Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri

Dancing, food, performances in the heart of Old Tokyo

Jul 5
Jul 9
Venue: Asakusa When: Jul 5th - Jul 9th 2020 ,  10:00am - 8:00pm

The Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri is the most well-known Tanabata festival celebrations. This four-day festival runs from Ueno to Asakusa. It is to celebrate the meeting of two deities: Orihime and Hikoboshi, star-crossed lovers who are only allowed to meet once a year.

Held on July 5 to July 9, the festival features dancing, eating and drinking at local stalls, and live entertainment that includes street performances as well as traditional acts like shamisen (a traditional Japanese instrument) and taiko (Japanese percussion instrument) on Saturday. But the main attraction is the parade on Sunda topped with countless decorations.

A fun festival traditional custom invites attendees to write down their wishes on paper and tie it to the bamboo branches that line the streets. The Tanabata festival originates from the Chinese Qixi Festival and is also celebrated throughout Southeast Asia (where it is known as the Star Festival).

It's a great way to soak in the summer around the streets of Tokyo.

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Jianne Soriano

Jianne Soriano @jianne.soriano

Hong Kong-born Filipino studying International Journalism. Loves photography, travel and East Asian cinema.

Join the discussion

Elena Lisina 6 days ago
Is it on the same dates each year or different?
Sébastien Duval 2 days ago
The dates change slightly every year (04-08 July in 2019).
Kim B 2 months ago
Love all the decorations for tanabata matsuri!
Sleiman Azizi 10 months ago
Downtown festivals really are something worth experiencing.