Hope you are enjoying the beautiful autumn weather! Here are my recommendations for 3 fun Tokyo events and activities this weekend: 1. enjoy the Tokyo Harvest event, 2. walk in Meiji Jingu Shrine and see children dressed in kimono celebrating 7-5-3, and 3. borrow bikes for free and bike around part of the Imperial Palace.
1. Tokyo Harvest (Roppongi, Tokyo) – This looks like an interesting event with over 40 farmers and fisherman setting up stalls to sell their autumn harvest. Very interesting selection of autumn produce for sale; such as, sweet potatoes, long onions, mushrooms and rice. Also saw a kids race to plant rice which looked really fun! There was also art, music and food trucks to enjoy as well. The event website has the following Love Letter from TOKYO to Farmers and Fisherman. Just reading it made me want to attend the event and learn some more.
Love Letter from Tokyo to Farmers and Fisherman
We are alive.
Because we are alive, we get hungry.
We would taste food more delicious when we are hungry.
Every single day, we could see the gifts from the sea and the land on our tables as usual.
Our body is made by the food that we ate.
However, we often forget about the farmers and fishers and their hardworking.
Let’s say thank you and think of them with all our respects and loves to all farmers and fishers from the heart of Tokyo.
Dates: Saturday, November 8th & Sunday, November 9th
Times: Saturday 11:00-19:00; Sunday 11:00-18:00
Address: Roppongi Hills Arena, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Cost: free admission
Access: 5 min walk from Roppongi Station
Website: http://www.tokyoharvest.com/english.html (in English)
Toilets: public toilets available in Roppongi Hills shopping area
Child friendly: yes
2. Walk in Meiji Jingu Shrine and see children dressed in kimono celebrating 7-5-3 (Yoyogi, Tokyo) –
November is the month of foliage in Tokyo, but also the month that girls ages 7 & 3 and boys 5 celebrate coming of age. November 15th is the actual date of 7-5-3, but families celebrate by dressing up the children and visiting shrines across Japan throughout the month of November. You can find children celebrating at most major shrines, however Meiji Jingu is one of the most popular. Also this month there is a chrysanthemum exhibit in Meji Jingu Shrine to enjoy.
More details on Shichi-Go-San (七五三, lit. “Seven-Five-Three”) from wikipedia. 7-5-3 is a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three and seven-year-old girls and five-year-old boys, held annually on November 15 to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. As it is not a national holiday, it is generally observed on the nearest weekend. Shichi-Go-San is said to have originated in the Heian Period amongst court nobles who would celebrate the passage of their children into middle childhood. The ages 3, 5 and 7 are consistent with East Asian numerology, which claims that odd numbers are lucky. The practice was set to the fifteenth of the month during the Kamakura Period. Over time, this tradition passed to the samurai class who added a number of rituals. Children—who up until the age of three were required by custom to have shaven heads—were allowed to grow out their hair. Boys of age five could wear hakama for the first time, while girls of age seven replaced the simple cords they used to tie their kimono with the traditional obi. By the Meiji Period, the practice was adopted amongst commoners as well, and included the modern ritual of visiting a shrine to drive out evil spirits and wish for a long healthy life.
Opening Days: open everyday
Times: November open 6:10 to 16:10
Address: Meiji Jingu, 1-1 Yoyogi-Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku,
Cost: free admission
Access: 5 min walk from Harajuku station
Website: http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/ (in English)
Toilets: public toilets about a 10 minute walk into the shrine park area, and then at the shrine
Child friendly: yes, but path is pebbles so strollers with small tires do not work well
3. Borrow bikes for free and bike around part of the Imperial Palace (Hibiya, Tokyo) – One of the most enjoyable and economical ways to spend your Sunday is biking around part of the Imperial Palace. You do not need to own a bike nor be an expert biker. The The Japan Bicycle Promotion Institute (JBPI) , a non-profit organisation established 1964, funds and runs the Sunday program for the public. The 3K course open exclusively on Sundays from 10:00-15:00 runs from the north side of Hibiya Park to the north of the palace. There are about 150 free bikes available to borrow; selection ranges from mama-chari to tandem bikes and kids’ rollers. There’s also a training corner for bike newbies, and kids can even take classes in how to ride. The Palace Cycling Course is beautiful surrounded by a castle moats and pine trees. Please note — Borrowed bicycles are allowed to be used only within the Palace Cycling Course. Also closed on rainy days.