Here is a list of festivals and events happening in and around Tokyo this month. I hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of them. As I learn of new events, they will be added to the list.
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10/20-11/25 Kasama Chrysanthemum Exhibition, Ibaraki Prefecture. An amazing display of flowers and life-sized dolls made of flowers are exhibited in the precincts of the shrine. 800 yen admission (to see the dolls). Daily 8:30-16:30 (last entry at 16:00). JR Mito Line to Kasama Station, and then walk 20 minutes.
11/1-11/30 Takao Momiji Matsuri, Maple Leaf Festival on Mt. Takao featuring Japanese drum performances, traditional puppet plays, Japanese harp concerts, & street performances in front of Kiyotaki Sta. of cable car. Many events are scheduled mainly on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival period. Access: Keio Line to Takaosan-guchi Sta., and then walk 3 minutes to Kiyotaki Cable Car Sta.
11/3-5 Homotsu Kaze-ire, Kencho-ji Temple, Engaku-ji Temple, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. Airing of Treasury Artifacts at the temples. Many treasures, including rare masterpieces stored in both temples, are open to the public. Admission 500 yen for each temple, excluding entrance fee. Engaku-ji Temple will be closed at 15:30 on 11/5. Access: JR Yokosuka Line to Kita-Kamakura Sta.,and then (1) Engaku-ji Temple: walk 1 min. (2) Kencho-ji Temple: walk 20 min.
11/2-11/5 Mashiko Toki Ichi (pottery fair), Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture. In addition to 50 shops, about 500 stalls are set up around town. Daily 9:00-17:00.
11/7-8 Tokyo American Club Women’s Group International Bazaar – Open to the public (free entry), Minato Ward, Tokyo. Exquisite furniture, antiques, art, and accent pieces from across Asia. Wednesday, November 7 10:00am – 7:00pm & Thursday, November 8 10:00am – 2:00pm. *If you attend on the 7th – stop by the Support Fukushima Booth, I’ll be volunteering there!
11/11 Sakura Jidai Matsuri (Edo Era Festival), Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture. Locals recreate the hustle and bustle of a time when samurai and townspeople lived together in this castle town. Events include Tatsumi-style martial arts and “Torimono” (Edo period police capturing a criminal) demonstrations, and more. 10:00-15:00 (canceled in the event of bad weather). Most events occur along Sakura Shinmachi Street (the street in front of the Sakura City Art Museum). Access: 10 minutes on foot from Keisei Sakura Station on Keisei Line, 20 minutes on foot from JR Sakura Station on JR Narita Line.
11/15 Shichi-go-san, the 7-5-3 Children’s Shrine Visiting Day. Many children and their families visit shrines, usually on Saturdays and Sundays around the fifteenth. Popular shrines include: Meiji Jingu, Hie Jinja, Kanda Myojin
11/28 Doburoku Matsuri, Unrefined sake festival, Koami Jinja, Chuo Ward, Tokyo. Free sips of doburoku are served from 9:00-18:00. There will also be a shinto dance with music from 12:00. Access: Subway to Ningyocho Station, then walk 7 minutes.
11/1, 11/13, & 11/25 Tori-no-ichi (Good Luck Rake Fair), held on each ‘day of the rooster’ in November. Kumade (bamboo rakes adorned with good luck charms for good fortune and prosperous business) are sold at dozens of stalls. Popular shrines for this event are: Otori Jinja (Taito Ward, 7 minutes from Iriya Station), Otori Jinja (Meguro Ward, 7 minutes walk from Meguro Station), Otori Jinja (Toshima Ward, 2 minute walk from Zoshigaya Station), Hanazono Jinja (Shinjuku Ward, 7 minutes walk from Shinjuku Station, East Exit.
TOKYO CHRYSANTHEMUM EXHIBITIONS (Kikka-ten)
10/16-11/5 Yasukuni Jinja Shrine Kikka-ten at Yasukuni Shrine, Chiyoda-ku. Hours: around 6 am – 6 pm daily (Oct.) ; 6 am – 5 pm daily (Nov.) during the period Admission: free. Access The Tozai, Hanzomon or Toei Shinjuku Subway Line to Kudanshita Sta. and then walk 5 min.
10/25-11/23 Meiji Jingu Shrine Kikka-ten, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Shibuya-ku. 5:40 am – 4:40 pm daily (Oct.) ; 6:10 am – 4:10 pm daily (Nov.) during the period Admission: free. Access (1) The JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Sta. (2) The Chiyoda or Fukutoshin Subway Line to Meiji-Jingumae Sta.
10/27-11/23 Kameido Tenjin Kiku Matsuri at Kameido Tenjin Shrine, Koto-ku Hours: 9:00 – 16:00 daily during the period. Access The JR Sobu Line to Kameido Sta., and then walk 15 min.
10/26-11/18 Jindai Shokubutsu Koen Kikka Taikai at Jindai Botanical Garden, Chofu Hours: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm daily during the period. Closed on Mon. Admission: 500 yen Access (1) The Keio Line to Chofu Sta. (North Exit). From there, 15 min. by bus for Mitaka or for Kichijoji, and then get off at Jindai-Shokubutsu-Koen Bus Stop. (2) The JR Chuo Line to Mitaka Sta. or Kichijoji Sta. From there, 20 min. by bus for Chofueki-Kitaguchi or for Jindaiji, and then get off at Jindai-Shokubutsu-Koen Bus
11/1-11/15 Shinjuku Gyoen Kikukaden-ten at Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. 9:00-16:30 daily. Last entry 16:00. Admission is 200 yen. Access: Marunouchi Line to Shinjuku Gyoen-mae Station, then walk 5 minutes.
11/1-11/23 Tokyo-to Kanko Kikka Taikai at Hibiya Park, Chiyoda Ward. 10:00-16:00 on all days except the 23rd, when it ends at noon. Access: Hibiya, Chiyoda, or Mita Line to Hibiya Station, then walk 2 minutes.
11/1-11/23 Yushima Tenjin Kiku Matsuri at Yushima Tenjin Shrine, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. Daily from 6:00 – sunset. Access: Chiyoda Line to Yushima Station, then walk 2 minutes. Ginza Line to Ueno-hirokoji Station, then walk 5 minutes.
WINTER ILLUMINATIONS in CHIBA
11/1-4/7 Tokyo German Village Winter Illumination, Sodegaura City, Chiba Prefecture. From sunset, approximately 50,000 square meters of park will be lit by over 2,500,000 lights. This year, certain attractions like the famous 70 meter long rainbow tunnel will be paired with music to create a spectacular show on sound and light. Additionally, the “German Village China Lantern Festival” will be held from January 3, 2019. Entrance: 2,500 yen per car (including passengers), or if you arrive on foot 500 yen per person (Children 3 and under free). Access: By bus from Sodegaura Station on the JR Uchibo Line. A paid direct bus is also available. 3km from the Anesaki Sodegaura IC off the Tateyama Expressway 6km from the Kisarazu-higashi IC off the Ken-O Expressway
10/27-2/24 Mother Farm Illumination, “The Flower Garden of Light”, Futtsu City, Chiba Prefecture. 16:00-20:00. *After January 7, the illumination will be held only on weekends and holidays. The park will be closed: Monday, December 17, 2018 – Thursday, 20, Monday, January 7, 2019 – Friday, 11, Wednesday, 16 – Friday, 18. *The park is open during normal hours during the day. Park Entrance: Adults (Middle school and older) 1,500 yen, Children (Age 4 and Elementary School) 800 yen. *Entrance after 16:00: Adults (Middle school and older) 700 yen, Children (Age 4 and Elementary School) 300 yen. Age 3 and below free. Parking: Free after 16:00 (before 16:00, 900 yen for 1 day parking pass). Access: 15km from the Kisarazu-Minami IC off the Tateyama Expressway.
11/23-12/25 Chiba Port Tower Christmas Fantasy 2018, Chiba port Tower, Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture. From 17:00-21:00, 3,500 lightbulbs will create a gigantic 100 meter tall and 30 meter wide Christmas tree along with the illusion of falling snow. The illumination show paired with music as well as a soap bubble illumination will also be held at the same time. Tree Illumination: 17:00-21:00. Illumination Show: 17:00-20:00 (every 30 minutes, lasts 7 minutes). Soap Bubble Illumination: every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday during the illumination period at 17:15 (lasts around 10 minutes). Admission fee: Adult: 420 yen, elementary school student 200 yen, under elementary school student free. Access: 12 minutes on foot from Chibaminato Station on the Chiba monorail/ JR Keiyo Line.