10 Events and Things to Do in Japan in July 2024

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Misty Fujii is a Canadian who moved to Osaka, Japan, in 2019 and married her Japanese sweetheart. In 2022, they had a baby and moved to Fukui for the clean country air. She is a DJ who teaches English part-time and writes to share Japan with the world. She gets excited about collecting vintage vinyl records, food from all countries, travelling, and renovating her traditional Japanese house.

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The temperature in Japan is rising, and so is the fun! Summer is in full swing and along with the heat comes lots of things to do. If you want to experience local culture and exciting activities or explore pristine nature, July is a beautiful time in Japan. There are festivals, sporting events, and plenty of places to escape. 

Make sure you’re keeping cool, and let’s explore 10 events and things to do in Japan in July 2024.

1. Mt. Fuji Opening Fireworks Festival

In Yamanashi, summer starts with a little-known tradition: the Mt. Fuji Opening Fireworks Festival over Lake Kawaguchiko. This display might be smaller than the winter festival, but it celebrates the official opening of Mt. Fuji climbing season, and the 30-minute show still packs a punch in charm. The serene atmosphere with majestic Mt. Fuji as a backdrop and the lack of overwhelming crowds make this an unforgettable experience for those seeking a tranquil taste of summer magic. And if you plan to climb up Japan’s most epic mountain, this is a great way to kick things off.

When: July 1, 8 pm-8:30 pm

2. Fuji Rock Festival 2024

Keiichi YOSHIHARA, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr

July means it’s time for the electrifying Fuji Rock Festival, Japan’s biggest outdoor music event. Held annually at the scenic Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata, this three-day extravaganza attracts over 100,000 attendees and features a stellar lineup of over 200 Japanese and international artists. This year’s lineup is no exception, boasting iconic acts like Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Kraftwerk, Peggy Gou, and more. Fuji Rock is a must-attend for music lovers seeking a truly immersive music festival experience.

When: July 26-28

3. Beaches

Summer keeps getting hotter, but don’t worry! Smack dab in the middle of July is Marine Day (Umi no Hi), a national holiday. This day serves a dual purpose: to express gratitude for the ocean’s bounty and mark the beach season’s official opening (around Tokyo anyway; other regions may vary!) Capitalizing on the long weekend, many Japanese citizens flock to the beaches for coastal getaways, indulging in water sports like snorkeling, surfing, and diving. Marine Day thus fosters a national appreciation for the ocean while offering a welcome respite during the peak summer months. And Japan has no shortage of beautiful beaches to appreciate during the holiday weekend or anytime in July!

When: July 15 (though you can head to the beach anytime in July!)

4. Swimming

Speaking of beautiful beaches, a popular summer pastime is swimming! It’s fun and the best way to stay cool. That said, you don’t have to head to the coast to dive into the water. July marks the grand opening of countless pools nationwide, from classic city-run options to splashtastic water parks. Tokyo Summerland promises heart-pounding thrills, while Spa Resort Hawaiians in Fukushima offers a tropical escape. Nearly every prefecture boasts a water park waiting to be discovered or at least some great public pools. Take in iconic Tokyo Tower views with a dip at Shiba Koen Park, or indulge in pure luxury with sky-high swims overlooking the vibrant Shibuya district at Soak Oyu, complete with a swanky bar, restaurant, and DJ beats for the ultimate poolside experience.

When: All month

5. Nature in Cooler Areas (like Fukushima, Hokkaido, Nagano, etc.)

Hakuba Kurobe Alpine Route

Ditch the stifling city heat and take cover amongst Japan’s abundant nature. This island nation, stretching as far north as Canada with a mountainous heart, offers a multitude of summer escapes. When you’re craving a coastal paradise, Fukushima beckons with refreshing breezes, inviting beaches, and a vibrant calendar of summer activities. For those who love mountain air, Nagano, a winter wonderland transformed, offers a delightful respite. Explore the majestic Japan Alps via the scenic Hakuba Kurobe Alpine Route, or simply revel in Nagano’s naturally cool embrace.

Heading further north, Aomori throws open its arms with cooler temperatures and lively festivals that perfectly complement the refreshing summer air. And for the ultimate escape, Hokkaido awaits! Imagine lush lavender fields in Furano bathed in comfortable 20-degree weather, a photographer’s paradise. Or, lace up your hiking boots and conquer the breathtakingly colorful trails near Lake Toya. No matter your preference, Japan’s diverse landscape offers a cool sanctuary for every summer adventurer.

When: All month

6. Kihoku Lantern Festival 2024

The picturesque port town of Nagashima in Mie prefecture hosts the Kihoku Lantern Festival every July, when giant lanterns hit the water by day, casting a magical glow. Then, as night falls, the sky explodes with a fireworks show called the “Saiun Kujaku” (aka Rainbow Peacock). This year’s lantern celebrates the 20th anniversary of the nearby Kumano Kodo becoming a World Heritage Site! It’ll be shaped like Oguchimakami, a legendary Japanese wolf who kept everyone safe according to ancient folklore. Think of it as a party with a purpose: to honor the wolves who roamed the Kumano Kodo trails and ensure Kihoku Town stays peaceful and prospers for years to come.

When: July 27

7. Nagoya July Grand Sumo Tournament

Takato Marui, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Sumo is pure power and precision. This ancient Japanese wrestling style, beloved by locals and tourists alike (from the safe distance of the stands, of course!), happens six times a year during the Grand Sumo Tournaments. Each tournament throws down in odd-numbered months, kicking off and wrapping up on Sundays for a thrilling 15-day spectacle. July’s tournament takes center stage in Nagoya, allowing you to see the best rikishi (sumo wrestlers) battle it out. While NHK broadcasts the matches, nothing compares to the heart-pounding atmosphere live. Feel the electricity crackle as the crowd roars with every throw, and witness the legendary (and slightly chaotic!) tradition of fans tossing cushions in celebration. Get your tickets here, or if you can’t make it to Nagoya, you can still see if there’s a sumo tour you can attend!

When: July 14-28

8. Beppu Fire Sea Festival

Beppu is known for more than its outstanding hot springs; it’s also home to a three-day extravaganza that heats things up with a vibrant festival that celebrates fire and water. At The Beppu Fire Sea Festival, you’ll find a yatai village overflowing with delicious treats, dazzling art markets to fuel your souvenir hunt, and foot-stomping music and dance. But the true fireworks (pun intended) begin on the final night, with a dazzling display that explodes across the night sky from 8 pm to 9 pm. Prepare to be mesmerized by light choreographed into fantastical shapes – from playful animals and iconic cartoon characters to a tribute to Beppu’s steaming hot springs! And for the ultimate Japanese summer experience, soak in a steaming outdoor onsen pool as the vibrant fireworks paint the sky above – a truly unforgettable fusion of fire and water!

When: July 27-28

9. Tanbo Art

Ippukucho, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Rice paddy art, or tanbo art, is a uniquely Japanese art where farmers meticulously plant different colored rice varieties to create breathtaking murals across vast fields. The secret lies in perspective – these masterpieces are designed to be admired from a diagonal angle, like a watchtower overlooking the scene. July is the magic month when the rice reaches its peak vibrancy, transforming the paddies into explosions of emerald, gold, and even purple! While pockets of tanbo art exist across Japan, like the captivating Higashi-takasu Rice Paddy in Hokkaido or the displays in Gyoda City, Saitama, the undisputed champion is Inakadate Village in Aomori. Their annual Tanbo Art event transforms the landscape into a living art from early June to early October. Ascend a Japanese castle-themed observatory and gasp as a masterpiece like “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” unfolds before you, not on a canvas, but sculpted from the very lifeblood of Japan, rice!

When: All month

10. Takashi Murakami Exhibition: Mononoke Kyoto

DannyWithLove, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Dive headfirst into the world of Takashi Murakami, a pop culture phenomenon and contemporary artist, at the Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art. This marks his first major solo show outside of Tokyo! Prepare to be impressed by brand-new works inspired by Kyoto’s legendary Edo-period painters. Get a first look at these creations, many of which have never been seen before in Japan. Step outside the museum and marvel at the towering “Flower Parent and Child” sculpture, a 13-meter testament to Murakami’s artistic whimsy. This playful giant even rests on a Louis Vuitton monogram trunk, a nod to the artist’s legendary collaboration with the fashion house. 

When: All month

As you can see, as the temperature rises, so does the fun. Here’s to a spectacular July!

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if yu have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Mt. Fuji Day Trip Bus Tour from Tokyo
Experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji by visiting the highlights of the area on our guided sightseeing bus tour! Departing from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, you can travel comfortably to all of the best spots in the area by bus.

mount fuji chureito pagoda

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