Here are Best Living Japan’s five recommended Tokyo area family events and activities for this long weekend of November 21-23, 2015. Monday is Labor Thanksgiving Day (Kinrō Kansha no Hi) which is a national public holiday. However, there are no major celebrations or traditions for this day so just enjoy the day off with the family! This weekend will be a good weekend to walk, bike or hike to enjoy the foliage at parks. If you want to be inside check out Design Festa at BigSight to get your creative blood running. There are also six area antique and flea market sales this weekend including the Nogi Shrine sale in Roppongi and the Tama Antique Sale. This weekend is also a great time to prepare for Thanksgiving if you are American, or prepare your Christmas tree if you are planning to have one. Sandra and I have also organised our kids “Things and Places to Go” lists by ages so please take so time to find something just right for your kids – Baby & Toddlers, Kindy & Elementary, Tweens & Teens. Learn, laugh & live.
Tokyo Area Family Events and Activities for November 21-23, 2015
1. The Tokyo Chrysanthemum Exhibition – Many think about foliage in autumn but Japanese Chrysanthemum magnificent this time of year. The Tokyo Chrysanthemum Exhibition has been held for over 100 years, and it is known in the world as one of the best and biggest exhibits for Chrysanthemums with over 2,000 on display. To learn more about this royal flower read Chrysanthemum the Imperial Blossom by Efrot Weiss. This is a great free exhibit to spend a few hours. I had no idea there were so many different types of Chrysanthemums until I attended last year. You can just go and wander through the show, or attend some of the workshops and lectures in Japanese. I did find many of the exhibitors did speak some English to answers questions.
Tokyo Chrysanthemum Exhibition Details
Event Time and Dates: Started November 1st, ends Monday, November 23rd (10:00 – 16:00)
Address: Hibiya Park, 1-6 Hibiya Park, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Cost: free entrance
Access: 2-5 min walk from Kasumigaseki Station on the Marunouchi Line, or Hibiya Station on the Chiyoda Line
Event Website: http://gotokyo.org/jp/kanko/chiyoda/event/kikkataikai.html
Stoller and wheelchair friendly.
2. Design Festa Vol 42 (Big Sight, Ariake) — A great way to study a culture or country is through the art. If you are into design and art, this is a great event to attend. This is the largest art festival in Asia held twice a year. The place is packed with people who live and eat design and art. You can just feel the creativity all around you. Attendees are a good mix of pro and amateurs. The events has vendor booths and exhibitions that cover everything from CG and 3D design to handmade crafts. There are also many booths focused on blogging and social media (Line, etc.). Great place to learn about the latest trends in design and art. If your elementary and older kids love art, please take them this weekend! Here is a cool video from the Design Festa held in May 2015.
Design Festa Details
Date: Sat – Sun, November 21 -22, 2015
Time:11:00 – 19:00
Address: Tokyo Big Site, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Cost: Adult one day ticket 1,000 yen, two day 1,800 yen, Elementary and below free
Access: 7 min walk from Kokusai-Tenjijo Station on the Rinkai Line; 3 min walk from Kokusai-Tenjijo-Seimon Station on the Yurikamome
Website: http://designfesta.com (website in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean)
Note: Parking available at BigSight for 250 yen per 30 mins. Strollers not advised due to crowds.
3. Mt. Takao (Hachioji, Tokyo) – Beautiful time of the year to visit Mt. Takao which is about a one hour train ride from Shinjuku station on the Keio Line. Mt. Takao has been a location of worship for more than 1,000 years. The main temple Yakuoin is located near the summit and is a popular place for visitors to pray for Shinto-Buddist mountain gods (Tengu). There are two statues of these Tengu gods at the temple; one with a very long nose and one with a crow beak. There are a number of trails you can hike from the base to summit (599 meter high), or you can take the cable car or chair lift up half way. The foliage is magnificent, the views beautiful, and the shrines amusing and thought-provoking at the same time. Make sure you plan for 3-4 hours minimum to go up and down Mt. Takao. If you have a free day between mid-October to late November I highly recommend this day trip. For more details on, and photos from Mt. Takao and the Ukai Restaurant nearby read my post on Autumn Day at Mt. Takao.
Mt Takao Information
Address: Takaomachi, Hachioji, Tokyo
Access: 5 min walk from Takaosanguchi station on the Keio Line from Shinjuku
Open and cable car: everyday 8:00 to around 17:45 (longer hours on weekends and holidays)
Departures every 15 minutes
Cost of cable car: 480 yen (one way), 930 yen (round trip)
4. The Icho Festival (Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo) – As mentioned in the eight best locations for autumn foliage article Icho Namiki (Ginko Avenue in Aoyama) is a magnificent location for viewing the brilliant yellow colors. At the end the main road there is an Ichou Festival that will run from this Saturday, Nov 14th through Dec 6th. Over 80 food, beverage and lifestyle stores will participate serving all types of Autumn matsuri (festival) delicacies. I visited the other day, and the leaves are still a bit green, my guess is peak will be Nov 20-27. Mid to the end of November will be very crowded on the weekends so go on M-F, or early on Sat or Sun. Ginko Avenue is located a three mins walk from Aoyama- Itchome station on the Ginza or Hanzomon Lines. The festival will be open daily from Nov 14-Dec 6th from 10:00-16:30. More details can be found in Japanese on the event website. http://www.meijijingugaien.jp/event/ginkgo-festa.html
4. Discover Foliage and Make an Autumn Wreath – This weekend will be another great weekend for long Autumn walks. Here is the Best Living Japan 8 best spots for autumn foliage in Tokyo. While you are out and about, find some beautiful leaves and make your own autumn wreath to decorate your home for the holidays. A wonderful activity. Here are some great ideas on projects for kids and adults. All you need is a cut-out cardboard ring and some glue! My family will definitely be making a few this weekend.
Tokyo Area Family Events and Activities for November 21-23, 2015
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