Hot Pot Date

Sakedokoro Nabegoya 2022

Surrounding a hot pot with a warm sake in your hands with your family and friends in the beautiful city of Yokohama is a great way to warm up this winter. You can make your own special nabe by selecting your preferred ingredients or choose a ready-made pot if you’re less adventurous.

Going Au Natural

Earth Garden Winter Festival

Earth Garden is a community festival held every season to remind us of the importance of keeping the earth clean and promoting an eco-friendly way of living. Expect outdoor live shows in addition to a large market selling organic food and products.

SAT, JAN. 22-SUN, JAN. 23, 2022
10 A.M.-4 P.M.

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Your guide to the start dates for hanami season at major sightseeing spots around the country.

Now that we’re past the 22 December winter solstice here in Japan, the days are gradually becoming longer, carrying us gently towards the warmer months of spring.

That means it won’t be long until cherry blossom season is upon us, and every year we await the forecast that lets us know when the nation’s somei yoshino trees, Japan’s most popular sakura variety, are expected to bloom.

Japanese weather site Weathernews was first with the forecast again this year, and according to their predictions, it’s going to be yet another early start to the season, not just in Tokyo but at all major locations around Japan.

So let’s get started by taking a look at this year’s forecast around the nation.

▼ Sakura flowering dates for 2022

According to the forecast above, we can expect the sakura season to begin in Japan on 15 March, with Tokyo and Hiroshima being the first places to enjoy the blooms. Flowering will continue around the country shortly afterwards, with the season predicted to be 5-10 days earlier than the average year recorded from 1991-2020.

We’ve listed all the dates for the regions on the map below:

  • Kagoshima: 23 March
  • Fukuoka: 16 March
  • Kochi: 21 March
  • Hiroshima: 15 March
  • Osaka: 22 March
  • Nagoya: 18 March
  • Kanazawa: 25 March
  • Tokyo: 18 March
  • Nagano: 1 April
  • Niigata: 1 April
  • Sendai: 31 March
  • Akita: 8 April
  • Aomori: 15 April
  • Sapporo: 23 April
  • Kushiro: 8 May

A lot of these regions are home to some famous hanami flower-viewing spots, so let’s take a look at the predicted start dates for these popular sightseeing locations.

The sites listed above are:

Maxell Aqua Park's Bright Christmas Party

Dolphin Dance

Naked Snow Aquarium

Spend a heartwarming time at Maxell Aqua Park’s night-only performance, where dolphins beautifully dance in a venue surrounded by stars and ornaments drawn up by projection mapping. There are five types of seasonal, limited menu items at the Coral Cafe Bar, where you can enjoy a drink while looking out at the aquarium. A starry night sky will color the exhibition area where illuminations and jellyfish unique to this season light up and dance along with the music.

Maxell Aqua Park, 4−10−30 Takanawa, Minato City, Tokyo – to get it listed!

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New Year's In The New Normal

It’s nearly the end of 2021, the second year of the global pandemic, and (at the time of writing), Japan has just locked down over fears of the Omicron variant. I’m not going to sugarcoat things: these have been a rough two years. Things have looked up for a while, then been bad again, then okay-ish. Everyone needs to look out for themselves and their loved ones more than ever, which is why I’ve put together a few tips to help you wrap up 2021 and hopefully start 2022 on a positive, upward trend.

Loving Your Space

Oosoji, or the big home clean-up done at the end of the year is meant to be cleansing in all ways.

Oosoji is said to have started during the Heian period and was mainly done at the Imperial Palace to remove any dust or soot that had built up over the year (known in old Japanese as 煤掃き susuhaki). Over the centuries temples and shrines joined in, and by the Edo period it was a staple of the pre-New Year’s season.

Back in the Edo era, oosoji was completely on the 13th of December, but nowadays most companies and families tend to dedicate December 28th or 29th to the big clean-up instead. The main goal is to have absolutely everything done before the 31st.

For some, this is the only time in that year they’ll clean certain parts of their home (like my neighbors and their balcony), so making sure every surface is spic and span is key. That being said, there’s only so much scrubbing you can do when you live in a tiny Japanese apartment.

New Year's In The New Normal …continue reading


There’s nothing wrong with lounging at home on New Year’s Day – you definitely deserve the rest! However, as New Year’s is the most significant holiday of the year in Japan, there are many exciting traditions that are designed to start your year off right. From spiritual and mental rejuvenation, calligraphy, and traditional cuisine to can’t-miss shopping, it would be a shame not to take advantage of what the New Year’s season has to offer.

Here is a list of 5 activities that will get you ready for 2022:

Hatsumōde (初詣)

This is a staple in the Japanese canon of New Year traditions. Hatsumōde is the first temple or shrine visit of the new year and is the perfect way to jump start 2022! Pray for a healthy year ahead, a good score on upcoming exams or a promotion, then head over to buy omikuji (おみくじ). These are fortune slips that predict where your luck will fall in various facets of life and love. Don’t worry, if your omikuji is less than stellar then make your way to scaffolding with omikuji tied to it. Typically, this scaffolding will be between pine trees (松matsu). This is a pun on the tree name and the verb “to wait” (待つmatsu), and thus you have a place to put your bad luck “on hold” by tying it up and leaving behind you at the shrine. If your close call with an unlucky year has you shaken, buy an omamori (お守り, beautifully crafted protection charms), for good measure.

Buy mystery bags fukubukuro (福袋)

Mystery bags, grab bags, lucky bags, whatever you call them, they’re a Japanese New Year’s tradition that can’t be passed …continue reading


First Sunrise 2021 Sunshine Observatory

High Above The Sea

First Sunrise 2022 Sunshine Observatory

Celebrate the beginning of 2022 with a superb view from the 251-meter-high Sunshine observation deck. Watch the magnificent view of Tokyo turn orange as the first sunrise of the year appears.

New Year Concert 2022

Classical New Beginning

New Year Concert 2022

The program will feature performances of Josef Strauss’s Feuerfest!, J. Strauss II, Haydn (Hoffman)’s Flute Concerto and Yuzo Toyama’s Rhapsody for Orchestra. The performance will be conducted by special guest Keitaro Harada. A classy way to round out 2021.

MON, JAN. 3, 2022
Sumida Triphony Hall, 1-2-3 Kinshi, Sumida City, Tokyo – to get it listed!

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Source: Tokyo Cheapo

Happy New Year, cheapos! If you want to kick off the month of January with some fun, start with these events. And if you want to welcome 2022 the Japanese way, check out our post on Japanese New Year customs and traditions, such as hatsumōde (the first temple/shrine visit of the year) and hatsuhinode (seeing the first sunrise).
Note: Due to COVID-19 counter-measures, events may be canceled at any time. Always check official sites on the day before attending an event.
1. 7 Lucky Gods Pilgrimage
Ring in the new year by setting off on a Seven Lucky Gods Pilgrimage—a tradition dating back to Tokyo’s Edo period to pray for blessings and wealth for the upcoming year at various temples and shrines. The pilgrimage is usu

The post January 2022: 5 Events Not to Miss appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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Tokyo Sky Tree's Dream Christmas 2020

Sky-high Xmas

Magical Christmas 2021

Spend a memorable night with your loved ones with a sky-high view of winter in Tokyo from Japan’s tallest tower. The tower’s magical digital windows will be screening a special Christmas-only program from the inside, while the Sky Tree from the outside will be lit up red and green for everyone in the city to see. If you visit during the day, you can catch some Santa cleaners wiping the huge windows down too.


Slide Your Way

Ice Skating at Tokyo Midtown

The outdoor ice skating rink at Tokyo Midtown is one of the largest in the city, with a capacity of 210 people. It’s perfect for beginners and advanced skaters alike, and children are welcome, making this a great family outing right in the center of the city. For a fun, romantic date option head to the rink after 5 p.m., when the lights on the surrounding trees are switched on.

11 A.M.-9 P.M.

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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christmas market

‘Tis The Season

Yokohama Akarenga Christmas Market

The Yokohama Akarenga Christmas Market is one of the biggest and most popular markets of its kind in Japan, drawing tens of thousands of visitors annually. It’s a great place to visit for shopping, eating, and sightseeing, as well as to experience a truly festive feeling under the (real) giant Christmas tree. There’ll be hot wine, seasonal ornaments, and beautiful light displays, as well as live Christmas song shows and more.


Trendy Supplies

Bungujoshi Stationery Festival

This one’s for all you stationery lovers out there. If you’re looking to refreshen your office or school supplies for the new year, this event is the best place to do it. The Bungujoshi Stationery Festival is the biggest stationery festival in Japan with over 50,000 items from 120 companies to check out. As well as offers from big-name brands and artisan suppliers, there will also be a variety of limited edition items and brand new creations to discover too.

THU, DEC. 16-SUN, DEC. 19, 2021
10 A.M.-5 P.M.

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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Digital Creativity

Mutek JP 2021

Mutek is a global art and music festival that celebrates digital creativity in sound, music, and audio-visual art. It’s been held over 110 events in 43 different cities and 20 countries since 2002. Japan first joined the Mutek family in 2016 and will again this year invite guests to see a variety of amazing performances that bring together sound and digital art by artists from all over the world. Purchase tickets in advance online.

WED, DEC. 8-SUN, DEC. 12, 2021
FROM ¥2,000 (PER DAY), ¥12,000 (ALL ACCESS PASS)

to get it listed!

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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