Looking for something to do this weekend, but don't want to just do the same old same old? Tokyo has a plethora of off-kilter events going on, but they're not always very well-advertised. Here are some of our faves this weekend. Let your hair down and celebrate Tokyo's wacky side with these events.
Yes, that is correct: there's a rubber duck race this weekend. Taking place at amusement park Yomiuriland as part of their Pool Wai summer events programme, the race will be held in one of the pools, with contestants entering with their very own quacker, which is shaped like a hamburger (see above). Entry is ¥300, which also gets you a duck to paint in whichever way you like, and unlimited runs in the roughly 10-minute competition. One participant can have up to five ducks. Happy racing! Daily until Sep 9. ¥300 per duck, race from 3pm, registration closes 2.30pm. 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi.
Spice lovers may not always be satisfied with Japan's cuisine, but this festival should set your mouth on fire (hopefully in a good way). The Gekikara Gourmet Matsuri, with the genius subtitle of 'Spicy as Hell and Tasty as Well', is broken up into four five-day blocks across August and September, with the first installment this weekend. Different restaurants will participate each time, with the spiciest – and tastiest – dish they can muster served to chili-crazed diners in Shinjuku's Okubo Park. Bring milk, just in case. Aug 21-26, 11am-9pm. Okubo Park, 2-2-23 Kabukicho, Shinjuku.
Located in the same building as the Robot Restaurant is this new place, which attempts to put a little human touch to the robot-heavy area. The 'Human Restaurant', as the name literally translates, is fully staffed by humans and meant for humans. As the owners put it, 'Robots are the majority in this part of town, and humans are the minority', and with robots ever more likely to take over some manual labour, they're looking to keep a little bit of the action for themselves and show what humans are all about. Don't worry: there's no human on the menu, besides the files with info on all the staff members. Definitely a new offbeat option in always offbeat Kabukicho. Kai Bldg 4F, 1-13-11 Kabukicho, Shinjuku. 6pm-5am daily.
What better way to make use of the vast concourse space inside Marunouchi's Kitte building than to set up a full-on sumo dohyo (ring)? Taking time out of their busy training schedules in the lead-up to September's Grand Sumo tournament at the Kokugikan, a number of top rikishi will take to the ring on August 26. Besides friendly matches, there will also be lots of sumo paraphernalia and experiences in the days leading up to it, such as a photo booth where you can transform yourself into a sumo wrestler, an exhibition of moulds of sumo wrestlers' hands and feet for comparison, and much more. Until Aug 26, tournament on Aug 26 12.30pm-4.30pm. Free entry, some events may charge. 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda.