Tokyo events for Monday, April 8 to Sunday, April 14, 2024.

Spring is in full motion and that means flower festivals have taken over Tokyo and beyond.

The most famous celebrations are the shibazakura festivals — see Chichibu and the pink field near Mt. Fuji — as well as the wisteria and tulips. This week also sees the start of the Kamakura Festival.

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Ohi Racecourse Flea Market

One of Tokyo’s biggest and most frequent flea markets, this event takes place over many — if not all — weekends a month. Most vendors sell used clothes simply laid out in piles on a tarp, but some have fossils, gemstones, Japanese antiques, household goods, or secondhand electronics on offer.

Kamakura Festival

The festival features a parade with mikoshi (portable shrines) carried down the famous Wakamiya Ōji Street towards Tsurugaoka Hachimangū, plus expect performances — including a traditional dance — and a kyūdō tournament. The procession starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Paella and Tapas Festival

Timed to approximately coincide with the famous Feria de Abril held every April in Seville, Spain, the Paella and Tapas Festival is a hugely popular food festival. Visitors can enjoy popular Spanish dishes, such as paella and tapas, and drinks, such as Spanish wine, beer, and sangria.

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo + Juliet

Romeo and Juliet has been on stage in hundreds of different ways. Instead of amongst the wealthy Verona families from Shakespeare, the play takes place in the Verona Institute — a boarding school. But the key note is the same: two star-crossed lovers divided by fate.

Earth Day Tokyo

All kinds of environment NPOs and charities you probably didn’t know existed in Tokyo will be recruiting and spreading their word at Earth Day Tokyo. There will also be plenty of eco-friendly businesses selling their products. Or you can just enjoy the free art, vibes, and music.

Sakura Tulip Festival

The name is confusing, yes: Sakura here does not refer to cherry blossoms. Rather, it’s the name of the city in Chiba Prefecture where the festival is held. In addition to the multi-colored array of tulips, there will be food trucks and stalls, a tulip market, and a photo contest.

Kameido Tenjin Wisteria Festival

Kameido Tenjin Shrine has been associated with wisteria since its founding in the mid-17th century. According to the shrine, its inaugural head priest knew that the damp soil of the grounds would be perfect for the flowering vine. During the annual Kameido Tenjin Wisteria Festival, the wisteria is illuminated after dusk (during the height of the season).

Chichibu Shibazakura Festival

Shibazakura (moss phlox) means something like “lawn-cherry” and these flowers, which bloom in multiple shades of pink, are one of Japan’s many, many spring blooms. The whole thing, as you can imagine, is extremely photogenic, as the different colored blossoms form abstract patterns on the sloping grounds.

Ichiyo Cherry Blossom Festival

Note that this year the oiran (courtesan) parade that the festival is most known for will not take place. Instead of the parade, the venue will be moved to Fuji Park and there will be a flea market and performances, including kabuki shows and traditional Japanese instruments.

Ongoing flower festivals

Azalea flower festival at Nezu Shrine
Photo by iStock.com/Tatiana Petrova
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Filed under: Events | Things to do in Tokyo
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