Monthly Archive August 2010

ByRay Proper
Aug 20, 2010

Azabu Juban Festival in Tokyo

Summer is coming to an end, and with the passing of the season so goes the festival season. It is not too late to get in a last few weekends of fun though. This weekend, the Azabu Juban Festival will once again delight crowds from all over with the sights and sounds of a summer festival. Dancing, food, and even a concert featuring jazz and Hawaiian music will round out the evening, and of course there will be plenty of beer and chuhai to help keep cool. Alternatively, you could also go for the shaved ice, but I wouldn’t!

When : August 21–23, 3:30–8:30pm
Access : Azabu Juban
Japanese only link
Translated link

ByRay Proper
Aug 10, 2010

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden’s annual Night Zoo & Garden

Ever wonder what a polar bear does at night? Want to find out?

This weekend is your last chance to take in the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden’s annual Night Zoo & Garden event for 2010. For this annual event, the zoo extends its hours to 8:30 p.m., and the public is invited to come explore the night zoo. Lions, tigers, and bears will be on display, and special talks and events will be happening throughout the zoo.

This event will run August 13, 14, 15 (Friday to Sunday). The zoo hours are from 09:00 – 20:30, and admission is 500 for adults, children under 16 are free. Higashiyama Zoo is located 1 minute walk from Higashiyama Koen Subway Station exit 3.

If you are going to be out and about anyway, why not take advantage of Nagoya City’s special one-day pass that includes admission to the zoo and use of all bus and subway lines in Nagoya. The pass is available for 1000 JPY at any subway station and the city bus offices until Aug. 31.

While you are there, why not visit the Higashiyama Sky Tower’s observation deck? Its 360 degree view of the Nagoya skyline is among Japan’s most popular night views. Hope to see you there!
Sky Tower Website, Japanese
Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden Website, Japanese

ByRay Proper
Aug 05, 2010

The Nagara River National Fireworks Festival in Gifu

Round two for that bastion of fun by the river, Gifu City! The Nagara River National Fireworks Festival is held yearly on the first Saturday of August from 7:15 p.m.-8:45 p.m. For those who have lost track of time, that is this weekend! This is one of the largest fireworks displays in Japan. It is a part of the All-Japan Fireworks Competition and comes on the heels of a great display last weekend in the same spot. If last weekend was any indication, this is going to be another great show with over 30,000 fireworks lighting up the night sky. My highlight last weekend was the heart shaped displays, and the ever wonderful fried chicken. I bought mine off an old couple, and they made it with heavy ginger; just the way I like it. Happy times!

This event is located on the banks of the Nagara River in Gifu, in between the Nagara and Kinka bridges. The event begins around 4:30 p.m, but if you want a decent spot you should show up much earlier. Like I said, this is a big festival so you will find a spot no matter when you come somewhere.

Special buses run from JR Gifu Station and Meitetsu Gifu Station, but the lines are long, and I usually just walk. It takes about 30 minutes, but you can follow the crowds and not get lost at all. The buses you are looking for should be pretty obvious; just look for the long line of older folks. The walk is good, and there are so many people that it is fun, so I recommend you do that! Have fun!