May Activities

03 May 2009 11:28 AM | Deleted user

Golden Week and other May Activities

By Kuniko Noguchi


Hello Folks.  How are you enjoying the Golden Week holidays?  We are now in the middle of the holidays and if you are wondering what to do in the next few days here are a few suggestions. 

La Folle Journée au Japon

~Days of Enthusiasm Music Festival 2009 Bach and Europe~

This is a classical music festival which has been a popular Golden Week event since 2005, and this year runs from May 3rd to 5th at the Tokyo International Forum.  About 1,500 top artists will gather from all over the world and perform the music of Bach, the father of modern music. The very reasonable admission fee makes this a tempting event for Bach fans!  Please visit for more details!

“Open The Park” at Tokyo Midtown

This event has something for everyone.  Even though this event started at Tokyo Midtown on April 24th, it runs through to May 6th, so there are still lots to see.Here again, world-class jugglers, circus acts, trapeze artists will entertain you. There’s even free outdoor yoga lessons.  For the details, please check out the link: .

Hot Spring Resorts in Tokyo

If you wish to finish off your holidays with relaxation, you may want to head to an onsen.  There are many hot spring resorts in and around Tokyo. I would personally recommend Ooedo Onsen Monogatari in Odaiba or Manyo No Yu in Minatomirai, Yokohama if you want to enjoy a Japanese atmosphere in addition to the hot spring bath.  Also, a little-known place I would recommend is Seta Onsen if you would like to unwind in a natural green setting.  When you go to Seta Onsen, please take your swimsuits as it has a few large outdoor mixed baths.  It also has a poolside bar beside the top outdoor bath so you can have a refreshing beer or cocktail while soaking in the bath. Check out these onsen with the following links: (only in Japanese)

There are more events and activities to enjoy during the holidays which you may want to check out on the internet or in the free listings magazines.  I hope that you use Golden Week as an opportunity to explore Tokyo more.  The weather is great, so get out and enjoy it!

Life in Tokyo doesn't finish with Golden Week. Other events you may want to think about a little later in the month are:

Sanja Matsuri
This is one of most famous festivals in Tokyo’s calendar which features more than 100 portable Shinto shrines (mikoshi) trekking through the streets of Asakusa, after leaving Senso-ji temple. This is from May 15-17 and is free. Nearest station is Asakusa.
 Look here for details: 


The gogatsu basho (May Tournament) starts May 10 and runs through to May 24th. Everyone should see Japan’s traditional sport at least once.  The bouts start at 9am each day, but the stars aren’t usually on until around 3pm. It’s held at Ryogoku Kokugikan, 1-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida-ku. The nearest station is Ryogoku. Details at:

Design Festa
This is a (now) huge biannual arts event held at Tokyo Big Sight. It features arts, crafts, interior goods, fashion and accessories, film, video and music: just about anything vaguely artistic. It is on May 16-17, 11am-7pm and the cost is very reasonable at ¥1,000 for one-day or ¥1,800 for a two-day pass. Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition West Halls 1, 2, 3, 4, Atrium & Outdoor. Nearest station is Kokusai-Tenjijo. Details at:


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