Things to Do During Golden Week in Tokyo!

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Things do during golden week in tokyo

Things to Do During Golden Week in Tokyo!


It's almost that time of year — Golden Week! Traditionally an opportunity for families all over Japan to take advantage of extended time off from work and school, Golden Week takes place this year from Thursday, 29 April through Wednesday, 5 May.

As with many things in the last year-plus, Golden Week 2021 will look a bit different than it has in the past due to cautionary measures around COVID-19. Many of the most famous and popular celebrations — like Koinobori events and several matsuri — are canceled or altered.

But that doesn't mean your family can't make the most of the extra time together. Whether you want to observe each of the Golden Week holidays, explore museums and exhibits or just relax at home, we have some great suggestions on things to do below!

Reminder: It probably goes without saying at this point, but given the pandemic, things may change! Before making reservations or other plans, be sure to confirm the event is still taking place.

Showa Museum 

Golden Week kicks off on 29 April with Showa Day. One of the best ways to commemorate the occasion? Visting the Showa Memorial Museum! Filled with artifacts and information about life in the Showa era, it's an opportunity to sneak some education into your vacation.

Kurayami Festival

As its name implies, the highlights of this festival take place in the dark (mostly on May 4 and 5) but there a lot of family-friendly daytime events to take in, as well. There are drum performances, horse races and plenty of shrines to check out.

Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria 

Usually, a big festival coincides with the beautiful blooming wisteria at this shrine, but per COVID restrictions, festivities will be limited this year. That being said, the flowers are still going to be beautiful! Just make sure you keep tabs on blooming schedules; as noted on the website, climate change is speeding up the process.

Warrior Procession

If you're in the area on May 5, be sure to check out this event in Kameido after taking in the wisteria. As with most events in this time, the usual matsuri surrounding the procession is likely to be abbreviated but it's still worth checking out!

Beauty and the Beast Feast

Speaking of Children's Day activities...if you're looking to spoil your little sweet tooth, you can't go wrong with a buffet of treats themed around the Disney classic at the Intercontinental Tokyo Bay. Technically the event ends on May 4, but I doubt you'll hear complaints for celebrating early!

National Science Museum

With COVID precautions in place, a visit to this museum in Ueno can be a fun and inexpensive excursion for the whole family! The current special exhibit, Hunters on Land, focuses on the necessity of predators in the ecosystem and runs through early June. Golden Week is the perfect time to learn a little about wildlife!

Minato Science Museum

If your kids are less into animals and more into sports, check out the Minato Science Museum for its special exhibition, running through 9 May. Learn about the evolution of sports equipment as well as the mechanics of some para-sport activities as well. As a bonus, general admission is free (there's a fee for the planetarium).

TeamLab Planets

And speaking of planets — TeamLab is a perennial favorite (and can now be booked at a discount!). Check out the seasonal Cherry Blossom interactive exhibit for some digital hanami-ing!

And of course, if you'd prefer to just hang at home, Golden Week makes for a perfect stay-cation. We've written before about all of the fun things you can do with your family at home or outdoors.Savvy Tokyo has some great DIY celebration ideas for Children's Day, and there are numerous parks to enjoy throughout Tokyo in honor of Greenery Day.

If you want to really take advantage of the free time, make sure to schedule a CareFinder babysitter as well! Even if you'll be home too, having an extra set of hands to help with the kids goes a long way in making a stay-cation a little more relaxing.

Here's to a happy Golden Week!

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