Here are our recommended Top 5 April 2 & 3, 2016 Tokyo Family Activities. Although the temperature is still a bit low the cherry blossoms are in full blooms. Have a great April weekend out and about in Tokyo checking out the amazing cherry blossoms. Lauren and Sandra
Top 5 April 2 & 3, 2016 Tokyo Family Activities
- Ark Hills Sakura Festival 2016 – This weekend is a great time to visit the Ark Hills cherry blossom row which has over 150 cherry blossom trees in full bloom. The trees are lit up from 17:00 – 22:00 from now until mid-April. This weekend you can view the blossoms and enjoy the Ark Hills Festival from Friday – Sunday. The festival offers a variety of food stalls from the local restaurants, some very fun workshops on Japanese crafts and a free concert at Suntory Hall. I highly recommend you make a visit to Ark Hills part of your blossom viewing itinerary this weekend.
Ark Hills Sakura Festival 2016 Details
Events Dates and Times: Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 3; 11:00 – 17:00
Address: Suntory Hall, 1-31-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Access: Reppongi-Ichome station (Exit 3) on the Namboku Line
2. Kanamara Festival (Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa) – A quick 25 minute train ride from Shinagawa Station (with one change) and you can experience on of the most unusually and interesting festivals in Japan. Kanamara Matsuri is translated as the “Festival of the Steel Phallus”, aka the penis festival. The Shrine the festival is held at is well known to pray for prosperity, easy childbirth, solid marriages, and fertility. During the one day festival, you will see huge phallus statues carried around. Also, various carvings of these objects in vegetable and candy forms are available to purchase for immediate consumption or to take home. The Shrine donates a large amount of proceeds to various HIV and AIDs programs. Note: not advisable for small children or strollers. Here is a good write-up about the 2014 Kanamara Matsuri in the HuffingtonPost.
Kanamara Festival Details
Address: Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine, 2-13-16 Daishiekimae, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa
Date and time: Sunday, April 3rd; 9:00 – 17:00
Access: Kawasaki-Daishi Station (Keikyu Daishi line) 22 mins from Shinagawa station with one change
Website: no English http://kawasakidaishi-kanko.com/wakamiyahachimangu/index.html
3. Hanamatsuri Ochigosan Parade, Azabu Juban – (花まつり お稚児さんパレード) This is a great parade for kids to participate in or watch. The parade is on Sunday, April 3rd from 15:00 and starts in Roppongi Hills and ends at the Azabu Patio. The parade is to celebrate Buddha’s birthday which is April 8th. 150 children get to participate in the parade in full ceremony kimonos. Registration started on March 2nd, so it is probably too late for this year, but still great to watch. If you want to participate, you can call Tel 03-3451-5812 (10 am – 5 pm) in Japanese to see if there is still space. The participation fee is ¥7,000yen / child (includes costume rental fee, makeup, and a small souvenir). Note: The parade will be cancelled if it rains.
Hanamatsuri Ochigosan Parade Details
Event Date and Time: Sunday, April 3rd from 15:00
Address: Starts at Roppongi Hills, heads down the Azabu Juban shopping street and ends in the Azabu Juban Patio
In Japanese http://www.azabujuban.or.jp/topics/topics_event/10629/
5. Harukaze Asia 2016 Yokohama – This festival’s goal is to bridge the cultural difference between Africa and Japan. The festival is a great place to about Africa from investment and products to culture. Many of the African Embassies are in attendance and supporting with many events and attractions. Attractions include traditional cultural drumming and dancing, African games, dance & traditional musical instrument workshop, an African quiz and much more! If you have never visited Africa, then Africa is being brought to your doorstep. There would be a lot of delicious African cuisine & drink and an art and crafts market. Make a day of it and visit the CupNoodles Museum and the Japan Overseas Migration Museum – both a 5-10 min walk from the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse.
Access: 10 min walk from JR Keihin Tohoku Negishi Line, or Nihon Odori Station on the Minato Mirai Line
The boats are available to rent from 10:00 until about 21:00 which is beautiful when the trees are illuminated at night. Great date night spot but wear something warm! The moat becomes full of petals as the blossoms dropped which form beautiful patterns in the water. The fee is 800 yen for a 30 minute boat rent. Two adults and one child can ride per boat. Information in Japanese can be found on the Chiyoda Sakura Festival at the Chiyoda-ku tourist website. http://www.kanko-chiyoda.jp/tabid/1116/Default.aspx
Top 5 April 2 & 3, 2016 Tokyo Family Activities
Did you enjoy this article? If yes, please sign-up for the Best Living Japan newsletter so you don’t miss any great info. It is easy to sign-up just click here, and enter your email.