This is how every week/weekend should be – four days on, four days off, four days on. Sadly this kind of work life combo is all too rare.

Cinco de Mayo at Yoyogi Park | Photo by Tiffany Lim

Although Cinco de Mayo (link in Japanese) is a Mexican celebration, this event to be held in the event square at Yoyogi Park is touted as a “Celebration of the Americas” encompassing all the people and cultures from the top of Canada down to Tierra del Fuego. Also, although “Cinco de Mayo” actually means the 5th of May, this event will take place on the 3rd and 4th of May.  For a map and access, go here.

Over in Fuchu this long weekend will see one of the larger festivals in western Tokyo with 500,000 people expected for the Kurayami Matsuri. There will be happenings from Friday the 3rd through Monday the 6th based around the Okunitama Shrine. This is said to be one of the 5 most important shrines in Tokyo and the festival was once described as one of the 3 oddest in Japan.  This was apparently because it was historically a dance festival intended for single men and women – so it was basically a huge nampa party.  The festival is a lot less boisterous these days and consists of  parades, taiko drumming and processions of Mikoshi.  ‘Kurayami’ means ‘darkness’, so most of the activity will take place in the evening. The closest station is Fuchuhonmachi on the JR Nanbu and JR Musashino lines.

Suggested Activity
Go Karting with Cosplay through Asakusa & Akihabara (See Skytree)
Don your favourite video game or superhero outfit and drive go-karts through Asakusa and Akihabara — passing Tokyo Skytree! International driving license required.

If you were thinking about going to Yokohama on Friday to relax peacefully in Yamashita Park watching the boats in the harbour, then you may want to re-think your plans. The park will be the venue for ‘The Yokohama Parade” – featuring marching bands and dance troupes goose stepping up a storm. The parade will run from 9am until 1:30pm. The closest stations are Nihon Odori Station and Motomachichukagai on the Yokohama Subway.

If the warmer weather has you itching for summer, there will be a fireworks display just for you in Chiba this Sunday, the 5th from 8pm. It’s all part of a cunning ploy to lure you to Festival Walk Dreams (link in Japanese) in Soga, a seaside shopping centre in Chiba City. The shopping centre is a 15 minute walk from the west exit of JR Soga Station on the Keiyo, Uchibo and Sotobo  Lines.

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