What to do in Tokyo this week? (August 20th- 26th)

Are you more tempted by watching samba dancers in a Japanese traditional setting or watching traditional dances in a modern atmosphere?

2018-08-27   Festivals & Events,


Hakkiyoi KITTE (August 13th- August 26th)

Watch real sumo wrestlers fight (Source: official website)

The shopping mall ‘KITTE’ (which is run by the Japan Post) is holding a sumo event! A real dohyo (the space inside the sumo wrestlers fight) has been built in the atrium on the 1st floor. There will be an exhibition of sumo-related items.

The main event will take place on Sunday 26th, from 12:30 to 16:30, when you can see sumo wrestlers parading, performing traditional rituals and, of, course, fight!

Place: KITTE shopping mall (Tokyo station, Marunouchi area)

Shopping mall official website (English): KITTE

The event’s official page (Japanese only): Hakkiyoi KITTE

 Access: 1mn on foot from the Marunouchi South Exit of the JR Tokyo Station; direct  underground access from the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Tokyo station. 

2018 Asakusa Samba Carnival (August 25th)

A Samba dancer in front of the Kaminarimon (Source: the Japan Times)

Samba is not really the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about dancing parades in Japan, but the Asakusa Samba Carnival is actually one of the biggest summer events in Tokyo! As you may or may not know, Brazilian culture has a special echo in Japan because Brazil has the largest Japanese population outside Japan – Japanese have started emigrating to Brazil in the beginning of the 20th century. Nwadays, about 1.5 millions of Brazilians are of Japanese descent. 2018 will be the 37th year to celebrate these special ties through samba!

The carnival will take place between 13:00 to 18:00 along Kaminarimon doori. You may want to come a little early as a huge crowd of spectators is to be expected! Also please note that selfie sticks will be forbidden.

Place: Asakusa Kaminarimon doori.

Official website: Asakusa Samba Carnival

Access: 5mn on foot from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Tobu Skytree Line)

Golden Gai Noryousai (August 26th)

The charming neons of Golden Gai. (Source: http://otonano-shumatsu.com/column_list/chirayomi/golden.html)

Golden Gai is an old and emblematic part of Shinjuku, packed with little bars that can only welcome a few customers. In the past, it used to be very intimidating to go there as a foreigner, but today the area is much more tourists-friendly with many signs in English.

Still, the system of table charges can be a little confusing. On Sunday 26th, Golden Gai is organizing a ‘refreshing festival’ during which there will be no charges and drinks will be 500 yens. There will also be a ‘stamp rally’ to invite you to visit many different bars, and shops will be doing special events.

Place: Almost all the bars in Golden Gai (Shinjuku)

Official website (Japanese only): Golden Gai Noryousai 2018

Access: 5mn on foot from Shinjuku-sanchome station (Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Line)

Harajuku Omotesando Super Yosakoi (August 25th-26th)

Don’t miss this summer’s biggest traditional dance event in Tokyo! (Source: Official website)

With Awa-odori. Yosakoi is one of the most famous traditional dances in Japan. The biggest event to see it in Tokyo is definitely this one. In addition to several stages in Harajuku, Yoyogi Park or in front of the NHK building, a huge parade of more than 6000 dancers in colorful costumes will dance along Omotesando avenue. The main parade will take place on Sunday 26th from 11:40 to 16:45 on the avenue.

Place: On Omotesando avenue and the Harajuku  area

Official website (Japanese only): Harajuku Omotesando Super Yosakoi

Access: 5mn on foot from JR Line Harajuku Station (JR Yamanote Line), 5mn on foot from Meijijingu-Mae Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line)

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Writer / Translator

I’m French but I’ve been living in Tokyo for many years during which I had a lot of meaningful and thrilling experiences. I’m curious and I love learning new things. My hobbies are kick boxing, scuba diving, Japanese traditional painting, etc… As a writer, I’d like to share information about less touristic, more authentic places. I will also write about all the fun and cultural activities unique to Japan.