Cheapo Weekend for October 6/7: The Hokkaido Fair, Music Fireworks and Tea Ceremony

Greg Lane

Photo by Mari used under a Creative Commons license.

This weekend has a public holiday tacked on to the other side, so you’re gainfully employed then you’re free from work until Tuesday. If you didn’t know this before reading the Cheapo Weekend then don’t even think about heading out of town – you should have organised that about a month ago!  Anyway, the weather is nice and there are of course plenty of things to do.

The national/ethnic fairs have finished and know we have the Hokkaido Fair on this weekend at the even square in Yoyogi Park. As you’d expect from a prefecture that has such a big agricultural sector, the fair is all about food! Courtesy of the long weekend, it’s running for a full 4 days from Friday, October 5th through to Monday October 8th. There will be lots of music, food stalls (the focus seems to be on seafood, dairy and beef) and pony rides(!)  There is also a free bowl of Crab Soup (sounds more appetising in Japanese) for the first 100 people to turn up on each day.  Activities run from 10am until 6pm each day. Closest stations are Yoyogi/Meijijingumae and Yoyogikoen.

If you like walking around and you’d like to help out a charity at the same time, the Pink Ribbon Smile Walk 2012 is on this Saturday, October 6th starting at the grass square area behind Tokyo Midtown.  Funds raised go towards improvements in the detection and treatment of breast cancer.  There are two courses – a 6km course and a1km course. It costs 1,000yen to participate if you register beforehand (link in Japanese) or 1,500yen if you turn up on the day.  Closest stations are Roppongi Station on the Toei Oedo and Tokyo Metro Hibiya Lines and Nogizaka on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line.

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Just when you thought summer was over and the fireworks festivals were finished, along comes Tokyo Music Hanabi (link in Japanese). The event is happening at Odaiba Kaihin Koen from 6:30pm to 7:30pm on October 7th. We’re not sure what this is, but we assume it’s a mix of music and fireworks!  Closest station is Odaiba Kaihinkoen on the Yurikamome Line.

At Rikugien, a park and traditional Edo-era garden located between Sugamo and Komagome Stations on the northern arc of the Yamanote Line, there is a chance to learn the culture of Japanese Tea from instructors with the Japan Tea Instructors Society.  Entry to the seminar (it will be in Japanese but the website states that instruction in English is possible) is free and there will be sessions from 9am until 3pm on both Saturday and Sunday.  We’d suggest calling ahead on 03-3941-2222 to sort things out.  Entry to the park itself is 300yen for adults and 150yen for children.

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