(Not published due to COVID-19)
In April, Tokyo becomes a pink wonderland as the long awaited cherry blossoms cover the city for a few days starting from the end of March. During cherry blossom season, Tokyoites pull out their picnic blankets and have a few too many drinks as they take in the beautiful scenery. It’s the perfect time of year to have a hanami flower viewing party with friends and make the most out of the nice weather. Spring in Japan is also synonymous with the Golden Week holiday during which multiple festivals take place throughout the city, beginning in early May this year. Don’t know what things to do in Tokyo? Let us take you through some of the numerous Tokyo events in April.
1. The Food Film Festival
For the first time, New York’s Food Film Festival will come to Tokyo in April! This will be the fourteenth edition of this festival created by Emmy award-winning filmmaker George Motz. Chefs and filmmakers from the U.S., Japan, and beyond will present their work. Events will be held in both English and Japanese. While watching films, you will get the chance to savor the food presented on screen from the comfort of your own seat. After the screenings, guests will be invited to join all-you can eat and drink parties featuring the guest chefs.
On the first night, highlights of the past Food Film Festivals will be presented, while the second night will be dedicated to the sights and flavors of Japan’s rich seas. On the final day, the George Motz Burger Pop-Up World Tour will stop in Tokyo, where people will be able to savor his favorite burgers.
Dates: April 17 - 19, 2020
Time: August 17th, 6:30 pm - 11 pm; August 18th, 6:30 pm - 11 pm; August 19th 12 am - 6 pm
Price: August 17th and 18th, 11,000 yen; on August 19th various 1,500 yen tickets will be sold
Location: B&C Hall of Tennozu Isle
2. Lemon Sour Festival
Dates: TBD, probably early August 2020
Time: TBD, probably 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Shinjuku Central Park
Among one of the more popular food events in Tokyo, this festival celebrates the famous lemon sour drink also casually referred to as “resawa.” This popular festival started in 2017 and is now held in multiple cities throughout Japan: Sapporo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya. In Tokyo, Shinjuku’s Central Park will host 9 stands serving the drink as well as little snacks. This event is reserved to those of twenty years and over. Sorry kids!
Tokyo Events in April 2020
1. Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival
Flower viewing is one of the most popular Tokyo events in April. A lot of tourists plan trips to Tokyo specifically to see them. With over 1,200 sakura trees, Ueno Park is Tokyo's most popular flower viewing spot. Massive crowds walk along its main street where most of its cherry blossom trees are clustered. The famous shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, who led Japan into the Edo Period, is the one who planted the park’s first cherry trees. During this short period, stalls selling yakitori, takoyaki, yakisoba, and the like are set up, but you can also bring your own food and drink. In the nighttime, the trees are illuminated and lanterns light up the park so that the flowers can be admired throughout the day.
Dates: TBD, depending on the flowering of the cherry trees
Time: 5:00 am - 11:00 pm
Location: Ueno Park
2. d design travel EHIME EXHIBITION
Inaugurated in 2012, the d47 Museum holds exhibitions on each of Japan’s 47 prefectures. Starting in March and until June, it will hold an exhibition on Ehime Prefecture. D47 staff traveled across Ehime Prefecture for two months in order to learn more about the land’s unique design and cuisine. Their findings have been collected in a special issue of their d design travel magazine solely dedicated to Ehime. The magazine will be sold throughout Japan on April 3rd. At the nearby d47 cafeteria, a special Ehime set meal featuring the prefecture’s famous produce will be sold for the duration of the exhibition.
Dates: March 6 - June 1, 2020
Time: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm (last admission at 7:30pm)
Location: d47 MUSEUM
3. Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Illuminations 2020
Another flower-viewing contender is Nakameguro. During cherry blossom season, both sides of the Meguro River are covered by large tufts of cherry blossoms that seemingly arch over the river. After a stroll along the river, head for Nakameguro Koukashita, a newly developed area under the train tracks that hosts trendy bars and stores including the chic Nakameguro Tsutaya Books.
Dates: March 24 - April 10 (dates may change depending on when the trees bloom)
Time: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Along the Meguro River from the Saikachibashi Bridge to the Nambubashi Bridge
4. Special Exhibition WASHOKU Nature and Culture in Japanese Cuisine
As part of the Japan Expo 2020 which aims to share Japan’s art with the world, this exhibition will present the evolution of Japanese cuisine from traditional washoku cuisine to yoshoku western inspired cuisine that developed during the Meiji period. Samples, exhibits and interactive images will illustrate Japan’s rich culinary history.
Dates: Saturday, March 14 – Sunday, June 14, 2020
Time: 9:00am - 5:00 pm (Last entry 30 minutes before closing)
- ※Open until 8:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and April 26-29, May 3-5; open until 6:00 on April 27-28 and 30, and May 6
- ※Closed on Thursday May 7th and Tuesday May 19th, and most Mondays (except March 30, April 27, May 4 & 18, and June 8)
- ※The dates and times of opening are subject to change.
- Adult/University Students: 1700 on the day of the exhibition, 1500 ordinary advance purchase
- Schoolchildren (primary through senior high): 600 on the day of the exhibition, 500 ordinary advance purchase
Location: National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno Park
5. 27th Annual Nihonbashi Bridge Spring Festival
This festival marks the 108th birthday of the Nihonbashi Bridge. This important monument is the starting point of Japan’s national road system as it houses an “origin marker." On the day of the event, the bridge will be closed to circulation and shops and community organizations will sell goods and food.
Dates: April 5, 2020
Time: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Location: Area around Nihonbashi Bridge
6. Tokyo Coffee Festival
For two days in Mid-April, the Tokyo Coffee Festival takes place at United Nations University. An international city is chosen as the festival's guest city. Brewers from the guest city serve their signature blends and artists from the city are in charge of the festival’s music. Last year, Portland Oregon was the guest of honor. Who will it be this year?
Dates: TBD, likely April 18 & 19, 2020
Time: TBD, likely 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Price: TBD, likely 3,300 yen for a tote bag, a reusable mug and 4 coffee tasting coins
Location: United Nations University courtyard
7. Japan Wine Festival 2020
At the start of the month, sit in the lawn of Hibiya Park and enjoy a nice glass of Japanese wine. Forty-two wineries from all over the country will be present. What better way to enjoy Tokyo in April than to have a drink outside in the sun?
Dates: April 4 & 5, 2020
Time: 10:30am - 5:00 pm
Price: Tickets may be bought in advance or on the day of the event.
1 ticket, a wine glass, and 5 wine tasting coupons: 3000 yen
2 tickets, 2 wine glasses, and 10 tasting coupons for 5500 yen
Extra tasting coupons are 100 yen each
Location: The Water Fountain Plaza of Hibiya Park
8. Ryogoku Nigiwai Festival
The Ryogoku Nigiwai Festival’s 18th edition will take place in the Ryogoku neighborhood of Sumida-ku. The popular Chanko Museum will make its return. There, guests will be able to taste different varieties of chanko nabe; a hearty one-pot stew of chicken, tofu, Welsh onions, Chinese cabbage, etc. in soup stock, which is an integral part of the diet of sumo wrestlers. There will be various performances such as dances and orchestras as well as walking tours of the Ryogoku area with local guides. Visitors will have the opportunity to complete a stamp rally. By visiting the festival’s different venues, they will be able to collect stamps and exchange them for a prize!
Dates: April 25 & 26, 2020
Time: 10:30 am - 4:00 pm
Price: Free, but there will be some paid events
Location: Ryogoku neighborhood
Main venue: Kokugikan Street (Keiyo Road - Ryogoku View Hotel)
Other venues: Kumikoin, Kokugikan, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Ryogoku Station Hirokoji
9. Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival
Three-thousand azaelas of a hundred different varieties will be in full-bloom in Nezu Shrine’s 300 year-old garden. A sake tasting shop will allow guest to try amazake (sweet sake) and amazake flavored sweets as well as festival foods will be sold.
Dates: April 6 - May 6, 2020
Time: Nezu Shrine’s Tsutsuji-en will be open to the public from 9:00 am - 5:30pm
Price: Free, 200 entrance fee for the azalea garden
Location: Nezu Shrine
Be it flower viewing, a neighborhood matsuri or an event dedicated to Japan’s coffee or wine, there are multiple Tokyo events in April that will keep you busy throughout the springtime. Go out, admire Tokyo's beautiful flowers and find something good to eat at one of these events. If all of that isn't enough, join one of our Tokyo food experiences. No matter the neighborhood you're in, you're sure to find something to your liking.