Cheapo Weekend for June 29/30: A Traditional Japanese Soul Cleansing, a World Dance Festival and a Rowing Regatta in Odaiba

Greg Lane

hikawa

If your soul is feeling a little dusty you might consider giving it a good old scrubbing at one of the many shinto purifying festivals going on this Sunday.  The ceremony, known as Oharae takes place on only two days of the year – to be precise, the last day of June and the last day of December.  The ceremony involves passing through a giant ring made of grass that is strung underneath the torii at a Shinto Shrine.  Although there will be ceremonies talking place throughout Tokyo this Sunday, one of the more famous locations is at Omiya Hikawa Shrine in Saitama.  The shrine is a 20 minute walk from Omiya Station or a 10 minute walk from Omiya Koen Station on the Tobu Noda Line.

For a different kind of soul cleansing, at the events square at Yoyogi Park this weekend you can enjoy the World Dance Festival 2013.  I guess you have to read the newspaper to find out what it’s about since the web (including the official website) is devoid of information except for a poster featuring couples waltzing, break dancing, doing Flamenco, Rock’n’Roll and Tango.  So if it doesn’t feature all of those styles, then you should definitely ask for your money back.  Admission is free and activities are scheduled from 10am to 8pm on both Saturday and Sunday. If you make your way there on Sunday, you can also enjoy the Oedo Antiques Market in the Keyaki Namiki Dori area that runs from the event area towards Shibuya.  The closest station is Harajuku/Meiji-jingumae on the JR Yamanote Line and the Tokyo Metro.

In yet another form of cleansing, or more likely a dunking for some of the competitors, there will be a rowing regatta just offshore from Odaiba Kaihin Koen this Sunday.  Don’t expect to see many top class athletes though – this event is open to the public.  Although it’s too late to enter, you can still soak up the atmosphere and cheer on the rowers.  The closest station is Odaiba Kaihin Koen on the Yurikamome Line.


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