Akasaka Hikawa Matsuri
A sansha at the Akasaka Hikawa Matsuri in lowered mode. | Photo by Gregory Lane

This weekend is one of those stretchy ones as respect for the wrinkled (is that disrespectful?) day will be celebrated on Monday. So you’ve effectively got two Saturdays and a Sunday or one Saturday and two Sundays – nice!

Although it’s not one of the major festivals,  the Akasaka Hikawa Matsuri starting this Friday the 14th and running through Sunday the 16th is an easily accessible community festival with lots of activities and events. It also features restored  ‘sansha‘ which are traditional wheeled floats.  One of the floats features a not very traditional but quite impressive hydraulic lift which raises it up to about 5 metres in height.  There will be typical festival food, music and dancing at the shrine on Saturday and Sunday while the main procession of the 3 sansha will begin at 1pm on Sunday.  Each sansha will start at a different point, converge at Akasaka Station and then proceed together to the shrine. Starting points are the main square at Ark Hills, Akasaka K Tower (the new Kajima Construction building on Aoyama Dori) and the Biz Tower on Akasaka Dori.  Closest stations are Akasaka on the Chiyoda Line and Tameike Sanno on the Namboku and Ginza lines.

The dueling ethnic festivals continue this weekend with the Vietnam Festival at the event square at Yoyogi Park and the Fiesta Mexicana in Odaiba.  The Vietnam Festival runs from 10am to 8pm on the 16th and 17th while the Fiesta Mexicana extends from Saturday until Monday but from 11am until 7pm.  Closest stations for the Vietnam Festival are Meijijingumae/Harajuku and Yoyogikoen.  Closest stations for the Fiesta Mexicana are Daiba on the Yurikamome Line and Tokyo Teleport on the JR Rinkai Line.

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If antique shopping is your thing, then ‘the largest outdoor antique market in Japan’ is on this Sunday, September 16th.The Oedo Antique Market is happening at the Tokyo International Forum which is right next to Yurakucho Station on the JR Yamanote line. This is actually a regular event held on the first and third Sunday of each month.

Also, conveniently, this Saturday is the 15th of the month which is cheap movie day.  So if you want to catch those summer blockbusters The Avengers and Prometheus before they close, this is your chance to get a ticket for just 1,000yen.

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