Your weekend freebies:
Nihonbashi Ebisu-ko Bettara Market (Oct 19-20): For a little pre-weekend fun, Takarada Ebisu Shrine will be holding its annual fair. Of notable importance is the local specialty bettara-zuke, sweet and salty daikon radish pickles—a must-try for any attendee. But not to worry if that’s not quite your sustenance of choice, there will be about 500 stalls serving all kinds of culinary delights. And some boozy options too.
Japan Robot Week (Oct 19-21): Want to witness the latest and greatest in robotic technology? Then look no further than Japan Robot Week, an exhibition focusing on service robots (i.e. support in the medical, agricultural fields). It’s free to enter, just make sure you pre-register on the site. And for pictures from this year’s exhibition, check here.
Roppongi Art Night (Oct 21-23): Join the millions of other art lovers heading to Tokyo’s Roppongi area for a full weekend of art installations (interactive and otherwise), video, music and design. The theme for this year’s event is Roppongi, Art Playground—with the focus on having fun and being so entrenched in what you’re doing that you don’t realize how much time has gone by, just like when you were a kid. So go on—head to Roppongi Art Night, engage your senses and revert back to your childhood self as you marvel at the creativity on offer. The key areas to check out are Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi Hills Area and the National Art Center Tokyo, but be sure to check out some of the smaller venues, all listed on the official website.
Journey to the End of the Night: Space Edition (Oct 22): 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 Mabashi Park in Koenji.
Nihonbashi-Kyobashi Matsuri (Oct 23): Along Chuo Dori, a main Tokyo artery, will see a florid parade of dancers and performers—around 3000 of them. Go empty-bellied, you’ll want to fill up on the culinary fare from the 60+ yatai stalls.
Design Touch 2016 (Oct 14-Nov 6): Tokyo Midtown is once again holding Design Touch. The main feature is the interactive art installation in the Grass Square, but there are plenty more art, goods, flower exhibitions and more in the vicinity—and they’re all free.
Koganecho Bazaar (Oct 1-Nov 6): A must-see for art lovers of any kind, Koganecho Bazaar features artists from across the world and Japan, with sculpting to photography and everything in-between. The Bazaar is held in Yokohama, and focuses on every day life and community collaboration. Originally held to celebrate the revitalization of the area after it was cleared of hundreds of prostitution houses, the event has developed to use the city streets, reclaimed houses and specially built studio buildings to display artwork, hold talks and allow the public to explore the work of the artists. (Closed Mondays)
A famous park, a former black market and a whole heap of museums—get to know Ueno:
Recommended hotels located nearby
Akihabara, Kanda, from ¥6,450
Nihonbashi, from ¥2,500
Nihonbashi, from ¥2,300
Kanda, from ¥1,500