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

Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 27 October 2016
It’s not too late to get out there and enjoy the last of the warm weather. This month, Tokyo is buzzing with energy as the autumn festival season begins, and when you’re through with all that, there’s still music to be heard, art to be admired, and gardens to be patrolled. Get ready to kick off the autumn season with Tokyo’s hottest events.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1st – THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 8th

okyo Jazz | © Pexels / Yosakoi | ©KumarNav/Flickr / Sanma Festival | © Unsplash / Beer garden | © Pexels
Tokyo Jazz | © Pexels / Yosakoi | ©KumarNav/Flickr / Sanma Festival | © Unsplash / Beer garden | © Pexels

MUSIC | Tokyo Jazz Festival

📅 Friday, September 2nd – Sunday, September 4th

The time is right for the 15th annual Tokyo Jazz Festival, the largest international jazz festival in all of Japan. International favorites like Kenny Barron and local flavors like Hiromi Uehara are here to show Tokyo how to have a good time. The festival is expected to attract over 80,000 fans and will feature more than 200 artists, filling up three halls at the Tokyo International Forum with jazz music and festivities over the weekend.

Tickets: ¥9,800-18,600

📍 3 Chome-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005

FESTIVAL | Yosakoi! Oedo Soran Festival

📅 Sunday, September 4th

The Yosakoi Oedo Soran is a dance competition held annually in Tokyo. Yosakoi is the style of dance, and there are actually over 200 locations in Japan which host Yosakoi dance festivals each year. This year in Tokyo, 45 teams on three stages are coming together at the Tokyo Metropolitan Kiba Park to compete. Spectators are welcome to come and enjoy the festive atmosphere and cheer on their favorite team from 9:30AM to 5PM.

Free Entry

📍 4-6-1 Hirano, Koto, Tokyo 135-0023

FOOD | Meguro Sanma Matsuri

📅 Sunday, September 4th

It’s time for the 21st annual Meguro Sanma Matsuri. Head down to Meguro Station to enjoy char-grilled pike (a type of fish, known as sanma in Japanese) brought in fresh from Iwate Prefecture. If you come early enough, you may be one of the lucky ones to get one for free! To add to the festive mood, storytellers, comics, and plenty of vendors cooking up the catch of the day will be on hand to entertain. Grilling starts at 10AM.

Free Entry

📍2-16-9 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa, Tokyo 141-0021

ART | ‘Konomachi-Ten: This Town’ Exhibition

📅 Sunday, August 21st – Saturday, September 10th

Artist Erica Ward’s ink and watercolor illustrations will be on display in Cafe Frangipani for a limited time. Erica’s artwork is unique and quirky — a mix of traditional Japanese details with a modern spin. While not Japanese by birth, the artist has lived in Japan for some time and it shows in her work. Perhaps not coincidentally, Cafe Frangipani is a little quirky in and of itself, famous for having a full-sized Volkswagon bus inside for patrons to sit in and enjoy.

Free Entry

📍 6-21-8 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032

FOOD | Forest Beer Garden at Meiji Shrine Garden

📅 Thursday, May 19th – Saturday, September 24th

September is the last month to enjoy the annual summer Forest Beer Garden, a beer garden that sets up shop right in the middle of the Outer Garden of Meiji Shrine in Shibuya. Grab a beer and a bite to eat before you explore the shrine grounds, or just enjoy dining al fresco. The beer garden runs from 5PM to 10PM, but opens at noon on weekends.

Free Entry

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

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th

Hibiya Oktoberfest | © Yasuyuki Hirata/Flickr / Omotesando Hills | © WikiCommons / Arabian spices | © Pexels / Crossfaith | © Wikicommons
Hibiya Oktoberfest | © Yasuyuki Hirata/Flickr / Omotesando Hills | © WikiCommons / Arabian spices | © Pexels / Crossfaith | © Wikicommons

FESTIVAL | Sakaki Festival

📅 Saturday, September 10th – Sunday, September 11th

Sakaki is a type of tree. During this festival, a sakaki tree is tied with paper strips and carried through the streets and to Hiyoshi Shrine. This year is the 250th anniversary of the unique festival, making it one of the Kanto region’s longest-running celebrations. Festivities begin at 1PM.

Free Entry

📍 1-10-19 Haijimacho, Akishima-shi, Tokyo 196-0002

FOOD | Hibiya Oktoberfest

📅 Friday, September 9th – Monday, September 19th

Oktoberfest is a German festival celebrated all over the world with fun, festivities, and lots of beer. Originally a way to celebrate the brewery season, Oktoberfest is now a chance to enjoy and appreciate the popular brew whatever the harvest. At the Hibiya Oktoberfest, enjoy traditional German beer and food, live music, entertainment, and much more at Hibiya Park Fountain Square (in the northeast corner of Hibiya Park) from 10AM til late. The festival will be held rain or shine.

Free Entry

📍 1-6 Hibiyakōen, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0012

FASHION | Fashion’s Night Out

📅 Saturday, September 10th

Fashion’s Night Out is an annual event in Tokyo hosted by Condé Nast’s Japan branch, publishers of Vogue and Vanity Fair. It will be held in the upscale-shopping neighborhood of Omotesando, with the opening ceremony kicking off at 4:00 PM in the Omotesando Hills mall — attendees can expect live entertainment, exclusive shopping opportunities, giveaways, photo ops and more. The night lasts from 4 – 11PM.

Free Entry

📍 10-12-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 Tokyo

FESTIVAL | Arafes Arabian Festival

📅 Saturday, September 10th-Sunday, September 11th

The Arafes Arabian Festival is coming to Yoyogi Park, the first of a new annual event. Enjoy a taste of Arab culture with traditional food and fashions from Egypt to Dubai and everything in between. There will also be belly dancing performances and cultural promoters ready to share the various Arab cultures of the world with Tokyo. Festival runs from 10AM to 8PM daily.

Free Entry

📍 2-2-3 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0041

MUSIC | Crossfaith at Akasaka Blitz

📅 Saturday, September 10th

Electricore band Crossfaith is coming to Tokyo with special guests Enter Shikari and Beartooth from the UK and USA respectively. Crossfaith is famous for their unique blending of metalcore music with modern electronic dance. They’ll be performing at Akasaka Blitz in Minato-ku. Doors open at 5:30PM and admission comes with one free drink.

Admission: ¥4,400

📍 5-3-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd

Nezu Shrine | © WikiCommons / Tokyo Game Show | © WikiCommons / Mexican fiesta | © Larry Lamsa/Flickr / Shrine Festival | © WikiCommons
Nezu Shrine | © WikiCommons / Tokyo Game Show | © WikiCommons / Mexican fiesta | © Larry Lamsa/Flickr / Shrine Festival | © WikiCommons

NATURE | Hagi/Bush Clover Festival

📅 Mid-September – Mid-October

Beautiful flowers bloom throughout the year at Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens, and the fall season is no exception. The name of this celebration comes from the long tunnel of bush clover which greets guests upon their arrival at the gardens. Built in the Edo period, these gardens are a recognized historic site and a favorite scenic spot for locals. Besides the bush clover tunnel, enjoy the seven wildflowers of fall, or aki no nanakusa.

Entrance Fee: ¥150

📍 3-18-3 Higashi-Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 131-0032

FESTIVAL | Nezu Shrine Festival

📅 Saturday, September 17th – Sunday, September 18th

The annual Nezu Shrine Festival is one of their biggest. It’s the usual traditional shrine festival festivities with games, snacks and drinks, music, and of course the procession of the mikoshi (portable shrines, carried by bearers). The Nezu Shrine Festival in autumn is one of Tokyo’s longest-running festivals. It is expected to start around 1PM.

Free Entry

📍 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0031

GAMING | Tokyo Game Show 2016

📅 Saturday, September 17th – Sunday, September 18th

As many consider Japan to be the center of the gaming world, it’s no wonder Tokyo Game Show is one of the largest and most popular of the industry. Queue up to check out the latest gadgets and games from all the major gaming producers like Square-Enix, console makers like Sony, computer gaming experts and more. The event will be held at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, just outside of Tokyo from 10AM – 5 PM daily. Cosplaying is highly recommended.

Tickets: ¥1200 at the door, ¥1000 in advance

📍 1-2-1 Nakase, Mihama Ward, Chiba, Chiba Prefecture 261-0023

FESTIVAL | Fiesta Mexicana

📅 Saturday, September 17th – Monday, September 19th

Fiesta Mexicana is a celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day right here in Tokyo. Expect live music, delicious food, and even a live demonstration of traditional Mexican wrestling. Fiesta Mexicana will be held on Odaiba’s West Promenade, just outside of Aqua City Odaiba from 11AM to 7PM daily.

Free Entry

📍 1-7-1 Odaiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-0091

FESTIVAL | Hikawa Matsuri

📅 Friday, September 16th – Sunday, September 18th

The Hikawa Matsuri is a traditional autumn festival featuring floats, festival fare and games, music, and live performers with the floats. The festival procession begins around noon and ends up in the heart of Akasaka District. Follow the crowds if you’re unsure about where to go to watch the festivities. The procession runs from 12 – 9PM.

Free Entry

📍 6-10-12 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th

JATA Festival | © WikiCommons / Hibiya Park | © WikiCommons / Namaste | © WikiCommons / Celebrate chestnuts | © Pexels
JATA Festival | © WikiCommons / Hibiya Park | © WikiCommons / Namaste | © WikiCommons / Celebrate chestnuts | © Pexels

FESTIVAL | JATA Tourism EXPO Japan

📅 Thursday, September 22nd – Sunday, September 25th

The Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) invites you to explore all the prefectures of Japan without ever leaving Tokyo. As one of the world’s largest travel events, the Travel Showcase at the JATA Tourism Expo will feature exhibitors from more than 140 countries and from each of the 47 Japanese prefectures. Plan your next big adventure in Japan or beyond. Note that Thursday and Friday are for industry representatives only.

Admission: Adult ¥1,300/Student ¥700

📍 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto, Tokyo 135-0063

BAZAAR | Ekoda Night Bazaar

📅 Saturday, September 24th

During the Ekoda Night Bazaar, the stores along one of the shopping streets linking Ekoda Station to Shin-Sakuradai lay some of their wares outside on the street. There’s music and food as well, lending to the festive atmosphere. The events runs from 5PM to 8PM.

Free Entry

📍 1–77-9 Asahigaoka, Nerima-ku, Tokyo

FESTIVAL | Nikkan Koryu Matsuri

📅 Saturday, September 24 – Sunday, September 25

The Nikkan Koryu Festival is a Japan-Korea unity festival, and is held simultaneously in Seoul and Tokyo. The festival is a celebration of the two nations and an attempt to bring them closer together. Besides the usual food and cultural displays, expect musical performances from both traditional and K-pop artists. The festival runs from 11 AM to 8 PM at Hibiya Park.

Free Entry

📍 1-6 Hibiyakōen, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0012

FESTIVAL | Namaste India 2016

📅 Saturday, September 24 – Sunday, September 25

The Namaste India festival will feature vendors selling traditional Indian food, as well as live musical and other cultural performances. Last year, the Ambassador of India in Japan gave the opening speech, so expect this year’s festival to be a big deal as well. It’ll be at the event square in Yoyogi Park from 10AM to 10PM daily.

Free Entry

📍 2-2-3 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0041

FESTIVAL | Okunitama Shrine Chestnut Festival

📅 Tuesday, September 27th (mini festival) – Wednesday, September 28th (main festival) – 9AM-9PM

Also known as the Okunitama Jinja Autumn Festival, the annual Chestnut Festival at Okunitama Shrine is a celebration of everyone’s favorite nut — the chestnut. The festival has its roots in the Edo Period, when the chestnut harvest coincided with the annual kagura dances of the autumn season (theatrical Shinto dances for the entertainment of the kami, or gods). Okunitama Autumn Festival is a traditional Japanese shrine festival, with stalls and vendors selling traditional snacks and classic festival games.

Free Entry

📍 1-3 Miyamachi, Fuchu-ku, Tokyo 183-0023