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Golden Week 2018 Top 10 Tokyo Activities and Events

This year Golden Week begins on Saturday, April 28th and runs through Monday, May 7th. The official national holidays are April 30, May 3 and 4, but many people take the entire week off. Venture out and enjoy the many international food, flower and cultural festivals. 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.

Are you staying in Tokyo this summer? Check out our Best Living Japan Kids Cooking Program. The Camp takes place in the Best Living Japan Studio located in Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo and will run from Monday, June 11 – June 29, 2018.  Three one week cooking programs for ages 5 – 13. More Details –> Sign up today to secure your seat! Laugh, Learn and Live! ~Best Living Japan Moms

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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:

Saturday, April 2811:00-Bugaku in front of the main shrine building
Wednesday, May 211:45-Noh, Kyogen in front of the main shrine building
Wednesday, May 215:45-Sankyoku in front of the main shrine building
Saturday, May 59:00-Kyudo (Japanese archery) in front of Shiseikan (Martial Arts Hall)
Thursday, May 312:00-Hogaku, Hobu in front of the main shrine buildings
Thursday, May 314:30-Satsuma biwa in front of the main shrine building
Monday, May 713:00-Ceremonial recital of poems at Sansyuden

 

Meiji Jingu Shrine Grand Festival Details:

Event Dates: Saturday, April 28 – Monday, May 7, 2018
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 2018 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: Friday, April 27 – May 6, 2018.  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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Kameido Teinjin Shrine, Wisterial3. 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. This year, due to warmer temperatures, the flowers are blooming earlier so we recommend visiting from next week. 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 6, 2018
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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Azalea Festival Nezu Shrine4. 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 7th through Golden Week, May 6th. 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.

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Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival 
Dates: Saturday, April 7th – Friday, May 6th, 2018
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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May 6 & 7, 2017 Tokyo Weekend Family Events and Activities5. Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2018 Week Festival and Parade (Yoyogi/Harajuku) – Tokyo Rainbow Week celebration will be in full-swing with a fun festival in Yoyogi Park and parade from noon on Sunday, May 6th. More than 10,000 people are expected to participate in the parade that includes marching bands and floats. The parade, scheduled for May 6th, 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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6. Open the Park @ Tokyo Midtown (Roppongi) – Enjoy a relaxing picnic in the park, walk amongst and through a large Koi Nobori, create your own Koi Nobori, and run wild at Hinokicho park & playground or relax with a good book on the great lawn.

Dates: April 20 – May 6, 2018
Address: 9-7-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo (東京都港区赤坂9-7-9)
Phone: 03-5413-7015
Access: 6 min walk from Roppongi Station (Exit 8) on the Toei Oedo Line; 5 min walk from Roppongi Station (Exit 4a) on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line; A 3-minute walk from Nogizaka Station (Exit 3) on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line;  A 10-minute walk from Roppongi-itchome Station (Exit 1) on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line.
Website: http://www.tokyo-midtown.com/en/facilities/green.html

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golden week7. Hawaiian Festival (Venus Fort) – The 16th annual Odaiba Hawaiian Festival will take place at Odaiba`s Venus fort. The theme this year is “Minoaka (Minoaka) ~ Smile ~”. 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 6, 2018  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: https://www.venusfort.co.jp/hawaii2018/

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8. Nikufes ODAIBA 2018 Spring (Odaiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo) –  Carnivore’s rejoice! Odaiba’s  Symbol Promenade Park will be filled with over 50 restaurants exhibiting goodies from all over the world, including craft beers, live performances and sports (professional wrestling, bouldering, yoga and basketball). Combine the 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 visit our One Day Itinerary with Kids in Odaiba.

Nikufes Tokyo 2018 Details
Event Date & Time
: April 27th – May 6th, 2018  10:00 – 21:00
Address: Odaiba Aomi P Area, 1-1-16 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Cost: Free entry, but 700 yen per food ticket.
Website: https://nikufes.jp/ (Japanese Language)

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golden week

9. Mongolian Spring 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, archery & horse racing and Mongolian cuisine.

Spring Mongolian Festival Details 
Event Date & Time: Friday & Saturday, May 4th –  5th (Friday 11:00-17:00; Saturday 10:00-16:00)
Address: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Park Keiyaki Square  4-1-1, Hikarigaoka, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
Admission: free
Website: http://harumatsuri.net/
Access: 5 min walk from Mitsuigaoka on the Oedo Line

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golden week

10. Cambodia Festival 2018, Yoyogi Park –  I visited Cambodia 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. Here is a video of the festival last year.

Cambodia festival 2018 Details 

Event Date & Time: Thursday & Friday, May 3 & 4, 2018: 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

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Showa Memorial Park 昭和記念公園, Tachikawa, Tokyo - Rent Bikes, Massive Playgrounds and Water PlayBONUS: Take a trip out to Showa Kinen Park 昭和記念公園.  Showa Memorial Park is approximately a 50-70 min trip from central Tokyo via car or train. Biking, hiking, climbing nets, bouncing on huge white soft blobs and hiding from dragons can keep the little ones busy as you view the beautiful cherry blossoms, tulips, or foliage.  You can spend the entire day at the park so pack a lunch and all your sports equipment. The park is over 150 hectors and has over 11 kilometers of bike trails. Admission is free on Friday, Apr.29th! More details –>

 

 Showa Kinen Park 昭和記念公園, Tachikawa, Tokyo - Rent Bikes, Massive Playgrounds and Water PlayShowa Kinen Park 昭和記念公園 Details

Address: Midoricho 3173, Tachikawa-shi, Tokyo  国営昭和記念公園 (〒190-0014 東京都立川市緑町3173) 
Telephone: 042- 524-1516 (Japanese language only)
Hours: March 1 – October 31: 9:30 – 17:00; November 1 – February end: 9:30 – 16:30
Website: http://www.showakinen-koen.jp/guide-english/schedule-english/ 
Showa Kinen Park 昭和記念公園, Tachikawa, Tokyo - Rent Bikes, Massive Playgrounds and Water PlayCost to enter park: Adults (15 – 64) 410 JPY,  seniors (65+) 210 JPY, children (6 – 14 years) 80 JPY; infants (0 – 5) free
Access: 2 min walk from Nishi Tachikawa Station, 14 min walk from Tachikawa station. I recommend you take eh Chuo Line from Shinjuku directly to Nishi Tachikawa station which is a good spot to get a rental bike. There is a also a large parking lot at the Nishi Tachikawa park side (near the station). Cost to park is 820 JPY for the day.

Sagamihara koinobori

Sagamihara Koinobori Festival, Kanagawa-ken (April 29 – May 5th) – The Sagamihara Koinobori Festival (泳げ鯉のぼり相模川) has been held over 30 years to celebrate Children’s Day on May 5th. Five huge wires are hooked over the river and 1,200 koi nobori are hung to swim in the sky. The swimming koi represent the strong and good health of their children. You can get to Sagamihara in about 1.5 hours driving from central Tokyo or 2 hours on train. Location of the koinobori are here (google map). While in the area you can also visit the Sagamigawa Fureai Science Museum Aquarium Sagamihara.

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Golden Week 2018 Tokyo Activities and Events

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