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Ramen Girls Festival (Mar 16-20): No, not just for girls despite its name—this festival is for ramen lovers of any gender. Ramen used to be consider a “man’s meal” and avoided by females, but this festival celebrates women who enjoy eating a hearty bowl of ramen in this day and age. There are plenty of stalls to choose from and bowls are 900 yen each.
Golden Dragon Dance (Mar 18): Asakusa commemorates the founding of Sensoji Temple with a golden dragon dance. As the story goes, the night the temple was founded, a golden dragon swooped down from the skies to create a forest of one thousand pine trees—a symbol of prosperity, longevity and abundance. The impressive dance of today incorporates a 60-foot dragon marionette wielded by 8 dancers.
Oyama Tofu Festival (Mar 18-19): A tofu-centric festival sounds about right for Japan, doesn’t it? Just under 1.5 hours from central Tokyo is the Oyama Tofu Festival where you’ll find a speed-eating contest, a giant tofu-making machine, and various tofu stalls.
“I Love Ireland” Festival & St.Patrick’s Day Parade (Mar 18-19): St.Paddy’s Day is underway this weekend in the Harajuku-Omotesando area. Yoyogi Park will host a themed festival where the food and drink of Ireland will be on offer. At 1pm on Sunday, the annual St.Patrick’s Day parade will take place along Omotesando Street. The streets are already donning Irish and Japanese flags in anticipation for the weekend’s celebrations.
Tokyo Tower Taiwan Festival (Mar 18-20): Tokyo Tower Taiwan Festival is a three-day affair celebrating and promoting Taiwan-Japanese relations. This is your chance to get a taste of “real Taiwan” as many elements of the culture will be recreated in terms of entertainment, industry and cuisine. The highlight will be the plethora of authentic Taiwanese street food, plus traditional performances and entertainment for kids—something for the whole family!
Journey to the End of the Night: Time Travel Edition (Mar 18): Looking for a bit of unconventional fun? How about a zombie version of a game of tag (plus creative challenges) as you navigate the streets of Tokyo? Participation is free, just pre-register online and get yourself to Rinshi no Mori Park in Koyama.
Stay warm — and satiated — with these hearty winter Japanese foods.
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