Happo-en Autumn Lightup | Time Out Tokyo

November 2022 events in Tokyo

Plan your November in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including autumn foliage, light-ups and art exhibits

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November is the time to embrace all things autumnal in Tokyo – in addition to the seasonal foliage, you can look forward to Tori no Ichi markets, quirky food celebrations, plentiful sports events and early illumination shows.

Our November highlights

  • Things to do
  • Komagome

Rikugien Garden is one of the best Tokyo spots to surround yourself with beautiful Japanese landscapes. While it’s worth visiting year round, the garden is especially picturesque during autumn, when the leaves take on different shades of red and yellow.

From November 23 to December 4, Rikugien stays open until 8.30pm for its annual light-up event. The garden’s trees are illuminated with golden lights so that the brilliant colours of the changing leaves stand out even more, providing stunning views.

Aside from admiring the autumn foliage, don’t forget to drop by the garden’s dozo storehouse. Its earthen walls will serve as the canvas for a beautiful projection show between 6pm and 8.30pm. Feeling peckish? Head over to the garden’s tea houses for light meals as well as matcha and wagashi (Japanese confectionery) sets.

Note that you’ll need to purchase a ticket online in advance to enter the park during evening hours. There will be 2,500 tickets available per day and entry is ¥1,000 per person.

The booking website will be announced closer to the event period.

  • Art
  • Waseda

Award-winning novelist Haruki Murakami’s stories have been translated into over 50 languages for readers all over the world. Behind the scenes, however, a lot of work goes into adapting a single book into another language. In order to save the nuances of a passage from being lost in translation, publishers need to think carefully about how to weave sentences together as if the translated text was the author’s native language. 

In this exhibition at Waseda University's Haruki Murakami library, bibliophiles can pore over books by Murakami and other Japanese authors that have been adapted for readers overseas, and contemplate all the doors that the process of translation has opened to the world.

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  • Art
  • Ueno

This special exhibition at the National Museum of Western Art is based on the world-class collection of the German art dealer Heinz Berggrühn. It marks the first time the entire collection is being showcased outside of the Berggrühn Museum since its establishment. On display are 97 paintings by Pablo Picasso and other 20th century masters including Paul Klee, Henri Matisse and Alberto Giacometti. Of the lot, 76 pieces have never been exhibited in Japan before.

  • Art
  • Harajuku

In teamLab's new pop-up exhibition in collaboration with the Galaxy store in Harajuku, the digital art collective's enchanted forest has been transformed into an underwater fantasy. This latest installation is also an interactive one, where visitors can use smartphones to catch, study and release the colourful sea creatures they encounter in the space. There's a great variety of marine animals to see, including fish like tuna as well as aquatic creatures that are endangered or extinct. 

To catch a creature to study it, you can use the designated app on a Galaxy smartphone to scan fish swimming in the space, or throw out a 'Study Net' towards the floor if you see something interesting darting around your feet. 

While the exhibition is free, reservations are required. Each session is an hour long, with the exhibition open from 11am until 7pm daily. You can book a timeslot via the event website.

Note: an end date for this exhibition has yet to be announced.

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  • Things to do

Every year, hordes of Tokyoites make the exodus out of town to classic autumn leaf watching spots like Kamakura, Nikko and Hakone. However, for those with no time to travel, there are plenty of gardens, parks and museums right here in the city to get your koyo fill from mid-to-late November. Here are our top picks of nightly light-ups, historic retreats and lesser-known viewing locations, all in or close to Tokyo. And for particularly energetic foliage-watchers, we recommend these scenic bike routes and these highlight hikes.

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