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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10/20-11/23 Kasama Kiku Matsuri (Chrysanthemum Festival), 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.
11/1-3 Dream Yosakoi, Odaiba, Tokyo Plaza in Akihabara and Marunouchi. Yosakoi is a modern version of Awa Odori (Tokushima traditional summer dance). Large groups perform energetic, choreographed dance routines. 11/2 11:30-12:00 – In front of Tokyo Tower. 11/3, 11:00-13:00 – In front of Tokyo station. 11/3, 14;30-16:00 – In front of Akihabara UDX Building. Performances in Odaiba on all three days.
11/1-30 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.
11/1-5 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.
11/13-14 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. November 13 10:00am – 8:00pm & November 8 10:00am – 2:00pm.
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.
11/17 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.
11/28 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.
11/8 & 11/20 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.
10/27-11/24 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.
10/25-11/17 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
11/1-15 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.
11/1-17 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.
11/1-23 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