Washi Candle Garden
Washi Candle Garden

If you’ve been in Tokyo this past week, you can go right ahead and put those grumbles away—the never-ending rain will finally let up it for what seems like a mostly sunny weekend. If you’ve squandered most of your week indoors watching the new Japanese Netflix, it’s best to take advantage of the drench-free outdoors and check out some free events around town. There’s a lot going on so feel free to be choosy!

We’ve got 3 events that start this Friday and go until Sunday. The first is Akasaka Hikawa Matsuri—a community festival with a procession of dashi (traditional floats) topped off with festival food, music and dancing. If you’re feeling up for it, you can register to be part of the festival too.

Another aesthetic (but more solemn) event is the Washi Candle Garden. Tama University students put together a garden of washi (Japanese lantern) lanterns in remembrance of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Suggested Activity
Go Karting with Cosplay through Asakusa & Akihabara (See Skytree)
Don your favourite video game or superhero outfit and drive go-karts through Asakusa and Akihabara — passing Tokyo Skytree! International driving license required.

The last of the 3-dayers is Startup Weekend Tokyo International—a practical event for anyone who interested in startup ventures where you can pitch ideas, network, present your business ideas and get mentored along the way.

On Saturday, you can drop by the trendy Harajuku/Aoyama/Omotesando area for Vogue’s annual Fashion’s Night Out event. There’s a variety of unspecified events, but the main idea is that hundreds of brands are showcased in the company of designers, celebrities and Vogue editors from around the world.

And running both Saturday and Sunday are two cultural fests. One is the Kichijoji Autumn Festival, where portable shrines are paraded through the streets of Kichijoji to celebrate the new season, and the other is the 249th Sakaki Festival (one of the longest running festivals in the Kanto area) involving the strutting around of a Sakaki tree (Japanese evergreen) throughout town and ending up at Hiyoshi Shrine.

Happy Weekend!

(Correction: This post originally mentioned that the Shibuya Nebuta Festival would take place on Sat. Sept 12, when in fact it will be taking place next week on Fri. Sept 18.)

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