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Oeshiki Festival at Ikegami Honmonji Temple (Oct 11-13): This is a Buddhist festival featuring 10,000 sacred lanterns carried from Ikegami Station to Honmonji Temple to commemorate the death of Nichiren—a revered Buddhist teacher who lived many centuries ago. Hundreds of thousands of people attend the festival each year.
Narita Fireworks Festival (Oct 14): Beloved for its inconveniently placed airport, Narita also has an annual claim to fame—a tremendous fireworks display with award-winning sky designs. The show starts at 7 pm, so arrive early to get your hands (well, really your tush) on a good spot for viewing.
Diwali in Yokohama (Oct 14-15): Celebrate the Indian festival of lights in Yamashita Park’s festival square area in Yokohama. Lots of tasty food (curries and breads) and entertainment (bollywood-style dancing, yoga) will be on offer—along with lots and lots of candles.
Kawagoe Festival (Oct 14-15): The liveliest event of the year in Koedo-Kawagoe, and definitely the liveliest event in Tokyo this weekend. There will be festival floats carrying exquisitely crafted dolls which are pulled around the center of Koedo-Kawagoe’s landmark Kurazukuri (traditional warehouse architecture) zone. A highlight is an aspect known as Hikkawase—a face-off between floats with their accompanying orchestras while being cheered on by spectators.
Indonesia Japan Friendship Festival 2017 (Oct 14-15): A typical Yoyogi Park cultural festival, so you know what that means: food stalls, music and dance performances, goods and more—all with an Indonesian twist. Head to the event square for all the action.
Shitamachi Matsuri (Oct 14-15): Shitamachi is the name for Tokyo’s traditional “downtown” area—hence why this festival will take place in the traditional Nezu and Sendagi neighborhoods of Tokyo. Expect a little bit of everything, including bands and orchestras, dance, cheerleading, food and craft stalls, a kids area and a flea market to boot.
Autumn Rose Festival (Oct 7-22): Flower lovers will want to check out early blooms at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens—renowned for their extensive rose collection. Spend a morning strolling around the 20th-century Western-style garden and have your camera ready for the exquisite sights.
Design Touch 2017 (Oct 13-Nov 5): Tokyo Midtown is once again holding Design Touch. The main feature is the interactive art installation in the Grass Square, but there’s plenty of art, goods, flower exhibitions and more in the vicinity—and it’s all free.