Cheapo Weekend for April 9-10: Flowers, Ramen and Women of Pleasure

Adriana Mazza
buddha's birthday
Photo by Maarten Heerlien used under CC

Hana Matsuri – Buddha’s Birthday (April 8): Hana means flower, so in this festival a herbal tea made from hydrangeas is poured over a small Buddha statue as part of a celebration ritual. There’s free tea for visitors, and a large white elephant—a symbol of the big man himself—goes for a spin around the Sensoji grounds in Asakusa.

Oiran Dochu Procession (April 9): Don’t miss the Oiran Dochu, a procession of traditional Japanese courtesans or “women of pleasure”. Head to the streets of Asakusa to see brilliantly colored kimonos, whimsical makeup and traditional performances by the experts of “old world charm”.

Machida Ramen Festival (April 8-10): This weekend is round two of this four-part foodie festival. All bowls are 800 yen a pop and you can taste various regional flavors hailing from all over the country.

Ishida Lion Dance (April 11): Take a day trip just 30-minutes north of Ikebukuro to Kawagoe (or “Little Edo”). Apart from being a charming town on its own, there will be an annual lion dance, accompanied with musicians and floats as part of its Spring Festival celebrations.

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Flower Festival at Showa Kinen Park (on until May): This festival is not for any one flower in particular as there are many different gardens and flower fields. The park is known however for its tulips, which are set to bloom in mid-April.

Pixar: 30 Years of Animation Exhibition (on until end of May): Take a stroll down nostalgia lane by visiting the temporary Pixar exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition has been on a world tour as part of the animation company’s 30th anniversary celebrations, and has finally made its way to Japan for a two-month stint. On display will be hand-drawn sketches, original storyboards, paintings, color scripts and character models—see how your favorite Pixar peeps made their way to the big screen!

Why Are Videogames So Interesting? Exhibition (on until end of May): Try out up to 120 games at this video games exhibition at the Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. We highly recommend trying out the London Heist virtual reality game—our minds were blown!

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