Cheapo Weekend for January 19/20: More Snow(?!) and an Elephant Sized Birthday

Greg Lane

Since the snow that dunped on Tokyo on Monday has frozen solid, there will be no frolics in the white fluffy stuff for Tokyoites this weekend – unless you head to the Tokyo Snow and Ice (link in Japanese) festival at Roppongi Hills. Obviously thinking that snow would be something of a novelty for Tokyo residents, they’re trucking in lots of fresh snow into the Roppongi Hills Arena and building a 15m high ski slope on which free style skiers from Japan and around the world will be showing off their tricks.  There will also be a chance for the kids to make mayhem as well.  Entry is free and the event runs from 11am until 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday. The closest station is Roppongi on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya and the Toei Oedo Lines.

If you’re looking for something for the kids, at Inokashira Park Zoo on Sunday the 20th at 11am, Hanako the Asian elephant will celebrate 66 years of captivity. That’s right, people have been throwing peanuts at her since 1947. There will be a speech (presumably not from Hanako herself) and she will receive a cake.  The zoo is free for kids under 12 while admission for adults is 400yen.

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If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy the frozen weather we’re having, check out last week’s Cheapo Weekend for a rundown on the best ice skating rinks in the capital.  The regional festival-festival at Tokyo Dome mentioned in last week’s edition also runs until this Sunday.

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