Here’s 5 things to do if you’re in Tokyo to celebrate Golden Week 2019!

Greet the new emperor

The Imperial Household Agency set up May 4 as the day the public will be able to greet the new emperor. In fact Crown Prince Naruhito will succeed his father, emperor Akihito, on May 1. Just by reading the official website (link here) it’s obvious they are expecting a huge crowd. So be prepared to stay in line for long, and arrive at least two hours earlier. The appearances are planned for every hour starting at 10 AM and until 3 PM; last admission is at 2.30 PM. Don’t carry luggage or heavy backpacks, as it will facilitate baggage inspection at the gate. You may find a list of what you can’t bring or do at the link above, as well as all updated information. Wheelchair users will find designated spaces available.  

It’s an absolutely incredible experience and it’s worth the wait.

Go clamming on the beach

Clamming is a classic of any Golden Week. It’s an activity for the whole family, and just an excuse to visit the beach on a sunny day! Just be responsible: in some areas clamming is permitted only in certain hours/days; in others you can’t exceed a quantity limit. Don’t collect clams less than 2 cm, as they’re the youngest ones and need to grow. Be respectful of others and don’t leave trash behind; the places below are free, but don’t go too far! Your tools (bucket and racket) must be small; bring gloves.

One of the clam richest areas is Odaiba Kaihin Koen, where you can often see people bent down searching. Another option in Tokyo is Kasai Rinkai Park; if you’re on a day trip outside the city, go toYokahama‘s ever popular Umi no Koen. In case you just want to do some shopping near the sea, then Odaiba and Yokohama’s Minato Mirai are the best choices. Follow the Japanese and you’ll have spent a nice day by the sea and in nature.

Celebrate Kodomo no Hi at Tokyo Tower

Koinobori are a regular event at Tokyo Tower. They are colored paper banners in the shape of a carp that people hang for Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day). On this day, parents wish that their sons may grow healthy and strong as the carp in the legend; in fact it is told that a carp swimming upstream became a dragon. These koinobori are 333, representing the height of Tokyo Tower; they’re lit from 5 PM to 11 PM and last until May 6.

Wish Hello Kitty a very happy 45th birthday

This year marks Hello Kitty’s 45th anniversary! Then go to Seibu Ikebukuro from April 25 to May 9, you might as well get her designer autograph. It’s anticipated that there will be a lot of merchandise for all Hello Kitty fans, accessories and stationary and more. You’ll be able to see the very first dolls in the stuffed toys section and, for the first time ever, to peek into Hello Kitty’s house. The restaurant floor will host a themed cafe, open until July 7.

Get in Summer mood with the Ice Cream Expo

Starting April 24 and until May 6 Ginza Mitsukoshi hosts this ice cream festival/expo. The Japan Icemania Association selects the best ice creams in Japan since 2015, with the goal of creating a paradise for ice cream lovers. Think it and find it: fruit ice cream, matcha flavored, with crepes and cakes, kakigori and the absolutely amazing Manhattan Roll Ice Cream’s rolls which I adore. You can see one on my Instagram feed. The options are eat it or take out, and you can purchase cute thermal bags there.

Why not reading 5 things to do in Japan in Spring for more ideas?

Cover photo: hatake_s Koinobori 20170428 via photopin (license)

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