The best upcoming events in Tokyo
Fuji Shibazakura Festival
Great views of majestic Mount Fuji and seemingly endless fields of shibazakura ('pink moss') – it's no wonder that this annual spring festival out at Lake Motosu in Yamanashi attracts hordes of Tokyoites over Golden Week. In addition to strolling around the immense flowery growth, you can buy your own shibazakura pot to take home or bite into a wide range of local delicacies.
African American Carribean Grand Prix Beauty Contest & Food Festa
A celebration of African-American and Carribean cultures (and their axis), this week-long festival is set to take over Kabukicho's Cine City Plaza over Golden Week. Think live (dance) performances, fashion shows, samba, coffee stands, hair braiding sessions, and of course, lots and lots of food. To top it all off, Miss & Mister African-American-Caribbean will be crowned here too.
Golden Week is one of Japan's peak periods for travelling, but you can save money on airfares by heading to one of the many cultural festivals held in Tokyo and the surrounding area. While the capital's parks host most of these events, Kawasaki's La Cittadella takes a trip to Okinawa every year, with five days of food, music and dance from Japan's southernmost prefecture. Look out for eisa dancing, stalls selling Okinawan soba, mango kakigori and Orion beer, live music by Okinawan performers and workshops on traditional crafts and instruments. Meanwhile, neighbouring Club Citta hosts a full-scale Okinawan music festival – click here for more details.
Kameido Ten Jinja Wisteria Matsuri
Famed within Tokyo for its wisteria ('fuji' in Japanese), this shrine in Kameido has a good 100 flowers inside its precincts, which usually bloom from late April. Everything is lit up at night, and you'll be able to catch the wisteria reflections in the pond. On top of that, over 100 stalls will set up shop during the festival. Munch on some street food goodies while admiring the flowers – you can't get a more oldschool Tokyo spring experience than that.
Koenji Bikkuri Daidogei
Sure, they pinched the idea from Sangenjaya's long-running Sancha de Daidogei, but this street performance festival is still heaps of fun. Held to mark the opening of the Za-Koenji Public Theatre in 2009, the Bikkuri Daidogei has since become an annual affair. For two days during Golden Week, acrobats, musicians, comedians and costumed weirdos ply the streets of the neighbourhood, dispensing free, family-friendly entertainment to all and sundry.