Cheapo Weekend for Jan 21-22: Winter Markets and New Year Luck

Adriana Paradiso

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earth garden
Photo by shuzo serikawa used under CC

Earth Garden Winter Festival (Jan 21-22): This is a two-day outdoor market at Yoyogi Park where the food, workshops, and products being offered all promote ecological living—so you can feel good about going and also what you bring home. The park’s event square will also have a stream of musical performances spanning both days.

Daikoku Matsuri (Jan 21-22): Hankering for some good fortune? Look no further than the Daikoku Festival at Kanda Shrine. Two interesting ceremonies taking place there this weekend—one is a ice-cold purification ceremony for coming-of-age participants; the other is a traditional culinary slicing ritual.

tokyo flea market
Photo by shuzo serikawa used under CC

Akasaka Antique Market in Ark Hills (Jan 22): The Ark Hills antique market is a classier step-up compared to some of Tokyo’s usual fairs. Find the flea market classics, like jewelry, home goods, and religious motifs, or take this opportunity to update your wardrobe. There are also food trucks parked here and there, so you can hunt for cheapo deals all day, or at least until 4 pm when it closes.


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Live from the Kitchen Disco: New Year Edition (Jan 22): There’s another killer line-up for this month’s free showcase of all the best talent in Tokyo. Featuring a combination of Japanese and international bands including A Thousand Knives (International indie rock band), Grant Rolls (New Zealand indie folk singer-songwriter, The Jexit (Japanese The Jam tribute band), Santiago Parce (South American acoustic duo) and Shinizokonai (International folk-punk), you can be sure of a great night of music. There’s also a great menu with Indian food, beers and more beers—what more could you want?

Early next week

usokae bullfinch exchange
Photo by Yoshikazu TAKADA used under CC

Usokae Bullfinch Exchange (Jan 24-25): You can still keep that invigorating New Year feeling alive by heading to Kameido Tenjin Shrine for the usokae ritual—one that is almost two-hundred years old. This is where folks exchange their year-old wooden bullfinch (a type of bird that is said to bring luck) figurines for new ones, and in doing so they renew their good fortune for another year.

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