Zojoji Tanabata Festival

The Zojoji Tanabata celebration takes place in front of Tokyo Tower. It features a replica of the Milky Way, made using 3,700 candle-lit lanterns that line the road leading to Zojoji Temple. The festival is held over two days, July 6 and 7, and starts from 5:30pm on. both days.

Photo by picture cells via Shutterstock

Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the biggest of the three great Tanabata festivals in Kanto, drawing 1.7 million visitors each year to Hiratsuka Sation’s shopping district. Due to Covid-19, there are no food or drink stalls. Visitors can, however, still enjoy the 500 colorful Tanabata decorations which are illuminated at night. The festival also features many events. There’s a drone park experience area, a bamboo art workshop, and a traditional parade.

Sayama City Irumagawa Tanabata Festival

The Sayama City Irumagawa Tanabata Festival in Saitama takes place a bit later than most celebrations on this list, more specifically at the end of July. Festivities will take place on July 29 and 30 between 3pm to 8pm. The festival normally draws around 130,000 attendants, and this year sees the triumphant return of its opening night firework show. Other attractions include a bamboo decoration contest on July 29 and a 1.5km procession. There will also be about 140 Tanabata decorations including streamers and other paper decorations.

Ogawamachi Tanabata Festival

Aside from hosting one of the three great Tanabata festivals in Kanto, Saitama also has the Ogawamachi Tanabata Festival. This year is its 75th anniversary. The festival takes place on July 29 and 30, from 11am to 8pm on the 29, and until 7:30pm on the 30. As well as enjoying the colorful washi paper Tanabata decorations, visitors can watch a children’s dance performance, a musical show by the Ogawa Wind Ensemble, and a Taiko drum spectacle.

Mobara Tanabata Festival

Mobara Tanabata Festival is back for the first time in four years, celebrating its 69th edition. Located in Chiba, the festival takes place on July 29 and 30. One of the biggest Tanabata events in the Kanto region, the event sees special dances performed by different dance troupes and a wide variety of music and art events.