At this time of

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At this time of year, mid-August, the city is abandoned. Kids are on summer vacation and families are heading off to visit their parents and relatives in their hometowns.

So many of Tokyo's residents are originally from somewhere else that Obon matsuri, the midsummer festivals to honor the spirits of ancestors, are held a month earlier in the city than in the country. That way everyone can celebrate here and in their hometowns.

The exodus of people means that streets are a little less crowded than usual. Local trains, too. It's not quite as dramatic as the New Year holiday, but the effect is noticable. It's a nice time to be in Tokyo.

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