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7 Best Winter Events in Tokyo: Chilly Evenings, Shiny Holidays! (November/December 2021)

7 Best Winter Events in Tokyo: Chilly Evenings, Shiny Holidays! (November/December 2021)

Date published: 20 November 2019
Last updated: 22 January 2021

From traditional festivals that have a history of over 300 years to colorful Christmas celebrations, November and December events in Tokyo offer a lot of unique and lively fun to fight the cold! Let's take a look at the best of them!

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Meiji Shrine Outer Garden Ginkgo Festival (Mid-Nov to Early Dec) (Canceled in 2020)
  2. 2. MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS (Nov 19 - Feb 28)
  3. 3. Roppongi Christmas Market 2020 (Nov 28 - Dec 25)
  4. 4. Setagaya Boro-ichi (Flea Market) (Dec 15 & 16; Jan 15 & 16) (Canceled in 2020)
  5. 5. Senso-ji Temple Hagoita-Ichi Fair (Dec 17-19)
  6. 6. The Breathtaking Chichibu Night Festival (Dec 2-3) (Scaled back in 2020)
  7. 7. Ennichi Terrace Christmas Market (Oct 30 - Jan 11)

1. Meiji Shrine Outer Garden Ginkgo Festival (Mid-Nov to Early Dec) (Canceled in 2020)

1. Meiji Shrine Outer Garden Ginkgo Festival (Mid-Nov to Early Dec) (Canceled in 2020)
PixHound / Shutterstock.com

The 300-meter long canopy road leading through the Meiji Shrine Outer Garden will be dyed in magnificent gold as the over 150 ginkgo trees lining the street turn color. Because of this amazing spectacle, the Outer Garden is one of Tokyo's most popular autumn leaf viewing spots.

To celebrate the changing seasons, the Ginkgo Festival is being held, a Tokyo event that features around 50 different stalls and booths offering both delicious dishes and various crafts and arts. The Meiji Shrine Outer Garden Ginkgo Festival is a must-visit event for both locals and tourists alike!

Admission: None
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (Some areas until 5:30 p.m.)
May be canceled in case of bad weather

2. MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS (Nov 19 - Feb 28)

2. MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS (Nov 19 - Feb 28)

This celebrated Tokyo winter event at Tokyo Midtown sees "Another World" as its concept for 2020! A variety of Christmas trees can be seen around the grounds until December 25, decorated with ornaments for a gorgeous holiday mood! A large snow dome will also be lighting the night with neon colors. Plus, the Midtown Winter Lights illuminations will set a romantic holiday mood - and if you feel particularly festive, enjoy ice skating at the Midtown Ice Rink!

Admission: MIDTOWN ICE RINK Adults: Weekdays 2,000 yen, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 2,500 yen (* tax included, rental fee included, cafe ticket included)
Time: MIDTOWN ICE RINK 11am - 9pm (entry until 8pm), Illuminations 5pm - 11pm
*The area around the plaza is until midnight. Santa Tree in the hall is from 11am to midnight
Closed: January 1st

3. Roppongi Christmas Market 2020 (Nov 28 - Dec 25)

3. Roppongi Christmas Market 2020 (Nov 28 - Dec 25)

The Roppongi Christmas Market is an event that seeks to emulate the one that is said to be the world's largest: the Stuttgart Christmas Market. Apart from atmospheric Tokyo Christmas shopping, do enjoy some delicious mulled wine and a sausage while strolling along the many stalls and booths selling some 2,000 different items.

Admission will be restricted in 2020, and numbered tickets may be distributed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Admission: Free
Hours: 11am - 9pm (Fridays and Saturdays until 10pm)

4. Setagaya Boro-ichi (Flea Market) (Dec 15 & 16; Jan 15 & 16) (Canceled in 2020)

4. Setagaya Boro-ichi (Flea Market) (Dec 15 & 16; Jan 15 & 16) (Canceled in 2020)

The Setagaya Boro-Ichi Flea Market has a very long history, dating back over 430 years to the Warring States period. One samurai lord, Ujimasa Hojo, held Setagaya's first flea market event called "rakuichi" in 1578 to give the local residents an opportunity of trading freely. Its successor is the Boro-Ichi Market, which is held twice a year on two days in December and January.

With the Setagaya Daikanyashiki in its center, a historic mansion from the Edo period, the flea market features over 700 individual shops selling everything that the heart desires, from second-hand clothes and antiquities to jewelry and interior.

Admission: None
Hours: 9:00am - 8:00pm

  • Setagaya Boro-ichi
    ボロ市通りとその周辺
    • Address 1 Setagaya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 154-0017 Japan

5. Senso-ji Temple Hagoita-Ichi Fair (Dec 17-19)

5. Senso-ji Temple Hagoita-Ichi Fair (Dec 17-19)

The Hagoita-Ichi Festival is one of the best Tokyo December events right at the end of the year. Hagoita are small wooden paddles, decorated with a variety of different adornments and ornaments. In ancient times, they have been used as ritual instruments for getting rid of demons and evil spirits but became most popular as rackets for an old Japanese badminton-like game called hanetsuki in the Muromachi period.

Held in the precincts of Asakusa's Senso-ji Temple, over 50 different stalls offer their own unique hagoita creations, some masterfully lacquered with kabuki-esque imagery, others decorated with different jewelry and fabric. The prices vary wildly, ranging from a few hundred up to thousands of yen. Pick your favorite hagoita to take home one of Japan's most unique handmade souvenirs!

Admission: None
Hours: 9am - 9pm

  • Senso-ji Temple
    • Address 2-3-1, Asakusa, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 111-0032
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Toei Asakusa Line / Tobu Isesaki Line (Tobu Sky Tree Line) / Tsukuba Express)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3842-0181

6. The Breathtaking Chichibu Night Festival (Dec 2-3) (Scaled back in 2020)

6. The Breathtaking Chichibu Night Festival (Dec 2-3) (Scaled back in 2020)

Called yomatsuri in Japanese, the Chichibu Night Festival is a beautiful spectacle held by the Chichibu Shrine in the same-named city, just outside of Tokyo. Dating back around 300 years, it is a winter favorite not only among locals.

The highlight of the celebrations takes place on the evening of December 3, when a gorgeous parade of illuminated floats makes its way from the Chichibu Shrine to a sacred palanquin. Shortly after, the cold winter night is lit up in a thousand vivid colors when one of Japan's only winter fireworks is taking place right above the cozy, lively atmosphere of the Chichibu Night Festival. Japan's winter is by no means a gloomy one!

Admission: None
Hours: 12pm - 8pm on December 2, 9am - dawn on December 3

7. Ennichi Terrace Christmas Market (Oct 30 - Jan 11)

7. Ennichi Terrace Christmas Market (Oct 30 - Jan 11)

Ennichi Terrace Christmas Market is a festive event held at the foot of Tokyo Tower. The sparkling lights and gorgeous Christmas decorations create a lively atmosphere! Here you can enjoy a diverse lineup of drinks and food, from mulled wine to hot chocolate, plus hams, sausages, and clam chowder - and even classical beer from Feldschlösschen, the oldest brewery in Dresden, Germany!

Admission: Free
Hours: Weekdays 4pm - 9:30pm; Weekends/Holidays 11am - 9:30pm; may be rescheduled due to rain.

* Events may be changed or canceled depending on the situation. Please check the official websites for the latest information.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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