October 2018 events in Tokyo

Plan your October in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including concerts, food festivals and art exhibits
By Time Out Tokyo Editors

October is one of the nicest months in Tokyo – it's still warm enough to have fun outside, and there's a boatload of great events going on all around the city. A number of autumn matsuri take place in October, in addition to Tokyo classics from Jinbocho's Book Town week to the Kappabashi Kitchen Tools Festival. October is also the season for moon-viewing, a wide range of food events and, of course, Halloween.

Our October highlights

Kawagoe Festival
Things to do

Kawagoe Matsuri

icon-location-pin Saitama

Summer might be over, but there are still a few big traditional festivals to enjoy. The Kawagoe Festival is one of them, an over 370-year-old event where huge floats are paraded along the city's kurazukuri (old architectural) streets. To make it even more spectacular, they're lit up at night, and the festivities reach their peak in a cacophony of drums, bells, flutes, clapping, moving floats, and dancing, known as Hikkawase.

Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony,
Things to do

Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony

icon-location-pin Shiodome

A large-scale tea ceremony event where even those who aren’t familiar with the custom are welcome to participate. The event will be held at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum from Saturday October 13 to Sunday October 14, and at Hamarikyu Gardens from Saturday October 20 to Sunday October 21. The indoor tea ceremony costs ¥700 and requires booking in advance, but there are plenty of other programs available in both English and Japanese. In addition to the workshops, there will also be a number of stalls to shop from and a series of exciting shows including Kabuki and Noh performances. Check out the website to see what’s on at each venue.

Art, Painting

Munch Exhibition

icon-location-pin Ueno

This retrospective exhibition celebrates the work of iconic Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, most famous for his masterpiece ‘The Scream’. Munch's work was heavily influenced by Impressionists the likes of Claude Monet and Edouard Manet, and he became a part of the Post-Impressionist movement, which was led by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne.  Munch did not receive much appreciation for his art in his time, but he was eventually hailed as a pioneer of Expressionism in the world of fine arts. Nearly 100 pieces of his work will be exhibited, including oil paintings and master prints courtesy of the Munch Museum in Oslo. While there are multiple versions of ‘The Scream’, this is the first time the version created with oil paint and tempera is being shown in Japan.  Explore 60-plus years’ worth of paintings depicting deep human emotions such as anxiety and loneliness, as well as stunning natural landscapes of Norway, and works from his final years which feature vibrant, pigmented colours.

映画のまち調布 花火
Things to do

Chofu Autumn Fireworks

icon-location-pin Tama area

Chofu celebrates its connection to the movie industry in an explosive way: as several film scenes have been shot on the banks of the Tamagawa, and Chofu is home to multiple studios and film-related companies, the festival is dubbed 'City of Cinema: Chofu Autumn Fireworks'. It sees around 10,000 rockets launched over the river, choreographed to popular film scores.


Ningen Restaurant

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

A two week pop-up restaurant and bar by artist collective Chim↑Pom has just opened in Kabukicho. The restaurant will feature a menu devised from a list of last meals requested by death row prisoners, and display works by Austrian avant-garde artist Hermann Nitsch. The restaurant event also includes performances by BLACKSMOKER, KILLER - BONG, Fuyuki Yamakawa, Kairai bunch, Aida Makoto, Dengeki Network and more. Be sure to check the event schedule to know who’s performing when. Note: This is a one-off event, not to be confused with another restaurant in Kabukicho called Ningen Restaurant.

Art, Galleries

SHIMURAbros Seeing Is Believing

icon-location-pin Ginza

The sister-and-brother duo SHIMURAbros, known for creating art based on all things film, have brought their exhibition to Tokyo after a brief tour overseas. The duo use a combination of still images, sculptures and videos to connect the history of filmmaking with modern motion picture technology – this is evident in their works such as ‘X-RAY TRAIN’, which was inspired by the 50-second silent film ‘Train Pulling into a Station’ by the Lumière brothers. For this exhibition, the element of reflective light is used in a majority of the installations to create a mesmerising display that would make the observer question their perception and contemplate what it means to look at something versus seeing it. 

Art, Photography

Atlas of Time

icon-location-pin Bakurocho

Herbie Yamaguchi is a photographer known for capturing moments of bliss. This exhibition will showcase a collection of his photographs taken all over the world from the last 40 years. After one particular photo he shot in Japan, Yamaguchi went on traveling and continue to take photos with the theme ‘joy of living’ in effort to demonstrate how shared happy moments can transcend borders and time. From delightful pictures of parents and children in Japan to shots of laughing families in faraway places, this collection is a warm reminder of the happy feelings we share with one another.


31st Tokyo International Film Festival

icon-location-pin Roppongi

Tokyo’s top cinematic extravaganza is returning for its 31st edition and will again shine the spotlight on an eclectic – some would even say random – selection of movies, primarily shown at Roppongi Hills and Ex Theatre Roppongi. It usually offers a decent opportunity to catch new films that have been doing the rounds on the festival circuit, and also provides a rare chance to see fresh Japanese and foreign-language cinema with English subtitles.

Tokyo Ramen Show
Things to do, Food and drink events

Tokyo Ramen Show 2018

icon-location-pin Komazawa-Daigaku

The greatest ramen makers from all over Japan gather in Komazawa Olympic Park again for every noodle-lover's dream event. Slurp up regional specialities, try new soups and combinations created specifically for this occasion, and elbow your way around the area with thousands of other ramen maniacs. Check the official website for details on the participants, choose your favourites, and get ready to rush – the most popular stalls tend to get very crowded. This year is their 10th anniversary, so expect even more ramen bonanza. 

Thomas Sing


icon-location-pin Shibuya

Berlin-based Japanese-German band OSCA will be performing in Tokyo for their first Japan tour. This hyperpop/electronic act is made up of lead singer Yuka Otsuki, Matthias Erhard on keyboard and Dominik Scherer on drums and trumpet. Their music consists of opulent arrangements and heavy beats, extravagant costumes and stories about dames and dandies, sailors and sorcerers, mistresses and murderers. OSCA's love for majestic classical music and futuristic bombastic sounds all come together in one huge extravaganza on stage. Join in on their first bash in their second home country.

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