Tokyo Cheapo Downtown Drinks #22 (Aug 25): Join the TC gang and fellow cheapos for a drink (or few) and casual mingling at Factoria in Ogikubo. This is our 22nd casual monthly meet-up and all are welcome—from readers to travelers to mysterious strangers.
Roppongi Hills Bon Dance 2017 (Aug 25-27): Watch or join in this unique dance festival in Roppongi. It spans three days, but Friday draws the biggest crowd. This bon festival boasts a unique dance—the Ropponjin Ondo—roughly translated as the Roppongi Workman’s Dance. All are invited to join in.
Marunouchi Ondo Bon-odori Festival (Aug 25-26): Join some 40,000 participants at this traditional festival dancing to the tune of the most famous bon-odori song “Tokyo Ondo”. It takes pace at Hibiya Park on Aug 25-26 starting at 6pm. This is one of the biggest events of its kind in the Tokyo area.
2017 Asakusa Samba Carnival (Aug 26): The super sexy and popular Asakusa Samba Carnival is back and will be dazzling the streets of Asakusa this Saturday starting at 1pm and ending at 6pm. Be sure to bring your best moves as you’ll be inclined to join in and jive as you watch the stunning samba dancers parade by.
Hodogaya Candle Night (Aug 26): Celebrate the “last day” of the season in and around the plum garden at Kanagawa’s Hodogaya Park. There will be thousands of candles lining the pathways and DJs playing ambiance-appropriate summer chill-out music.
Azabu Juban Festival (Aug 26-27): This is a yearly food festival you won’t want to miss. Stop by the stalls to pick up some local prepared fare or leave with a bag or few of produce from all over Japan. Along with the traditional festival food, you’ll have a chance to try local delicacies from Hokkaido in the north through to Kyushu in the south.
Super Yosakoi 2017 (Aug 26-27): A huge team performance dance contest in the Omotesando/Harajuku area. Over 6,000 competitors hailing from all over Japan will take part. Parade takes place on the Sunday.
Koenji Awa Odori Festival (Aug 26-27): An evening dance-off festival in Koenji with 10,000 participants and 1 million spectators. A cool way to spend a hot summer evening.
A famous park, a former black market and a whole heap of museums—get to know Ueno:
Chofu Yosakoi 2017 (Aug 27): Another dance-heavy parade, this one taking place in the west Tokyo area. In addition to the traditional jigs, there will be festival food and drinks on offer.
Let’s Enjoy Rakugo in English (Aug 29): Next Tuesday, treat yourself to a uniquely Japanese traditional form of entertainment: rakugo. Rakugo (literally meaning “fallen words”) is a one-person show performing a multi-character act—with very minimal props and only a change in voice or slight change in body movement to distinguish between characters. This show is not often available to English audiences—making it a not-to-be-missed event!
Our guide to prepay SIM cards, wifi routers, cafe wifi and other places to quickly find wifi whilst visiting Japan.