10 Things You Don’t Want to Miss This Weekend: March 16-18

Just about a week before the city starts to come into bloom, and we’ve got a few hanami warmup events queued up for the over-eager. Plenty else on the menu this weekend, from art events in Yokohama to contemporary butoh dance in Tokyo. And if you’re feeling the spirit of the Irish over the weekend, make sure to head down to Omotesando and Yoyogi Park for the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Here’s to another good weekend, Tokyo!

Dairakudakan Temptenshiki – “Crime and Punishment”

International pioneers of contemporary butoh, Dairakudakan Temptenshiki perform their newest production at the Playhouse of New National Theatre, Tokyo. As the second part of the Butoh Today program, “Crime and Punishment” explores the cycle of crime and punishment from birth to death as the fate of humankind.

L’elisir d’amore

Gaetano Donizetti’s masterpiece opera “L’Elisir d’Amore” tells a story of love and anguish with playful wit and endless charms. The story follows the protagonist Nemorino as he hears of a love potion and sets out in his attempt to woo Adina, the most beautiful woman in the village.

Midtown Blossom 2018

Get an early start on the cherry blossom experience! Boasting over 200 meters of cherry tree-lined “Sakura Street,” Tokyo’s Midtown Blossom has become one of the city’s must-see hanami experiences. During the event, the trees are lit up daily from 5pm to 11pm, perfect for an evening stroll – or you can also enjoy the pink scenery from nearby cafés and restaurants. The outdoor “Chandon Blossom Lounge” will be serving up rosé-colored sparkling wine and snacks from noon to 8pm (weather permitting), while a flower art display inside the Galleria Hall can be enjoyed come rain or shine.

Nihonbashi Sakura Festival

Enjoy a series of spring events while admiring the cherry blossoms around Nihonbashi – look out for the pretty illumination display.

Dembou-in Garden Viewing & Special Exhibition

A rare chance to take a stroll in Sensoji temple’s secret garden! The beautiful gardens surrounding the residency of Sensoji’s head priest are only open to the public for a few months each year between March and May. The grounds measure around 10,000 square meters, incorporating a large fish pond, divided by a walking path, cherry blossom trees and various historical structures.

Tea for Peace Festival

An excellent opportunity to try many different kinds of tea for a good cause. Taste a variety of black, white, green, brown, roasted, fermented, and smoked teas in one location. Join tea masters, tea farmers, blenders and fellow tea drinkers for a chance to experience many different cultures and ways of serving tea. Return to the culture of sharing tea and find a bit of peace in your world.

Koganecho Bazaar 2018

Koganecho Bazaar is an art festival hosted by the Koganecho Management Center, an NPO that uses art to revitalize Yokohama’s Koganecho urban area, which used to be populated by illegal brothels. With the city’s everyday spaces as a stage, the festival has been held every year since 2008, and to date organizers have invited a total of 90 groups of artists, curators, and architects from Japan and abroad.

City Light Fantasia – Evening Cherry Blossom Edition

Combine the spectacular city view with the magic of pink cherry blossoms at Tokyo Tower’s City Light Fantasia. During the spring season, a series of stunning sakura scenes will appear across the Main Deck. Projections on three sides of the tower will transform the views of the city through the windows and floors of the observation area, creating some incredible photo spots.

Kinryu no Mai (Golden Dragon Dance)

Named after Sensoji’s official name of Mt. Kinryu-zan (Golden Dragon Mountain), this festival features an 18m-long dazzling golden dragon “dancing” to music in celebration of Sensoji’s Main Hall reconstruction in 1958.

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Catch an Art Exhibit

There’s plenty of art to experience pretty much all of the time around Tokyo. Here’s our pick of the most interesting exhibits on this month – including an opportunity to do a bit of cherry blossom viewing inside a museum…

Main Image: Benjamin Hung via Unsplash

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