Golden Week 2017 is almost here! It is the busiest holiday season in Japan which takes place from April 29 to May 5. It is a wonderful opportunity for people to take a break from work or go on a long vacation. During this time, several places are really crowded, particularly trains and airports. Regardless of this, people continue to have a great time and there are many activities you can do during this holiday in Japan. But if you’re after a solemn way of celebrating it away from the golden routes, then check out these three off the beaten tracks in and near Tokyo (東京).
This museum in Tokyo was opened in 1964 and was established by Issey Hatakeyama (畠山一清) in order to showcase the different art collections related to tea ceremony from different countries. Apart from this, other collections can also be found here such as lacquerware, paintings, calligraphy, Noh (能) costumes, and pottery. The art exhibits are changed four times a year in order to reflect the changing of the seasons.
What’s great about this place is that you have to pass through a beautiful garden before you can access the museum. The garden provides charm and historical context to the area. It embraces all seasons gracefully and is a wonderful place to escape from the huge crowds.
Most people probably enjoy the Golden Week loudly, but if you prefer spending the rest of the week quietly, you may do so by reading a book at one of your favorite cafes.
I suggest heading to Paper Back Café in Jimbocho (神保町), Tokyo as it is packed with different kinds of books to read. They serve coffee in paper cups which goes well with the cafe’s ambiance. Their prices are also reasonable as a regular cup of hot coffee costs 200 yen, while iced coffee costs 250 yen. You can also enjoy a cup of jasmine tea (280 yen) or chamomile tea (300 yen).
The cafe also serves sandwiches such as egg salad sandwich (380) and tuna sandwich (410) and rice dishes such as curry rice. You can fuel your work session here with their free Wi-Fi and ample electrical outlets.
For more inner peace, why don’t you go camping? Fun Space Ashinoko Camp Mura Lakeside Villa is a popular activity spot for Japanese people as they love the outdoors. Since most hotels are fully booked during the Golden Week, camping can be a great option.
Ashinoko Camp Mura is located in Hakone (箱根), which is around an hour and a half away from Tokyo. This area has many cabins surrounded by trees. Each cabin contains two bedrooms, a kitchen, a terrace, and some cooking equipment. There are also camping grounds where you get to put up your tent. Apart from these, there’s also a restaurant, some small shops, and a barbecue garden.
Since this is located next to a lake, you may rent a bicycle to tour around the place. This way, you can completely see Hakone and its majestic beauty. It can help freshen your mind and body before heading to work after the holiday.
Fun Space Ashinoko Camp Mura Lakeside Villa Website *Japanese only
So if you’d like to avoid the hellishly crowded areas during the Golden Week, you may head to these crowd-free destinations. This way, you can also find peace within yourself. But if you want to take the risk and join in the Golden Week madness, go ahead as well. Every person’s enjoyment is different from the rest!