“If you want to see Japanese culture, don’t come to Tokyo” was my joking reply to a request to show off Japanese culture during a family visit planned later this year.

Though the old cliché about capital cities not reflecting the culture of their nations can hold true to some extent, and although I’d certainly not credit anyone with having experienced Japan if they’ve only seen Tokyo, I’d defy anyone to find a more authentically Japanese experience than the third weekend of May in Tokyo.

With the month over half way gone already, the weather has turned nice and warm, but not yet humid, the air smells of jasmine flowers, and it’s all going on right now.  This weekend sees the final day of the May Grand Sumo Tournament in Ryogoku on Sunday 20th, and just across the river in Asakusa the Sanja Matsuri, one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals…

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