Tsukimi- Japanese mid-autumn festival

Mid-autumn festival (called `Tsukimi` in Japanese)is a popular traditional festival in many Asian countries. Sharing same values and influences from China, Japan also appreciate the moon and therefore, celebrate this festival on the 15th August according to the Lunar calendar. Since Japan stopped using this calendar, tsukimi is no longer held widely in Japan. However, in some regions, people still appreciate the beauty of the full moon. People gather, relax and appreciate the full moon around mid September.

Tsukimi-related food

Different from other countries, Japanese people enjoy perfectly round dango (Japanese sweet dumpling made from rice flour) with tea while viewing the moon. Not only a celebration of full moon, tsukimi is also a fall harvest festival.

Tsukimi dango

In some household, people will have chestnut or taro root as a present  to express their graceful gratitude to the moon.

Chestnut or Kuri in Japanese

One similar thing between Japanese and other Asian culture is that eggs are used to symbolize the moon. Tsukimi soba/ udon consist of 1 quail or chicken egg on top.

Although traditionally Japanese people do not eat moon cake, I was lucky enough to find a Japanese style one. In my opinion, it is less sweet than wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) and other countries moon cakes.

Chestnut paste moon cake

Around this time of the year, KFC and Mc Donald’s also offer their tsukimi limited time food such as tsukimi burger or wrap which taste pretty unique!

See you next blog!


For optional tour reservation and inquiry, please contact or visit one of our Tourist information center in Tokyo.

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