Tokyo Cheapo Downtown Drinks (Dec 2): December is here, and we’re celebrating the festivities with mulled wine and other delicious things! This Friday, we’ll be in the lovely Commune 246 from 7pm, so come join us for a few! This is our 14th casual monthly meet-up and all are welcome—from readers to travelers to mysterious strangers.
Nabe Festival (Dec 2-4): Nabe—meaning hot pot—is a popular dish in Japan, especially once 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.
Tokyo Comic Con (Dec 2-4): Get ready for Tokyo’s first Comic Con! Affiliated with Silicon Valley Comic Con, this event will have cosplayers, an artists’ alley, and exhibits (with props and costumes from films like Titanic, The Dark Knight, and The Terminator on display). Note that the ticket price is not so cheapo, ringing in at 2,000 yen.
Chichibu Yomatsuri (Dec 3): This yomatsuri (night festival) is one of Japan’s big three float festivals. The large floats, weighing up to 20 tons each, are festooned with countless lanterns and decorated with flowers and spears. Also this is a rare opportunity to see fireworks in the winter. The festival takes place in Chichibu, about 1.5 hours away from Tokyo.
Museum of Modern Art – Free Admission Day (Dec 3): Head to the MOMAT this Sunday and save yourself the 430 yen admission fee. The collection currently on exhibit includes modern Western works by artists such as Cézanne and Braque, and masterpieces of Japanese oil painting.
The Oedo Antique Market (Dec 4): 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 Day Market (Dec 4): 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 Evening Illuminations at Rikugien Garden (Nov 19-Dec 7): Final weekend for the famously beautiful Edo-period gardens of Rikugien, staying open until 9pm. The gardens are known as one of the best spots for autumn foliage viewing, so it’s a perfect for an evening stroll.
Christmas Illuminations: Christmas in Japan is bright, so bright in fact it hurts if you look for too long, but the illuminations also make the perfect setting for a romantic stroll. There are plenty to choose from, with some running until February 2017, and some finishing on Christmas day—so be sure to look up the final days. With new themes, music accompaniments and increasingly impressive displays every year, you’re sure to enjoy what the bright city streets have to offer.
Photograph the famous Shibuya scramble crossing, wander around the curious and quirky love hotel hill, visit Yoyogi park and Meiji shrine...
Christmas Markets: With the holidays right around the corner, the Christmas markets in Tokyo are the perfect way to spend the weekend. Soak in the festive atmosphere, sip on a spiced drink and pick up a Christmas gift or two.
Our guide to prepay SIM cards, wifi routers, cafe wifi and other places to quickly find wifi whilst visiting Japan.
Recommended hotels located nearby
Ginza, from ¥11,911
Ginza, Tsukiji, from US$85.00
Akasaka, from ¥7,500
Hamamatsucho, from ¥16,530