Cheapo Weekend for April 12-13: Sayonara, Sakura

Carey Finn

Peony pic by  eien no dreamer, used under a Creative Commons licence.
Peony pic by eien no dreamer, used under a Creative Commons licence.

The forecast says we’ve got a warm and sunny Saturday and Sunday to look forward to, and there are plenty of reasons to get outside for some fresh air.

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Although the short sakura season has all but ended, you can still catch gorgeous cherry blossoms at the Okutama Cemetery Sakura Festival on Sunday. As macabre as that might sound, it’s a festive affair, with food and music to keep you content as you admire the 700 trees. You can also drop by Ueno Park or one of our other recommendations – where you might find some late bloomers. Another idea is to go for an evening stroll along the Sakura Light-Up at Tokyo Midtown.

As the cherry blossoms fall, peony season begins, and the best way to celebrate it is at Ueno Toshogu Shrine, where you can see the pretty botan flowers sheltered by cool umbrellas and bamboo screens.

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Keeping with the nature vibe, you might want to check out the big farmer’s market at Tsukishima Second Children’s Park – on from 10-5 on both Saturday and Sunday. You can stock up on super fresh veggies direct from around 100 farmers – and you’re bound to get good prices.

And if you have a dog, or like dogs, head to Harajuku for the WanWan Carnival – a festival of all things doggy. Brace yourself – Tokyo-ites go all out for their pups and you can expect to find clothes, accessories, dancing and more. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


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