Things to do / Cultural/Entertainment | North Tokyo

Samurai Fes 2020

Bumping into a samurai on the fly is an impossible mission unless you head to theme parks such as Toei Kyoto Studio Park and Tochigi Prefecture's Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura.

Before you start channeling Sakamoto Ryoma for your best samurai impression, look no further than Ueno Park in Tokyo's Taito Ward from Feb. 28 to March 1.

Samurai Fes 2020 is set to kick off with a shodō (calligraphy) demonstration, followed by stage performances by groups of entertainers from various parts of Japan who keep the spirit of traditional fighters alive. Their display of tate (swordfighting techniques) will get your heart racing.

If you're eager to put your own warrior skills to the test, be sure to check out booths around the festival. Visitors will be able to throw shuriken (throwing stars used by ninja) and practice battō-jutsu (the art of drawing out a sword) — with a fake sword, of course.

The three-day event will have souvenirs on sale, including accessories featuring the crest of the Sanada clan, which was featured in NHK's 2016 period drama "Sanada Maru." (Yuki Yamauchi)

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.