8 Things You Don’t Want to Miss This Weekend: October 5–8

Twenty years ago Japan created the Happy Monday System in an effort to increase three-day weekends. In the last two decades the government managed to move four out of 16 national holidays to Monday (a 25 percent success rate). One such holiday is this weekend’s Health and Sports Day, founded in honor of the 1964 Summer Olympics (which took place in October to avoid Tokyo’s summer weather). While the dynamos at the Diet hold more meetings, head to Jiyugaoka’s goddess festival, take in award-winning indie flicks or break out the cardboard box and get your b-boy funk on in Asakusa.

 

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2018 Autumn Screening

Family Happiness, by up-and-coming Australian director Alice Englert and starring the fantastic Ben Whishaw, is just one of nearly 40 acclaimed short films to be presented at the Short Shorts Film Festival’s autumn screening starting this weekend.

 

Wasabeats Presents “Break Free”

Directed by Japanese b-boy legend Go Ueki, this breakdance show features world-class urban dancers, state-of-the-art technology, a thumping soundscape, and breathtaking never-before-seen tricks.

 

Yanaka Matsuri 2018

High spirits will be abound as this annual matsuri takes over the quaint, and usually quiet, streets of the Yanaka neighborhood, typically known for its old-fashioned charm and abundance of temples.

 

“Queen of Ireland” Film Screening

This award-winning documentary tells the story of Irish drag queen and gay rights activist Panti Bliss, who unwittingly became the face of Ireland’s 2015 gay marriage referendum.

 

Taisho Jidai Matsuri

Yono station in Saitama was opened on the first year of the Taisho period (1912) so every year the local community organizes a Taisho period-inspired festival where people dress in dapper military uniforms, vintage kimonos, Edwardian dresses or more.

 

Exotic x Modern: French Art Deco and Inspiration from Afar

Explore how French artists and designers adopted and interpreted ideas from distant cultures at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, itself an Art Deco mansion.

 

Ark Hills Music Week

For the next week 12 venues at the Ark Hills complex host a wide array of family-friendly concerts, recitals and hands-on experiences free of charge.

 

Jiyugaoka Goddess Festival 2018

Half a million visitors take to the streets of “Tokyo’s Little Europe” where pedestrians can freely roam the fashionable cobblestone streets, which will be blocked off to cars for this 46th annual festival featuring live music from several popular bands including rock stalwarts JUN SKY WALKER(S) as well as food stalls, kids’ activities and more.

 

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