12th January – 26th January 2020: Hatsu Basho
The New Year Sumo Basho is held at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan. This is one of the six major sumo events held throughout the year, and one of three in Tokyo (the others are in May and September)
Late March to Early April 2020: Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Festivals
Thousands gather in parks such as Ueno, Inokashira and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden for picnics under the cherry trees. At Ueno, 1000 lanterns illuminate the park: originally they were intended to offer security in the dark, now they are part of the spectacle. If you are too early for the cherry blossoms, the plums bloom throughout February.
Mid July – 31st August 2020: Beach Season
Tokyo may not be prime destination for a beach holiday, but that doesn't mean you can't go to the beach. The beaches will often be jam-packed with Tokyoites during the season, and empty for the rest of the year.
21st July – 23rd July 2020: Fuji Rock Festival
More than 200 Japanese and international musicians play at Fuji Rock each year, making it the largest outdoor music event in Japan. The event takes place around 200km from Tokyo at Naeba Ski Resort.
11th July 2020: Sumida River Fireworks Festival
On the last Saturday of July, this festival of fireworks lights up the night sky above the Sumida River. There are dozens of other fireworks festivals to choose from throughout the summer months, but this is the biggest of all.
9th August – 12th August 2020: Comiket
Also known as Comic Market, this event was held for the first time in 1975 and today gathers more than half a million people from all over the world. On this occasion, many artists sell their dōjinshi (self-published work), which gives them the chance to gain popularity and maybe become the next comic rising star.
22th August – 23rd August 2020: Kōenji Awa Odori
More than a million viewers take to the streets each August for the Largest Awa Dance Festival outside Tokushima Prefecture. In a typical year, 188 groups (know as ren) composed of 12,000 dancers perform in lines along the local streets to the accompaniment of shamisen, drums, flutes and cymbals.
8th October - 11th October 2020: Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix
See the Formula 1 circus close up: there is nothing like the sound of those cars. The motor-racing circuit at Suzuka is four hours away from Tokyo on a Shinkansen train or just over an hour by air.
7th November 2020: First game of the Nippon Series baseball
The end-of-season championship series is big news in Japan. Will the Giants be involved this year?