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Tokyo Area Family Weekend Activities – August 8 and 9, 2015

Here are the top 5 Tokyo Area Family Weekend Activities – August 8 and 9, 2015. This weekend is packed with family fun including the Tokyo Bay Fireworks and Hachijoji, Asagaya and Ueno Festivals.  If you are looking for something slower pace, try searching for treasures at a Tokyo Area Antique or Flea Market or visit the newly renovated National Museum of Nature and Science. If the heat is getting to you, try one of the great indoor play spaces in Tokyo. Learn, Laugh and Live

Tokyo Area Family Weekend Activities – August 8 and 9, 2015

1. Tokyo Bay Fireworks (東京湾大華火祭 ) – This year will be the 27th Tokyo Bay Fireworks Tokyo Bay Fireworksphoto2015-147x200Festival. The Tokyo Bay Hanabi, although not the biggest (approximately 12,000 fireworks), are probably the most popular due to the number of places that they can be viewed from. The fireworks are shot off from boats in the middle of the bay so you can see wonderfully from many tall buildings in the city and from parks in Odaiba (best is Shirokaze Park), Toysou, Kachidoki and Tsukishima areas. Don’t plan to walk or bike across the rainbow bridge at that time since it is closed for pedestrians during the event.

Tokyo Bay Fireworks Details
Event dates: August 8th, Saturday; start 19:00-20:20
Website: http://www.city.chuo.lg.jp/bunka/event/toukyouwanndaihanabisaimeinn.html
Access: Many spots to view around Tokyo Bay – Odaiba, Toysou, Kochidoki, Tsukishima

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2. Asagaya Tanabata Matsuri (阿佐谷七夕まつり) – This festival is celebrating the 62nd year and is known nationwide as one of the biggest Tanabata festivals (although Tanabata is officially July 7th). The shopping streets where the festival takes place is decorated with paper and bamboo decorations Asagaya Tanabata Matsuri that local groups enter into competition. The competition is quite impressive with grand awards given to best of many categories. My kids love the bright colours and all the super creative decorations from Godzilla to Amman last year. Read here for more information about Tanabata.

Asagaya Tanabata Matsuri Details
Event dates: August 5 – 9th, 2015 Wednesday to Sunday
Address: 1-35-18 Asagaya Minami, Suginami-ku, Suginami-ku (held around the ten shopping streets including Asagaya Pearl Center)
Website: http://www.asagaya.or.jp/ Japanese language only
Access: 3 min walk from Asagaya Station on the JR Chuo or Soba lines, 5 min walk from the Minami Asagaya Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

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3Hachijoji Festival . Hachijoji Festival (八王子まつり) – This is one of the largest festivals in Tokyo with over 750,000 people attending this weekend. The main highlights include the close to 20 floats and portal shrines. During the progression of floats and shines rival teams compete with cheers and music. A lot of power, sweat and passion in this festival so watch your little ones.

Hachijoji Festival  Details
Date: Friday, August 7th- Sunday, August 9th, 2015
Time: Friday from 18:30 ~, Saturday and Sunday 12:00 – 20:00
Website:  http://www.hachiojimatsuri.jp
Access: Area around the north side of Hachioji Station

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4. Ueno Summer Festival 2015 (Ueno) – This is the last weekend to enjoy the Ueno Park Summer Festival. While you are in Ueno I highly recommend you visit the newly renovated National Museum of Nature and Science (see below). The festival is throughout the park and includes music, food booths, plant sales and all kinds of antiques for sale. You can also enjoy the beautiful lanterns that are set a float on Shinobazu Pond. Put on your Yukata one summer day and enjoy.

Ueno Summer Festival 2015Ueno Summer Festival 2015
Event: Saturday, July 11 – Sunday, August 9, 2015 Shinobazu Pond area; everyday 9:00 – 20:00
Address: Shinobazu Pond area, 2-Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3832-0084
Cost: Free
Website: www.city.taito.lg.jp/index/event/kanko/uenonathumathuri.html
Access: 5 min walk from Ueno Station (Park Exit) on the JR Line, Ginza Line and Hibiya Line

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5. National Museum of Nature and Science (国立科学博物館) – The newly renovated (completed July 2015) Nature and Science museum is a great place to cool down, have fun and learn! I was very impressed with the National Museum of Nature and Science (国立科学博物館) renovations in the permanent exhibit area that include the animal, dinosaur and science and technology areas. Here is a short video that will give you a taste of what you can experience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozRclcr-fg4. There is also a great special exhibit running through October 4th, 2015 called Leaps of Evolution, Tracing the Path of Vertebrate Evolution.  http://www.kahaku.go.jp/english/exhibitions/ueno/special/2015/evolution/

National Museum of Nature and Science
Address: 7-20 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-5777-8600
Days and Hours: Open Tuesday – Sunday (closed Mondays); 9:00 – 17:00  (last admittance 16:30)
Admission: Permanent exhibits – adults 620 yen, high-school students and below free; Special exhibits vary but usually cost 1,600 yen for adults and 600 yen for children
Website: http://www.kahaku.go.jp/english/
Access: 5 min. walk from JR Ueno Station (Park Exit),  10 min. walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line/Hibiya Line Ueno Station, or 10 min. walk from Keisei Line Keisei Ueno Station

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Tokyo Area Family Weekend Activities – August 8 and 9, 2015

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