Cherry blossom fever has died down, but temperatures keep rising and there’s even more to do outside. In this weekend’s roundup, we’ve got a few activities that will put you out amidst the early spring weather, an oden festival way down in Odawara if you’re up for a day trip, and a chance to do a bit of cherry blossom viewing in an art museum. As always, click on the header for more details about each event, and have a great weekend!
If you can’t get enough of spring floral action then be sure to stop by the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo to see their magnificent sakura-themed ikebana display. The giant five-meter-wide centerpiece features 200 cherry blossoms of various types from all across Japan. Just like outdoor cherry blossom viewing, this indoor display will be both a feast for the eyes and a perfect photo opportunity.
The spectacular opera Aida returns to the stage of the New National Theatre, Tokyo to commemorate its 20th year. Set in ancient Egypt, the story depicts the forbidden love between Egyptian military commander Radamès and Ethiopian princess Aida, who is the daughter of King Amonasro and is being held as a slave by Egypt. It is a tale of love, conflict, pride, envy, and the bond between father and daughter.
The Tokyo landmark’s take on the Children’s Day tradition sees hundreds of koi carp banners flying in front on the main entrance. Tokyo Tower measures 333m tall and so it displays 333 koi banners for one month between April and May. The decorations go up this weekend, and the sight makes for a great photograph or just another reason to stroll by this Tokyo landmark.
The yearly Azalea Festival at Nezu Shrine in Bunkyo Ward invites visitors to take a stroll through its gorgeous flowering garden. Stroll through the mounds of pink and purple azalea bushes, with more than 100 varieties, in an enclosed area of the grounds that is usually inaccessible to the public. Definitely an experience not to be missed for flower lovers!
If you’ve caught figure skating fever after the Winter Olympics then here’s a chance to get your next fix of ice action. Stars on Ice will be making its 10th appearance in Japan, bringing with it a host of Olympic medalists and world champions. This is a rare chance to catch some of the top figure skaters in the world gathered together for a spectacular ice show like no other.
Head out to Ninomaru Square inside Odawara Castle Park for the most amazing oden experience of your life. Oden shops and stands gather from all over the country to sell their wares here, making it the perfect opportunity to experience this Japanese soul food on a whole new level.
Catch the show that’s been drawing crowds for the past few months. This event is neither a stage show nor a musical, but it is an unforgettable and awe-inspiring experience for all the senses. Leave your expectations at the door and get ready to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.
The traditional event to celebrate Buddha’s birthday, also known as Hana Matsuri – Flower Festival! While Buddhist temples across Japan will also be celebrating, Sensoji holds one of the most popular gatherings in Tokyo.
Most of the cherry blossoms around town have come and gone, but you can still do a bit of hanami indoors: This thematic exhibition combs through the Yamatane Museum of Art’s vast collection of nihonga (modern Japanese paintings) to offer an anthology of 20th and 21st century paintings that capture the evanescent blooms in all their transient glory.
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, so enjoy the warmer weather as you take in this rare experience.