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Our Recommendations for Golden Week 2016

Golden Week 2016 begins today (April 29th and runs through Sunday, May 8th). The official national holidays are April 29, May 3, 4 and 5, but many people take the entire week off.  I recommend avoiding popular amusement parks, play centers and single shopping locations such as Costco and Ikea. Instead head to the large festivals and events listed below, parks and zoos. If you love flowers, I recommend visiting the Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival or the Kameido Tenjin Wisteria Festival. Golden Weeks is also a great time for day trips to Mt. Takao, Kawagoe, Kamakura, Enoshima and Mother Farm. Have fun!

Golden Week 2016

  1. Nikufes ODAIBA 2016 Spring (Odaiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo) –  Carnivore’s rejoice! Odaiba’s  Symbol Promenade Park is filled with over 50 restaurants exhibiting goodies from all over the world, including craft beers and desserts from today until Golden Week 2016May 8th, 2016 (10:00 am – 10:00 pm (Apr. 28 noon – / May. 8 – 9:00 pm). Combine a Odaiba festival with one of the many other fun locations in Odaiba, such as ; The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Sony ExploraScience Museum,  Oedo Onsen or take a stroll down Odaiba`s Seaside park and take a photo with the miniature Statue of Liberty. Parents can also shop/dine/be entertained at the malls nearby; Decks, Aqua CityDiver City and Venus Fort.

Nikufes Details
Event: April 28th – May 8th, 2016 (10:00 am – 10:00 pm (Apr. 28 noon – / May. 8 – 9:00 pm).
Address: Symbol Promenade Park, 1, Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Cost: Free entry, but 700 yen per food ticket
Wesbsite: https://nikufes.jp/

40th Japan Hobby Show 2016, Golden Week 20162. The 40th Japan Hobby Show 2016 (Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo) – From today until Saturday, April 30th you can enjoy over 1,000 hobby and arts & crafts exhibitors and retailers.  Almost every hobby is included such as knitting, beading, scrapbooking, painting vendors, play models and more. On Saturday, there will also be kids craft workshops including accessory making and wooden toy construction. Details: Tokyo Big Site Tokyo Big Sight, East Hall 1-4, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo; 10:00 – 17:00; 1,200 yen entry for adults, kids under high school free (tickets are good for three days of entry). Japan Hobby Show website in English.

The 40th Japan Hobby Show is being collaborated with the Japanese commerce site “minne”, which is the largest handmade products commerce site in Japan.  Here is a good YouTube video from last year which will give you an idea of the event (sorry Japanese language only).

camii-bazaar-ENG-552x7803. Tokyo Camii Bazaar 2016 (Shibuya) – Learn about Islam and the Islamic culture! Exhibits will educate about many aspects of Islam across arts and culture. Try Arabic Calligraphy, Turkish food and more. Open to the public and all are welcome!

 Event:  Friday, April 29  – 30, 2016; 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Address: TOKYO CAMII & TURKISH CULTURE CENTER, 1-19, Oyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Admission free

4. Spring Mongolian Festival (Hikarigaoka, Nerima-ku, Tokyo) – I have not had the fortune to visit Mongolia. Have you? This event is the largest Mongolian event in Japan so come and learn about the culture.  The Festival will include Mongolian folk songs by traditional folk instruments, traditional folk dance, an ethnic costume fashion show, Mongolian sumo and Mongolian cuisine. See the video below to experience parts of last years festival.チラシ2015画像

Spring Mongolian Festival Details 
Event: Saturday, April 30  – Sunday, May 1, 2016 (2016/04/30:11:00 – 13:00, 2016/05/01:10:00 – 16:00)
Address: Hikarigaoka park Keyaki Square
4-1-1, Hikarigaoka, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
Admission free
Website: http://harumatsuri.net/2016/
Access: 8 min walk from Hikarigaoka on the Oedo Line

5. Kohgen @ Zojoji Temple and Kanda Shrine (Shiba Koen and Nihonbashi) – For Families with teens and above. The Kohgen started in 2011 and has experienced huge growth over the past few years with over 2,000 people attending in 2015. This year’s event is from April 30 – May 5, 2016. Kohgen is a variety of experiences that are organised at Buddhist

Kohgen @ Zojoji Temple and Kanda Shrinetemples and Shinto shrines to teach the general public about the religion and Japanese arts and culture. Subjects such as zazen (zen meditation), ikebana (flower arrangement), nembutsu (prayers) to shodo (calligraphy) are introduced, and participants can practice. This is not a religious event but a cultural event exhibiting various arts and culture.  More details on locations, dates and times are in English on this page.   Make sure to reserve some tickets since some sessions are very popular.

International Food Culture Expo 2016 in Komazawa Olympic Park6. International Food Culture Expo 2016 in Komazawa Olympic Park (Komozawa Koen, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo) –  Komazawa Olympic Park will be filled with Japanese and global food, drink and sweets. Enjoy playing in a great park while enjoying gourmet. Let your kids work off the food at one of the three animal-themed playgrounds or rent bikes for the kids or for the entire family at one of their cycling centers.

Food Culture Expo 2016 Details

Event Date: Friday, 29 April  – Sunday, 8 May, 2016 (10:00  – 21:00)
Address: Komazawa Olympic Park1-1, Komazawakoen, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

Event website: http://gourmet-event.jp/2016meishuhaku_kom/
Komazawa Park info and Map: http://www.kensetsu.metro.tokyo.jp/kouen/kouenannai/park/english/komazawa_olympic.pdf
Komazawa Park Website Map: http://www.tef.or.jp/kopgp/en_index.jsp

Roppongi Hills J-Wave Flea Market7. Roppongi Hills J-Wave Flea Market (Tues, May 3rd)  – This annual flea market has a good selection of art, clothing and home goods. Besides some good shopping you can enjoy a full line-up of Japanese music performances. A share of the proceed will be contributed to Kumamoto Earthquake victims. If it rains the event will be canceled.  While in the area check out other play, see, shop and eat recommendations from Best Living Japan.

Location: Roppongi Hills Arena
Hours: 10am – 4pm
Website: http://www.j-wave.co.jp/special/fleamarket/ (in Japanese)
Access: 5 min walk from Roppongi  Station on the Hibiya line

8. The 54th Yokohama Minato Festival
 (Yamashita Park, Yokohama) – If you in or visiting Yokohama check out this parade this event  The 54th Yokohama Minato Festival
looks really fun. The PR for the event says it is an International constume parade with big floats group by three themes “Kids”, “Super” and “Super Exhibition”.  The parade is scheduled for Tues, May 3rd from 10:45 – 16:00. If it rains it will be moved to May 4th. Here is the official website  While you are in the area I highly recommend visiting the CupNoodle Museum and the Japan Overseas Migration Musuem. Here is the official website page for more information on the parade. http://www.yokohamajapan.com/upcoming-events/the-64th-yokohama-parade-international-costume-para

9. American Embassy Housing Compound Sidewalk Sale (Roppongi, Tokyo) – This annual sidewalk sale is a fun one-day event to shop for American goods which include used books, clothing, and household items. Great place to find a bargain. Open to the public but bring photo-IDs to enter.  Since this event is at the American Embassy compound, there are some rules to attend. Please note:
・Only GREW GATE ENTRANCE will be opened.
・All bags will be inspected when entering.
・Photo-ID required for admittance.
・Please be considerate of our neighbors, strictly no parking!
・Illegally parked vehicles will be towed! Kindly park your vehicles inside paid car. Parks withi the area.
・No pets allowed no smoking inside the compound.

American Embassy Housing Compound Sidewalk Sale Details
Event Date: Saturday, May 7th, 2016; 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Admission: free
Address: US embassy staff quarters2-1-1, Roppongi , Minato-ku, Tokyo

10. Cambodia festival 2016, Yoyogi Park –  I visited Cambodia a few years ago and loved it! Beautiful country and people working so hard to rebuild. Come together to learn and celebrate a great country. Over 30 booths will be set up selling  Cambodian cuisine and goods. There will be Cambodian traditional dance and other performances supported by the The Royal Embassy of Cambodia, Cambodia Community and Cambodia Students Association.

Cambodia festival 2016 Details cambodia Festival Yoyogi

Event: Saturday and Sunday, May 7 – 8 May, 2016: 10:00 – 19:00
Admission free
Website: http://www.cambodiafestival.com/eng/index.html
Address: Yoyogi Park Zelkova tree-lined, 2-1, Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

 Golden Week 2016


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