Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

Azabu-Juban Noryo Festival: The Summer Festival With a Difference

Photo: *pb* on Flickr

Azabu-Juban Noryo Festival: The Summer Festival With a Difference

David W. Rudlin

The Tokyo summers are filled with neighborhood festivals. While always enjoyable, especially for young children, if you’ve seen one you’ve pretty much seen them all.

There’s a reason for that: a small group of vendors travel from place to place, offering the same games and snacks to a new audience every few days.

But Azabu Juban is different. A few years ago this ritzy neighborhood near Roppongi limited entry to local merchants only, and since the area is a foodie’s paradise, the one thing you won’t find here is ordinary festival fare.

For starters, the drink of choice is sparkling wine!


Gen Kanai on Flickr

If you’re feeling peckish, why not give the teppan-grilled foie gras a try?


Yukata are a popular fashion choice for both men and women.


Tam Tam on Flickr

But some people have their own unique styles.


The central park offers a range of games for kids.


Luca Mascaro on Flickr

All of the streets surrounding the central square are shut down, turning the area into the local equivalent of a block party.


The center stage features a wide variety of bands.


And the fun keeps going until 9 PM.


The Juban Matsuri is held August 27-28. Traditionally it is a 3-day event that begins on Friday, but the schedule was shortened following the 3/11 disasters so this year it will be held on a weekend. It’s been edging back towards its original duration ever since.

2016 will be the 50th Juban Matsuri. Don’t miss it!

Official website