Never miss a freebie! Sign up for our weekly events newsletter.
Setsubun Bean Throwing Festival (Feb 3): Every year, Setsubun—a lively bean throwing ceremony—takes place at Zozoji Temple marking the end of winter and the coming of spring. The bean throwing element helps ward evil while bringing luck and prosperity. Head to Zozoji Temple for the action.
Bean Throwing and Dance of the 7 Lucky Gods (Feb 3): Similar to the above event, but with the added dance of the 7 lucky gods to repel bad fortune for the year ahead. This one’s at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa.
Gojoten Shrine Ritual (Feb 3): Instead of beans, this shrine is using another approach to send bad fortune on its merry way: the leaves from Chrysanthemum flowers. The ritual is a great addition to any day out in the Ueno Park area.
Chinese Spring Festival Parade (Feb 4): Saturday will see yet another parade for Chinese New Year throughout the streets of Yokohama. This one will feature traditional costumes, lion dances and dragon dances. While the lion dance usually has two dancers in one costume, the dragon dance has multiple performers—and due to its complexity, the longer the dragon, the luckier it is.
Chinese Traditional Performances (Feb 5): If you can’t make it on Saturday, New Year celebrations will continue on Sunday with, yet again, traditional dragon and lion dances, along with other dances, songs, harps and acrobatics.
Museum of Modern Art Tokyo – Free Admission Day (Feb 5): Head to the MOMAT this Sunday and save yourself the 430 yen admission fee. The collection currently on exhibit includes modern Western works by artists such as Cézanne and Braque, and masterpieces of Japanese oil painting.
Oedo Antique Market (Feb 5): A cheapo favorite, Japan’s biggest outdoor market in Japan is back at the Tokyo International Forum. It’s a great spot for finding unique souvenirs, decorating your apartment on a shoestring, or even just strolling around outdoors. The market will be canceled in case of rain through, so keep an eye on the forecast.
A famous park, a former black market and a whole heap of museums—get to know Ueno: