10 events and things to do in Tokyo in February – univers-japon-shop

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In February, snow is still accumulating in many places in Japan, and it is a wonderful time to enjoy hot food and drinks. It is also the season of college entrance exams and Valentine’s Day, and many products related to these events are on sale. There are also flowers that only bloom in February, so don’t miss out! In this article, we will introduce you to 10 events and things to do in and around Tokyo in February.

1. Plum blossoms

Plum blossoms are just as beautiful as their famous cousins, the cherry blossoms.

In Tokyo, plum blossoms start blooming at the end of January and are at their best in February. As with cherry blossoms, oh viewing flowers is very popular in Tokyo, and oh festivals are often held in places with many plum trees. Of the various plum blossom viewing events in Tokyo, perhaps the most famous is the Yushima Tenjin Ume Festival. Around 300 plum trees of some 20 different varieties grow on the sanctuary grounds, and the entire area is swathed in the pale pink hue of the blossoms. At night, the sanctuary lights up, and if you time it right with a full moon, you can experience a truly magical atmosphere.

2. Strawberry picking

Japanese strawberries come in several varieties.

The February weather is still cold, but many farms in suburban Tokyo and in Kanagawa Prefecture are already open for strawberry picking. Strawberries are very popular in Japan, and many varieties are grown here, which makes it fun to compare all the different ones.

3. Setsubun

Bean tossing is an important ritual during Setsubun

Setsubun is a traditional festival that marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Many Japanese households celebrate Setsubun festivals, during which people throw fuku-mame (roasted ‘lucky’ soybeans) to a person disguised as them (demon) to ward off bad luck and misfortune. Many temples in Tokyo also host their own Setsubun festivals, and famous temples invite artists and celebrities as guests to launch fuku-mame for the public. Catching a few is said to bring good luck for the coming year!

4. Valentine’s Day

Treat yourself to limited edition chocolates specially designed for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, best known in Western countries as the day couples celebrate their love together, has also been embraced by Japan. Here, Valentine’s Day has become a day when women give chocolates not only to their partners, but also to their male friends and colleagues. Limited-edition chocolates from specialty shops are all the rage, and afternoon tea sets with chocolate-based confections are also popular.

5. Kasai Rinkai Park Daffodil Festival

Bright daffodils cover a large area at Kasai Rinkai Park

The Kasai Rinkai Park Daffodil Festival has the largest area of ​​daffodils out of Tokyo’s 23 wards, and the best time to see them is February. Around 200,000 daffodils bloom beautifully here, covering an area of ​​about 2,800 square meters. Visitors can follow the so-called “daffodil trail” of potted daffodils leading from the park entrance to the Ferris wheel area where the flower field is located. Tokyo Marine Life Park is also located here, making it perfect for combining the two.

6. Yebisu International Festival of Art and Alternative Visions 2023

Since its first edition in 2009, the Yebisu International Festival of Alternative Visions and Art takes place every year in February. Introducing the subject of artistic visual imagery, including video exhibits, discussion sessions, and live performances, you are sure to be impressed by the exceptional visual techniques used in the artists’ works.

Official site: Yebisu International Festival of Alternative Visions and Art 2023

7. Kite Market

Many types of kites are sold at this unique fair.

In February, a kite market is held at the Oji Inari Shrine in the Kita district, and many people flock here to buy the perfect kite. The city of Edo (formerly Tokyo) was often affected by large fires, and it is said that people bought kites as lucky charms to protect themselves from fires. As a holdover from this tradition, the kite market is still held every year, and kites with many different and eye-catching designs are sold here.

Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is celebrated in late January or early February.

In Japan, New Year is celebrated according to the Western calendar, but Chinese New Year is celebrated a few weeks later, in late January or early February, and is celebrated by Chinese people and others with many festivities and events. At this time of year, Japan’s Chinatowns are decorated with red Chinese lanterns and fascinating illuminations. A Chinese lion dance is held as one of the festive events, and it is said that being bitten by a Chinese lion will bring good luck and ward off evil.

9. Yokohama Fraise Festival

Locally grown strawberries are very delicious.

The Yokohama Strawberry Festival is a month-long strawberry festival that runs from early February. The strawberry-focused event lineup includes the sale of locally produced strawberries in the city of Yokohama, as well as strawberry-based confections. The official information for the 2023 festival has not been announced yet, but check the official website if you want to enjoy strawberries in Yokohama this year!

Official Website: Yokohama Strawberry Festival

10. Hot noodles

shio ramen with butter
A steaming bowl of ramen will keep you warm in the cold February weather

When it’s still cold in Tokyo, eating hot noodles will warm your body to the core and warm you up inside. Ramen noodles are often accompanied by a flavorful broth, while udon and soba noodles tend to have an irresistible, milder flavor, and everywhere you look in Tokyo you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving steaming bowls of this delicious comfort food.

Which of these winter events and attractions ended up on your bucket list for a trip to Tokyo in February? Despite the cold weather, there is much to enjoy in the Japanese capital this time of year, so bundle up and go exploring!

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