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Photo by Instituto Cervantes de Tokio used under CC

95th Gaigosai Festival (Nov 22-26): If you wanted to do some “traveling” this weekend, look no further than the 95th Gaigosai Festival at Tokyo Foreign Studies University. The festival features international food stalls, exhibitions, performances and even theater shows performed by students in the foreign language they’re majoring in.

Photo by OiMax used under CC

Nabe Festival (Nov 23-26)Nabe—meaning hot pot—is a popular dish in Japan chock full of meat and vegetables—a hearty and warming meal especially when the weather turns cold. Get your fill of the stuff at Hibiya Park at this three-day festival featuring different variations from across the country.

Suggested Activity
Sumo Morning Practice Tour at Stable in Tokyo
Try this insider’s experience at a sumo wrestler morning practice session. Enjoy exclusive access to a sumo stable, watching as these massive athletes put themselves through their daily training regimen and go head-to-head.
Surprise guests at the Ekoda Night Bazaar | Photo by David Ishikawa

Ekoda Night Bazaar (Nov 25): A little festival food, a little street shopping for local wares—the Ekoda Bazaar is a great way to spend a lively Saturday night, especially if you have little ones in tow.

Photo by 663highland used under CC

National Museum of Western Art – Free Admission Day (Nov 25):  This Saturday, check out the extensive permanent collection at the Museum of Western Art in Ueno Park for free—a savings of 430 yen. Works include paintings from the late medieval period through to the 20th century and modern French sculpture. Artists include Ruebens, Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock and many more.

antique market
Photo by Yoshikazu TAKADA used under CC

The Oedo Antique Market (Nov 26): A cheapo favorite, Japan’s biggest outdoor market in Japan is back at the Tokyo International Forum. It’s a great spot for finding unique souvenirs, decorating your apartment on a shoestring, or even just strolling around outdoors. The market will be canceled in case of rain through, so keep an eye on the forecast.

earth garden
Photo by shuzo serikawa used under CC

Earth Day Market (Nov 26):  If you’re in the Harajuku/Shibuya area, pop by Yoyogi Park for the Earth Day Market—earth-friendly goods can be found for sale, from organic fruit/veg to fair trade products to handmade crafts.

autumn leaves
Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Trees | Photo by nakashi used under CC

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 Taichiro Ueki used under CC

Christmas Illuminations: Christmas season in Japan is already upon us with myriad light-up festivals taking place all over the city. There are plenty to choose from, with some running until February 2018, and some finishing on Christmas Day—so be sure to note 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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