2019 is a historic time to be in Japan. In particular, the first of May marks the start of the new Reiwa era. With the nation's longest holiday Golden Week extended to a record-breaking 10 days, visitors can experience a considerable selection of celebratory festivals. Of course, crowds are unavoidable but what's Tokyo without the hustle. So enjoy the last of the Heisei era and charming spring season with the Millennials' top 3 picks in Tokyo Golden Week Festivals!
1. Meet the New Royals
First of all, it's not everyday that the public are allowed onto palace grounds. Which is why this event is number one on our Tokyo Golden Week picks. Brave the hordes for a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the new emperor and empress's first public greeting. Originally planned for the Oct 22 sokuirei seiden no gi (即位礼正殿の儀) enthronement ceremony, the meeting has been moved up to coincide with the May 1st throne ascension.
(Details to be announced) The Imperial Palace 皇居 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tōkyō-to 100-8111
4 May 2019 time TBA
2. Eat Meat at Niku Fest Located just next to Tokyo's April version of the Oktoberfest, the Niku (Meat) Festival is 32 stalls of outdoor beer and meat goodness. The 5th edition of the event will feature a comeback of past favorites. Why not taste test the original smoked Kanzaki aged meat (門崎熟成肉 塊焼) and famed Nomeru Hamburg (飲めるハンバーグ)!
Niku Fest (Japanese only)
West Promenade ウェストプロムナード(セントラル広場)
1-chōme-1 Aomi, Koto City, Tōkyō-to 135-0091
26 April - 5 May 2019 (Closed MON 4/29)
10:00 - 21:00 ※ 4/26 12:00 start, 5/l5 20:00 end
Admission: FREE, ¥700/food ticket
3. Akabane Baka (Idiot) Festival 赤羽馬鹿祭り
Finally, missed out on April Fool's? Here's your chance to get a little mischievous. Originating in 1956 as a Japanese version of April Fool's, the event features live music, traditional summer dances, squad hero shows, and a finale parade. The "baka" bit? It's often done in crazy costumes. Don't hesitate, join the crowd of 400,000 and hit up one of the biggest festivals in town!
赤羽馬鹿祭り Akabane Baka Matsuri (Japanese only)
Akabane Station (JR Line) 赤羽駅
4 May - 5 May 2019 9:00 - 15:00
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