Tokyo events for Monday, January 15 to Sunday, January 21, 2024.

Now the weather is turning colder, the winter festivals are out in full force.

Marvel at the giant snowmen in Kanda, check out a powerboat race, or take it easy with a local market.

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Setagaya Boroichi Market I

Boroichi is an enormous flea market at which more than 700 vendors sell a variety of used goods, antiques, handicrafts, religious artefacts, and food to approximately 200,000 visitors. Any Cheapos looking to outfit their apartment, pick up an interesting Japanese knick-knack (think kokeshi dolls for ¥1,000), or just take some interesting photos should definitely take a look at this market.

Kanda Ogawamachi Snowman Fair

Expect a ton of snow shipped in from Gunma and unique and large snowmen arranged along the sidewalk in Kanda. This winter wonderland will happen even without snow falling. Aimed at families with children, this event will have sledding, playing in the snow, igloos, a band, foot onsen, and a lottery.

The Oedo Antique Market

If antique shopping is your thing, then “the largest outdoor antique market in Japan” is for you. It’s a regular event held on the first and third Sunday of each month. And yes, it really is big.  

Ohi Racecourse Flea Market

One of Tokyo’s biggest and most frequent flea markets, this event takes place over many — if not all — weekends a month. Also known as the Tokyo City Flea Market, it can feature up to 600 (!) vendors on a busy day, making it a great place to hunt for bargains.

Tokyo Boat Race at Edogawa Stadium

Enjoy these thrilling boat races on the water. Six powerboats make three laps around a 600-meter course, racing to finish first. The boats are color-coded and numbered from 1 to 6. You can watch these powerboat races for free in general seating, but there are reserved seats available for around ¥2,000.

Earth Garden Winter Festival

Earth Garden is an outdoor market and festival at Yoyogi Park with a focus on promoting an ecological lifestyle. Spend the day in Yoyogi Park and hop over to where there will be market stalls selling organic/earth-friendly wares, various workshops, a children’s area, and live performances.

January Grand Sumo Tournament

Held every January, this is the first of Japan’s six sumo tournaments, known as honbasho. With sumo rankings released a few weeks before, it’s a chance to see the traditional sport up close and personal. While the fights are broadcast on NHK, nothing beats the atmosphere of the tense final matches of the day, complete with cushion-throwing and cheers.

Matsuda Wintersweet Festival

In Matsuda’s Yadoriki area, a huge field of over 1,000 wintersweet shrubs can be found. During this period countless yellow flowers will bloom, providing a unique sight, and a distinct lovely fragrance. In past years, over 20,000 people attended with a small souvenir area and cafe. Be sure to check in advance during snow as it may be canceled.

Ashigakubo Icicles Illumination

This event was postponed from Jan. 6 and is now set to start on Jan. 13. From early January to late February every year, icicles and other interesting shapes appear in Yokoze, Saitama. On Fridays, weekends, and holidays, the area will also be lit up, creating an eerily beautiful frozen wonderland.

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Filed under: Events | Things to do in Tokyo
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