Why you should come to Japan in JULY

🎐 If you’re thinking about rescheduling your Japan trip, how about July? It’s hot, but there are so many great things you can enjoy in the summertime that you can’t do any other time of year

Five secret reasons why JULY is the very best time to come to Japan:

Goldfish! Summer is the season when Japanese traditionally ward off the heat by gazing at goldfish in their cool, blue bowls, and there are lots of festivals and exhibits that celebrate this most humble of pets

Many goldfish swimming

The Edogawa Goldfish Festival is one of the biggest…

Two young women in yukata catching goldfish
…and it’s a great place to not only catch some fishies yourself with an old-fashioned paper net, but also watch delightful children and young women in summer kimonos trying their luck too.


July is also the season to buy Japanese traditional wind chimes (furin), the small glass or metal baubles that sport long paper tails to catch a passing breeze and remind you to feel cooler because of it

Japanese furin wind chimes for sale outside a shop
These were for sale at the fabulous paper store near the Kaminarimon Gate in Asakusa, but you’ll see them being sold all over in the month of July


July is the start of the Toro Nagashi festivals, where candle-lit lanterns are floated out on ponds and rivers on warm summer evenings, along with prayers for peace

Lanterns floating on Shinobazu Pond
This is the Toro Nagashi festival that takes place on Shinobazu Pond in July


It’s fireworks time! All over Tokyo, you can see amazing fireworks displays on most July and August weekends. There’s nothing more Japanese than eating a few skewers of yakitori, drinking a beer, while wearing a summer yukata and watching the fire flowers bloom with your friends


It’s also when the Yasukuni Shrine sponsors the blow-out, three-day midsummer Mitama Matsuri, a grand affair showcasing music, dance, food, drink, and festival spirit, all day and long into the night

Lanterns illuminating main promenade of the Yasukuni Shrine at the Mitama Matsuri


Divine lotus flowers also come into bloom in July, prompting many gorgeous gardens to open their gates at dawn, so visitors can enjoy them unfurling in all their pink glory.

Lotus blooming at Sankeien garden in Yokohama
Here are the best places to see them
Lotus leaf spraying water
…including the Yokohama garden Sankei-en, where you can not only see acres of lotus flowers, you can discover things I did not know you could do with a lotus leaf

Find other cool and serene Tokyo gardens to stroll in the summertime here:

And of course, July is a great time to enjoy all my other favorite Tokyo attractions:

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Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, the monthly Japanagram newsletter, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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