[Update, Oct 10] Due to Typhoon Hagibis, which is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to Greater Tokyo over the Oct 12-13 weekend, most of the events listed here have either been cancelled, postponed or reduced to just one day on Monday Oct 14. Click through to the respective event listings for updated details. You're also advised to stay indoors on Saturday Oct 12.
The weather has finally cooled down, meaning it's the perfect time to enjoy autumn in Tokyo. If you're planning to hang out in the capital over the coming long weekend (Oct 11-14), you'll be glad to know that there are many food and drink festivals going on in the city. Whether you're a hungry foodie or just on the hunt for a new place to drink, Tokyo has more than its usual share of delicious events lined up this weekend, including two ramen festivals, an artisanal chocolate gathering, a craft beer soiree, Oktoberfest celebrations and much more. Don't know where to start? Here are our top picks.
Aoyama Sake Flea (Oct 12-13)
Learn all about sake from 22 select breweries from across Japan at this sake festival, which takes over the courtyard at the Farmer’s Market @ UNU. This sake fair coincides with the Craft Chocolate Festival – this means you get to also try out sake and chocolate pairings at a special on-site bar.
Setagaya Pan Matsuri (Oct 13-14)
Go carb crazy at this bread-centric festival happening at Setagaya Park and Ikejiri Elementary School over the long weekend. All sorts of baked goods will be available from local bakeries and other popular bake shops from around Japan.
Shimokitazawa Curry Festival (Oct 10-22)
One of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world right now, Shimokita is known for its plethora of curry joints, so it only makes sense that there's a festival dedicated to all things curry. The festival takes place over two weeks: pick up the festival map to locate all the 142 participating venues. Aside from live music, art and comedy gigs, the festival also offers prizes if you successfully complete the stamp rally.
Nonbei Yokocho Festival (Oct 11-12)
Celebrate Shibuya's famed drinking alley, Nonbei Yokocho, at this weekend festival run by the students from Aoyama Gakuin University. The narrow alley will be filled with stalls where you can sample all sorts of Japanese liquor and sake. Just make sure you keep an eye out for the mikoshi (portable shrine) parade.
Tsukuba Ramen Festa (Oct 12-14)
This three-day ramen fest is worth the hour trek from central Tokyo to get a taste from some of Japan's most popular noodle specialists – all at one convenient location. There will also be special bowls of ramen created in collaboration with some of Tokyo's top ramen restaurants, which are only available here. Better come hungry...