Annual events in Tokyo include everything from sports competitions to spring festivals, cutting-edge theatre productions to international trade fairs.

Here are just a few of the events in Tokyo that expats can look forward to.

Annual events in Tokyo

National Foundation Day Parade (February)

A public holiday in Japan, this event commemorates the crowning of Japan's first emperor in 660 BC. A parade travels through Meiji Park and Omote-Sando Street (where portable shrines join the parade), culminating at Meiji Shrine.

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival (March)

At the start of spring, cherry trees erupt into pink and white blossoms, giving the city a magical aura. The event is celebrated with hanami parties that take the form of picnics, drinking, singing and dancing. Street stalls appear, and musicians in costume serenade the picnickers.

The festival celebrating the blooming of cherry blossoms (sakura) originated with the traditional belief that the spirits of the gods dwell in cherry trees, and it's considered polite to avoid plucking blossoms or climbing the trees.

Great Japan Beer Festival (June)

An annual event held in mid-June, this festival is one of the most popular in Tokyo. Visitors can sample local and international beers.

Sumida River Fireworks Festival (July)

Originating in the Edo period, this festival is often considered one of Japan's oldest and most significant fireworks festivals. The fireworks are launched from barges along the Sumida River, and the spectacular display paints a beautiful scene against Tokyo's night sky.

Tokyo Game Show (September)

Held annually in September, the Tokyo Game Show is one of the most influential events in the gaming world, attracting industry professionals and gaming enthusiasts from around the globe. Big-name developers and indie creators showcase their latest innovations, providing a sneak peek into the future of gaming. Visitors can explore exhibition areas, attend presentations, try out demos and even buy game-related merchandise.

Tokyo International Film Festival (October/November)

One of the largest film events in Asia, this two-week event sees a wide variety of Japanese and international films screened, as well as an awards ceremony.

Tokyo Ramen Show (October–November)

This culinary festival is a must-visit for food lovers and an absolute treat for noodle enthusiasts. Held in Komazawa Olympic Park, the Tokyo Ramen Show takes place over several days and brings together renowned ramen chefs from all corners of Japan.

Setagaya Boro Ichi (December–January)

A market originating in the 16th century, this timeless event is held in mid-December and mid-January in Setagaya, where hundreds of stallholders sell everything from priceless antiques to bric-a-brac.

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