August 29, 2023
What’s Happening in Tokyo this September?
Metropolis’ picks for the best events to check out this month
Just because summer is coming to an end that doesn’t mean festival time in Tokyo is over for the year. On the contrary, a tonne of great events are kicking off over the next month from traditional autumn festivals in Kichijoji and Miyasaka, to the more contemporary but equally beloved ULTRA Japan and Asakusa Samba Carnival. Head to our full events section for more info on these and other events and check out our special mentions for the month below.
September 2 – September 3
Oi Racecourse – Tokyo City Flea Market
Tokyo City Flea Market claims to be Japan’s biggest and with over 350 stalls, it’s probably not wrong. With stallholders spruiking everything from rare collectibles to handmade goods, electronics and antiques, there’s something for everyone available at bargain prices and one of the rare places in Tokyo where people don’t mind a bit of bartering. A selection of food trucks is also available for hungry bargain hunters.
Oi Racecourse, 2-1-2 Katsushima, Shinagawa-ku
9am – 2:30pm
September 9 – September 10
Kichijoji Fall Festival 2023
The 51st iteration of the festival, mikoshi (portable shrines) will fill the streets of the trendy neighborhood of Kichijoji on Saturday and Sunday, September 9 and 10. Featuring an assortment of kids mikoshi, a variety of 10 mikoshi from the local neighborhood associations and the Musashino Hachimangu Shrine’s official mikoshi (led by a shinto priest on a horse) will feature in a variety of processions across the two-day event. In addition to the mikoshi parades, a variety of performances, acitviites and food stalls will also be held over the two days. The official Musashino Hachimangu Shrine festival will also take place on Friday September 15.
10am – 7:30pm
Now – September 12
DinoScience Exhibition 2023
Journey back to the cretaceous period on the island continent of Laramdia in this educational exhibit in Tokyo Midtown. Curated by Tanaka Masashi, a dinosaur expert and artist active in the international paleontological community, this exhibit focuses specifically on the late cretaceous period when the T-Rex, triceratops and epic mosasaurus ruled the land and seas. Lane, one of the most perfectly-preserved Triceratops skeletons in the world, is one of the highlights of the exhibit which also features an enormous T-Rex skeleton, cretaceous aquarium exhibit and “World of Dinosaurs” cinema experience. The Dino Camp workshop features activities for budding palaeontologists and the cafe and bar will be serving up dino-inspired treats for young and old.
Tokyo Midtown Hall, 9-7-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku
9am – 9pm
¥2,300 – ¥3,300
September 16 – September 17
Ultra Japan 2023
The Japan edition of ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL, the world’s largest urban dance music festival, ULTRA JAPAN 2023 hits TOKYO ODAIBA ULTRA PARK this September, bringing some of the world’s top DJs to Tokyo. On top of an already packed lineup featuring heavy hitters such as Peggy Gou and Skrillex, the team behind the event have just dropped their second lineup announcement. Added to the main stage, Kenny Beats–a renowned beatmaker who has produced albums for many internationally acclaimed artists including Ed Sheeran and Roddy Ricch, joining him and returning to ULTRA JAPAN for a second time around is Mykris, a DJ and producer hailing from France.
Tokyo Odaiba ULTRA Park 1-8 Daiba, Minato-ku
11am – 9pm (TBC)
Asakusa Samba Carnival 2023
Celebrating the end of the summer, Asakusa Samba Carnival is back this September for the first time in four years. Started in 1981 by local comedian Junzaburo Ban as a way to bring energy back to the downtown neighborhood, it had been doing just that—attracting up to 500,000 spectators annually—up until the last event in 2020. After a four-year hiatus, the organizers are slowly getting back into the swing of things, promoting this year’s event as a slightly “reduced” version. Having said that, this year will still feature a whopping 1,500 performers dancing and drumming along a 500 meter stretch of the famous Kaminarimon shopping street in the heart of the town. Touted as the biggest samba carnival in the northern hemisphere, head down to this year’s event to help bring this community-driven event back to its former glory.
Kaminarimon, 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku
12pm – TBD
September 21 – September 24
Tokyo Game Show 2023
Tokyo Game Show (TGS) is one of the longest-running and largest video game conventions in the world. Held in one form or another since 1996, it’s a showcase for the latest innovations in an industry that generated revenue of over $200bn in 2022. Few conventions can rival TGS in size, 262,076 punters attended in 2019 and, despite some restrictions, the 2022 event saw a massive 140,000 visitors to Makuhari Messei and over 400,000 virtual attendees. Above all else, TGS is a unique opportunity for the general public to get their hands on games well before their general release and makes for an exciting and jam-packed day out. Open to the general public on Saturday the 23rd and Sunday 24th, this year’s event will feature 646 exhibitors across a record-breaking 2,629 booths and will be held in physical, virtual and online formats.
Makuhari Messe, 2-1 Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba
10am – 5pm
Setagaya Hachimangu Fall Festival
Set in one of Setagaya ku’s biggest shrines, Setagaya Hachimangu Fall Festival is famous for its ceremonial sumo wrestling matches. Taking place on the outdoor dohyo, these wrestling matches are said to be part of an Edo period tradition held at Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine, Hikawa Shrine in Shibuya and Oi Kashima Shrine in Shinagawa. In recent years, wrestling has taken place between members of the Tokyo University of Agriculture’s sumo wrestling club from 2pm on the Saturday while the mikoshi procession takes place from midday on Sunday. A variety of stalls will be available throughout the event. Head to the shrine’s official website for confirmation on this year’s dates and times.
Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine