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August 11 & 12, 2018 Tokyo Weekend Family Events and Activities

Next week Monday, August 13 – Thursday, August 16 is the start of Obon in Japan a week where Japanese families typically travel back to their hometowns to visit the graves of ancestors. Many will leave from the weekend to extend their Obon holiday. Experience the many festivities and cultural events with less crowds. Escape the rain this weekend at these Top Tokyo Indoor playcenters and Family Friendly Museum Summer Exhibits,  Learn, Laugh and Live. – Best Living Japan Moms

*** August 11 & 12, 2018 Tokyo Weekend Family Events and Activities ***

Asakusa Toro NagashiAsakusa 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: Saturday, August 11, 2018; Open ceremony from 18:00, releasing of lanterns 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 minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Ginza Line, Tobu Isesaki Line or  Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station
By bus: 3 minute walk from Toei Bus Tobu Asakusa-ekimae
Website: http://e-asakusa.jp/event/5832 (In Japanese)

Brick Live Japan – Brick Live is a British-born LEGO fan event. “Together from children to adults, you can experience the fariegated way of enjoying the Lego block.”Attractions include building Lego Architecture, brick pits, duplo pits, race tracks, lego minecraft, building maps and a graffiti wall. A fantastic escape from the rainy weather.

Dates & Time:  Saturday, August 11 – Monday, August 13, 2018  from 10: 00-18: 00 (last entry time 17:00)
Address: Tokyo External Kanda 3 – 12 – 8,  Sumitomo Realty Akihabara Building
Cost: Adult (13 years old and over) 1,800 yen; Children (3 to 12 years old) 1,200 yen. Under 2 years FREE
Website: http://bricklive.jp/
Access: 3 minutes walk from the JR line at “Akihabara station”; 5 minutes on foot from the Tsukuba Express Akihabara station exit A3; 7 minutes on foot from the Hibiya line at “Akihabara station”.

Tokyo Area Fireworks, 2018 Top Tokyo Summer Fireworks

Jingu Gaien Fireworks (神宮外苑花火大会)

The Jingu Gaien Fireworks is unique since you need to pay to enter the fireworks area. You can see from tall buildings surrounding the four spots that the events take place but if you want to see up close and personal you need to buy a ticket; starting price 3,500 yen to upwards of 40,000 yen. Ticket details here in Japanese. The show takes place in four areas around Jingu; Jingu Kyujo Ballpark,  Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Chichibu-no-miya Rugby Field and the Softball Park. The good thing about having a ticket is that you will have a spot and not have to deal with the brutal crowds at other firework events this summer.

August 11th, Sunday; start 19:30-20:30; approximately 12,000 fireworks
Website: http://www.jinguhanabi.com/; ticket on sale now http://t.pia.jp/hanabi/jingu/ (Japanese language only)
Access: 5-10 min walks from numerous stations; Sendagaya Station or Shinanomachi Station on JR Sobu Line; Omotesando Station, Gaienmae Station,  Aoyama 1-chome Station on various subway lines

Ueno Zoo, Best Living JapanSummer Nights at Ueno Zoo (Taito-ku) – Escape the heat by taking advantage of the late summer closing hours at Ueno Zoo. From Friday, August 10 – Thursday, August 16 the Ueno Zoo usually 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: Friday, August 10 – Thursday, August 16 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
Website: http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/

Night Zoo at Zoorasia – Zoorasia will keep it`s doors open till 20:30 (Last entry 19:00) every weekend in August for the family to enjoy. Enjoy the cooler temps visiting the animals, SPECIAL Night Market with food stalls and miscellaneous goods, bird show, Hoi An Vietnamese Lantern Illiumination Festival, Beer Garden and more.

Dates & Times: Now till Sunday, August 26th, 2018  16:30 – 20:30 (Last entry 19:00)
Address: 1175-1 Kamishirane-cho, Asahi-ku, Yokohama-shi (〒241-0001 横浜市旭区上白根町1175-10)
Phone: 04-5959-1000
Access: Take a train from Yokohama to Tsurugamine or Mitsukyo Station on the Sotetsu Line or to Nakayama Station on the JR Yohohama Line. Then take a bus bound for the Yokohama Dobutsuen (Yokohama Zoo)/Zoorasia (15min).
It`s about an hour from Tokyo by car. We put the Zoorasia phone number in our car navigation and it took us to the main parking lot.
Website: http://www2.zoorasia.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yokohama-Zoological-Gardens-Zoorasia-229816240437658/timeline/

Ueno Summer Festival 2015

Ueno Summer Festival 2018 (Ueno) – This is the last weekend for the Ueno Summer Festival. The annual 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 2018
Event Date & Time: Now till Sunday, August 12, 2018; everyday 9:00 – 20:00
Address: Shinobazu Pond area, 2-Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3833-0030
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

TV Asahi and Roppongi Hills` Summer Station – This annual event is filled with live entertainment, games and activities. Purchase their 1-day Summer pass (2,000 yen JHS and older; 1,000 yen 4 years to elementary school) at the booths near the Doraemon statues to gain free entry into the Roppongi Hills arena and TV Asahi to explore all the activities they have to offer. Check their schedule to see which day you want to attend (Japanese language). Take photos with the unique Doraemon statues, watch live shows and exciting performances, try summer food and cool off with a collection of Kakigori (Shaved Ice flavored with syrup). 

Event Date: Now till Sunday, August 26, 2018
Time: 10:00 – 19:00
Fee: Free entry into Roppongi Hills. Pay for food and events. 1-day event passes are available at the Summer Station Stands throughout the Hills complex. Middle school aged students to Adults 2000 yen; 4 years to Elementary aged students 1000 yen.
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo (東京都港区六本木6-10-1 六本木ヒルズ)
Website: http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/summerstation/ (Japanese Language)
Access: Roppongi Station on the Oedo or Hibiya Lines

Tokyo Antique and Flea MarketsHanazono Shrine Antique Fair (Shinjuku, Tokyo)– Hanazono Shrine is the largest shrine in Shinjuku district and is known as the guardian of Shinjuku. It was established during the Edo period.  Interesting selection of antiques from coins to some small furniture. The Antique Fair is held 2 to 3 times each month on Sundays.
Date: Sunday, August 12th, 2018
Time: 9:00 to 16:00
What is for sale: between 25-30 sellers wide selection of antiques
Parking: no
Access: 3 min walk from Shinjuku-Sanchome Sta (Marunocuhi Line); 7 min walk from Shinjuku Sta. (Yamanote and Chuo Lines)
Address: 5-17-3 Shinjuku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3209-5265  (Shrine # – Japanese language only)
Website: http://www.hanazono-jinja.or.jp/mt/top/ (Shrine site, no English)

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August 11 & 12, 2018 Tokyo Weekend Family Events and Activities

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