March 2019 events in Tokyo

Plan your March in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including cherry blossom fun, festivals, concerts and art exhibits
Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Midtown | Time Out Tokyo
By Time Out Tokyo Editors
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March – it's when spring in Tokyo kicks off in earnest, with outdoor festivals, markets and parties returning after the cold of winter. More importantly though, March is usually when the cherry blossom front finally reaches the city, throwing us Tokyoites into a hanami frenzy and disrupting the calm and collected surface of the metropolis. Furthermore, this month also features highlights like Happy Day, St Patrick's Day, Hinamatsuri and – wait for it – the first Oktoberfest of the new year. Make sure you don't miss out with our guide to the top events going on in Tokyo this March. 

Our March highlights

1
Daruma Market
Things to do

Daruma Market

icon-location-pin Jindaiji, Chofu
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The Japanese daruma doll is said to bring spiritual awakening, and Jindaiji Temple in Chofu is known as one of Japan’s ‘Three Largest Daruma Cities’, with its annual Daruma Market boasting over 300 stalls. The market will be open March 3 and 4, and both days will feature an oneri gyoretsu – a procession of portable shrines supported by the temple monks, elegantly outfitted in ceremonial robes.

2
Mt Takao Fire Walking Festival
Things to do

Mount Takao Hiwatari-sai

icon-location-pin Mt Takao, Takaosan
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Held every year in March, the Hiwatari-sai or Fire Walking Festival at Mount Takao sees barefooted monks walk through a smouldering fire chanting prayers, making for a spectacular (and much-photographed) sight. Visitors can also try strolling in these masters' footsteps, but only after most of the fire has been put out – remember to play it safe...

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Things to do

Bunkyo Ume Matsuri

icon-location-pin Yushima Tenjin, Yushima
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A popular place for plum blossom-watchers since the olden days, Yushima Tenmangu shrine still draws big crowds every year. The plum blossoms might get less hype than the cherry blossoms that follow, but they still make for some gorgeous late-winter scenery. The shrine’s Ume Matsuri complements the blossom-viewing with music performances and tea ceremonies.

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Things to do

Art Fair Tokyo

icon-location-pin Tokyo International Forum, Marunouchi
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2019 marks the 14th edition of Art Fair Tokyo – Japan’s largest international art event. This year’s theme is ‘Art Life’, and a new section will be introduced called ‘Crossing’, which represents the intersection of all the different styles in today’s art scene. A veritable kaleidoscope of works will be on display, including design booths from big-name Japanese department stores, local artisan groups and self-taught artists...

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Sensoji Honzon Jigen-e | Time Out Tokyo
Things to do, Festivals

Sensoji Honzon Jigen-e

icon-location-pin Sensoji Temple, Asakusa
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A festival honouring the three men who founded Asakusa’s great Sensoji Temple almost 1,400 years ago, the annual Honzon Jigen-e sees three portable mikoshi shrines enshrining them transported from neighbouring Asakusa Shrine to the temple’s main hall and back again.

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Finnish sauna
Things to do, pop-ups

Corona Winter Sauna

icon-location-pin Shimokitazawa Cage, Shimokitazawa
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This winter, Shimokitazawa Cage is partnering with Corona to recreate a Finnish bathing experience right here in Tokyo's bohemian hub. From January 19 to March 17, the space will host a Finnish sauna tent plus two cold baths; yes, you read that right – COLD baths in winter. As per Finnish bathing tradition, you're supposed to alternate between the two extreme temperatures and this will, surprisingly, help you deal with the freezing chills...

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Camera
Things to do

Anime Japan

icon-location-pin Tokyo Big Sight, Ariake
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The world’s largest anime industry event targets everyone from fans to artists to producers. This massive event is held at Tokyo Big Sight and separated into three zones: Exhibition Area, Business Area and Family Anime Festa (Mar 23, 24). The programme is packed with performances, gigs, seminars and much more. The Exhibition Area also features booths from leading Japanese anime companies and organisations, plus sales of limited-edition merchandise.

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Werther opera
Photo: Masahiko Terashi
Theatre

Werther

icon-location-pin New National Theatre, Tokyo, Hatsudai
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Based on Goethe’s novel ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ (‘Die Leiden des jungen Werthers’), this opera follows the life of Werther, a young, solemn man who falls in love with Charlotte, a woman already engaged to someone else. It was composed by Jules Massenet, and is considered one of his masterpieces. The arias and score depict the anguish felt by both young Werther and Charlotte, and their complicated circumstances...

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Jesus Rafael Soto Espace Louis Vuitton
Jesus Rafael Soto, Pénétrable BBL Bleu (1999, ed. Avila 2007). © Adagp, Paris 2018
Art

Jesús Rafael Soto: Pénétrable BBL Bleu

icon-location-pin Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo, Omotesando
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Head to Espace Louis Vuitton for their latest exhibition featuring work by the late Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto. This installation is quite unique as it encourages guests to interact with it by walking through the space and immersing themselves in both kinetic and optical ways. 

Looking for more things to do in March?
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