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April 2018 events in Tokyo

Plan your April in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including spring festivals, Golden Week fun, concerts and art exhibits

Unless you have serious cedar pollen allergy, April is one of the nicest months in Tokyo: the weather is usually very agreeable, tasty festivals and other outdoor events abound, and there may even be a few cherry blossoms left on the trees here and there. April is also the time for highlights like Tokyo Rainbow Week, Earth Day and Zushi's Beach Film Festival, all centred around the first half of the Golden Week holiday at the end of the month. Make sure you don't miss out with our guide to the top events going on in Tokyo this April.  

Our April highlights


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.

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Fuji Motosuko Resort Saturday April 14 2018 - Sunday May 27 2018

Aoyama Sake Flea

Attention, sake lovers: Aoyama Sake Flea is back for their biannual nihonshu bonanza. Started three years ago, this tasting event that takes place as part of the UNU Farmer's Market has proven very popular with a wide range of imbibers, and keeps on growing each edition. 31 breweries from across the country will be hawking their wares this time; if you ask nicely, they'll be able to tell you loads about the brewing process too. Grab a 'starter set' (sake cup and six tasting tickets) at the entrance and sip away, or book tickets online if you're absolutely sure you want to get sloshed - you're allowed to take last event's cup with you too instead of buying a new one.   Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the latest updates; previous events have included anything from a 'sake-hopping' tour to a crash course in nihonshu knowledge by four of Tokyo's most legendary sake bartenders. 

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United Nations University Farmers' Market , Aoyama Saturday March 31 2018 - Sunday April 1 2018

Kurayami Matsuri

The ancient Okunitama Shrine out in Fuchu is said to have been founded in the year 111, and the annual Kurayami Matsuri is its most notable event. Translating as 'darkness festival', the festivities go on for a week, with float parades, performances and plenty of family-friendly fun taking place on each day. The highlight comes on the evening of May 4, when eight mikoshi shrines are carried through the grounds to the beat of huge taiko drums, while you can see a spectacular yabusame (horseback archery) demonstration on May 3. Check the full programme details (in Japanese) on their website. 

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Okunitama Shrine , Fuchu Monday April 30 2018 - Sunday May 6 2018

Rikugien Cherry Blossom Lightup 2018

Rikugien's annual spring celebration will be back again for 2018, which means that both the park's huge cherry trees and the rest of the beautiful Japanese garden will be lit up in the evening, creating a magical atmosphere for sakura flower viewing. The park stays open until 9pm for the duration of the event, making after-work hanami parties possible even on weekdays.

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Rikugien , Komagome Until Thursday April 5 2018

Koinobori at Tokyo Tower

Now an annual sight at Tokyo Tower, the colourful Children's Day carp streamers will be set up in front of the main entrance again from early April. In addition to 333 koinobori, which of course signify the height of our beloved Eiffel Tower replica, the decorations include a 6m sanma-nobori – this one both a reminder of September's Tokyo Tower Sanma Matsuri and of the ongoing recovery efforts in Tohoku's Sanriku region, a major producer of Pacific saury (sanma). Between 5pm and 11pm, the koinobori will be lit up with 10 different LED searchlights too; pop by both during the day and night (or close to sundown) to experience the tower in two very distinct ways. 

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Tokyo Tower , Shiba-Koen Saturday April 7 2018 - Sunday May 6 2018

4th Japanese Wine Matsuri

This festival has been held annually since 2015 with the aim of spreading the love for Japanese wine throughout the country. Sample and compare a good 180 Japanese wines from 56 wineries across 18 prefectures, learn about the perfect combination of cheese and wine or participate in a stamp rally. Savour the spring with an outdoor drink – the festival's Hibiya park setting, right around the big fountain, makes for a perfect day out for oenophiles.

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Hibiya Park , Hibiya Friday April 13 2018 - Sunday April 15 2018

Rainbow Disco Club 2018

Held in Tokyo three times since 2010, this combo event uniting music and art packed up and moved out to the Izu Peninsula in 2015. That picturesque location will again be revisited for 2018, as the three-day Rainbow Disco Club returns over Golden Week. Look forward to a diverse lineup of mainly house and techno: we already know that Tokyo's own DJ Nobu will be playing a b2b set with New Jersey producer and Inimeg label head Joey Anderson. More announcements are to be expected throughout winter.

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Higashi-Izu Cross Country Course Saturday April 28 2018 - Monday April 30 2018

Bunkyo Azalea Festival

For 11 months of every year, Nezu Shrine doesn't attract all that much attention from the outside world. Then spring rolls around, and its remarkable crop of azaleas burst into bloom. The shrine precincts are home to some 3,000 azalea plants – roughly 100 varieties in total, including rare breeds such as the black karafune flower – and has to find space for at least as many flower aficionados during the month-long Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri. Expect it to get busiest during Golden Week, when there'll be performances and a range of other activities, although there are stalls with antiques and more all throughout the festival.

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Nezu Shrine , Nezu Saturday April 7 2018 - Sunday May 6 2018

Kan'ei Elegance: Edo-Period Court Culture and Enshu, Ninsei, and Tan'yu

Zooming in on the Kan'ei era (1624-44), a period that marked the beginning of the long 'Edo peace' after centuries of violent struggle, the Suntory Museum's 'Kan'ei Elegance' highlights how appreciation of the traditional arts and classic culture underwent a revival centred on Kyoto. Waka poetry and the performing arts returned to vogue, with miyabi (refinement, grace) becoming the word to live by in the ancient capital. In Edo, meanwhile, a more straightforward aesthetic developed among the samurai classes. Centring on the works of tea ceremony master Kobori Enshu, potter Nonomura Ninsei and painter Kano Tan'yu, the exhibition explores how these twin streams of high culture came to symbolise a new age and build the foundations for artistic development later in the Edo era.

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Suntory Museum of Art , Roppongi Until Sunday April 8 2018

Tokyo Coffee Festival 2018 Spring

Pleasant coffee aromas fill the air again at Aoyama's UNU farmer's market in mid-April, as up to 50 roasters, baristas and coffee shop operators from all over Japan show off their craft from Saturday morning on. Pick up one of the sampler tickets for the chance to try small amounts of several different varieties, and check out the stalls selling all kinds of coffee-related paraphernalia. Tokyo representatives include Fuglen, Glitch and 4/4 Seasons, while international guests come from Berlin and Brazil – see the entire list here. You'll also find stalls selling books and flowers, plus a wide range of coffee-compatible eats. If you're not up for sampling a set, some stalls also sell coffee by the cup too. 

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United Nations University , Aoyama Saturday April 14 2018 - Sunday April 15 2018
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