JANUARY: Festivals + Events

 Click on Tell me more to read about the event, then use the search term below to find out the exact dates and times for the year you’ll be there.

Midnight Fox Parade

Everyone in the Tokyo neighborhood of Oji gathers on New Year’s Eve at midnight, dressed like foxes, to ring in the new year by with a parade

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Coming-of-Age Day

On the first Monday in January, all 20-year-olds become legal adults. You’ll see young women in gorgeous kimonos all over town, but especially at the shrines and temples on that day.

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Search terms: Coming of age day, seijinshiki no hi

Flowers by Naked

Part floral extravaganza, part choreographed projection-mapping, the annual Flowers by Naked is well worth the price of admission (“Naked” is the name of the artistic group that puts it on)

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Search term: Flowers by Naked

Furosato Festival

This show at Tokyo Dome (near Korakuen Station) gathers spectacular festival floats from all over Japan in one place

Search term: Furusato Matsuri

January Sumo Tournament

The January tournament runs for two weeks, and is something everyone should see at least once!

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Search term: sumo tournament January

Setagaya Boroichi Flea Market

The biggest and best flea market in Tokyo happens every year on January 15-16. You can get everything from used kimonos to a home shrine, for bargain prices

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Search term: Setagaya Boroichi

Tokyo International Quilt Festival

This is a truly astounding international showcase of the art and craft of quilting, and features many talented Japanese quilt artists

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Search term: Tokyo International Quilt Festival

Tokyo Auto Salon

This sprawling auto show at Makuhari Messe might be the craziest auto show you’ve ever seen. From tricked out cars to booth babes, it’s got it all

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Search term: Tokyo Auto Salon

Winter Illuminations

In addition to the city illuminations that continue beyond New Year’s, two theme parks are lit up so splendidly it’s well worth the price of admission

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Search terms: Sagamiko Illumillions; Yomiuriland Jewelumination

You can search for more detailed information on these by Googling the names in bold, or searching for them on Tokyo Cheapo or TimeOut Tokyo, which I think have the most reliable info for events that change dates from year to year.

While you’re in Japan, read a novel set in Tokyo!

“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.”

Raven Crime Reads

Why has someone been ritually visiting the grave of Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura’s mother, on the day before her death anniversary? If her death wasn’t an accident…what was it? Read more