Travel 3 minutes 17 June 2024

Tokyo in the Summer: 10 Things to See and Do

Beat the heat and enjoy your Tokyo summer stay to the fullest.

Summer in Tokyo is both hot and humid, no doubt about it, yet it’s also a wonderful time to experience a wide range of seasonal traditions, events and food.

Indulge in a hearty breakfast

Rise and shine and get out before the temperature starts to soar. After a refreshing morning walk, reward yourself at one of these amazing MICHELIN Guide breakfast spots.
Stroll through leafy Yoyogi Park and then head to PATH, a cozy bistro particularly known for its pastries. PATH opens at 8am so plan on arriving early at this popular eatery.
Savor the tasteful simplicity of Japanese breakfast fare at Katsuo Shokudo, a basement diner in the backstreets of Shibuya which opens at 8.30am. The star of the show is freshly shaved katsuobushi (flakes of smoked bonito) served over white rice with a splash of soy sauce, with fragrant miso soup on the side.
Open from 10am, the appealing brunch line up at Hotel’s in Kita-Aoyama offers something for all tastes. This creative eatery isn’t actually attached to accommodation, but draws on the concept of an imaginary hotel with an extensive all-day dining menu.

ⒸPATH
ⒸPATH

Marvel at cool digital art

Check out one of these evocative art galleries, followed by a relaxing lunch at a MICHELIN Guide restaurant.
Located in Azabudai Hills, a multipurpose complex surrounded by lush green in Roppongi, TeamLab Borderless offers an immersive digital art experience.
Nearby restaurants:
Florilège :vegetable-centric, accented by meat and fish
Okamoto :Japanese, particularly soba
Sorahana :modern Japanese
The beautifully curated displays at Art Aquarium in Ginza combines light and sound with aquariums full of vibrant goldish, creating a sensory feast tailor-made for Instagram.
Nearby restaurants:
Ginza L’écrin :French
Ginza Katsukami :specializing in tonkatsu—breaded pork cutlets
Mutsukari :kaiseki courses, with a focus on vegetables

TeamLab Borderless ⒸAimuse
TeamLab Borderless ⒸAimuse

Chill out poolside

Few things can beat the appeal of a summer stay with a swimming pool on your doorstep. Take a refreshing dip and then lay back and lounge at a beautiful MICHELIN Guide Hotel pool.
The spacious Garden Pool at the Hotel New Otani Tokyo - Executive House ZEN offers poolside dining plus additional options for premium seating and private cabanas for those seeking extra privacy.
Enjoy a rooftop pool and lounge with a view from atop TRUNK (HOTEL) YOYOGI PARK, an intimate boutique hotel in Shibuya.

ⒸHOTEL NEW OTANI TOKYO
ⒸHOTEL NEW OTANI TOKYO

Savor these summer snacks

A summer favorite for centuries, Kakigori is a simple snack of shaved ice flavored with syrup—strawberry, lemon or melon are among the most popular flavors. You’ll find it at festivals and outdoor events, but in recent years cafes have also been elevating the treat to create a colorful array of signature desserts.
Hiyayakko (chilled tofu) is a refreshing appetizer or side dish to enjoy with a Japanese meal. Typical toppings include scallions, grated ginger and bonito flakes, along with a dash of soy sauce.

Kakigori ⒸChiristsumo
Kakigori ⒸChiristsumo

Visit a “hidden” nature spot

Many visitors are surprised to find nature-rich locations in Tokyo. A true urban oasis, the Todoroki Valley is a lush 1 km riverside trail in Setagaya. For an all-day adventure, head out to the Okutama region on Tokyo’s western perimeter, where hiking trails, waterfalls, limestone caves, rivers and gorges await.

Todoroki ValleyⒸzu_kuni
Todoroki ValleyⒸzu_kuni

Enjoy the ambience of Tokyo’s terraces

Escape from the frenetic beat of the city streets to one of these terraces, where you can dine al fresco or unwind with your favorite beverage as you take in the view.
With an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients, French meets Japanese in the most tasteful way at EST on the 39th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo.
The UPPER in the Marunouchi Highrise district offers a fresh twist on classic brasserie chic.
Indulge in the sophisticated elegance of La Terrazza Dom Perignon, set in an Italian garden at BVLGARI IL RISTORANTE LUCA FANTIN in Bulgari’s Ginza building.
Le Jardin de Tweed is part of BEIGE Alain Ducasse in the stylish Chanel Building and pays homage to haute couture through its design aesthetic.

ⒸTHE UPPER
ⒸTHE UPPER

Gaze at fabulous fireworks

Evening brings some respite from the heat, with incredible fireworks displays lighting up the summer night skies in Tokyo. Expect crowds and plan your journey accordingly, including buying your return train ticket in advance. Take a tip from the locals, and bring a plastic picnic mat to sit on and insect repellent if you’ll be heading to a river or park. Many fireworks locations have food and beverage stalls but you can beat the lines by bring your own drinks and snacks.

ⒸBaLL LunLa
ⒸBaLL LunLa

Join the festivities at a matsuri

Summer brings a host of colorful festivals (matsuri) to Tokyo, offering a great chance to rub shoulders with local residents. Tokyo’s festivals range from hyperlocal community events to huge spectacles that draw throngs from around the country. Regardless of size, however, there is bound to be lively entertainment, great street food and a joyful atmosphere. (Note that many festivals are cash-only.)

ⒸKenSoftTH
ⒸKenSoftTH

Cruise aboard a yakatabune

Catch the evening breeze aboard a yakatabune, a traditional style of boat which was once used for taking guests out on river excursions. The contemporary counterparts ply Tokyo’s waterways, offering wonderful views of the glittering nightscape over dinner, which typically includes favorites such as tempura, sushi and sashimi.

ⒸMAHATHIR MOHD YASIN
ⒸMAHATHIR MOHD YASIN

Hit the beach

Tokyo isn’t exactly known as a beach town, but there are two locations where you can sink your toes into the sand in the city: Kasai Kaihin Park Beach is part of Kasai Rinkai Park, which also offers family-friendly attractions such as a huge Ferris wheel and an aquarium, while man-made Odaiba Beach is surrounded by gleaming shopping centers and entertainment complexes. The latter isn’t recommended for swimming, but it’s fine for sunbathing and sandcastles.

Odaiba Beach Ⓒpicture cells
Odaiba Beach Ⓒpicture cells
ⒸHOTEL NEW OTANI TOKYO

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