Tokyo events for Monday, May 1 to Sunday, May 7, 2023.
Golden Week has crept up fast, and if you’ve decided to avoid travel during the busiest Japanese holidays of the year, you’ll be rewarded with all the great events going on in Tokyo.
Wondering what to do? We’ve got a great list of international and traditional festivals, food bonanzas, and free Cheapo events and tips.
The aim of this festival is to promote friendship between Japan and the Kingdom of Cambodia. The festival features Khmer products and traditional food as well as dance and cultural performances.
Oktoberfest in April? Sure, why not? From the same people who put on the popular Hibiya Oktoberfest (held in May), this is another excuse to drink outdoors while sampling German-style eats and lively music.
|Advance sales: ¥500|
Haisai Okinawan Festa
This annual event celebrates many aspects of Okinawan culture — including cuisine, music, dance, traditional arts, and more. In normal years, around 200,000 visitors attend over the five-day period.
Choose from aged wagyu beef in a rich egg-yolk sauce to tender spare ribs or even Korean-style hot chicken with cheese fondue — this year, the Meat Festival 2023: The Carnival will have enough meat to satiate you till 2024.
Craft Gyoza Fes
Who doesn’t love Gyoza? Meaty, juicy parcels of goodness. Sample from the very best of Japan’s dumplings — be they steamed, fried, boiled, or grilled — at this year’s Craft Gyoza Festival in Komazawa Olympic Park.
Meiji Shrine Spring Grand Festival
Every year during Golden Week, a Spring Grand Festival is held at Meiji Shrine (the biggest and most important shrine in Tokyo). The almost week-long festival features an impressive lineup of traditional performing arts presentations—led by masters in the field.
Odawara Hōjō Godai Festival
The Odawara Hōjō Godai Festival is a must-see event held annually in Odawara, a city just an hour outside of Tokyo. Almost 2,000 people will parade through the streets of Odawara, emulating the Hōjō lords of the past.
Take your slice of horse racing and archery, shrine jostling, and giant drum performances. The Kurayami Festival is also known as the Darkness Festival because the most important parades take place under the cover of…well… darkness. The most important procession happens on May 5.
Kazo Citizens’ Peace Festival
This festival claims to have the biggest koinobori (koi carp streamer) in the world. At 100 meters long, it towers over this humble riverside in Saitama for Children’s Day.
Ōme Grand Festival
This traditional festival features twelve giant wheeled floats known as “dashi” – each representing one of the neighborhoods of the city of Ome in far western Tokyo. Costumed mannequins ride the dashi, which are pushed and pulled through the streets to the accompaniment of traditional flutes and drums by the residents of the neighborhood they represent.
Tokyo Tower 333 Carp Streamers
Tokyo Tower’s annual koinobori (carp, or koi fish, streamers) event sees over three hundred fishes flapping in the wind for Children’s Day. For 2023, 40 streamers will have a special Sesame Street makeover, along with a pop-up shop and truck. See if you can spot Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Julia.
Tokyo Sea Life Park: Free Admission Day
Tokyo Sea Life Park is a very impressive aquarium. Its mission is to display animals from Tokyo’s own sea as well as from the rest of the world, and it has a wide range of exhibition areas. Luckily for Cheapos, there are three days a year that allow free admission: October 10th (the aquarium’s anniversary day), May 4th (Greenery Day), and October 1st (Tokyo Citizens’ Day).
Ollie Horn (UK): Before/After Stand-Up Comedy
Join Ollie Horn, one of the UK circuit’s most exciting breakthrough storytellers, as he performs an hour of hilarious, energetic, and thoughtful stand-up. His set will leave you feeling great about yourself.
|Advance sales: ¥3,400||At the door: ¥4,000|
|Advance sales: ¥2,400|
Festivities include a dedication to the kachiya (victory arrow) and a traditional samurai procession tracing a 2-km route through the neighborhood around Kameido Station and finishing at the shrine. The parade features samurai in battle armor, archers, a brass band, and other people in period dress.
Yoyogi Park Flea Market
One of Tokyo’s biggest — and most irregular — flea markets. If it happens to well, happen, while you’re here, you might be lucky enough to find hundreds of vendors, peddling everything from clothes to pottery and other crafts, antiques, and tasty snacks.
Oedo Beer Festival Spring
After a long hiatus, the spring version of the Oedo Beer Festival has returned to give craft beer fans even more choices of places in which to spend the golden weather of Golden Week. Some notable brewers in attendance include Isekadoya, Ezo Beer, and T.Y. Harbor Brewery. From a hophead’s perspective though, there’s not much to get excited about with the lineup.