Cheapo Weekend for November 22-24: Ninjas and Night Bazaars

Carey Finn

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This three-day weekend you can travel the world without leaving Tokyo, hang out with ninjas in a park, browse for bargains at a night bazaar, sample a super famous type of radish, and much, much more.

If you’re up for a round-the-world trip but are too cheap to buy the ticket, the 92nd Gaigosai Festival at Tokyo Foreign Studies University is just the event for you. The students will be manning stalls representing all sorts of countries, and there will be food, booze and plays to boot.

Always wanted to meet a ninja? Head over to the Iga Ueno Ninja Festival in Ueno Park for family-friendly assassin culture. Afterwards, the Ekoda Night Bazaar is a mellow way to wind down the day; there will be all manner of tasty eats, music and festivities in the shopping street between Ekoda and Shin-Sakuradai Stations. There will also be pickles made from the local Nerima daikon radishes – the area is so famous for its tasty daikon that it’s actually been referenced in anime.

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If you missed it the first time around, Part 2 of the Asakusa Tori-no-Ichi Fair is happening on Saturday – get down to the lively event to pray for good luck and prosperity in business and enjoy colourful, glitzy scenes. This weekend is also your last chance to catch the fancy chrysanthemum exhibition going down in Hibiya.

As Tokyo rolls further towards winter, the trees and illuminations colour the cityscape in reds, golds and electric blues. For good gingko tree viewing, check out the avenues at Jingugaien. And for Christmas lights, head to Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Midtown or Shiodome. The Autumn Evening Illumination at Rikugien Gardens (officially a “national scenic beauty spot”) is a stunning mix of leaves and lights, and well worth a peek too.


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