Tokyo events for Monday, January 9 to Sunday, January 15, 2023.

Out with the old and in with the new… daruma dolls? This week in Tokyo you can burn dolls on pyres, watch willing participants douse themselves with freezing cold water, and grab a bargain at the market.

Remember that Monday is a holiday in Japan, so expect things to be busier than usual.

Suggested Activity
Ride a Rickshaw in Asakusa
Journey through the traditional streets of Asakusa on a two-seater rickshaw pulled by a smiley guide with thighs of steel. You'll see the top sights of the area -- Kaminarimon Gate, Sensōji Temple, and Tokyo Skytree -- in style, and use the dramatic backdrops for a quick photoshoot or two. ...

Animage and Studio Ghibli Exhibition

Look back on the origins of Studio Ghibli and Animage with this exhibition in Ginza. This is a great option if you can’t make it to the Ghibli Theme Park or Museum as it is right in the center of Tokyo.

Kamimizo (Mizono) Daruma Market

There will be plenty of sales of daruma dolls — from big to small (reservations are required for the big ones) — dances, and a bonfire to say goodbye to a pile of around 300 to 500 daruma dolls who’ve completed their duties. The fire will be held from 3 p.m.

January Grand Sumo Tournament

With sumo rankings released a few weeks before, this is 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.

Machida Tenmangu Antique Fair

This is a vibey and popular but fairly small market, with around 120 vendors selling Japanese antiques, as well as kimono, tableware, furniture and decor from decades past, and all manner of other stuff you might expect to find at a flea market in Japan.

Ome Daruma Market

As well as stalls selling daruma that are open from 1:30 p.m. until the evening, you can also watch daruma being burnt on the precincts of Sumiyoshi Shrine (a 3-minute walk from the station) — look out for a free gift if you offer up your own daruma doll. The burning will take place the whole day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tokyo Auto Salon

Tokyo Auto Salon, one of the biggest motor shows in the world, is coming back to Makuhari Messe and will showcase modified and tuned cars. Think MTV’s Pimp My Ride, but more luxurious. The event isn’t exactly cheapo, but it’s a must-see if you’re really into cars/things you’ll never be able to afford.

Intro to Standup Workshop

Enjoy watching stand-up and fancy giving it a go? Been to a few gigs and think you would enjoy it, but still a little too nervous? Well Stand-Up Tokyo is offering a 3.5-hr workshop to help kickstart your comedy career!

Daikoku Matsuri

Daikoku — a god of fortune — is offering up some good luck blessings to set your year off right at this traditional festival. Highlights of the festival include the following two events: a bone-chilling (literally) purification ceremony will be performed as “coming-of-age” participants will douse themselves in ice water; and hocho-shiki, a tradition in Japanese cuisine hailing from the Heian period i.e. ceremonial slicing of a big carp by masters in the art.

Setagaya Boroichi Market I

The 436-year-old Boroichi (rag market) takes place in Setagaya on January 15 and 16 and again at the end of the year on December 15 and 16. 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.

Furusato Festival Tokyo

If you don’t have the time or money to go to those awesome but far-flung regional matsuri (festivals), this is the event for you. The Furusato Matsuri Tokyo promises to gather all the unique entertainment, best local delicacies, and finest beverages from around Japan and hand them to you in the convenience of Tokyo Dome City.

Suggested Activity
Become a Samurai in Tokyo
Who doesn't want to swing a sword and emulate the warriors of feudal Japan? Experience being a samurai for yourself in one of the coolest activities in Tokyo. During your intimate lesson, you’ll get to dress up in a samurai outfit and train with a traditional katana (single-edged samurai sword)!

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.

Written by:
Filed under: Events | Things to do in Tokyo
Ask our local experts about Tokyo

Get our Tokyo Cheapo Hacks direct to your inbox

Watch this next