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Usokae Bullfinch Exchange (Jan 24-25): You can still keep that invigorating New Year feeling alive by heading to Kameido Tenjin Shrine for the usokae ritual—one that is almost 200 years old. This is where folks exchange their year-old wooden bullfinch (a bird said to bring luck) figurines for new ones, and in doing so they renew their good fortune for another year.
Japan Brewers’ Cup (Jan 26-28): The Brewers’ Cup is a competition where national breweries battle it out for top hops honor. In addition to the judging portion, it’s also just a craft beer festival for any and everyone. The 500-yen entry gives you access to over 200 varieties of beer, many starting at only 300 yen a cup—and for craft beer in Tokyo, that’s a steal!
Ekoda Night Bazaar (Jan 27): Some solid family fun to be had at this nighttime market. There will be locals shops selling their wares on the streets, yatai (street food) stalls serving up some sweet and savory treats, and activities for kids.
National Museum of Western Art – Free Admission Day (Jan 27): This Saturday, check out the extensive permanent collection at the Museum of Western Art in Ueno Park for free! Works includes paintings from the late medieval period through to the 20th century and modern French sculpture. Artists include Ruebens, Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock and many more.
Japanese Antique Market (Jan 28): This monthly antique market at Yoyogi Park is back with aims to educate people on Japanese culture and art, while creating an opportunity for locals to sell their antique goods. A great spot to practice your Japanese and/or pick up some souvenirs!
There are certain times in the year that can make your visit to Tokyo less than idea.