Best Tokyo International Festivals for Kids — Tokyo Family Travel

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When we lived in Tokyo, one of my favorite things to do with the kids was to hang out at one of the city’s many, many festivals. We loved the traditional Japanese festivals of course. That should be a post (or posts) all of its own. However, many people are unaware of just how many international festivals the city has. Just like in places like New York City, London and other cosmopolitan cities, Tokyo international festivals run the gamut from posh, sophisticated film festivals to local, casual fairs celebrating one country or another.

Last week in a column I co-write for the Japan Times, I talked about Tokyo’s summer international festival calendar and listed out a few of our favorites. Below is an excerpt from that column.
Best Tokyo International Festivals for Kids — Tokyo Family Travel Yoyogi Park

Tokyo International Festivals for Kids in Japan

Like all major cities in the world, Tokyo has a vibrant and cosmopolitan edge. Yet it can be difficult for some newcomers (and some older politicians) to see the city’s multiculturalism.

One of my favorite ways to experience other cultures is at Tokyo’s many international festivals. Whether you’re looking for Brazil or Myanmar, Tokyo has a festival for it, where you can eat the food, hear the music and watch the dances of people from around the world. I sometimes even attempt a few dance moves myself — to the horror of my tween and teen.

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Best Tokyo International Festivals for Kids — Tokyo Family Travel Yoyogi Park

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We love Japan’s traditional matsuri (festivals), but it’s also important to expose the brood to cultures further afield. Here are a few Tokyo international festivals around Tokyo that we recommend. They’re all fun, free and full of opportunity.

Despite some changes over the years, our main place for cultural festivals in Tokyo is a small patch of concrete near the NHK Broadcasting Center. The Yoyogi Events Square is the setting for dozens of international events. Here you’ll find stands selling food, drinks, clothing and other items from the country or region being celebrated. On the stage, musicians, dancers, DJs, storytellers and more perform. It can get crowded and hot on the pavement, but the stage is also only a footbridge crossing from Yoyogi Park, so a shady patch of grass is only minutes away.

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Best Tokyo International Festivals for Kids — Tokyo Family Travel Yoyogi Park

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you, we might receive a small commission if you book a tour or a hotel in Tokyo using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help you find the best things to do in Tokyo, including these Tokyo international festivals. 

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