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Tokyo skyline | © Moyan Brenn/WikiCommons
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What's On In Tokyo In October

Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 27 October 2016
Before Halloween arrives in Tokyo, there are exhibitions to attend, festivals to celebrate and food fairs to indulge in. Get ready to embrace fall and spend your weekends taking in the best the city has to offer in October.


Zojoji Temple | © Guilhem Vellut/Flickr / Yosakoi dancer | © Yamamoto/WikiCommons / Salvador Dali strikes a pose | © Library of Congress/WikiCommons / A variety of bread | © Klaus Höpfner/WikiCommons

Zojoji Temple | © Guilhem Vellut/Flickr / Yosakoi dancer | © Yamamoto/WikiCommons / Salvador Dali strikes a pose | © Library of Congress/WikiCommons / A variety of bread | © Klaus Höpfner/WikiCommons


FESTIVAL | Zojo-ji Temple’s Firelit Noh Festival

📅  Saturday October 1

What better way to start off October in Tokyo than a traditional theatrical Noh performance on the firelit grounds of Zojo-ji Temple? Performed against the backdrop of the temple’s Sanmon Gate, a designated Important Cultural Property, Zojo-ji’s Temple’s annual Firelit Noh Festival, for many, will be their first experience with the traditional Japanese theater genre. The performance starts at 6pm but the doors open at 4pm, so if you want a good seat, or a decent place to stand and watch, it’s best to go earlier.

Free admission

📍4-7-35 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011

DANCE | Tokyo Yosakoi

📅  Saturday 8 – Sunday October 9

Tokyo is having another Yosakoi festival, this time in Ikebukuro, with over 100 teams will getting together to show off their dance routines set to yosakoi music. There will also be booths selling merchandise from participating cities and event sponsors. The Tokyo Yosakoi is part of the Fukuro Matsuri held each year, held in a special event space at the west exit of Ikebukuro Station, as well as areas set up around it.

Free admission

📍1-28-1 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

FAIR | Hokkaido Fair (Hokkai Shokudo)

📅  Thursday 29 – Sunday October 2

The 28th annual Hokkaido Fair is a celebration of the northern prefecture’s local cuisine. Expect to find a dizzying array of dishes available from expert vendors, as well trinkets, souvenirs and other goods. The fair is held in the Yoyogi Park Events Square from 10am to 7pm daily.

Free admission

📍2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0052

ART | Dali Exhibition

📅  Tuesday 13 – Sunday December 11

The Tokyo National Art Center is hosting an exhibition on the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. Dali is considered to be one of the most influential painters of the 20th century, and a pioneer in the world of contemporary art. This is Japan’s first Dali exhibit in ten years, and features 250 pieces of art from collections around the world. Tokyo National Art Center is open from 10pm to 6pm daily, and 8pm on Fridays. Closed on Tuesdays.

Admission: ¥1600 adults, ¥1200 college students

📍7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8558

FOOD | Setagaya Bread Festival (Setagaya Pan Matsuri)

📅  Sunday 9 – Monday October 10

The theme of this year’s Setagaya Bread Festival is ‘Bread and Love‘. Besides the much-anticipated bread market, featuring countless types of bread for sale, there will be musical entertainment and a stamp rally to keep the little ones entertained. The festival will be held in Setagaya Park from 11am to 5pm daily.

Free admission

📍1-5-27 Ikejiri, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 154-0001


Oeshiki at Honmonji Temple | © tak1701d/WikiCommons / Tea ceremony | © Stephane D'Alu/WikiCommons / Fireworks | © Anna Langore/Public Domain / Ninja cat costume | © Mike Myers/Free Stock

Oeshiki at Honmonji Temple | © tak1701d/WikiCommons / Tea ceremony | © Stephane D’Alu/WikiCommons / Fireworks | © Anna Langore/Public Domain / Ninja cat costume | © Mike Myers/Free Stock

FESTIVAL | Oeshiki Festival at Ikegami Honmonji Temple

📅  Tuesday 11 – Thursday October 13

The Oeshiki Festival is a Buddhist Festival which commemorates the anniversary of Nichiren’s death. Nichiren was a Buddhist priest who lived nearly one thousand years ago, and is known for his strong devotion to the Lotus Sutra. While the Oeshiki Festival is celebrated all around Japan, the one at Ikegami Honmonji is particularly prestigious since Nichiren died at this very temple. A standout feature is the mando rite, or the procession of 10,000 lights, in which thousands of volunteers carry decorative lanterns from the station to the temple.

Free admission

📍1-1-1 Ikegami, Ota-ku, Tokyo 146-8576

CULTURE | Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony

📅  Saturday 15 – Sunday October 16

The annual Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to experience this traditional Japanese art. It’s held at the teahouse located within Hamarikyu Gardens, one of the oldest gardens in Tokyo. If you want to watch the presentation, a seat in the viewing area is required. Arrive early and book your seat as soon as possible. The ceremonies will be held from 9am to 5pm each day, and a few will be hosted in English.

Seat: ¥300

📍1-1 Hamarikyūteien, Chūō-ku, Tokyo 104-0046

ART | Intimate Dimensions Print Exhibit and Sale

📅  Tuesday 27 – Sunday October 16

A print exhibition and sale organized by the College Women’s Association of Japan will be hosted by the Frederick Harris Gallery at the Tokyo American Club. Prints by Japanese artists from diverse genres, such as woodblock painting and calligraphy, come together for one special exhibit. Best of all, the art is for sale. The gallery will be open from 11am to 7pm on weekday and 5pm on weekends.

Free admission

📍2-1-2 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0041

FIREWORKS | Narita Hanabi Taikai

📅  Saturday October 15

The Narita Hanabi Taikai will take place in the Inbanuma area of Chiba. The annual event will light up the sky with hundreds of twinkling lights. Paid seats are available, but free spectating areas are also there for drop-ins. The show starts at 7pm in Narita Park. It’s quite far from the nearest station, so a bus from Narita Station is recommended.

Free admission

📍1415 Daikata, Narita, Chiba Prefecture (near Tokyo) 286-0003 

PARADE | Supernatural Cat Festival (Bake Neko Matsuri) 

📅  Sunday October 16

The Supernatural Cat Festival is like a mini Halloween celebration held a few weeks early. Anyone is welcome to participate, so long as they are dressed as a cat! Many people will get really into it, creating elaborate costumes for the occasion. There will be face painting, spooky cat decor, vendors and more. Prepare for Halloween and soak up the atmosphere! The gathering will last from 10am to 5pm around Kagurazaka Station.

Free admission

📍Yaraicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-0805


Android robot | © Gnsin/WikiCommons / Bettara-zuke | © DoWhile/WikiCommons / Cosmos flower | © c1235366/Pixabay / Roppongi streets | © Aimaimyi/WikiCommons

Android robot | © Gnsin/WikiCommons / Bettara-zuke | © DoWhile/WikiCommons / Cosmos flower | © c1235366/Pixabay / Roppongi streets | © Aimaimyi/WikiCommons

TECH | Japan Robot Week 2016

📅  Wednesday 19 – Sunday October 21

Japan Robot Week is held every other year. It’s a trade show featuring the next wave of service robots – for example, ones made for disaster response, search and rescue, automated tellers and more. It’s free to get in but registration is required in advance. The show runs from 10am to 5pm daily at the Tokyo Big Sight venue.

Free with advanced registration

📍3-11 Ariake, Kōtō-ku, Tokyo 135-0063

FAIR | Nihombashi Ebisu-ko Bettara-ichi Pickle Fair 

📅  Wednesday 19 – Thursday October 20

This fair gets its name from the large number of vendors selling the sweet and salty daikon (a type of Japanese radish) pickles known as bettara-zuke, a local specialty. The Ebisu-ko Pickle Fair has been around since the middle of the Edo period, when merchants began to set up vendors around this time to celebrate the Ebisu-ko ceremony. There will be hundreds of street stalls selling a wide variety of goods and snacks. The fair is held in the area around Takarada Ebisu Jinja.

Free admission

📍3-10 Nihonbashihonchō, Chūō-ku, Tokyo 103-0023

NATURE | Cosmos Flower Festival

📅  Mid-September 2016 – Early November 2016

The Cosmos Flower Festival at the Showa Kinen Park is a celebration of late summer and early fall blooms. At this time of year, the expansive park grounds are inhabited by fields and fields of gorgeous cosmos flowers in full bloom, and Showa Kinen invites the public to come and celebrate. Admission to the park is free for one week only from Tuesday 18 Tuesday October 25. Open 9:30am to 5pm

Regular Admission: ¥410

📍3173 Midori-cho, Tachikawa City, Tokyo 190-0014

ART | Roppongi Art Night

📅  Friday 21 – Sunday October 23

It’s time for the seventh annual Roppongi Art Night. This is one of the largest art festivals in the country, attracting nearly one million visitors last year. There will be various art installations, displays and performances at each of the event’s participating venues: Tokyo Midtown, Tokyo National Art Center and Roppongi Hills.

Free admission

📍6 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032

PARADE | Oedo-kakki Parade

📅  Sunday October 23

As part of the Nihonbashi Kyobashi Matsuri, the Oedo-kakki Parade takes place on Sunday. The event features over 2,000 marching parade members, live bands and local dances. There will also be vendors selling festival fare and trinkets from all over Japan. This is the 44th annual Oedo-kakki Parade. It takes place on Chuo-dori between Nihombashi and Kyobashi stations, from 11:20am (opening parade) to 2:3pm. The market will stay open until 4pm.

Free admission

📍1-3-11 Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-6028


Halloween treats | © Petr Kratochvil/Public Domain / Ramen | © Alpha/Flickr / Kawasaki Halloween Parade | © / Vegetarian cuisine | © Suzette/Flickr

Halloween treats | © Petr Kratochvil/Public Domain / Ramen | © Alpha/Flickr / Kawasaki Halloween Parade | © / Vegetarian cuisine | © Suzette/Flickr

PARADE | Omotesando Halloween Pumpkin Parade

📅  Sunday October 30

Also known as the Harajuku Hello Halloween Pumpkin Parade, this festive celebration of the fall season is a great option for families. Children can dress up in costume, trick-or-treat at local stores and enjoy the Halloween parade. For the past two years, Harajuku pop idol Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took part. The parade takes place along the main Omotesando strip.

Free admission

📍3-6 Kitaaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061

NATURE | Takahata-Fudoson Kiku Matsuri

📅  Late October – Mid-November

Also known as Takahata-Fudoson Kongo-ji Temple Chrysanthemmum Festival, this flower appreciation festival gives city dwellers a chance to learn about this popular fall flower. There will be many kinds of “mums” on display, classes on gardening and some potted plants for sale. The Takahata-Fudoson Buddhist Temple is hosting the event.

Free admission

📍773 Takahata, Hino-shi, Tokyo 191-0031

FOOD| Tokyo Ramen Show 2016

📅  Thursday 27 – Sunday November 6

The Tokyo Ramen Show is a large outdoor event dedicated just to ramen noodles.  Expect to find various types, styles and flavors of everyone’s favorite noodle soup, including special collaborations between skilled chefs available only here. The highlight of the show is the gotochi ramen, which are variations of the dish unique to each Japanese Prefecture. The Ramen Show will be held in the Central Plaza of Komazawa Olympic Park.

Free admission

📍1-1 Komazawa Koen, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 154-0013

PARADE | Kawasaki Halloween Parade

📅  Sunday October 30

The Kawasaki Halloween Parade is the most famous and beloved of all the Halloween-themed parades in the country. Droves of people in stunning costumes turn out for the event, parading down the streets near Kawasaki Station and La Cittadella shopping mall. If you only attend one Halloween parade in Tokyo this year, let it be this one. Parade runs from 1:30pm to 4:15pm

Free admission

📍4-1 Ogawacho, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Tokyo 210-0023

FOOD | Tokyo Vegefood Festa

📅  Saturday 29 – Sunday October 30

Celebrate vegetarian cuisine at the Tokyo Vegefood Festa. There will be tons of vendors selling everything from burger-inspired bean patties to tofu nuggets and more. The festival runs from 10am to pm on Saturday, and until 5pm on Sunday in the Yoyogi Park Events Square.

Free admission

📍2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0052