Cheapo Weekend for October 11-13: Sacred Lights, Tea Ceremony and Train Mania

Carey Finn

Tea Ceremony

It’s another long weekend in Tokyo – and there are heaps of ways to spend it without spending those hard-earned yen. Take, for example …

The fireworks show in Narita (the city, not the airport) on Saturday evening. This laid-back event is probably your last chance to catch the famed “fire flowers” until next summer.

If you’re in Ikebukuro, be sure to check out the second part of the Fukuro Festival. It’s a chance to see taiko drumming, all sorts of Japanese dance styles, and portable shrines being carted around – good fun.

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Edogawa cheapos may be interested in the low-key city festival happening at Shinozaki Park on Sunday.

Any train-loving cheapos out there? You’ll want to catch the Railway Festival in Hibiya – lots of cool stuff there.

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Classy types with a taste for traditional culture best take themselves to the Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony at Hamarikyu Gardens on Saturday and Sunday. The landscaped garden alone is well worth a visit – the indoor and outdoor ceremonies (in English) couldn’t take place in a better setting.

The real highlight of the weekend though is the Oeshiki Ikegami Festival at Honmonji Temple. While the event is held over three days, the main bit is the procession of beautifully decorated lanterns through the streets from the station to the temple on Saturday night. It starts at 6pm, but you’ll need to get there early to beat the crowds.

Looking for a way to wind down the weekend in style? Sample some sake at the Oedo Nihonshu Festival on Monday and get those dark glasses ready for Tuesday. 1 000 yen gets you access and a mean hangover.

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