Cheapo Weekend for March 25-26: Sakura Season Has Arrived!

Adriana Mazza

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Photo by 思弦 張 used under CC

Anime Japan (March 23-26): This is the event for any anime lover. Head over to Tokyo Big Sight for a look at upcoming anime, exhibits, official merchandise booths, stage shows, freebies, cosplay, and seminars on the anime industry (sadly, only in Japanese). There’s also a family area for wholesome, kid-oriented anime; only children of elementary school age and younger, as well as their guardians, can access this area.

Cherry blossoms: Blossoms have begun, and so have sakura festivals around Tokyo. The Sumida Park Festival offers views of the sakura-lined river (boat rides available!) with Tokyo Skytree is the background. And you’ve probably seen images of  the iconic Ueno Park Cherry Blossom Festival in pictures or guide books well before ever coming to Tokyo. It’s quite a vision, but everyone thinks so, so be prepared for crowds. And remember not to leave just because the sun is setting, both festivals have nighttime illuminations, which make everything ethereally more beautiful. And for more spots to see cherry blossoms, with some less-crowded options, visit here.

Surprise guests at the Ekoda Night Bazaar | Photo by David Ishikawa

Ekoda Night Bazaar (March 25): Some solid family fun to be had at this nighttime market. There will be locals shops selling their wares on the streets, yatai (street food) stalls serving up some sweet and savory treats, and activities for kids.


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Yayoi at the Three Hundred Bar (March 25): “Yayoi” is a Japanese-themed event held at all three of the Three Hundred Bar locations in Ginza and Yurakucho (where food a drink are only 300 yen, hence the name). The event promises “out of the ordinary” Japanese plays along with special cocktails, sake tasting (from masu—small wooden boxes for drinking nihonshu) and special food selections. Each of the locations will be decorated with lanterns and cherry-blossom-themed decorations, and staff will be dressed in traditional Japanese attire.

Photo by AppletonOnfoot used under CC

Nuno-Haku in Tokyo (March 25-26): Nuno-Haku is where you can buy all kinds of textile-related merchandise. There are plenty of fabrics, clothing, etc., on sale, as well as special fan favorites like the ‘brooch expo/earring party’ and a sock parlor. They also have workshops, performances, and food so you can enjoy your whole day here. Entry is 500 yen.

African Festival Yokohama 2017 (March 25-26): A festival of all things African in Yokohama, “to bridge the cultural difference between Africa and Japan”. There will be traditional drumming and dancing, games, a photo exhibition, fashion, quizzes, African product displays and a wide range of food and drinks.

tokyo flea market
Photo by shuzo serikawa used under CC

Akasaka Antique Market (until March 26): The Ark Hills antique market wraps up this weekend. It’s 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.

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