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Spring Festivals in Tokyo Featured

Spring is arguably the best time to visit Tokyo. Along with the blossoming of the sakura cherry blossom trees, fewer tourist crowds, and of course beautiful weather, there are lots of exciting activities and traditional Japanese festivals happening around the city.

Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri

Lovers of nature will definitely appreciate Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri, a month-long azalea festival at the historic Nezu Shrine. The Nezu Shrine gardens are home to more than 100 different species of azaleas, including the rarer Fuji-tsutsuji, Hanaguruma, and Karafune. Amidst the beautiful flowers and outside in the perfect spring weather, attendees of the Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri are able to witness a variety of folk dance performances, Taiko drum concerts, antique market, and gallery of Sanjuroku kasen-e artwork. This year's Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri will be held from April 7th to May 6th.

Chrysanthemum festival Miyauchi Nanyo City Yamagata Prefecture Japan 20051016

Sanja Matsuri

Sanja Matsuri, which happens every year on the third weekend of May, is one of the three great Shinto festivals in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. Drawing in energetic crowds, this festival is religious in origin and is marked by celebratory chanting, loud flute and drum playing, delicious food, and locals dressed in costumes from the Edo Period. During the celebration, portable shrines or mikoshi carrying Shinto deities are paraded in the streets to bring good luck to everyone present.This year's Sanja Matsuri will be held from May 18th to May 20th.

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Kurayami Matsuri

Like Sanja Matsuri, Kurayami Matsuri attracts large, wild crowds, however this festival takes place during the evening, hence its name, Kurayami, which means “dark night.” Kurayami Matsuri is an annual festival associated with the Okunitama Shrine in the center of Fuchi City, Tokyo. During the day, a plant fair with gardeners from the Kanto Region is set up at the shrine. During the evening, homes and shops in the neighbourhood turn off their bright interior lights, and the streets are lit up with the laterns and activities of the mikoshi parades. There’s also lots of music, horse riding, and contests. This year's Kurayami Matsuri will be held from April 30th to May 6th.

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Related: Experience Tokyo: Must Stops In The City


AnimeJapan, also known as Tokyo International Anime Fair is a massive annual convention held at Odaiba's Big Sight that celebrates Japan’s beloved manga and animation industry as well as its fans. Booths and panels featuring the biggest Japanese production companies, such as Toei Animation, Bandai Namco and Tezuka Productions. Even if you’re not particularly into anime, you’ll still enjoy the various performances and live shows with celebrity guests at the Main Stage, exhibitors selling merchandise, and people dressing-up in elaborate costumes. This year's AnimeJapan takes place from March 22nd through March 25th.

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Rikugien Cherry Blossom Lightup

If you’re in Tokyo during the spring, you won’t want to miss this the Rikugien Cherry Blossom Lightup, an celebration that happens twice a year--once in the autumn, and once in the spring. At Rikugien, Japan's most famous garden, begining at sundown, the huge sakura cherry blossom trees in the park will be lit up, and the garden will turn into a magical paradise. This year's Rikugien Cherry Blossom Lightup takes from from March 21st through April 5th.

For more on what to do in Tokyo, visit our Destinations page.