Daibutsu and Hasedera temple. Your trip will be awesome then.

If you are not interested in visiting Kamakura, visit Enoshima instead.

7) Experience Summer Flowers in Tokyo

Hydrangeas at Hasedera Temple in Kamakura.

Sometimes it does rain a lot during the early summer (June to July) in Tokyo and other prefectures.

In early June, hydrangeas start to bloom and they can be spotted till mid July at a number of gardens, especially to the ones that are possessed by temples & shrines. Hasedera temple in Kamakura is famous for its hydrangeas.

On the other hand, abundance of hydrangeas can be seen at Tokyo’s Hakusan Shrine. This is obviously a must-see place during the rainy season in Tokyo.

If you are not satisfied with only one or two hydrangea spots, head towards Sumida Park. You will be stunned seeing a lot of hydrangeas found along the promenade in the park.

Read this article in order to learn more about hydrangea season in Japan.

In Tokyo, there are many places to see irises as well. The flowers usually bloom in late May and while the best time to see them around mid July. If you are traveling around Tokyo in June, don’t forget to visit Meiji Shrine to see irises.

Sunflowers in Kiyose. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Held in every August, Kiyose Sunflower Festival is a popular summer flower festival in Tokyo. It features about 100,000 sunflowers with offering visitors plenty of photography opportunity.

If you are going to visit Tokyo in August and love flowers, then this is a place I could recommend you to explore.

In Conclusion

Have not you got any idea for your next trip to Tokyo in the summer? I am sure have. And there are many indoor cultural activities such as participating in ikebana class, tea ceremony, washi (paper-making), calligraphy, Japanese cooking class, and much more.

Going to an onsen in Japan is one of the most enjoyable experiences, no doubt about that. People in Japan enjoy onsen bath not only in winter, but also in summer. This may be a crazy idea to someone though!

If you are exhausted, visit a hot springs (Onsen) in summer, which will definitely relax your minds. So if you think you want to experience an onsen bath, visit some hot spring resorts located nearby Tokyo city.

Enjoy your time in Tokyo this summer!

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