Cheapo Weekend for May 14-15: Sanja Matsuri, Tokyo’s Biggest Festival

Adriana Paradiso
sanja matsuri
Sanja Matsuri at night | Photo by Yoshikazu TAKADA used under CC

Sanja Matsuri (May 13-15): Sanja Matsuri is considered one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo honoring the founders of Senso-ji temple. Dancers, geisha, performers, and people carrying mikoshi (portable shrines) will begin their procession from the temple and make their way around the neighborhood, and finally return to the temple at night. The crowd will be made up of millions of spectators—join the crowds or miss out of one of the year’s most awe-inspiring events.

Thai Festival (May 14-15): Speaking of crowds, you can also expect some at Yoyogi Park—where the highly anticipated annual Thai Fest kicks off the park’s ethnic-centered events for the spring and summer seasons. There will be 100 booths selling Thai delicacies, fruit smoothies and alcoholic beverages. Plus there will be art, crafts and musical performances. (And if you’re at Yoyogi anyway, keep an eye out for the Zombie Walk around 2:00pm near the Harajuku Station area.

Tokyo Port Festival (May 14-15): The Tokyo Port Festival is your chance to reconnect with Tokyo’s harbor. Taking place at the Harumi Port Terminal, there will be lots of family-oriented activities and a firefighting display with firefighting tugs on Sunday.

Chalupa Store Exhibition and Pop-up Shop (May 13-15): A unique and carefully curated 3-day exhibition and pop-up shop comes to Commune 246. The pop-up shop will be offering home goods and items full of soul and charm; crafted with the highest-quality materials by the most talented hands in Mexico.


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International Museum Day (May 18): Ok, so it’s not on the weekend, but it’s a pretty notable day—the day where you can go to most major museums for free! In particular, the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science, the National Museum of Western Art and the Shitamachi Museum (all in Ueno) will have free admission.

Happy Weekend!

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