Tokyo is home to some of the most vibrant and exciting Bon Odori dance festivals in Japan. These festivals are held annually during the Obon season, which is a time when many Japanese celebrate their ancestors.

The Bon Odori dance is performed by people of all ages across Japan and is, for many, the highlight of summertime festivities. We picked the liveliest and most interesting Bon Odori dance festivals in Tokyo for you, so grab your geta and your yukata and get to dancing – everyone is welcome to join!

What is Bon Odori?

Bon Odori, often called Bon Dance or Bon Festival, is an inherent part of every Japanese summer experience. Originally, Bon Odori was a dance festival held to honor, appreciate, and remember one’s ancestors with a dance of joy. It is also a form of welcoming, as it is believed that the spirits of the ancestors visit their family’s house shrines during the three days that Obon traditionally lasts.

Naturally, this Japanese summer highlight takes place at various places and areas in and around Tokyo, each well worth a visit.

The dance usually takes place near a raised platform called a yagura, which serves as both a stage for musicians and singers and a bandstand. They primarily perform traditional Obon music and minyo folk songs.

The Bon Dance itself consists of straightforward steps, and people of all ages participate by moving in an imaginary circle. Experienced dancers often position themselves towards the center of the circle, while those less skilled tend to stay towards the outer edges, where vibrant food and drink stalls are often located.

Hibiya Park Marunouchi Ondo Bon Odori 2023

Since 2003, Hibiya Park has been hosting a giant Bon Odori dance. Over the years, the event has witnessed a growing number of participants, with approximately 34,000 people reveling in the two-day bon festival in 2016. The distinctive feature of Hibiya Park’s bon dance is the illuminated fountain situated at its heart, creating a captivating ambiance as attendees dance around it, providing an enchanting and mysterious experience.

Hibiya Park
1-6, Hibiyakouen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Tsukiji Honganji Temple Noryo Bon-Odori 2023

Experience the vibrant Tsukiji Hongwanji Bon Odori, one of Tokyo’s most lively summer dance festivals. This captivating event takes place within the grounds of the magnificent Tsukiji Hongwanji temple, renowned for its main hall, designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan.

Get ready for captivating performances by the renowned taiko group, Oedo Sukeroku Taiko, scheduled throughout the duration of the Bon festival. Moreover, embrace the opportunity to dan…

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