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Golden Week 2017 Top 10 Tokyo Activities and Events

Golden Week is fast approaching. Golden Week begins on Saturday, April 29th and runs through Sunday, May 7th. The official national holidays are April 29, May 3, 4 and 5, but many people take the entire week off. Venture out and enjoy the many international food and cultural festivals. Here is also our recommended list of kid-friendly museum exhibits for Spring Summer 2017. If you have teens check out our Teen and Tween CheckList. We recommend avoiding popular amusement parks, play centers and single shopping locations such as Costco and Ikea.

1. Meiji Jingu Shrine Grand Festival – Visit the annual Spring festival and view a series of Shinto ceremonies to honor the gods, including  traditional Japanese dance performances, music and theatre.

 Meiji Jingu Spring Grand Festival Performance Schedule:

April 29, Saturday 11:00 – Bugaku [ancient imperial court music] at the main shrine building
May 2, Tuesday 11:45 – Noh, Kyogen [classical Japanese dance] at the main shrine building
15:45 – Hogaku, Hobu [classical Japanese theatre] at the main shrine building
May 3, Wednesday 9:00 – Kyudo [Japanese archery competition] at Shiseikan (Martial Arts Hall)
12:00 – Sankyoku [traditional Japanese music] at the main shrine building
14:30 – Satsuma biwa [Japanese lute] at the main shrine building
May 7, Sunday 13:00 – Ceremonial recital of poems
at Sansyuden

Meiji Jingu Shrine Grand Festival Details:

Event Dates: April 29 – May 3, 2017
Address: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access: 8 minutes from Yoyogi Station
Website: http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/ceremonies/2.html

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2. Oktoberfest 2017 in Odaiba – Visit the annual Spring Oktoberfest. Drink specially brewed beer accompanied by live music, dancing and performances. Parents can enjoy the beverages while little ones enjoy the German sausages pretzels, and dancing.

Address: 1 & 2-chome, Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Symbol Promenade Park Central Square
Dates and Hours: April 28 – May 7, 2017.  Monday – Friday 16:00 – 22:00; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 11:00 – 22:00 (L.O. 21:30)
Cost: Free entry, pay as you eat and drink
Access:  Yurikamome Daiba Station / Ship’s Science Bldg. Station on foot 5 minutes on foot Rinkai line Tokyo Teleport Station 5 minutes on foot
Website: https://www.oktober-fest.jp/odaiba_spring/

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3. Furusato Festival 2017 (Hibiya Park) Enjoy this four-day festival showcasing local Japanese dishes from Hokkaido to Kyushu. A beautiful time to pick up some local dishes and have a picnic at the park.
Address: Hibiya Park 1-6 Hibiya Park, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Dates & Times of Event: Wednesday, May 3 – Sunday, May 7, 2017  10:00 – 22:00 (Last day closes at 20:00)
Cost: Free entry, pay as you eat
Access: Hibiya Station
Website: http://furusatofes.com/

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4. Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival: The Kameido Tenjin Shrine (亀戸天神社) is the number one spot in Tokyo to see magnificent cascades of hanging purple wisteria (fuji flowers). The flowers are in bloom from late April through the beginning of May at which time the shrine holds the annual Wisteria Festival. The shrine will not disappoint young and old with its flowers, bridges, ponds teaming with turtles and koi, and stately shrine. Definitely a must in the spring.

Event Dates: April 15 – May 7, 2017
Address: 3-6-1 Kameido, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3681-0010
Access: 15 min walk from Kameido Station (North Exit) on the Sobu Line: 15 min walk from Kinshicho Station (North Exit) on the Sobu Line or the Hanzomon Line.
Website: http://kameidotenjin.or.jp/

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Golden Week5. International Food Culture Expo 2017 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 2017 Details:

Event Date: Tuesday, May 2  – Sunday, May 7, 2017 10:00 -21:00 (L.O. 20:00)
Address: Komazawa Olympic Park1-1, Komazawakoen, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Cost: Free to enter, pay as you eat and drink
Website: http://gourmet-event.jp/2016meishuhaku_kom/

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6. Let`s play with wood event (Ark Hills)   A family friendly event with many free and paid activities using wood; experience cutting wood with a chain saw (from age 5 and up) 1,000 JPY; make your own spoon from Japanese cypress and taste special sweets (1,500 JPY); create a mosaic coaster using various types of wood and tiles (500 JPY / sheet) and so much more. Activities are on a first come first served basis. There will also be about 800 building blocks for kids to play with as well as cypress balls and puzzles. Ark Hills houses many family friendly restaurants in their complex. A great spot to spend the day.

Event Dates: Wednesday, May 3 – Friday, May 5, 2017 10:00 – 17:00
Address: Ark Hills
Access: 1-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Namboku Line “Roppongi-Itchome Station” Exit 3; 1-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line “Tameike-Sanno Station” Exit 13; 8-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line “Kamiyacho Station” Exit 4; 9-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line “Akasaka Station” Exit 5; 10-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line “Kokkaigijidomae Station” Exit 3.
Website: http://www.arkhills.com/events/2017/04/002659.html

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Golden Week7. Cinco de Mayo 2017 in Odaiba – The 5th annual Cindo de Mayo event will be held at Odaiba`s “Dream Plaza” with live entertainment, special Cindo de Mayo drinks and international food from all over the world including Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Jamaica, Colombia, North, Central and South America.

Address: 1 & 2-chome, Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Symbol Promenade Park Yume no Hiroba
Dates and Hours: Thursday, May 4 – Saturday, May 6, 2017  10:00 – 21:00
Cost: Free entry, pay as you eat and drink
Access:  2 minutes walk from Aomi Station on the Yurikamome Line; 1 min walk from Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line.
Website: http://www.cincodemayo.jp/index.html

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Azalea Festival Nezu Shrine8. Visit Nezu Shrine (根津神社) and enjoy the beautiful Azalea flowers – Nezu is a wonderful shrine with over 3,000 azalea bushes. The annual Azalea Festival runs from April 8th through Golden Week, May 5th. The Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival is very crowded during Golden Week. Best to visit the week before GW for FULL bloom and before the crowds.

Established in 1705, is a Shinto shrine located in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan. The shrine established over 1,900 years ago was transferred to Nezu to commemorate the fifth shogun Tsunayoshi Tokugawa’s choosing of his successor. This shrine is designated as an Important Cultural Property. Dating from 1706, Nezu Shrine is an excellent example of large-scale Edo-era shrine architecture. The vibrant vermilion and gold lacquered ‘gongen-zukuri’ style buildings are a pleasure to view and make great photos.


Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival 
Dates: Saturday, April 8th – Friday, May 5th, 2017
Address: 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3822-0753
Hours: Daily 9:00-17.30 (closed Mondays)
Cost: 200 donation. Children kindergarten age and younger are free.
Website:  http://www.nedujinja.or.jp/tutuji/t.html (Japanese language only)
Access: Nezu Station or Sendagi Station (Chiyoda line), Todaimae Station (Namboku line)

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9. Annual Special Access to the Garden of Denbou-in, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa (March 18 – May 9, 2017) – Senso-ji in Asakusa Tokyo is on everybody’s must visit locations in Tokyo to see the pagoda, red gates with huge guards and shopping street. However, the hidden gem is the secret garden which is only open in the spring each year. As you enter to the garden you will pass some temple treasures which are fun to review. The garden has a large koi pond with some of the brightest colored koi in Japan. The cherry blossoms and tiny bell flowers in blue in April are dainty and picture perfect. The garden is huge at over 10,000 square meters and is designed to travel around to capture different views. Make sure to visit during April!

Event Dates and Times: Garden is open 10:00 – 16:00, Senso-ji temple is open 24/7
Address:  Senso-ji Temple, 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo – The entry to the garden is near the Main Hall.
Cost: Entrance fee is 300 JPY

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Golden Week10. Hawaiian Festival (Venus Fort) – The 15th annual Odaiba Hawaiian Festival will take place at Odaiba`s Venus fort. There will be full-scale Hawaiian music performances by domestic and foreign artists, Hula & Tahitian dance shows, workshops and Hawaiian food market. Come and learn about Hawaiian culture.

Address: 1-3-15 Aoyama, Koto Ward, Tokyo 135-0064
Dates and Hours: Saturday, April 29 – Sunday, May 7, 2017  10:00 – 21:00
Cost: Free entry, pay as you eat and drink
Access: In front of Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line.
Website: http://www.venusfort.co.jp/hawaii2017/

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recommended Tokyo family activities for the weekend BesLivingJapan BONUS: Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2017 Week Festival and Parade (Yoyogi/Harajuku) – Tokyo Rainbow Week celebration will be in full-swing this week (April 29th – May 7th) with a fun festival in Yoyogi Park and parade on Sunday, May 7th. More than 10,000 people are expected to participate in the parade that includes marching bands and floats. The parade, scheduled for May 7th, begins in Yoyogi Park and winds its way through the neighborhoods of Shibuya and Harajuku. To see the week’s entire program view tokyorainbowpride.com.

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BONUS: The Chikura Music Festival will be on Sunday, May 7 from 11:00 – 16:30.  This is the 8th consecutive year for our community charity festival. We will have amazing, live music all afternoon; great food and drink; fun and games for the children; incredible people you haven’t met yet and much more!  All proceeds goes to support the schools, the library and the children in the local area. Please come down, join us and make a day of it.

Check us out on FB at Discover Japan – Nanbo Kokusai Mura and/or contact David Green at 090 7716 0102 for more information.


Golden Week 2017 Tokyo Activities and Events

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