Happy birthday, Emperor Naruhito! For the first time Japan celebrates the new emperor’s birthday with a new national holiday. While Emperor Naruhito’s 60th birthday falls on Sunday, February 23, us denizens of the Reiwa Era benefit by enjoying a day off on Monday, February 24.
The question is, will the big brains at the Diet convert Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s birthday (December 23) into a national holiday? The precedent was set as Japan recognizes the birthdate of Emperor Hirohito (April 29) with the Showa Day national holiday. Who do we talk to to make this happen?
Until then, there are plenty of events and attractions happening in Tokyo this weekend to help everyone celebrate the reigning emperor’s birthday in style.
Yushima Tenjin has been known as a popular “plum spot” since the Edo times. During the festival period visitors can also enjoy a variety of entertainment. ///cobble.beaters.bottom
This year’s extensive hina doll exhibition at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, a tangible cultural property, displays hina dolls from the prefectures Tottori, Shimane and Yamaguchi as well as a display of dolls representing the periods of Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa, Heisei and Reiwa. ///mere.hands.unwell
Hanegi Park in Setagaya-ku is one of the most famous spots for plum viewing inside the city. Aside from over 600 flowering trees, the festival includes a variety of traditional Japanese events and performances. ///pirate.discount.school
For Tokyo Midtown’s second School of the Future exhibition they host an exhibition on the concept of “dappi,” presenting a collection of works by artists who have fearlessly stood out to escape social stereotypes and expectations. ///nagging.ranges.blunt
Admire the seasonal plum blossoms at this Japanese Edo garden near Tokyo Dome. During peak viewing season the park holds a small plum festival that includes traditional music and performances. ///lift.sunroof.learn
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo launches the annual Hina-Matsuri Girls’ Doll Festival Art Exhibition from February 1, celebrating a Japanese cultural event known as Girls’ Doll Festival, or Hina-Matsuri. ///avocado.villas.happen
Enjoy a romantic stroll through an interactive garden of blossoms at this fusion of light, flowers and technology at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall. ///mice.junior.spoils
For this solo exhibition at Loko Gallery, Shingo Yoshida attempts to trace and reconstruct a monument based on the Yuhi, a slab of rock with carved haiku located at the top of Mount Fuji. ///glad.simple.bracelet
This five-day event series at Goethe-Institut Tokyo focuses on the synergistic effect of TV and video arts in the ’80s, including MTV’s immense collaboration of music and video, Sony’s Jumbotron created for the International Exposition on Science and Technology, and Infermental, the world’s first videocassette magazine. ///cobble.nitrogen.predict
For an adorable date spot this Valentine’s Day check out Sunshine Aquarium. Located inside Sunshine City in Ikebukuro, Sunshine Aquarium hosts an eye-popping art exhibition with colorfully aesthetic animals.
The Good Sunday Market at Yoyogi Village returns for two days of Nordic and European market flavor where shoppers can find vintage tableware, decorations, fabric, and baked goods in addition to traditional craft workshops. ///dunes.probable.wiser
Explore 19th century Paris through the works of the Nabis, a group of painters who carried the transition from impressionism to symbolism. This is the first weekend to catch the exhibition at Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, so move fast before tickets sell out.
Surround yourself with the delicate fragrance, vivid colors and fascinating textures of plants and flowers from around the world at the Tokyo Dome. This year’s highlights include an installation comprising 1 million orchid flowers. ///drivers.caller.soak
For its 15th anniversary, Monster Hunter hosts a VR experience expo in Yokohama where you’ll be able to encounter and fight monsters like you are in the Monster Hunter game itself. Are you ready for the quest, Hunter? ///credible.trains.copes
Serious collectors and casual shoppers can all enjoy this large outdoor antique market where they can find everything from old kimonos, toys and ephemera to coins, ceramics, jewelry and furniture. ///tinsel.themes.balanced
Kasing Lung, a Belgium-based children’s book illustrator, holds a solo exhibition at Hidari Zingaro inspired by his love of monsters, anime and the universe. ///diner.delved.restore