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Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Foliage and Thanks

Enjoy the cool crisp air with these recommended Tokyo November 2017 events. Bundle up and enjoy the food, festival and foliage we have lined up this month. It`s the month for giving. Help support the great work these charities do for our local and global communities by attending these Charity Events. In inclement weather visit our Top Recommended Tokyo Kids Museums,  Top 11 Recommended Indoor Play Centers in Tokyo, aquariums, or Tokyo restaurants with play spaces. In clear weather visit our Tokyo One Day Itineraries with Kids, Top Family Friendly Day Trips from Tokyo, Tokyo Bucket List, Tokyo Teen Checklist, Theme Parks, and Top 10 Recommended Baby and Kids Parks in Tokyo. Venture out and explore!

1. Walk in Meiji Jingu Shrine and see children dressed in kimono celebrating 7-5-3 (Yoyogi, Tokyo) –

Shichi go san Meiji Jingu ShrineNovember is the month of foliage in Tokyo, but also the month that girls ages 7 & 3 and boys aged 5 celebrate coming of age. November 15th is the actual date of 7-5-3, but families celebrate by dressing up the children and visiting shrines across Japan throughout the month of November. You can find children celebrating at most major shrines, however, Meiji Jingu is one of the most popular.  If you are interested in celebrating, you can find details on kimono rentals and shrines here. Also this month there is a chrysanthemum exhibit in Meiji Jingu  Shrine to enjoy.

gazone studioMore details on Shichi-Go-San (七五三, lit. “Seven-Five-Three”) from wikipedia. 7-5-3 is a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three and seven-year-old girls and five-year-old boys, held annually on November 15 to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. As it is not a national holiday, it is generally observed on the nearest weekend.  Shichi-Go-San is said to have originated in the Heian Period amongst court nobles who would celebrate the passage of their children into middle childhood. The ages 3, 5 and 7 are consistent with East Asian numerology, which claims that odd numbers are lucky. The practice was set to the fifteenth of the month during the Kamakura Period. Over time, this tradition passed to the samurai class who added a number of rituals. Children—who up until the age of three were required by custom to have shaven heads—were allowed to grow out their hair. Boys of age five could wear hakama for the first time while girls of age seven replaced the simple cords they used to tie their kimono with the traditional obi. By the Meiji Period, the practice was adopted amongst commoners as well and included the modern ritual of visiting a shrine to drive out evil spirits and wish for a long healthy life.

Meiji Jingu Shrine Information
Opening Days: open everyday
Times: November open 6:10 to 16:10
Address: Meiji Jingu, 1-1 Yoyogi-Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku,
Cost: free admission
Access: 5 minute walk from Harajuku station
Website: http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/ (in English)
Toilets: public toilets about a 10 minute walk into the shrine park area, and then at the shrine
Child friendly: yes, but path is pebbles so strollers with small tires do not work well

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

November 19 & 20, 2016 Tokyo Weekend Family Activities2. Go Dig Sweet Potatoes (our top locations)

Sweet potato digging is an autumn tradition that all Japanese kindergarten and early elementary kids partake in October through December. In Japanese sweet potatoes are called “satsumaimo”. Enjoy a nice autumn day outside central Tokyo and go sweet potato digging. Below are five recommended locations to go Japanese sweet potato digging. Also, don’t forget to take boots and light weight gloves for digging. It`s fun but messy. Here are our favorite places in Kanto to dig for sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are extremely popular in Japan and can be found being peddled around your neighbourhood during the autumn and winter months, and in all types of Japanese dishes in homes and restaurants. If you hear a person outside calling “Yaaaaa-kiiiii-moe, iiiiiiishii yaaaa-kiii-mooooe.”, grab some coins and run outside to buy a red-hot imo from an ishi-yakiimo seller.  If you go digging or shopping here are some great Japanese sweet potato recipes to enjoy with your family!

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

chrysanthemum3. The Tokyo Chrysanthemum Exhibition – Many think about foliage in autumn but Japanese Chrysanthemums are 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 Dates: November 1 – November 23, 2017
Time: 10:00 – 16:00 (until 12:00 on the 23rd)
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
Notes: Stroller and wheelchair friendly.

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

4. Mt. Takao Autumn Leaves Festival (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 Autumn Day at Mt Takao Best Living Japanis 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. Autumn Day at Mt Takao Best Living JapanMake sure you plan for 3-4 hours minimum to go up and down Mt. Takao. 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
Maple Festival Dates: November 1 – 30 at Kiyotaki Station
Time: November 5 11:00 – 14:00; November 6 10:00 – 15:30 Performances, food stalls and music.
Event Website: http://www.hkc.or.jp/
Mt Takao 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)

Autumn Day at Mt Takao Best Living JapanAutumn Day at Mt Takao Best Living Japan

Autumn Day at Mt Takao Best Living Japan







*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

5. Deutschland Fest (Roppongi, Tokyo) – We attended this event last year and really enjoyed the great food and activities. We made grapes out of marzipan which was fun and yummy! The Fest is supported by the German Embassy and many German and multi-national photos1companies. Enjoy a variety of beer, sausages and other German food, while you review German products and enjoy German music. Really a great family outing!

Deutschland Fest Event Details
Dates: Thursday, November 2 – Sunday, November 5
Times: 11:00 – 20:00
Address: Aoyama Park (South ground area) 7-23 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Cost: Free admission
Access: 5 min walk from Nogizaka sat on the Chiyoda line, or 5 mins walk from Roppongi sat exit #4, Also 5 min walk from Aoyama station
Website: http://www.deutschlandfest.com/ (in Japanese only)
Toilets: Portable toilets will be available
Child friendly: very kid friendly but strollers difficult due to crowds.

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

 Tokyo Harvest6. Tokyo Harvest (Roppongi, Tokyo) – We have attended this event the past two years and have enjoyed each time. Great talking some of the 40 farmers who had stalls at the Tokyo Harvest to sell their autumn harvest. Very interesting selection of autumn produce for sale; such as sweet potatoes, long onions, mushrooms and rice. A great place to educate you children on seasonal produce. Also saw a kids race to plant rice that looked really fun! There was also art, music and food trucks to enjoy as well. 
 Tokyo Harvest

Dates: Saturday & Sunday, November 11 & 12, 2017
Times: Saturday 11:00-19:00; Sunday 11:00-19:30
Address: Roppongi Hills Arena, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tokyo Harvest, November 12 & 13, 2016 Tokyo Weekend Family Activities
Cost: free admission
Access: 5 min walk from Roppongi Station
Website: http://www.tokyoharvest.com/english.html (in English)
Toilets: public toilets available in Roppongi Hills shopping area
Child friendly: yes

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

7. Farmers & Kids Festa (Hibiya Park, Tokyo) –  The Farmers and Kids Festa will showcase large collection of agricultural products and some livestock from farmers throughout Japan. Visit the food booths, participate in workshops to learn about agriculture and food, and stay for the singers, dancers and Tokyo Fire Department Brass Band. There will also be a special Anpanman show on Saturday (10:30-11:30 & 13:00-14:00) and Wan Wan Show on Sunday (10:30-11:00 & 13:45-14:15) for little ones. There is also an old playground that still can amuse little ones for a short break.

Dates: Saturday & Sunday, November 11 & 12, 2017
Times: Saturday 11:00-19:00; Sunday 11:00-19:30
Address: Hibiya Park, 1-6 Hibiya Park, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Cost: free admission
Access: 3 min walk from Kasumigaseki Station on the Marunouchi Line, or Hibiya Station on the Chiyoda Line.
Website: http://farmerskids.jp/ (in Japanese)

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

8. Snow Bank Tokyo Snow Festival 2017 (Yoyogi Park, Tokyo) –  Snowboard at Yoyogi Park! A slope of snow will be brought into the park with a rail running down the middle for snowboarders to show off their best tricks. The goal of this annual event is to increase interest in snowboarding and raise awareness of becoming a bone marrow donor. Watch the snowboarders, grab a bite and stay for the entertainment. 

Dates: Saturday & Sunday, November 11 & 12, 2017  9:00 – 16:30
Address: Yoyogi Park Yoyogi Park Outdoor Stage, 2-1 Yoyogi Kamizounocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Cost: free admission
Access: 5 min walk from Harajuku Station (Yamanote line)
Website: http://sbpif.net/ (in Japanese)

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

BIO Kids Event at Setagaya Park9. BIO Kids Event at Hanegi Park – Great event for kids of all ages. An eco-friendly with all types of crafts and activities for kids, bio-friendly items for sale and for free. Expect your kids to get a bit dirty playing! This will be a good weekend to play in a park so why not visit Hanegi Play Park for the Bio Kids Event.
Event Date: Sunday, November 19, 2017
Time: 10:00 – 15:00
Address: 4 – 38 – 52 No. 2, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo
Access: 5 minute walk from Umegaoka station on the Odakyu Line;  5 minute walk from Higashi Matsubara station on the Inokashira line; 5 minute walk from North exit of the Odakyu Bass Umegaoka station; 7 minute walk from the Tokyu Bus Daita 4-chome stop.
Website: http://biokids.net/

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

November 12 & 13, 2016 Tokyo Weekend Family Activities10. Franciscan Chapel Center’s Christmas Boutique and Mrs. Claus’s Bake Shop (Roppongi) – I am pretty loyal about not decorating for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving (Nov 23rd), but I do enjoy a good church Christmas Boutique and Bake Sale!  If you are starting to get in the holiday mood, and maybe just missing home a bit, you should attend the Franciscan Chapel Center’s annual Christmas Boutique!  Bring a friend and share in the holiday spirit while shopping an assortment of Christmas decorations, gifts and crafts, including bone china accents, exquisite obi, handmade pottery, washi cards, jewelry and much more! Visit Mrs. Claus’s Bake Shop to purchase homemade goodies!

Franciscan Chapel Center’s Christmas Boutique and Mrs. Claus’s Bake Shop
Date & Time: Sunday, November 12, 9:00 – 14:00
Address: 4-2-37 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Cost: free admission
Access: 5 min walk from Roppongi Station
Website: http://franciscanchapelcentertokyo.org (in English)
Toilets: yes
Child friendly: yes

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

11. The Jingugaien 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 Icho Festival that will run from Friday, Nov 17th through Sunday, Dec 3rd. Over 80 food, beverage and lifestyle stores will participate serving all types of Autumn matsuri (festival) delicacies. While you`re there visit Niko Niko Park and stop in Shake Shack for all-natural 100% hormone-free Angus Beef Burgers.

Date & Time: Friday, November 17th through Sunday, December 3rd 10:00 – 20:00
Address: 2 Kasumigaoka-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Cost: free admission
Access: 3 mins walk from Aoyama- Itchome station on the Ginza or Hanzomon Lines.
Website: http://www.jingugaien-ichomatsuri.jp/ (in Japanese)

*** Top Tokyo November 2017 Events – Festivals, Food & Foliage ***

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