After the luxurious (that’s probably the only time we’ll ever use that word) double weekend that was Golden Week, going back to the standard two days off might be tough. Reflecting that sentiment, this weekend’s events are low-key and laid-back, as well as easy on holiday-dented bank accounts.

Tokyoites often dream of escaping to the beach paradise of Okinawa (and many actually do move there). While that might not be in your budget for this weekend, the Okinawa Festival in Harajuku certainly is. You can sample tasty Okinawan soba, mozuku (a yummy vinegary seaweed dish), Orion beer and more local specialities, all while enjoying traditional music, dance and comedy. Entrance is free.

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If you’re planning on being in the Yokohama area and you have an appetite for spicy food, consider checking out the Curry Festival in the naval town of Yokosuka. It’s a good chance to try Japanese-style curries from all over the country. Baseball legend Ichiro is said to have curry for lunch every day – maybe you’ll find out why. You’ll also be able to witness the Yokosuka Navy Curry Eating Competition … whatever that may be.

Another mellow idea is to mosey over to the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens in Tokyo’s Kita area, where the Spring Rose Festival will be kicking off this Saturday. There are 180 rose plants, comprising 90 varieties, including some really fancy ones. The rest of the gardens are quite something in themselves, and there’s an old Western-style mansion (a real one, not a flat) that may be of interest to those with an eye for architecture.


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