Next to the famous and beautiful cherry blossoms, spring in Japan has a whole variety of traditional and interesting events to offer, especially so in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo! Pray for the health of girls and young women, enjoy St. Patrick's Day, participate in fire-walking, and see a golden dragon dance in early spring!
Hyakudan Hinamatsuri - Vintage Dolls from Kyushu
January 19 (Fri) to March 11 (Sun)
The famous Hundred-Steps Staircase in Meguro Gajoen, a designated a tangible cultural property of Tokyo, is the venue of the Hyakudan Hinamatsuri - "hyakudan" actually means one-hundred steps. Hinamatsuri is also called the Doll Festival or the Girls' Festival, as it is an occasion to pray for the health and good fortune of girls and young women all around the country.
Particularly Kyushu has a very rich Hinamatsuri culture - all of which can be discovered in around 1,000 different exhibits from all of Kyushu's seven prefectures, such as hina dolls from noble weddings of the Edo period, ancient dolls called shin-hime, ritual dolls used to pray to the deities of mountains, and many more.
Entry fee: 1,500 yen
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Hyakudankaidan, Meguro Gajoen目黒雅叙園 百段階段
- Address 1-8-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 1530064 Japan
The LEGO Doll Festival
February 19 (Mon) to March 4 (Sun)
Beloved by young and old, the plastic brick maker from Denmark holds its very own Lego Hina Matsuri, or LEGO Doll's Festival, mainly for children between 3 and 10 years old. The dolls and decorations of this unique festival are built by the only certified LEGO Master Builder of Japan, Yoshihiro Osawa. Even a seven-step stairs to showcase the dolls is made entirely out of LEGO bricks.
Entry fee: 2,400 yen per person (for two people or more)
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. (until 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and on national holidays)
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Tokyoレゴランド・ディスカバリー・センター東京
- Address Island Mall 6F, Decks Tokyo Beach, 1-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1350091 Japan
Mt. Takao Fire-walking Festival 2018
March 11 (Sun), 2018
Held on the second Sunday of March every year, Mt. Takao's Fire-walking Festival, or Hiwatari Matsuri, is an annual highlight for Tokyoites and tourists alike. A path of sacred, purifying fire, and the Buddhist monks of Mt. Takao walk over the smoldering coals to cleanse and purify both body and mind, accompanied by chants and music. This fire-walking isn't just a personal prayer, though, but also a ceremony to pray for peace on earth, health, longevity, and safety from disasters. After the fire has been extinguished, festival visitors are free to try the fire-walking for themselves without having to worry about burnt feet.
Entry fee: free
Hours: 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. (the ending time depends on the number of participants)
Square in front of Kitoden Hall山麓自動車祈祷殿広場
- Address 2390 Takao-machi, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 1930844 Japan
St. Patrick's Day Weekend
St. Patrick's Day is March 17, and people celebrate Irish culture around the world with festivals, parades and fine Irish food and drink! Tokyo marks this fun holiday with two popular events.
I Love Ireland Festival
March 17th & 18th, 2018
Asia's largest Irish festival returns again this year to Yoyogi Park on Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18. Join over 100,000 visitors as they celebrate Ireland's national holiday!
Hours: 10am - 6pm
St. Patrick's Day Parade
March 18, 2018
This will be the parade’s 26th year in Tokyo. It is a fun family event with marching bands, Irish dancers and musicians, Irish Wolfhounds and Irish Setters all decked out in green. Shamrock face-painting and other events will also be held. Remember to wear something green on the day!
Hours: 1pm - 3pm
Kinryu no Mai - Asakusa's Golden Dragon Dance
March 18 (Sun), 2018
On March 18 in the year 628, two fishermen found a statue of Kannon, a Buddhist deity, in the Sumida River - this day marks the founding day of the famous Senso-ji Temple. To commemorate this important day, the Kinryu no Mai, or Golden Dragon Dance, is held every year, as it is said that a golden dragon came dancing from the sky as the Kannon statue was pulled from the waters, and a pine forest of one-thousand trees grew over night.
The dancing dragon of today is 18 meters long, its golden scales weighing a total of 88 kilograms! Nonetheless, the dragon - carried by skilled performers - dances graciously to traditional tunes, just like it did on the day of Senso-ji's founding. Get a glimpse of this mythical creature fourself!
Entry fee: free
Hours: around 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m., amd 3:30 p.m. (as scheduled)
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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