Clear Your Calendar: 7 Festivals in Tokyo This May 2024 (With International Food in Tokyo!)

By Ryan Noble
Updated: April 23, 2024

You might not think German beer, architecture, Thai, Okinawan, and Laotian culture have much in common… but you’d be wrong! They’re all the focus of festivals in Tokyo this May — clear your calendar because you’re about to have interesting plans all month long.

7 festivals in Tokyo this May:

1. Odaiba Oktoberfest (26 April–6 May)

Someone carrying multiple beer steins at Oktoberfest.

If you ever needed an excuse to enjoy a cold glass of German beer and bratwurst while listening to live music, Odaiba Oktoberfest is that excuse. For ¥500, you’ll get access to this outdoor German festival and also get an original drinking glass that you can take home. Get your tickets to Odaiba Oktoberfest and kick off a new month in the best way!

Venue: Odaiba Central Square, Diver City

Where to eat near Odaiba Oktoberfest: The Grill on 30th 

The stylish interiors of The Grill on 30th, featuring dark woods, low lighting, and views over Tokyo.

From Germany to France without ever leaving the island of Odaiba, The Grill on 30th gives you glorious views of the Tokyo skyline and a 6- to 7-item course menu that features two starters, soup, fish, meat, dessert, and your choice of coffee or tea — all of which will be inspired by the freshest flavors and ingredients of the season.

Get your table booked at The Grill on 30th!

2. Thai Festival 2024 (11–12 May)

An overhead shot of the Thai Festival, showing crowds of people at Yoyogi Park.

If you’re traveling from Thailand and feeling a little homesick or just want to experience Thai culture at its finest, make space in your calendar for the Thai Festival, held every spring in Yoyogi Park. 

With Thai sports, dancing, music, and Thai delicacies in the works, it’s easy to see why this is one of the biggest Thai festivals outside of Thailand.

Venue: Yoyogi Park Events Square (Shibuya)

Where to eat near the Thai Festival: TREE by NAKED

From one memorable experience to another, we couldn’t help but recommend TREE by NAKED, one of the most unique restaurants in Tokyo. Using VR technology and innovative sound and light design, step in a world that balances the beauty of art and food.

Serving a course menu based on different themes — birth, expansion, phantasm, unity, and rebirth — each dish will be a delight for the senses, especially since this menu also includes an expert pairing of alcoholic beverages or non-alcoholic tea. 

Book for dinner and a show at the innovative TREE by NAKED >

3. Sanja Festival (17–19 May)

The crowds at Sanja Festival, gathering at Asakusa Shrine.

Sanja Festival, or Sanja Matsuri, is a 3-day festival held at Asakusa Shrine, featuring mikoshi shrines (portable shrines), parades, and sake. No wonder this is considered one of Tokyo’s top three festivals! 

Here’s the breakdown of the three days:

Friday: In the afternoon, the festival kicks off with a parade of priests, geisha, and officials in Edo Period costumes walking from Yanagi-dori Street to Asakusa Shrine. This is known as the Daigyoretsu Parade, and it’s an amazing way to start the festival!

Saturday: Almost 100 neighborhood mikoshi will be blessed from around noon, taking place at Sensoji Temple and Asakusa Shrine. Once complete, they parade through these areas to bring luck and prosperity.

Sunday: The final day of the Sanja Festival ramps up the energy as mikoshi carriers gather at Asakusa Shrine to compete! They’re fighting for their place to carry one of the shrine's three main mikoshi — at which point spectators are not allowed to enter while the battle ensues. Once the victors have been revealed, shrines are danced through Asakusa's streets until 8pm (meaning it’s time for you to get dinner!).

Venue: Asakusa Shrine

Where to eat near Sanja Festival: Hommage

Top-down shot of a dish at Hommage, featuring decorated desserts in a circle.

You might think that no restaurant could compete with the extravagance of Sanja Festival, but you clearly haven’t dined at Hommage! Book your spot for post-festival Michelin star fusion food, blending French cuisine with Japanese influences to create something entirely new. 

With simplicity, minimalism, and accuracy at the core of the restaurant’s philosophy, prepare for dishes worthy of a restaurant recently placed at #80 in 2024’s Top 100 restaurants in Asia.

Have a Michelin star meal at Hommage >

4. Okinawa Festival (18–19 May)

Visitors to the Okinawa Festival, walking past food and drinks stalls at Yoyogi Park.

Heard great things about Okinawa and not had a chance to check it out? Here’s your chance. The Okinawa Festival brings all the specialties of this southernmost prefecture to Tokyo, including Okinawan artists, comedians, dancing, music, crafts, and food! All of which is best paired with a popular Okinawan beer, Orion.

Venue: Yoyogi Park Events Square (Shibuya)

Where to eat near the Okinawa Festival: Yoyonam

A top-down shot of Vietnamese food at Yoyonam, showing a mix of colorful ingredients.

With a reservation at Yoyonam, conveniently close to Yoyogi Park, you’ll be lucky enough to appreciate Okinawan culture and Vietnamese cuisine on the same day. If the sun is shining, enjoy crispy bánh xèo (crispy crepe stuffed with rice) and Saigon-style spring rolls from their outdoor terrace or deck seating. If clouds are rolling in, simply swap for their indoor seating or private rooms and indulge in their famous vegetable noodles in lemongrass chili oil. Why not pair your dishes with one of their white, red, sparkling, and rosé wines?

Reserve your table at Yoyonam >

5. Tokyo Port Festival or “Minato Festival” (18–19 May)

A shot of Tokyo International Cruise Terminal set against an orange sky as the sun sets.

Looking for a family day out on the water? The Tokyo Port Festival, also known as the Tokyo Minato Festival, is ideal, bringing you to the Tokyo International Cruise Terminal with a wide range of family-oriented activities. Treat the family to a day of special exhibits, a quiz, food trucks, and trips on a few boats, including water taxis and restaurant ships. 

Book your boat rides: Any boats you’re interested in going on will require a booking.

Venue: Tokyo International Cruise Terminal

Where to eat near Tokyo Port Festival: Tsuruhashi Fugetsu Odaiba

A freshly cooked okonomiyaki at Tsuruhashi Fugetsu Odaiba, showing a saucy and herb-covered fried egg on top of cabbage and batter.

After a day on the high seas of Tokyo Port, you deserve a filling Osaka-inspired specialty at Tsuruhashi Fugetsu Odaiba. Just a 20-minute walk from the Tokyo Port Festival, get your fill of okonomiyaki (cabbage pancake), stuffed with pile after pile of batter, shredded cabbage, meat, and a host of other hearty fillings. You won’t go hungry, that’s for sure!

Book a table for okonomiyaki at Tsuruhashi Fugetsu Odaiba >

6. Tokyo Architecture Festival (25–26 May)

Looking up at the high rises of Tokyo on a sunny day.

Embrace the skylines and architecture of the world’s biggest city at the Tokyo Architecture Festival. For a limited time only, you’ll have access to tours of certain buildings, taking you through some of the most eye-catching buildings in the Ginza, Otemachi, and Nihonbashi areas.

Although entry is free, you can pay a fee for personal tours and VIP access to certain areas.

Venue: Ginza, Otemachi, Nihonbashi

Where to eat near Tokyo Architecture Festival: Ginza Saisho

Counter seating at Ginza Saisho, where you can eat omakase sushi course menus.

Since you’ll be choosing all the different buildings you want to tour around at the festival, let the chef take care of all the decisions at Ginza Saisho, where you can enjoy an omakase sushi (chef’s choice) menu where every sushi dish will have been freshly hand-selected by the chef that very morning. 

For an extra fee, he’ll also prepare three cups of sake that deserve to be paired with your experience.

Bonus festival in Tokyo: Ginza Saisho also occasionally announces a “Sea Urchin Festival” experience, featuring buttery, premium-quality sea urchin-based delicacies. Keep an eye out for it, and book fast!

Grab a counter seat at Ginza Saisho >

7. Laos Festival 2024 (25–26 May)

Traditional Laotian attire, worn on a red carpet with bare feet.

You didn’t think we’d forget about the culture of Laos, did you? The Laos Festival is estimated to bring 180,000 people to Yoyogi Park for a celebration of Laotian dancing, music, language, dance, and cooking workshops, and traditional Laotian food.

There’s also a Kids Corner, filled with activities for entertaining the little ones, making this a great Tokyo festival for families!

Venue: Yoyogi Park Events Square (Shibuya)

Where to eat near the Laos Festival: Torishige

Grilled meat inside a green pepper on a plate, surrounded by meat juice.

After all that Laotian food, we thought you might want something a little more eat-as-you-go, allowing you to eat as much (or as little) as you like while still enjoying the atmosphere and flavors of traditional Japanese food: yakiniku grilled meat at Torishige.

But we think when you see their menu, you’ll suddenly find yourself craving some grilled meats. Torishige is known for offering a range of high-quality beef, chicken, and pork skewers that other joints just can’t keep up with, perfect for pairing with a couple of drinks and chatting about all the amazing Tokyo festivals you’ve visited lately.

Take a seat at Torishige >

If you’ve got some extra time between all these festivals, you may want to check out our 3-day itinerary for Tokyo, the best vegan spots in Tokyo, and some of the cutest things to do in Harajuku.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Ryan Noble
Ryan’s love for Japan may have begun with Naruto — something he refuses to hide — but it only grew once he truly understood the beauty of this country’s language, culture, and people. He hopes to use that passion to bridge the gap between Japan and the rest of the world, shining the spotlight on its hidden gems and supporting the revitalization of rural regions.
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