Top 10 Things to Do in Japan in July

Best things to do & places to visit in Japan in July

Lavender field in Hokkaido in summer

July is a great month when Japanese summer finally arrives! Here are 10 best things to do in Japan in July including summer festivals, events an popular beaches!

1. Summer Festivals

-Kyoto Gion Festival

Gion Festival in Kyoto

Kyoto Gion Festival (祇園祭) is counted as one of three greatest festivals in Japan. This traditional festival has been held for over 1,000 years in Yasaka Shrine, the famous shrine in Gion area in Kyoto.

Important Notice: Main events of Kyoto Gion Festival 2021 are cancelled due to coronavirus

Date: 1–31 July 2021 (main events: 17 and 24 July)


<< Book your tickets to Gion Festival!! >>

-Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival

Tanabata Festival a.k.a. Star Festival is a traditional annual event in Japan, which celebrates the meeting of two lovers separated by milky way. Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival (湘南ひらつか七夕まつり) is one of the biggest Tanabata festivals in Japan, and it’s about 1 hour away from central Tokyo.

Important Notice: Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival 2021 is cancelled due to coronavirus

Date: TBA (early July)


Official Website: (Japanese)

For more info, please check out the link below!

2. Chill at Kawadoko

Kawadoko (or Kawayuka) is a traditional style of restaurant in Kyoto, specially for summer time. Kyoto’s iconic river, Kamogawa has numbers of cafes and restaurants lined, which extend their wooden open-air terrace towards the river only in summer time. Enjoy food and drinks, and relax with the sound of river streaming by nature!

3. Sumida River Fireworks Festival <<Cancelled>>

The biggest fireworks festival in the country, Tokyo’s traditional Sumida River Fireworks Festival features approx. 22,000 fireworks, and attracts nearly 1 million viewers. The festival is held on the last Saturday of July every year, however, due to 2021 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic games, the Sumida River Firework Festival is scheduled on 23 October 2021.

Important Notice: Sumida River Fireworks 2021 is cancelled

Date: N/A (Cancelled in case of stormy weather)


More info about fireworks festivals in Tokyo:

4. Beach

Beach in summer crowded by visitors

Japanese beach season officially kicks off from early to mid July depending on locations, and lasts till the end of August. During the season, beaches are lined with beach huts offering food, drinks, rental facilities, toilets, shower and etc. Although Tokyo is not a beach destination, there are some great ones accessible from the city.

Beaches near Tokyo:

More beaches in Japan:

5. Fuji Rock Festival

The biggest outdoor music festival in Japan, Fuji Rock Festival is held on the last weekend of July for 3 days. The formerly performed acts includes Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Chemical Brothers, Björk, Muse, Foo Fighters, Radiohead , Oasis and more!!

Important Notice: Fuji Rock Festival 2021 will be held in late August

6. Kamikochi

Kappabashi Bridge at Kamikochi, Nagano

Are you an active person but not a beach bum?? Then hiking would be the best option! Summer is a great season for hikers in Japan, and many trails will be officially open through spring and summer. One of the best hiking spots in Japan is Kamikochi in the Northern Japan Alps of Nagano Prefecture. Kamikochi is famous for the scenic hiking trails with several beautiful view points, and it’s highly recommended for both beginners and advanced hikers.

<< Book your trip to Kamikochi from Tokyo! >>

7. Sumo Nagoya Basho

The grand Sumo tournaments are held 6 times every year in Japan: three in Tokyo (January, May and September) and one in Osaka (March), Nagoya (July) and Fukuoka (November), and each tournament lasts for 15 days. The grand Sumo Tournament in Nagoya venue will be held 4-18 July in 2021.

<< Get Tickets for the Sumo Wrestling Tournament in Nagoya >>

8. Shaved Ice

Cute Polar Bear shaped shaved ice in Tokyo

There are numbers of “Summer Food” in Japan such as cold noodles, watermelon, but I’d say the best one is shaved ice. It’a traditional summer dessert in Japan and a perfect way to cool down in the hot weather. There are numbers of shaved ice (Kakigori in Japanese) cafes in Tokyo, offering wonderful shaved ice desserts, which are not shaved ice as you would imagine with simple crushed ice and sweet syrup, but stand out as one deluxe dessert.

9. Hokkaido Lavender

Lavender farm in Furano, Hokkaido

Summer is an amazing season to visit Hokkaido, especially in the central part as there are numbers of flower fields which turn into a colourful wonderland. Lavender at Furano area is one of the most popular flowers to see in Japan, and the best month is usually July. For more information about flower fields in Hokkaido, check out the link below:

10. Okinawa

Okinawa is arguably the best beach destination in Japan. The southern tropical islands is famous for its white sand and turquoise water. So why should you visit Okinawa in July? The answer is simply to avoid crowds. As school holiday kicks off from mid to end July in Japan, Okinawa’s high season begins accordingly till the end of August. From mid June to mid July is an ideal time to visit Okinawa since it’s less crowds and price could be lower.

Check more info about Okinawa’s beaches
▶ 5 Best Beaches in Okinawa
▶ 5 Best Beach Resorts in Okinawa

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