Summer festivals may be drawing to a close, but the autumnal equinox means there are plenty of celebrations to check out in September.

The — hopefully — less humid weather makes BBQs and beer gardens bearable, and you’ll be itching to get out and see parades with floats, music, and dancers. There are also the unique flowers that pop up at this time of year. If you’d rather stay inside, you can watch the sumo wrestle to the top or play around at the Tokyo Game Show, one of the most anticipated gaming expos of the year.

For the top events in Tokyo throughout the year, check out our complete guide — organized by month.

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1. September Grand Sumo Tournament


Ryogoku Kokugikan, Sumida

Sometimes even the smallest rikishi wins. | Photo by Alex Ziminski

September sumo season is upon us. You could just catch the highlights on the TV, or you could take yourself down to Ryōgoku Kokugikan and get up close and personal with sumo’s biggest (literally) stars. The tournament will last for two weeks.

2. Tokyo Game Show


Makuhari Messe, Chiba

tokyo game show
Photo by Alexandra Ziminski

Japan’s largest gaming event (and one of the major entries on the global gaming calendar) continues to grow in scale and number of visitors each year — at least it did before the pandemic — so be sure to arrive early to make the most of the day.

The who’s who of the gaming industry will participate in the Tokyo Game Show, as well as rising talent such as indie developers. Be prepared for long, long lines as exhibitors offer test-plays of upcoming games, release event-exclusive merchandise, and more.

3. Akasaka Hikawa Matsuri


Hikawa Shrine, Minato

akasaka hikawa matsuri
The annual Hikawa Festival in September is a highlight. | Photo by Gregory Lane

If you like floats, you’ll love Akasaka Hikawa Matsuri. There will be many events held over three days in and around Akasaka, but the parades showing off the shrine’s traditional wheeled floats are a highlight. There will also be a Bon Odori dance festival and stalls over the long weekend, so you’ll find plenty to do.

4. Ikebukuro Fukuro Matsuri (Part 1)


Ikebukuro

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Mikoshi parade at the Fukuro Festival. | Photo by iStock.com/winhorse

The two-part festival takes place over the entire neighborhood of Ikebukuro. The first section is known as the Owl Festival, while the second half is known as the Tokyo Yosakoi Festival and they usually take place around a month apart. The Owl Festival will take place from September 23 to 24, with the mikoshi (portable shrine) parade taking place on the 24th.

5. Autumn Flower Festivals

Mid-Sep to early October
All over Tokyo

red spider lily flowers in Kinchakuda
Red Spider Lily flowers usually bloom mid- to late September. | Photo by Chris Kirkland

As the season changes, autumn flowers start to bloom, and with them a host of wonderful festivals to visit. Take a look at the ones starting in September.

  • Cosmos Flower Festival (Sep. 16–Oct. 22)
  • Red Spider Lily Festival (Sep. 16–Oct. 1)
  • Hagi Festival (Sep. 16–Oct. 1)
  • Wondering what other festivals there are coming up this year? Take a look at our list of ones you shouldn’t miss.

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