Golden Week is a week-long holiday in Japan. Everybody goes on trips or on outings, so there are people everywhere. Below are 5 ways you could enjoy your time during Golden Week despite the crowds, and also experience a little bit of Japanese culture at the same time.
1. Noh + Kyogen Style 27 April (Sunday)
This is a performance where you can enjoy both Noh and Kyogen, which are the traditional theatrical arts of Japan. Noh and Kyogen which is known as "Nogaku" is the first Intangible Cultral Heritage on UNESCO's list.
2. Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival 19 April (Saturday) - 6 May (Tuesday)
Kameido Tenjin Shrine, a 15min. walk from Kameido Station, is the best place to see the wisteria flowers which bloom in late April. So, Golden Week is the best time to see them. The lilac flowers blooming in trellises over a quiet pond is an especially beautiful sight.
3. Meiji Jingu Shrine Spring Grand Festival 29 April (Tuesday) - 3 May (Saturday)
Meiji Jingu Shrine holds their annual spring festival during Golden Week. During this time, you can see special performances of the traditional Japanese arts. The schedule is the following:
Watch this 360º VR Video of Meiji Jingu Shrine and feel like you are walking there yourself.
Bugaku (ancient musical court-dance) - 29 April from 11:00
Noh and Kyogen (traditional theatrical performances) - 2 May from 11:30
Sankyoku (a musical trio played on the Shamisen, Koto, and Shakuhachi) - 2 May from 15:30
Hogaku and Hobu (traditional Japanese music and dances) - 3 May from 11:45
Satsuma biwa (music performed on the biwa) - 3 May from 14:30
4. Bunkyo Azalea Festival 5 April (Saturday) - 6 May (Tuesday)
Nezu Shrine is famous for it's 300 year old azalea garden. With over 3000 plants and over 100 species in their spacious garden, it's the perfect spot to take a relaxing walk and admire the flowers.
Entrance fee: 200 yen
5. Ginza Willow Festival 5 May (Monday)
This festival started in 2006 and is held on May 5th (Children's Day) every year. There's a parade, street performers, a play space where you can play traditional Japanese games, and even rickshaw rides.
Time & date: May 5, 2014 from 11:00 am to 17:00 pm
Location: Nishi-Ginza Dori, Sukiyabashi park
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