As the nights begin to cool down and the temperatures become more and more bearable, September says sayonara to the extreme summer heat and humidity and welcomes fall in Tokyo. There are many Tokyo events in September, inviting you to stroll the streets of the city and offering fun at every corner.
This year, Tokyo in September also marks the beginning of the Rugby World Cup, an important worldwide sports event attracting tourists from all around the world. But, if you weren’t lucky enough to get tickets, don’t worry, Tokyo has much more to offer to its visitors. From the food markets, beer gardens, festivals, and sumo tournament to the traditional Otsukimi ("moon-viewing"), the city doesn’t get tired, and that’s good news for us!
Tokyo Events in September 2019
Here are some of the top events around Tokyo in September!
- Yosakoi Oedo Soran Festival
- Shinjuku Chuo Park Flea Market
- Tokyo Night Market
- Meguro Sanma Matsuri
- Kichijoji Aki Matsuri
- Grand Sumo Tournament
- Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden Moon Viewing
- Tokyo Game Show
- Keyaki Beer Festival
- Toyokawa Inari Ooka-Echizen Festival
- Ohara Naked Festival
- Okunitama Shrine Kuri Matsuri
1. Yosakoi Oedo Soran Festival
Welcome the first day of September and embrace Japanese culture with the annual Yosakoi Oedo Soran Festival. The festival gathers about 45 teams of different sizes to compete in the Yosakoi dance competition, a unique dance style combining modern music and traditional Japanese dance moves. Over three stages, the synchronized dancers execute their routine in traditional costumes. The Yosakoi Oedo Soran Festival is the place to be to experience Japan at its finest; a mix between tradition and modernity.
Date: September 1, 2019
Time: 9:30 am – 5 pm
Location: Kiba Park
2. Shinjuku Chuo Park Flea Market
Ginza isn’t the only place to go for some shopping in Tokyo. If you are into thrift shops, the Shinjuku Chuo Park Flea Market is made for you. The place has all the vintage treasures you didn’t even know you needed. Besides, the market is held behind the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, one of the best free viewpoints in the city, a mandatory stop in any Tokyo trip. Held 1-3 times a month, if you miss this edition there will for sure be another one.
Date: September 7, 2019
Time: 9 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Shinjuku Chuo Park
3. Tokyo Night Market
Ten years ago, the first Tokyo Night Market was held in the forecourt of the UNU campus in Aoyama. This weekend marks the last event of 2019 for the market’s 10th anniversary.
If you love food, gin, and authenticity, Tokyo night market is a mandatory event during your stay in the city. This year, the market theme orbits around “Appetite,” bringing together producers and farmers around Japan, it is the occasion to try every regional specialty across the country.
The event is coupled with Raw Tokyo, a homemade gin tasting company, and Juniper Tokyo, which will be focusing on crafting goods with their famous juniper berries. On the menu are tastings of craft sake, beer, gin, but also baked bread, herbal tea, and coffee.
Dates: September 7-8, 2019
Time: 10 am – 8 pm on Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm on Sunday
Location: Farmer's Market at UNU
4. Meguro Sanma Matsuri
The Meguro Sanma Matsuri is one of the most popular annual events in Tokyo, attracting locals and tourists equally. Sanma, or “saury fish” in English, means “autumn knife fish” and represents the beginning of the season in Japan. The festival features about 7,000 sanma domestically imported from Iwate, a prefecture in northern Honshu that’s well-known for its fishing spots. The whole fish is then simply grilled and served along with daikon radish.
It is recommended to arrive there at least an hour before the festival starts. The reason? The fish are given away for free and everyone lines up to get fresh sanma. With more than 30,000 visitors expected, not everyone will be able to try the exquisite meal; but no worries, there is plenty of local festival food such as yakisoba, okonomiyaki, and yakitori to enjoy!
Date: September 8, 2019
Time: 10 am – 2 pm
Location: Around Meguro Station
5. Kichijoji Aki Matsuri
Each year in September, the quiet neighborhood of Kichijoji transforms for the Kichijoji Aki Matsuri, translated as the “autumn festival.” Over the two days of the festival, the neighborhood of Kichijoji sees its share of tourists increase, all willing to celebrate the autumn season at Musashino Hachimangu Shrine.
While, on Saturday, the mikoshi (portable shrines) are carried around, and on Sunday the procession focuses on the main temple, Musashino Hachimangu. The idea is simple, each team transports its portable shrine around with a singular rhythm and chant. Yet, the real show starts when two teams cross paths, the mikoshi bearers offering a show that no one will forget!
Dates: September 8-9, 2019
Time: 9:30 am – 5 pm
6. Grand Sumo Tournament
One of the most anticipated events in Tokyo in September is the annual sumo tournaments, known as honbasho. Held for two weeks in the capital, this event is a unique chance to see Japan's national sport live. The tournament is an institution for both locals and tourists, and tickets are already sold out on the official website. But, a number of tickets are still available on the spot each day, go there very early and you should be able to pick up a spot!
Dates: September 9-22, 2019
Time: 9:30 am – 5 pm
Price: 3,800 – 38,000 yen
Location: Ryogoku Kukugikan
7. Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden Moon Viewing
Seasonal picnics are a tradition in Japanese culture. In spring, there’s the hanami flower-viewing; summer is known for hanabi fireworks; and in autumn there’s tsukimi. Tsukimi is the art of moon-viewing. Japanese people gather after work to relax and enjoy some beers while watching the moon. What a nice way to enjoy the last days of warm weather!
Traditionally, the moon-viewing is held at the Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens, created in the 19th century, a historical place in the city. Tsukimi does not only include a picnic but also culture shows such as tea ceremonies, lantern painting (limited number) and traditional koto music.
For Otsukumi, the garden extends its opening hours to 9 pm to let everyone enjoy the beauty of the full moon.
Dates: September 12-14, 2019
Time: 9 am – 9 pm
Price: 150 – 2000 yen
Location: Mukōjima-Hyakkaen Garden
8. Tokyo Game Show
If deep down you’re a bit of an otaku and have a gamer soul, the Tokyo Game Show is made for you. Every September, Tokyo presents one of the best gaming shows in the world. On the agenda are many booths including locals and international console makers, mobile gaming platforms and game publishers. The venue also offers the public the opportunity to try new games (although you need to get there as early as 5 am, as the passionate start queuing), and there are also cosplayers and many other surprises!
As one of the major events in September in Tokyo, there will be waiting lines inside the event, so if you want to skip the line time, you can buy your tickets from a convenience store. Enjoy!
Dates: September 12-15, 2019
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Price: Advance tickets are 1500 yen, same-day tickets are 2000 yen
Location: Makuhari Messe
9. Keyaki Beer Festival
Sour lovers, lager amateurs, and others will find their paradise as the annual Keyaki Beer Festival returns for its autumn event at Saitama Super Arena. With more than 90 different brewers from all around Japan and overseas, the Keyaki Beer Festival is one of the bigger beer events in the country. Over 400 beers are available, sold as single beers or in tasting flights. Starting from 300 yen to 1,200 yen, you will for sure find the beverage that will satisfy your taste buds! The organizers have planned everything, and once you found your bottle of choice at the shop there, you can bring your treasure back home!
Dates: September 12-16, 2019
Time: Monday 11:30 am – 7 pm
Thursday 4 pm – 9:30 pm
Friday- Sunday 11 am – 9:30 pm
Location: Saitama Super Arena
10. Toyokawa Inari Ooka-Echizen Festival
There are some historical figures that even time can’t fade. Each year, the small shrine of Toyokawa Inari celebrates the life of Ooka Tadasuke, a famous Edo period samurai, feudal lord, and judge. Well known for being an honorable magistrate and for creating the first citizen fire brigade, stories about Ooka Tadasuke are passed down from generation to generation.
One of the most popular stories comes from his time as a magistrate. Once, the Edo judge faced a deprived student accused of stealing the smell of food from a hotelier, and to repay the shop owner, Ooka ordered the poor student to tinkle money between his hand – the shop owner was then paid with the sound of money.
The main attraction of this September event is a costume parade where people dressed like Ooka and other historical figures stroll the streets near the shrine.
Ooka Echizen will definitely send you back to the past, why not prolong that traditional experience by enjoying the Tokyo Geisha Experience with Sake Tasting?
Date: September 22, 2019
Time: 11 am
Location: Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Shrine
11. Ohara Naked Festival
Launched in the Edo period, the Ohara Hadaka Matsuri is one of the most audacious and dynamic festivals in the Kanto Area. Along the beach, 18 groups transport portable shrines (mikoshi) for the shiofumi procession: all together at once, the mikoshi enter the sea and their bearers jolt them around and push the portable shrine against the waves, hopping for abundant harvests and plenty of fish. The shiofumi is considered a heroic act and it's an honor to be a part of it.
During the Ohara Hadaka Matsuri, the participants aren’t entirely naked – the Shrine’s bearers are wrapped in white cotton fabric named sarashi, leaving only the chest, shoulders, and behinds naked.
Once the shiofumi is accomplished, the villagers reach Ohara center mall and the parade continues, along with traditional song and ceremonial performances.
Dates: September 23-24, 2019
Time: 9:30 am – 5 pm
Location: Ohara beach
12. Okunitama Shrine Kuri Matsuri
To end September on a high note, rendez-vous at Okunitama-jinja Shrine. With 2000 years of history, this is one of Tokyo’s oldest shrines. Each fall, Okunitama-jinja Shrine organizes its famous Kuri Matsuri or “Chestnut Festival,” where Kagura dancing and singing meets stalls of chestnuts.
The festival’s record is about 500,000 visitors per year, people who come to embrace the culture of chestnuts. Indeed, the autumn festival has a historical value with the first edition held in 1738. Since the Edo period, Okunitama-jinja Shrine has been famous for its high-quality chestnuts cultivated in the area, a valuable preserved food for the era.
The festival is held for two days, with the main event on the 28th of September, where more than 250 paper lanterns will light the area.
Dates: September 27-28, 2019
Time: 9 am – 9 pm
Location: Okunitama Shrine