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Photo by Yoshikazu TAKADA used under CC

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.

Suggested Activity
Explore Tokyo Skytree and Sensoji Temple
Experience both Tokyo's rich history and futuristic architecture on this half-day tour. A guide will show you around Asakusa's legendary Sensoji Temple and the mega-tall Tokyo Skytree, taking you past other popular sightseeing spots along the way. Good value for money and great memories!

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!

Surprise guests at the Ekoda Night Bazaar | Photo by David Ishikawa

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.

Photo by Takayuki Miki (三木貴幸) used under CC

 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.

Tokyo flea market items
Photo by Shuzo Serikawa used under CC

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!

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