There’s a lot going on this weekend: a slew of cherry blossom festivals, the infamous Penis Festival and more!
Nyan Creators Spring 2018: Cat Art (March 30-April 1): This feline-themed art event will have a variety of hand-crafted cat creations to peruse as you explore the creative space of 2k540. There will be handmade products only available here and it is a great opportunity if you are looking for a unique gift for that cat-lover friend who thinks they have everything.
Paella Festival in Yoyogi Park (March 31-April 1): If you want to stray from Japanese food for the weekend, this is the festival for you. There will be a number of stalls set up in Yoyogi Park serving up our favorite Spanish dish: paella. And you certainly can’t go wrong with whichever stall you choose as this event serves as Japan’s preliminaries for the International Paella Competition—everyone is battling to serve up their best!
Kanamara “Penis” Festival Special Night Out (March 31-April 1): Planning on attending the infamous Kanamara “Penis” Festival this weekend? Why not keep the fun going with a bar crawl around the Kawasaki area where you can hop in and out of around 40 participating venues. Each will offer discounted food sets to those with an official wristband—plus there’s an option to rent a kimono for the evening for an additional fee.
Kanamara “Penis” Festival 2018 (April 1): Once upon a time, a young woman was plagued with a sharp-toothed demon hiding inside her hoohaa. She sought out the help of a blacksmith to create a steel penis with which to break the demon’s teeth. In celebration of this young woman’s “good fortune”, the Kanamara Matsuri—aka the “Festival of the Steel Phallus”—was born. Nowadays, this Kawasaki-area event boasts a parade (complete with giant penis float), plus penis-shaped candy, decorations and then some. Event goes from 10:15am to 4:30pm on Sunday (parade at noon).
Museum of Modern Art – Free Admission Day (April 2): Head to the MOMAT this Sunday and save yourself the 430-yen admission fee. The museum houses mainly Japanese works of the 20th century including a number deemed ‘Important Cultural Properties’ or masterpieces.
Cherry blossom festivals
Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival (March 21-April 8): The rowdiest, most iconic spot in all of Tokyo to enjoy cherry blossoms. Ueno Park is decked out with blue picnic tarps (good luck finding a spot), illuminations, food stalls and a ton (we mean A TON) of people.
Rikugien Gardens: Cherry Blossom Illuminations (March 21-April 5): The stunning cherry trees at Rikugien in Komagome will be illuminated at night for a limited time. Most famous is the mystical and giant weeping willow. Entry to the gardens is 300 yen for adults.
Bokutei Cherry Blossom Festival (March 22-April 8): More illuminations can be found at Sumida Park in Asakusa. Take a stroll along the park’s kilometer-long line of cherry trees and grab some tasty treats at the many food stalls too!
Toshimaen Sakura Matsuri (March 24-April 4): Tap into your kid-self and enjoy cherry blossom season at Toshimaen amusement park’s “Sakura Nights”. Illuminations splash pink and white over the 500 cherry trees in the park, and you can ride one of the roller coasters for a view of the blossoms that will be like nothing else in Japan.
Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival (March 24-April 10): The Nakameguro Canal provides the perfect and most picturesque backdrop from your cherry blossom viewing. It’s one of Tokyo’s most popular sakura spots, with illuminations, lanterns and festival stalls.
Edo Fukagawa Sakura Festival (March 24-April 11): The Edo-Fukagawa Matsuri offers not only illuminations and plenty of food, but boat rides too! For 500 yen per person, take a ride on a wasen (traditional-style) boat along the nearby river in the quiet Monzen-Nakacho neighborhood. You’ll need to register though, so see the event listing for more info.