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Photo by Lily Crossley-Baxter

Tokyo Cheapo Downtown Drinks (Nov 17):  Join the TC gang and fellow cheapos for a drink (or few) and casual mingling at hipster hangout Commune 2nd in Omotesando. This is our 25th casual monthly meet-up and all are welcome—from readers to travelers to mysterious strangers.

Tori no Ichi Fair II (Nov 18): Held at Otori Shrine in Asakusa since the Edo period, this colorful festival falls on rooster days (according to the Chinese calendar) and provides good luck, good health and good wealth blessings. Pick up an ornamental rake (representing good luck and prosperity) or just walk around and enjoy the colorful atmosphere. Should you get hungry, there will be food stalls serving up traditional Japanese street food.

Suggested Activity
Castle and Town Discovery Tour in Odawara
A 3-hour walking tour that will include historic insight, local goods, craft shops, and much more. ...
ginkgo trees
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Hachioji Ginkgo Festival (Nov 18-19): Celebrating the Showa period, this festival takes place along the ginkgo-tree-lined streets of Hachioji (planted during that time), and features a tour of old inspection stations (sekisho). There is also a vintage car parade with classic cars from the Showa period.

Photo by Charles Haynes used under CC

Fiesta de España (Nov 18-19): This two-day event will give you a chance to sample Spanish food, wine, art and entertainment at Yoyogi Park’s event square. The festival celebrates over 400 years of exchange between Japan and Spain.

Charity Walk & Run for Universal Children’s Day (Nov 18): Human Rights Now is hosting its annual charity walk/run to increase awareness of what children’s rights and to improve the welfare of children. If you’d like to join, tickets must be purchased in advance through the official site. Starting point is Hibiya Park. 

The American Craft Beer Experience (Nov 18-19): One for craft beer lovers is the American Craft Beer Experience at Takeshiba New Pier Hall. Along with some of the more famous imported brands, there will be varieties available that have not previously been available in Japan. Admission is free and the glasses of beer at either 300 or 500 yen are great value.

Jingugaien Itcho Festival (Nov 17-Dec 3): With colorful autumn leaves ablaze, you’ll want to head to Icho Namiki Avenue where the numerous and intensely yellow gingko trees are star. Plus, tons of food stalls will be set up for your grazing pleasure. For more spots to see some autumn leaves in Tokyo, check out our full guide.

Photo by Marufish used under CC

Autumn Evening Illuminations at Rikugien Garden (Nov 18-Dec 6): The famously beautiful Edo-period gardens of Rikugien will be illuminated until the 6th of December, from sunset to 9pm daily. The gardens are known as one of the best spots for autumn foliage viewing, so it’s a perfect for an evening stroll.

Photo by Manish Prabhune used under CC

Christmas Illuminations: Christmas season in Japan is already upon us with myriad light-up festivals taking place all over the metropolis. There are plenty to choose from, with some running until February 2018, and some finishing on Christmas Day—so be sure to look up the end dates. With new themes, music accompaniments and increasingly impressive displays every year, you’re sure to enjoy what the bright city streets have to offer.

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