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.
I recommend that you double-check the information on an official website before heading to any of the events. And, if you note any changes/mistakes regarding any of the listings, please let me know so I can alert others.
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10/4 – 26 Anime Film Festival Tokyo, at theaters around Shinjuku. Access: JR Yamanote Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line or Toei Shinjuku Subway Line to Shinjuku Sta.
10/6 Shinjuku Machi Fes 2018, Shinjuku-dori, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. World dance festival. Dances and traditional music around the world are performed along Shinjuku-dori Street from 12:00-16:00. Access: JR Yamanote Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line or Toei Shinjuku Subway Line to Shinjuku Sta. For more information: http://www.kanko-shinjuku.jp.e.xm.hp.transer.com/festival/-/dance.html
10/6-8 Kasama Shin-Kuri Matsuri, pottery fair, Kasama Geijutsu-no-Mori Park, Kasama Town, Ibaraki Prefecture. Stalls selling Kasama-yaki potteries, agricultural products, and snack foods are set up in the park. 9:00-16:00. JR Mito Line to Kasama Station, then 5 minute taxi ride or 40 minute walk.
10/11-13 O-eshiki Festival, Ikegami Honmonji Temple, Ikegami, Ota Ward, Tokyo. Buddhist memorial service featuring a night procession of people carrying Mando on 10/12 18:00-23:00. About 100 Mando varying in size, decorated with paper cherry blossoms, are carried by a number of groups of people, starting one after another from Tokumochi Kaikan Hall near Ikegami Sta. to the temple. Many open-air stalls are set up along the street from Ikegami Sta. to the temple daily during the festival period. Free tours in English on Saturday, 10/12 between 17:00 – 21:30. Access (1) The Tokyu Ikegami Line to Ikegami Sta., and then walk 10 min. (2) The Toei Asakusa Subway Line to Nishi-Magome Sta. (A 01), then walk 12 min
10/11-13 Sawara-no-Taisai Aki Matsuri, Fall Festival in Sawara City, Chiba Prefecture. Festival with 300 year history, designated as one of the National Important Intangible Folk culture Properties. 14 beautifully sculptured floats with huge dolls on top parade through the city to the accompaniment of Sawara-bayashi festival music. Daily 10:00-22:00 parade of 14 floats. Access: JR Narita Line to Sawara Station.
10/12 -13 Ito Aki Matsuri, Autumn Festival of Ito City Shrines, Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture. Highlight is Kaichu-togyo – where locals jostle with each other to carry mikoshi into the sea. Daily parade of mikoshi through the city. 10/13 at 9:50, 11:00, and 12 – Kaichu-togyo at Ito Orange Beach. Access: JR Limited Express Odoriko to Ito Station, then walk 3 minutes.
10/12-14 Kasama ‘Roman’, Kasama Geijutsu-no-Mori Park, Kasama Town, Ibaraki Prefecture. Pottery & Food Fair. Stalls selling Kasama-yaki potteries, local Kasama farm products, and snack foods are set up in the park. “Big Band Picnic in Kasama’, a music concert by many jazz orchestras, will be held on the open air stage in the park. 10/12 9:00-21:00 Stalls for potteries and foods are set up (9:00-17:00 on 13th and 14th). Big Band concert from 10:00 on 13th and 11:00 on 14th. Access: Mito Line to Kasama Sta., and then walk 30 min. or take shuttle bus or route
10/14 Kusajishi-shiki, Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo. Japanese archery ritual. The archers dressed in ceremonial robes shoot arrows at the targets (figures of a deer) according to traditional rites. If it rains, the ritual will be held in Nohgakudo Hall in the precincts of the shrine. 11:00 and 13:30. Access: Tokyo Metro Tozai, Hanzomon Line or Toei Shinjuku Subway Line to Kudanshita Station, and the walk 5 minutes.
10/16-17 Grand Autumn Festival of Toshogu Shrine, Nikko, Tochigi Pref. The highlight is a procession of 800 armor-clad people followed by mikoshi. 10/16 13:30-14:00 Yabusame (archery on horseback) on Omotesando St. 10/17 11:00-11:40 Procession from shrine to otabisho (shrine resting place), parading along Omotesando. 12:00-12:30 bugaku (ancient court dance with music) at otabisho. 13:00-13:30 Procession returns to shrine. Access: The JR Nikko Line or the Tobu Railway to Nikko Sta. From there, 5 min. by bus to Shinkyo Bus Stop, or walk 20 min. to Shinkyo Bridge.
10/16-18 O-eshiki Festival, Kishimojin Temple, Zoshigaya, Toshima Ward, Tokyo. Buddhist memorial service featuring a night procession of people carrying about 50 Mando . About 200 open-air stalls are set up in the compound of the temple and its neighborhood daily during the festival period. Schedule & Key events: 10/17 19:30-22:00 Procession of Mando from Seido-Kishimojin Temple near Gokokuji Sta. to the temple. 10/18 19:00-22:00 Procession of Mando from near Ikebukuro Sta. (East Exit, in front of Seibu Department Store) to the temple. Access (1) The JR Yamanote Line to Mejiro Sta. or Ikebukuro Sta., and then walk 15 min. (2) The Fukutoshin Subway Line to Zoshigaya Sta. (F 10), and then walk 5 min.
10/17 Shu-ki Reitaisai, Annual Autumn Festival of Yakuoin Temple on Mt. Takao, Hachioji, features a parade of children in fancy attire, mountain priests and drum & fife bands. Parade occurs from 11:00-12:10 from Junichi-chome Jaya (tea house) near Takaosan (cable car) Station to the temple. Access 1 hr. by the Keio Line from Shinjuku Sta. to Takaosan-guchi Sta. Then, cable car or chairlift.
10/17-20 Annual Autumn Festival of Yasukuni Shrine, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Many performing arts, such as Japanese dance and music, and Kobudo (martial arts) are presented in the precincts of the Shrine during the festival period. Access: The Tozai, Hanzomon or Toei Shinjuku Subway Line to Kudanshita Sta. (T 07, Z 06, S 05), and then walk 5 min.
10/18 Kinryu-no-mai (Golden Dragon Dance), Sensoji Temple, Taito- ku, three times from 11am, 1:30pm and 3pm. Access: The Ginza or Toei Asakusa Subway Line to Asakusa Sta. and then walk 5 min.
10/19-20 Kawagoe Matsuri, Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture. Festival designated as one of the National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties, and registered as the Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The highlight of this festival is a parade of 19 adorned floats to the tune of Ohayashi festival music with Taiko drumming and Japanese flute. 10/19 13:00- Parade of Mikoshi from Hikawa-jinja shrine, going through town. 18:00-19:00 Floats are lit up and Ohayashi is performed. 19:00-21:00 Parade of floats by townspeople jostling each other at several sites. 10/20. 13:30-16:00 Parade of floats in front of the city hall. 18:30-21:00 Parade of floats by townspeople jostling each other at several sites. Access: (1) The Seibu Shinjuku Line to Hon-Kawagoe Sta. (2) The Tobu Tojo Line to Kawagoe-shi Sta., and then walk 10 min.
10/19-20 Koto-Kumin Matsuri (Koto Citizens’ Festival), Kiba Koen (Park), Koto Ward, Tokyo. Main events are acrobatic stunts on rolling squared timbers, dance by women in male attire, and ‘Fukawa-no-chikara-mochi’ – in which men demonstrate their great strength by lifting straw bags filled with rice. Daily from 10:00 to 16:00 – many types of entertainment will take place. Access: The Tozai Subway Line to Kiba Sta., and then walk 5 min.
10/19 – 11/24 Kasama-no Kiku Matsuri, Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture. Chrysanthemum Exhibition. Around 10,000 of potted chrysanthemums and dolls made of chrysanthemum are exhibited in the precincts of the shrine. Japanese traditional performing arts, such as Bugaku and Yabusame are also performed during the festival period. Admission to the exhibition of chrysanthemum dolls is 800 JPY. Please enter by 16:00. Access: JR Mito Line to Kasama Station, and then walk 20 min.
10/25 – 11/04 Furuhon Matsuri (Secondhand Book Fair) at the Kanda-Jimbocho secondhand bookstore quarter, Chiyoda-ku., is held from 10am to 7pm (to 6pm on Nov. 4th) during the festival period. When it rains, the fair will be canceled. Access: (1) The Toei Mita, Toei Shinjuku or Hanzomon Subway Line to Jimbocho Sta. (2) The Chiyoda Subway Line to Shin-Ochanomizu Sta. (3) The JR Chuo, Sobu Line or the Marunouchi Subway Line to Ochanomizu Sta.
10/27 Kawanakajima Kassen Sengoku Emaki, Isawa-cho, Fuefuki City, Yamanashi Prefecture. Mock battle from 13:10 of famous “Kawanakajima Kassen” battle fought between famous warlords, “Takeda Shingen” and “Uesugi Kenshin”, in the 16th century. The battles are held by 900 people on the riverbeds of Fuefuki River, in front of Fuefuki city hall. Access: JR Chuo Honsen Line to Isawa-Onsen Sta., and then walk 20 min.
Kikka-ten / Chrysanthemum Displays
10/16-11/05 Yasukuni Jinja Shrine Kikka-ten, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Around 200 pots of chrysanthemum are displayed. Admission is free. ●10/16 – 10/31 6:00-18:00 ●11/1 – 11/5 6:00-17:00. Admission: free. Access The Tozai, Hanzomon or Toei Shinjuku Subway Line to Kudanshita Sta. (T 07, Z 06, S 05), then walk 5 min.
10/27-11/24 Kameido Tenjin Kiku Matsuri at Kameido Tenjin Shrine, Koto-ku, Tokyo. Hours: from 8:00 to 16:00 daily during the period. Admission: free. Access The JR Sobu Line to Kameido Sta., and then walk 15 min.
10/25-11/23 Meiji Jingu Shrine Kikka-ten at Meiji Jingu Shrine, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. Hours: 5:40am – 4:40pm daily 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.
10/25-11/17 Jindai Shokubutsu Koen Kikka Taikai, Jindai Botanical Garden, Chofu City, Tokyo. Hours: 9:30am – 5:00pm 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 Stop.