Tokyo events for Monday, January 23 to Sunday, January 29, 2023.

Is January nearly over already?

As the first month of the year comes to a close, you may be wondering if you started it off right. To dispel those worries, why not head to a few of these festivals and performances to fill up on fun (and delicious food).

Usokae Bullfinch Exchange

Kameido Tenjin Shrine will be holding its most renown ritual — Usokae — again this year, as it has for the past two centuries. The ritual centers around a bullfinch, a type of bird associated with bringing luck. Wooden bullfinch figurines acquired last year are exchanged for new ones, which will renew blessings of luck, happiness and prosperity for the upcoming year.

Chinese Traditional Performances

As part of the Chinese Spring Festival celebrations in Yokohama’s Chukagai (Chinatown), there will be a variety of traditional performance art on show.

Shimokitazawa Tengu Festival

After a few years of cancelations, the 91st Shimokitazawa Tengu Festival will go ahead. Many demon-like characters called tengu will prowl the streets of Shimokitazawa. The highlights of the festival include an enormous tengu mask parading the streets, food stalls, and a soybean stamp rally.

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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. Also known as the Tokyo City Flea Market, it can feature up to 600 (!) vendors on a busy day, making it a great place to hunt for bargains.

Matsuda Wintersweet Festival

In Matsuda’s Yadoriki area, a huge field of over 1,000 wintersweet shrubs can be found. During this period countless yellow flowers will bloom, providing a unique sight, and a distinct lovely fragrance. In past years, over 20,000 people attended with a small souvenir area and cafe. Be sure to check in advance during snow as it may be canceled.

Winter and Sake Festival

Like most events in Yoyogi Park Events Square, this festival is predominantly about eating delicious food, but the main event is the live tuna carving from 11:30 a.m. If you missed the current Toyosu tuna auction, then this is a great alternative.

Ekiben Tournament

Ekiben, the combination of eki (station) and bento (lunchbox), are highly popular in Japan and are usually eaten on a long train journey to somewhere far off and exciting. But this time, the ekiben are making the journey from all over Japan to Tokyo with 40 kinds of ekiben set up on Nakanobu Slip Road.

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