Tokyo events for Monday, January 29 to Sunday, February 4, 2024.

Dry your tears! It’s all about the Japanese holiday of Setsubun this weekend.

Setsubun is the day before spring in the old calendar and part of the festivities include demons scaring children and bean throwing. If that’s not for you, this week some plum blossom festivals will start (though it may still be a little early for full bloom) and hot cocktails are on the menu.

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Shimokitazawa Tengu Festival

Every year during Japan’s Setsubun Festival, many demon-like characters called tengu prowl the streets of Shimokitazawa. Residents scatter roasted soybeans around these creatures and chant “Fuku wa uchi!” (“Fortune in!”) three times.

Bean Throwing and Dance of the 7 Lucky Gods

This event is the ultimate in warding off ill fortune for the year and takes place at Asakusa’s Sensōji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo. Beans will be thrown — usually by local celebrities — from a stage just in front of the iconic temple and there will be a “Dance of the Seven Lucky Gods”.

Setsubun Mamemaki (Bean Throwing) Festival

Zōjōji Temple, famed for its association with the long line of Tokugawa shōguns and for its proximity to Tokyo Tower, will have a bean-flinging ceremony with men and women born in the same year as the current year of the Chinese zodiac (e.g. the dragon) kitted out in samurai garb.

Tokyo Hot Cocktail Festival

This festival will be held in Ueno’s Onshi Park and focuses on, you guessed it, hot cocktails. Catch several stalls offering unique hot drinks, with everything from beer to spirits. Apart from the drinking, you can also peruse the food stalls for snacks to go with your shots. You can also enjoy some performances. Shows include dancing, live music, and live painting demonstrations.

Chainsaw Man Pop-Up Café

For a limited time only, the popular anime Chainsaw Man will get its own café in Tokyo. There will be specially themed food and drink, as well as original goods and products to buy. There will be plenty of themed dishes to try, such as a Denji-inspired pasta plate, a Makima eyeball cake, and a Blood Sunday. We can guarantee that the Pochita sandwhich will be especially popular.

Koubai Red Plum Blossom Festival

Every year, the Ushi-Tenjin Kitano Shrine puts on a wonderful plum blossom festival during February that celebrates koubai (red plum blossoms). The shrine enshrines the ancient poet Sugawara no Michizane, who was known for his love of the blooming flower.

Odawara Plum Blossom Festival

Mainly happening around Sōga Bessho Bairin — a grove of about 35,000 plum trees — this famous festival gives visitors the chance to see the plum blossoms in full bloom. Not only will you see different types of plum blossoms, but also a clear view of Mt.Fuji. Other famous viewing spots in the surrounding area include Odawara Castle, Odawara Flower Garden, and Tsujimura Botanical Park.

Tokyo Boat Race at Heiwajima Stadium

Enjoy these thrilling boat races on the water. Six powerboats make three laps around a 600-meter course, racing to finish first. The boats are color-coded and numbered from 1 to 6.

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Filed under: Events | Things to do in Tokyo
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