Cheapo Weekend for Sep 16-18: Autumn Festivals

Adriana Paradiso

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Photo by Christopher Liang used under CC

Nakanobu Nebuta Festival (Sep 16): If you missed your chance to visit Aomori for its world-famous Nebuta Festival, there’s a mini-version taking place in Shinagawa that’s been running since 1989. The main parade with the iconic Nebuta floats will go from 5pm-8pm.

Nezu Shrine Festival (Sep 16-17): An annual and traditional Japanese festival at the Kyoto-esque Nezu Shrine with a mikoshi (portable shrine) parade and street food stalls.

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Setagaya Hachimangu Autumn Festival (Sep 16-17): Can’t get enough traditional shrine festivals? Head to Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine’s Autumn Festival for the usual dose of mikoshi (portable shrine) parades, but with the addition of ritual sumo on a dohyo in front of the shrine. The sumo portion starts at 2pm on the first day. The main procession—in which mikoshi are paraded around the neighborhood and then returned to the shrine—starts at 10am on Sunday and goes for most of the day.

Photo by Katie used under CC

251st Sakaki Festival (Sep 16-17): This centuries-old festival will take place around Hiyoshi Shrine and involves the parading around of a Sakaki tree (Japanese evergreen) with strips of paper tied to it. Plus music/drum performances, traditional garb and more!

Akasaka Hikawa Matsuri (Sep 15-17): A community festival featuring a procession of dashi (traditional floats) topped off with festival food, music and dancing at the shrine on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6pm.

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Tokyo flea markets can be a treasure trove of antiques and other awesome finds. | Photo by Shuzo Serikawa used under CC

The Oedo Antique Market (Sep 17): Stop by the Tokyo International Forum for Japan’s largest antique market. A great place to pick up souvenirs, housewares and assorted bric-a-brac.

Live From The Kitchen Disco Vol. 40 (Sep 17): Jam out at a free show featuring the best of Tokyo’s indie music scene—from alternative rock to Japanese pop-punk. All taking place at Papera restaurant in Shinjuku.

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Belgian Beer Weekend Tokyo 2017 (Sep 14-18): Belgian Beer Weekend is back. And while on the surface it might not seem like a cheap event (3,100 yen for 3 super strength Belgian beers, a very fancy beer glass and lots of entertainment), it’s good value compared to the many Belgian beer bars around town. Roppongi Hills Arena is where it’s at.


Fiesta Mexicana (Sep 16-18): Festa Mexicana, taking place along the West Promenade next to the Aqua City shopping center in Odaiba, will run for 3 days from Saturday the 16th until Monday the 18th. The festival aims to present Mexican tradition as well as their food culture.

Tahiti Festa 2017 (Sep 16-18): A rare chance to enjoy Tahitian culture in Tokyo. Head to Venus Fort in Odaiba for good food, fresh pineapple juice, Tahitian beer, music, dance, clothing and more. The festival has been running since 2008 and is always cheapo-friendly fun for the whole family.

Photo by Masayuki Takaku used under CC

Daradara Festival (Sep 11-21): This “never-ending” 11-day festival will end off with a huge procession of 20 portable shrines on Saturday (the main festival day) at Shiba Daijingu.

Photo by Chris Kirkland

Red Spider Lily Festival (from mid-Sep): One of the more impressive flower festivals, the Red Spider Lily blankets the Kinchakuda fields in Hidaka, Saitama (just a short jaunt outside of Tokyo).

Photo by Hideki used under CC

Cosmos Flower Festival at Showa Kinen Park (from mid-Sep): Autumn at Showa Kinen Park holds a special place in our hearts as fields of picturesque cosmos flowers bloom during the season. Entrance to the park is not usually free (admission is 410 for adults [15+] and 80 yen for children [6-14]), however, there is free entry on September 18th.

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