This Weekend: Tokyo Area Events for Mar. 5–6

By The Savvy Team
March 3, 2016
Lifestyle

It looks like another mild weekend is headed our way, so it's fitting that there are plenty of outdoor events to look forward to this Saturday and Sunday. Have a picnic under the plum blossoms, bring your kiddos to meet Hello Kitty, shop at an outdoor flea market, or take in a photo exhibit or a retrospective of art used in the past 30 years of Pixar movies.

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Shinjuku Chuo Park Flea Market

Known as one of the largest vintage markets in the capital, the Shinjuku Chuo Park Flea Market has around 200 vendors, selling everything from used clothes and pottery to ornaments and jewelry. After strolling through the stalls, you can also enjoy the great Tokyo view from the top of the Tocho (Tokyo Metropolitan Government) buildingsfor free!

When: Sat, Mar. 5, 2016, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Where: The Mizu no Hiroba Square in Shinjuku Chuo Park, at the back of the Metropolitan Government Buildings (near Tochomae Station, Exit 5)

How much: Free!

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Pixar: 30 Years of Animation

If you have a child who grew up watching “Toy Story,” “Cars” or “Finding Nemo,” or if you’re a fan of the animations yourself, you’ll enjoy this special exhibition. Starting this Saturday, the event introduces 30 years of Pixar’s creativity through early sketches, paintings, storyboards, maquettes, and much more.

When: Sat, Mar. 5 through Sun., May 29, 2016, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (closed Mondays except Mar. 21, May 2 and May 23; closed Mar. 22)

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo

How much: ¥1,500 for adults; ¥500 for elementary and junior high school students; free for children preschool aged and under

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Japan Fisherman’s Festival

You shouldn’t miss this one if you’ve got a taste for seafood. This weekend at Tokyo’s Hibiya park, seafood exhibitors and chefs from across Japan will set up stalls selling marine products of all kinds. Featuring a special exhibition of the so-called “Super Chef Club,” a gang of renowned Japanese chefs offering bits and bites of their world-class dishes, the event will close with the Fish-1 Grand Prix, a contest in which the best product will be chosen.

When: Sat, Mar. 5, 2016 10 a.m.–9 p.m. & Sun.; Sun, Mar. 6, 2016 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Where: Hibiya Park, 1 Hibiya Koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

How much: ¥500 per person (additional charges for food and drinks)

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Pause Draw

This free monthly event brings together artists of all levels and experience, from novice sketchers to professional illustrators. Meet new people, find some inspiration and get those creative juices flowing.

When: Sun, Mar. 6, 2016, 4–6 p.m.

Where: Fab cafe MTRL, 2F Dogenzaka Pia, 1-22-7 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

How much: Free!

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Tama Center Hinamatsuri 2016

Hinamatsuri, Japan’s traditional Girls’ Festival, may be officially over after March 3, but this event gives you a few extra days to celebrate. A large Hello Kitty-inspired hina doll photo panel is set up for a memorable shot at the Tama Center Parthenon Avenue Square, but your little ones may also have the chance to take a photo with the Miss herself, as she will also be making a special appearance on Saturday.

When: Now through Sat, Mar. 5, 2016, 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Where: Parthenon Avenue (in front of Tama Center Station)

How much: Free!

Michael Kenna: Forms of Japan

A brilliant display of British photographer Michael Kenna’s newest monochrome landscape scenic photography from around Japan. Don’t miss out on his book signing event, scheduled for Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m.

When: Sun, Mar. 6, 2016 through Sat, Apr. 9, 2016,  1–7 p.m. (closed on Sundays, Tuesdays and national holidays, except for Mar. 6)

Where: Gallery Art Unlimited, 3F Roppongi Daiya Bldg., 1-26-4 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

How much: Free! (¥12,960 for book purchase)

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The 39th Setagaya Ume Festival

If you can’t wait for sakura fever, this famous festival celebrates the beauty of the equally gorgeous plum blossoms at Hanegi Park, which has 650 plum trees in full bloom now. You’ll also have the chance to see koto performances, outdoor matcha tea ceremonies, rice cake pounding, and other eventsin addition to a wide array of refreshment booths and plum-inspired food stalls.

When: Now through Sun, Mar. 6, 2016, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Where: Hanegi Park, 4-38-52 Daita, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo (five-minute walk from Umegaoka station on the Odakyu line)

How much: Free!

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Well Japan Annual Retreat

For over 20 years WELL (Women Educators and Language Learners), an informal women’s group focusing on issues such as gender and social justice, has been holding a women-only annual weekend retreat just outside of Tokyo. The retreat includes programs on a variety of topics, including shorter slots for student presentations, and often a physical or mental health session such as yoga, belly dancing or performing the Heimlich maneuver. 

When: Fri, Mar. 4–Sun, Mar. 6, 2016

Where: National Women’s Education Center of Japan (NWEC), 728 Sugaya, Ranzan-machi, Hiki-gun, Saitama

How much: ¥10,000 for the full conference. Student rates and one-night or workshop-only prices are also available. Click here for more details.

Tickets: To reserve your spot on this year’s retreat, please click here.

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The Great East Japan Earthquake: Five Years On Special Photo Exhibition

Some things should never be forgotten, and sometimes the only way through which we can help is to keep remembering. March 11 of this year marks five years since the earthquake that struck off the coast of Tohoku, sending a massive tsunami crashing into Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures and triggering a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that is still affecting thousands of lives. This photo exhibition portrays scenes from the aftermath of the disaster, as well as hints as what is yet to be done for the reconstruction of the disaster-stricken areas.

When: Now through Thu, Mar. 10, 2016, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. (closed Sundays; 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Mar. 5)

Where: 1F Dai-Ichi Tokyo Bar Association, 1-1-3 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

How much: Free!

Wasurenai: Send Love to Tohoku

This event doesn’t fall on the weekend, but it’s still worth mentioning. Bring gifts, cards, chocolate and any other treats you would like to be delivered to children and residents of temporary housing in Tohoku. The organizers of this event will tour Tohoku and personally deliver the goodies for an extra smile and hope ahead. No door fee with cash bar and light menu.

When: Wed, Mar. 9, 2016, 7–11 p.m. 

Where: Las Chicas House, 5-47-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

How much: Free!

Plum blossom photo by Kanegen.