With rain forecast yet again, it looks like another mellow weekend in the capital city. Our advice – leave the laundry for another day and take advantage of the last of the cooler weather with these free and cheap events. Tokyo’s crazy summer season will soon be here!

If you’re in the mood for a spot of shopping, mosey over to the Mottainai Festa at Akihabara UDX. It’s a popular flea market for a good cause, with all sorts of stuff on sale – everything from anime collectibles to old-fashioned games, used clothes and more. There will be a special “Kid’s Flea Market” too. You can read about Tokyo’s other flea markets here.

In the evening, you can head to the Meiji Jingu Outer Garden to watch (or possibly partake in) Gujo Odori, a traditional summer dance. You can expect catchy folk music, pretty lanterns, and summer kimono. The dance will take place from 4-7pm in the parking lot of Chichibu-no-Miya Rugby Field, on both Saturday and Sunday evening.

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Early risers might want to check out the Nobori Matsuri (“Banner Festival”) on Sunday morning from 6am to noon at Sengen Shrine in Shinozaki. To celebrate the opening of Mt Fuji’s climbing season (which starts on July 1st), the shrine will be displaying 10 gigantic banners. At 25m high and weighing around a ton each, it’s quite an impressive sight. The shrine itself is well worth a visit, as it’s more than 1 000 years old. The address is 1-22 Kami-Shinozaki, Edogawa-ku, and the nearest station is Shinozaki on the Shinjuku Line.

Meanwhile, over at the Sengen Shrine in Asakusa, there will be a garden plant and tree fair happening on the weekend. It’s a good chance to stock up on summer plants for your tiny balcony.

Fans of director David Lynch can check out his exhibition of lithography and other works at the Tomio Koyama Gallery in Koto-ku. It’s free and runs until July 14th.

You can still see the fireflies – for details, see this Cheapo Weekend post.

And don’t forget that many of Tokyo’s summer bargain sales start this weekend!

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