Here are our recommended Tokyo Family Weekend: August 13 & 14, 2016 activities and events. This weekend is the start of Obon in Japan which is a week where Japanese families typically travel back to their hometowns to visit the graves of ancestors. Due to the cultural importance of this period of the year, there are few big summer festivals or fireworks. However, there are still some great events to enjoy out and about. If you are looking for summer activity inspirations, check out our 2016 Tokyo Summer Guide. Wishing you a great weekend. – Sandra and Lauren
Tokyo Family Weekend: August 13 & 14, 2016
1. Summer Nights at Ueno Zoo (Taito-ku) – Escape the heat by taking advantage of the late summer closing hours at Ueno Zoo. From August 12th, Friday until August 16th, Tuesday. Usually, the Ueno Zoo closes at 17:00 but during these special summer evenings the zoo will stay open until 20:00 (last entry 19:00). Enjoy the cooler temps, watch feeding time and enjoy some lectures on the animals lifestyles (in Japanese). A mid-August fun event for the family.
Summer Nights at Ueno Zoo Details
Event Hours and Dates: August 12- 16th: 9:30 – 20:00
Address: Ueno Zoo, : 9-83 Uenokoen, Taito, Tokyo
Cost: Adults (over 16 years) 600 JPY, Children 12-15 200 JPY, and 11 and under free
Access: 10 min walk from JR Ueno Station
2. Asakusa Toro Nagashi (Taito-ku) – A quintessential Japanese summer event. Toro nagashi is an ancient Japanese tradition where candle-holding lanterns are released into rivers around the country to guide ancestral spirits during the Obon season. You can experience watching thousands of paper lanterns floating down the Sumida River. You can also purchase your lantern and release it from the Sumida Park Shinsui Terrace near Azuma-bashi Bridge.
Asakusa Toro Nagashi Details
Event Date and Time: August 13, 2016 Saturday; Open ceremony from 18:00, releasing of laterns from 18:45
Address: Sumida Park Shinsui Terrace, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Walking course between Azuma-bashi and Kototoi-bashi bridges)
Cost: Free, lanterns cost 1,500 JPY
Access: 3 min walk from Asakusa Station on the Ginza Line, Tobu Isesaki Line or Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station
By bus:3-min. walk from Toei Bus Tobu Asakusa-ekimae
3. Cool off at the Yomiuriland Wai Pool Park – Yomiuriland Amusement Park is an all inclusive amusement ride and in the summer months water park. A 30 train ride from Shinjuku, your family, can enjoy a hot day at one of the six pools, over 30 amusement rides and a wide selection of snack shacks and restaurants. More details here! Highly recommend the Wai Pool Park for a fun day trip from Tokyo or Yokohama.
Yomiuriland Wai Pool Park
Address: 4015−1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo (東京都稲城市矢野口4015-1)
Business hours: M-T 10:00 – 17:00; F-Sun 10:00 – 20:00; July 21-Aug 30 most days are 10:00 – 20:00 (check schedule)
Cost: costs between 2,000 – 3,200 JPY for an all inclusive one day pass to the pools
Access: Yomiuriland is a 30 min train ride from Shinjuku via that Keio and Odakyu line. From the Yomiuriland station take the Gondola Sky Shuttle (300 yen) to the park gate. Car parking is also available for 1,500 per day.
4. Bolivia Festival (Shiba Park, Minato-ku) – The Bolivia Festival will be held for the 1st time on August 13th, Saturday. The festival will help to introduce the public to the country of Bolivia in South America through music, food, and dance. Great way to introduce your family to the country and people of Bolivia. A small event but sure to liven-up a Mid-August weekend. Here is the promotional video from the organizers. The park also has a very nice playground or little ones. We also recommend you investigate Zōjō-ji Temple and the other areas of the great Shiba Park. There are many restaurants and a Starbucks near the Daimon Gate that are family friendly. Tokyo Tower is also just up the hill which is a popular outing for families.
Bolivia Festival Details
Date of Event and Time: Saturday, August 13th, 2016; 11:00 – 18:00
Address: Shiba Park multipurpose exercise open space, 4-10-7, Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011
Cost: Free for attendance
Access: The playground is in the far corner in the direction of Shinbashi; It is located right behind the Onarimon Station Exit #9 (on the Mita Line) which also has an elevator for strollers.
5. Yokohama 9th Mintao Mirai Dai Bon Odori (Yokohama) – Enjoy a day in Yokohama visiting the Bon Odori festival for games, food, and dancing. Over 17,000 people are expected to attend so it will be fun, hot and exciting. I would recommend making a day of it and check out the Overseas Migration Museum and the Cup Noodles Museum. If you start early enough, you can also walk through Yokohama and visit the old foreigner house on the cliff or have a meal or snack in China Town. Yokohama is a short trek from Tokyo and offers so much entertainment and history.
Yokohama 9th Mintao Mirai Dai Bon Odori Details
Event Date and Times: Friday, August 12 (17:30～20:30) and Saturday, August 13th (16:00～20:30)
Address: 1 Minato Mirai Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa-ken
Cost: admittance free
Access: 5 min walk from Minatomirai Station on the Minatomirai Line; 15 min walk from Sakuragicho Station on the JR Line
*********************Tokyo Family Weekend: August 13 & 14, 2016
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