Just in case you missed the summer festivals.
- Happens yearly in late October
The highway is the central point of the highlight of the Nihombashi-Kyobashi Festival: the boisterous Oedo Kakki Parade. The Nihonbashi Highway is more than just a road — it is the first of the five main highways connecting Edo (the old name for Tokyo) with other feudal lords’ provinces, starting with the historic Nihonbashi bridge.
For the festival, one of the main streets of Tokyo — Chuo-dori street — is blocked from Kyobashi station to Mitsukoshi-mae station. Following the grand opening performance by local official organizations like the police and fire defense agency, around 2,000 dancers and performers from different Japanese prefectures take over the streets to showcase regional cultural treasures.
Not only will you see traditional dances from Gunma, Tokushima, Miyagi, Nagasaki, Yamagata prefectures — to name a few — but also taiko drum performances all the way from Okinawa. Be ready to discover each prefecture’s unique costumes and props.
Street markets and kimonos
Of course, no festival is complete without street food. This one has more than 60 street food stalls, with classic Japanese festival food.
Throughout the morning and afternoon of the festival, you can also find points along Chuo-dori Street where performances are stationed and workshops such as rugby and dances are open to public participation.
To fully immerse in the traditional atmosphere, though, get professionally dressed up in a kimono at nearby kimono rental shops such as Vasara — it will be worth it.