APRIL: Festivals + Events

Click on Tell me more to read about the event, then use the search term below to find out the exact dates and times for the year you’ll be there.

Tokyo Drift Racing

Yes, you can go see real life drift racing in Tokyo at the beginning of April! Breathe the burning rubber and live the dream

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Google search term: D1 Grand Prix International Drift Championship Tokyo

Free amateur sumo at the Yasukuni Shrine

Japan’s variation on age-group soccer: the annual amateur sumo tournament at the Yasakuni Shrine. It features bouts all day long, from little nippers through college age

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Search term: sumo tournament Yasukuni

Flower Dream Expo

From the lush and gorgeous to the gravity-defying, the Flower Dream Expo dishes up the newest, craziest trends in floral design

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Search term: Flower Dream Expo

Cherry blossoms continue

Cherry blossom season continues into April, as the second wave of “double” cherry blossoms burst into bloom. Click on the link below to see lots more photos & maps to the choicest photo spots

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Cherry blossom-themed illuminations at night

From Tokyo Tower blushing pink to whole buildings displaying cherry blossom-themed LED animations, the nighttime illuminations during cherry blossom season just keep getting better and better

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Search terms: Tokyo Midtown illuminations; Tokyo Tower lightup

Azaleas come into bloom

There’s no time to mourn the cherry blossoms before the azaleas pop into bloom, covering entire hillsides with rivers and waves of astounding color. Click on the link for the best places to see them

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Peonies beyond your wildest dreams

Peonies as big as your head burst into bloom at the end of April, at several famous gardens and temples around town. Click on the link for lots more photos and maps to the spots where you can harvest Instagram gold

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Search terms: Ueno Toshogu peony garden, Nisharai Daishi peony garden

(You can search for information on these by Googling the names in bold or searching for them on Tokyo Cheapo or TimeOut Tokyo, which I think have the most reliable info for events that change dates from year to year.)

Read a novel set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of one of Hoshi’s customers…read more