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What to Do in Tokyo in September 2023: Asakusa Samba Carnival, Tokyo Game Show & More Fun Events

What to Do in Tokyo in September 2023: Asakusa Samba Carnival, Tokyo Game Show & More Fun Events

Date published: 24 August 2023

In September, Japan experiences a week with numerous national holidays known as Silver Week, making it a prime travel season. Various events and festivals take place during this time. Particularly in Tokyo, there are many annual traditions and significant gatherings such as the Asakusa Samba Carnival and the Tokyo Game Show.

For those planning to visit Tokyo in September, let's introduce some recommended events. Be sure to check them out and consider paying them a visit.

Table of Contents
  1. Events at Theme Parks & Popular Spots
  2. Animation & Character Collaboration Events
  3. Seasonal Events
  4. Exhibitions & Trade Shows
  5. Beer Gardens & Rooftop Bars
  6. Events Held at Hotels

Events at Theme Parks & Popular Spots

Tokyo Disney Resort® 40th Anniversary "Dream Go Round" (Maihama)

©Disney (*Image is for reference only.)
©Disney (*Image is for reference only.)

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Tokyo Disney Resort®, the "Tokyo Disney Resort 40th Anniversary Dream Go-Round" event is now in full swing. The entire park is bedecked with lively decorations that pay homage to four decades of magic, and there's an array of special merchandise and delectable menu items introduced just for this occasion.

But that's not all—hold onto your excitement because, in honor of this remarkable milestone, the daytime parade at Tokyo Disneyland® has undergone a splendid makeover, marking its grand return after a five-year hiatus.

And over at Tokyo DisneySea®, you won't want to miss the enchanting sight of beloved Disney characters donning costumes that radiate the spirit of the 40th anniversary. Picture them cruising along on boats during the captivating waterborne greeting event, aptly named "Let's Celebrate with Color." It's an invitation to partake in the jubilant atmosphere of unity and merriment that makes this year truly extraordinary.

Event Details
・Venue: Tokyo Disney Resort®
・Dates: April 15, 2023 - March 31, 2024
・Hours: Vary by season, refer to the official website
・Admission: Varies by season, refer to the official website
・Closed: Open throughout the event period
・Phone: 0570-00-8632 (Navigation Dial)

Summer Art Aquarium Exhibition 2023 - Goldfish in Ginza (Ginza)

Summer Art Aquarium Exhibition 2023 - Goldfish in Ginza (Ginza)

Experience a special exhibition at the Art Aquarium Museum GINZA (located on the 9th floor of Ginza Mitsukoshi), where there are tanks filled with goldfish and illuminated displays and sculptures in vibrant colors.

The highlight is the "Sky Aquarium," the largest tank in the museum. You can admire the tank that's been crafted to resemble a fantastical flower blooming in the sky, along with the graceful swimming of goldfish within. Additionally, the surrounding area is filled with a unique aroma blend, enhancing the ambiance of the artworks.

Furthermore, there's a piece called "Temariarium," which uses tanks to express traditional Japanese handballs. Amidst a surreal atmosphere, you can enjoy the sight of goldfish gracefully swimming between intricately woven patterns of thread.

Alongside this, there are several newly introduced exhibits that capture the essence of Japan, such as the "Stone Lantern of Goldfish," which reinterprets the stone lanterns often found in shrines and temples with illuminated goldfish, and the "New Andonrium," inspired by traditional Japanese lanterns, offering a distinctive Japanese touch.

Event Details
・Venue: Art Aquarium Museum GINZA
・Dates: June 30, 2023 - September 26, 2023
・Event Hours: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
・Admission: WEB Ticket 2,300 yen / Same-day Ticket 2,500 yen (Available on the 9th floor of Ginza Mitsukoshi New Building)
・Closed Days: Same as Ginza Mitsukoshi's closing days

  • Art Aquarium Museum GINZA
    アートアクアリウム美術館 GINZA
    • Address 9th Floor, Mitsukoshi Shinkan, 4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8212
    • Phone Number 03-3528-6721
    • ・Hours: 10 AM to 7 PM
      ・Admission: Adults (junior high school students and older)
      ・Web limited admission ticket: 2,300 yen (including tax), can be purchased online on the day of admission
      ・Same-day ticket machine admission ticket 2,500 yen (tax included)
      ・Closed: Closed on Ginza Mitsukoshi holidays

NAKED Fireworks Aquarium (Shinagawa)

NAKED Fireworks Aquarium (Shinagawa)

Just a quick 2-minute stroll away from Shinagawa Station, right within the Shinagawa Prince Hotel, you'll find the Maxell Aqua Park—a captivating indoor theme park that immerses you in a vibrant tapestry of Japanese culture, featuring a range of events from dazzling fireworks displays to lively festivals and refreshing experiences.

As you step into the tank exhibition area, which stretches from the entrance to the performance venue, you'll be greeted by a charming display of masks and firework-inspired decorations. The whole scene exudes the lively vibe of a traditional festival, setting the tone for your adventure within.

Speaking of adventures, the "Sea Edge Festival" is a delight for those eager to explore. Here, you'll have the chance to observe 11 unique aquatic creatures, each drawing inspiration from cherished Japanese patterns.

A highlight is the Dolphin Performance—an experience that's sure to leave you in awe. Watch as these magnificent creatures leap and dance in perfect harmony with the lively samba rhythm. And you're invited to be a part of the excitement too! With simple choreography and joyful clapping, you can join in on the fun.

And when night falls, the venue undergoes a breathtaking transformation. Bathed in the glow of digital fireworks, the surroundings become a captivating testament to Japanese tradition, enveloping you in an ambiance you won't soon forget.

Event Details
・Venue: Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa
Dates: July 1, 2023 - October 22, 2023
・Event Hours: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM (Last admission at 7:00 PM)
・Admission: 2,500 yen
・Closed Days: Open throughout the event period
・Phone: 03-5421-1111 (Voice Guidance)

  • Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa
    マクセル アクアパーク品川
    • Address 4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8611 (in Shinagawa Prince Hotel)
    • Phone Number 03-5421-1111
    • ・Hours: Varies depending on the season
      ・Admission: 2,500 yen
      ・Closed: Open daily

BOTANICAL VIEW / Botanical garden 229m above Shibuya, Tokyo

BOTANICAL VIEW / Botanical garden 229m above Shibuya, Tokyo

Currently ongoing at the "SHIBUYA SKY" observation facility, situated on the 14th, 45th, and 46th floors, as well as the rooftop of the Shibuya Scramble Square, is a truly distinctive event focused on the world of plants.

A captivating array of plants, each boasting its own distinct shape and form, has been thoughtfully categorized into five Japanese onomatopoeic groups: "Fluffy (フワフワ)," "Cute (キュンキュン)," "Prickly (ツンツン)," "Smooth (サラサラ)," and "Lush (モリモリ)." Picture this: suspended greenery that appears to defy gravity, embodying the very essence of "Fluffy," while an aerial meadow of blossoms captures the heartwarming vibe of "Cute." For those with thorns, the spirit of "Prickly" is alive and well, while long, gracefully swaying leaves evoke the tactile sensation of "Smooth."

These evocative words, distinctively woven into the fabric of the Japanese language, paint a vibrant portrait of natural sounds and experiences often overshadowed by Tokyo's urban hustle. Take your time to fully immerse yourself in the showcased flora—touch, feel, and in doing so, discover the charm of the Japanese language itself. And amid this botanical wonderland, don't overlook the chance to indulge in the awe-inspiring panoramic views from Shibuya's elevated vantage point, 229 meters above the ground.

Event Details
・Location: 14th Floor (Ticket Counter), 45th-46th Floors (Indoor Observatory), (Rooftop Observatory) SHIBUYA SKY
・Dates: August 1, 2023 - October 1, 2023
・Event Hours: 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM
・Admission: 2,500 yen (2,200 yen if purchased online in advance)
・Closed Days: Open throughout the event period
・Phone: 03-4221-0229

Famous Moon Viewing Party (Tokyo Skytree®)

©TOKYO-SKYTREE
©TOKYO-SKYTREE

On the soaring Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck, perched at an impressive 350 meters above ground, an enchanting Moon Viewing event is set to unfold on September 29, coinciding with the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The spectacle of the moon, as seen from the Tokyo Skytree's observation platform, gained remarkable recognition back in 2017 when it was honored as one of Japan's "Top 100 Moons." This prestigious title is bestowed upon moons that hold a special place, deserving to be treasured for generations to come.

This event is taking stargazing to the next level, thanks to the partnership with Vixen, a leading optical equipment manufacturer. With their top-notch astronomical telescopes, you'll have a truly exceptional chance to gaze upon the ethereal beauty of Japan's moon, right in the heart of this bustling metropolis.

The "Top 100 Moons" project is all about capturing the moon's captivating allure through a modern lens, turning it into a precious gem within Japan's nocturnal landscape. This visionary endeavor aims to illuminate the splendor of magnificent moons scattered across Japan's various regions, capturing the imaginations of both local and international travelers alike. The ultimate goal? To transform Japan's lunar attractions into a captivating resource that draws people from all corners of the globe.

Event Details
・Venue: Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck, Floor 350
・Date: September 29, 2023
・Event Hours: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
・Admission: Free for moon viewing (Entrance fee to the observation platform is required)

Animation & Character Collaboration Events

Theme café "Jutsu Kaisen Café 2023 Kaidama/Tamaori" (Harajuku, Shinjuku)

©芥見下々/集英社・呪術廻戦製作委員会
©芥見下々/集英社・呪術廻戦製作委員会

Marking the launch of the second season of the TV anime "Jujutsu Kaisen," a series that has been captivating fans since its serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump back in 2018, an exclusive limited-time theme cafe has been unveiled.

For those in Tokyo, this distinctive cafe is ready to welcome you at two prime locations: Harajuku Alta Store and Lumine Est Shinjuku Store. Drawing inspiration from the gripping "Fearsome Womb Arc" of the second season, the cafe is adorned with captivating exclusive illustrations. And here's an exciting treat for you: if you order from the enticing drink menu, you'll be gifted a coaster (available in 8 unique designs), a delightful little surprise that accompanies each chosen beverage.

Now, let's talk about the culinary offerings. The menu is a journey through dishes and desserts that pay homage to the series' most iconic moments and characters. Fancy a taste of "Nobara Kugisaki Cursed Spirit Ball Curry" (priced at 1,650 yen, tax included)? Or perhaps the "Maki Zen'in Tiramisu Parfait" (also at 1,650 yen, tax included) tempts your taste buds? Each creation mirrors the essence of the show, bringing scenes to life on your plate. And don't miss the chilled beverages crafted for the summer, each perfectly aligned with the signature hues of the characters.

To make the most of your visit, it's a smart move to secure a reservation in advance (with a fee of 660 yen) through the official website. This ensures your spot in this immersive and delectable anime experience.

Event Details
BOX cafe&space Harajuku Alta Store
・Dates/Times: August 10, 2023 - October 8, 2023. 11:10 AM - 8:40 PM.
・Closed Days: Open throughout the event period.

BOX cafe&space Lumine Est Shinjuku Store
・Dates/Times: August 10, 2023 - October 1, 2023. 10:30 AM - 8:00 PM.
・Closed Days: Open throughout the event period.

  • BOX cafe&space Harajuku Alta
    BOX cafe&space 原宿アルタ店
    • Address 1 Chome-16-4 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001
    • ・Hours: Varies depending on the event
      ・Closed: Varies depending on the event

  • BOX cafe&space Lumine Est Shinjuku
    BOX cafe&space ルミネエスト新宿店
    • Address B1F Lumine Est Shinjuku, 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022
    • ・Hours: Varies depending on the event
      ・Closed: Varies depending on the event

Seasonal Events

Asakusa Samba Carnival (Asakusa)

Asakusa Samba Carnival (Asakusa)

Wrapping up the summer in Asakusa, the much-anticipated Asakusa Samba Carnival takes the spotlight. This year, all 16 dynamic teams are gearing up for an exhilarating parade along Kaminarimon Street, from west to east, culminating just before the iconic Kaminarimon gate.

Drawing inspiration from the vibrant spirit of the authentic Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Brazil, the birthplace of Samba, each team has dedicated hours of practice to ensure a performance that's nothing short of spectacular. And let's not forget the show-stopping element—the dazzling and distinctive costumes that are an absolute feast for the eyes.

For those with a front-row seat in mind, make your way to the designated viewing area around 11:00 AM, as traffic regulations come into effect. Simply follow the guidance of the police officers, security personnel, and event staff to secure your perfect vantage point.

It's worth noting that this year's edition will have a different flavor. While certain aspects like contests and the float procession, staples of previous carnivals, won't be part of the program, the event is making a triumphant return after a four-year hiatus, albeit in a more streamlined format.

Despite this "scaled-down version," you can expect nothing less than an electrifying atmosphere in Asakusa, with excitement that's truly palpable.

Event Details
Venue: Asakusa Kaminarimon Street
Dates: September 17, 2023 (Sunday)
Event Hours: 12:00 PM onward
Admission: Free for spectators
Closed Days: Open throughout the event period
Phone: Asakusa Samba Carnival Office 03-3847-0038

Exhibitions & Trade Shows

Tokyo Game Show 2023 (Makuhari)

Tokyo Game Show 2023 (Makuhari)

Once again, that exciting moment has arrived—the time for Japan's grandest computer entertainment extravaganza. This event holds its place among the prestigious "Big Three" global gaming expos, attracting attention and enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.

Following a four-year hiatus, this year's spectacle returns with even more splendor, spanning Halls 1 to 11 of Makuhari Messe, alongside the International Conference Hall and Event Hall, all recapturing the grandeur that characterized the event before the pandemic.

Under the theme "Games in Motion, The World in Revolution," a fusion of "Real Venue × Virtual Venue × Online" takes center stage, allowing for a dynamic and immersive experience that brings the forefront of the gaming industry into the spotlight.

From unveiling new titles and hosting gaming tournaments to featuring companions in game-inspired costumes and offering limited-edition merchandise, there's something for everyone. Even newcomers to gaming can find enjoyment here, so be sure to pay a visit.

Event Details
・Venue: Makuhari Messe (Mihama-ku, Chiba City) Exhibition Halls 1 to 11, International Conference Hall, Event Hall
・Dates: September 21 - 24, 2023 (General public days are September 23 - 24)
・Event Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
・Admission: 1-day pass 2,300 yen
・Closed Days: Open throughout the event period

Beer Gardens & Rooftop Bars

Meiji Jingu Gaien Forest Beer Garden (Shinjuku)

Meiji Jingu Gaien Forest Beer Garden (Shinjuku)

Forest Beer Garden, held annually at Meiji Shrine Outer Garden, is a premier Tokyo beer event. It offers a selection of 7 beers, including KIRIN Ichiban Shibori and Heartland. With advanced cooling technology, you can enjoy chilled draft beer in the height of summer. There's also Kirin Whisky "Riku," lemon sour, white wine, red wine, and more. Non-alcoholic options like apple and orange juice are available too.

The dining setup is barbecue-style. Choose the "Assorted Meat Platter" with seasoned lamb, beef kalbi, pork belly, and sausages, along with the "Assorted Vegetable Platter" containing cabbage, carrots, and shishito peppers. Cook them on a tabletop iron griddle. Classic izakaya snacks like fries, yakisoba, edamame, and grilled rice balls are also all-you-can-eat options.

With around 1,000 seats, 600 under tents, the venue ensures comfort even on rainy days. Amidst the city, the lush location provides a verdant atmosphere. Enjoy drinks and dining to your heart's content, savoring the summer nights.

Event Details
・Venue: Meiji Shrine Outer Garden "Nikoniko Park"
・Dates: April 18, 2023 - September 24, 2023 (Scheduled)
・Event Hours:
- Weekdays: 4:30 PM - 10:00 PM (Last Order 9:00 PM)
- Weekends and Holidays: 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM (Last Order 9:00 PM)
- Summer Time (July 22, 2023 - August 31, 2023):
- Weekdays: 2:00 PM - 10:30 PM (Last Order 9:30 PM)
- Weekends and Holidays: 12:00 PM - 10:30 PM (Last Order 9:30 PM)
・Admission: 5,500 yen. Middle and High School Students (Ages 12-19): 4,700 yen. Elementary School Students (Ages 6-12): 2,500 yen. Ages 4-5: 1,500 yen. Ages 3 and below: Free (All prices include tax)
・Closed Days: Open throughout the event period
・Phone: 03-5411-3715 (11:00 AM - 8:00 PM)

Highball Garden (Tokyo Tower)

Highball Garden (Tokyo Tower)

Tokyo Tower hosts a beer garden event presented by Suntory, a renowned Japanese company known for its alcoholic beverages, including beer. Indulge in their Highball drinks paired with delectable gourmet offerings.

Choose between two locations: Foot Town Rooftop and 1F Main Entrance, each with its own unique offerings. At Foot Town Rooftop, savor an all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink Jingisukan (grilled lamb) feast. At 1F Main Entrance, relish the "Top Store Highball," meeting Suntory's high quality standards. Don't miss the chance to sample creative Highball variations like the "Tokyo Tower Highball," inspired by the tower's own illumination. The menu also features beloved izakaya-style appetizers.

Lanterns adorn the venue, creating a charming beer garden ambiance. Delight in a splendid evening of whiskey, appetizers, and the enchanting view of Tokyo Tower aglow with lights.

TOKYO TOWER “ROOF TOP” HIGHBALL GARDEN
・Venue: Tokyo Tower Foot Town Rooftop
・Dates: April 13, 2023 - October 9, 2023
・Event Hours: 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM (Last Order 9:00 PM)
・Phone: 050-3627-4803 (Phone reception hours 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM)
・Admission: 2-hour all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink: Adults 5,500 yen (including tax)

TOKYO TOWER “CHO-TEN” HIGHBALL GARDEN
・Venue: Tokyo Tower 1F Main Entrance
・Dates: April 20, 2023 - October 1, 2023
・Event Hours: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM (Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Last Order 9:30 PM)
・Phone: 080-9271-5533 (Phone reception hours 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM)

THE ROOF SHIBUYA SKY (Shibuya)

THE ROOF SHIBUYA SKY (Shibuya)

Perched on the 14th, 45th, and 46th floors, along with the rooftop of the expansive complex seamlessly connected to Shibuya Station, you'll find SHIBUYA SKY—an observatory nestled within the Shibuya Scramble Square. Here, a limited-time gem awaits: "THE ROOF SHIBUYA SKY," a rooftop bar like no other.

The true star is the awe-inspiring panoramic view, showcasing Shibuya from one of its prime vantage points, allowing you to take in iconic Tokyo skyscrapers, including the renowned Tokyo Skytree®. But that's not all—the libations are a league of their own. Crafted in partnership with Y.Y.G. Brewery, an urban brewery situated in Shibuya's vibrant Yoyogi district, THE ROOF SHIBUYA SKY presents two exclusive craft beers. Don't miss out on the "MAGIC HOUR -Pale Ale-," a beverage that perfectly encapsulates the ever-changing hues of the sky during the magic hour.

Whether you prefer the comfort of sofas or the casual standing tables, you're in for a treat. Note that tickets are required for sofa seats. Experience the magic of an evening at this open-air rooftop bar, embracing a sense of liberation and the most breathtaking views that Shibuya has to offer.

Event Details:
・Venue: Shibuya Scramble Square Rooftop Viewing Space "SKY STAGE"
・Dates: April 28, 2023 - November 30, 2023
・Time: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM (Last Order 9:30 PM), 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM (August only)

Events Held at Hotels

Hotel Gajoen Tokyo: "Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan 2023" (Meguro)

Hotel Gajoen Tokyo: "Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan 2023" (Meguro)

This event takes place at the 'Hyakudan Kaidan,' a Tokyo-designated tangible cultural property, located within Hotel Gajoen Tokyo. Themed around the 'Hyakki Yagyo,' a night parade where eerie beings like demons and yokai wander through the late-night streets, the event showcases a theatrical experience that transports visitors from the mundane world to the otherworldly realms as they progress through the rooms.

The highlight of the event is an array of meticulously crafted art installations. From dynamic spatial art using recycled PET bottles to depict crystals, to a unique piece featuring an azure higanbana flower made with the technique of stretching film over wireframes like soap bubbles, the artworks titled 'Akari' (lights) utilize various materials and expressive methods. There are also exhibits featuring stage decorations that replicate chilling 'yokai,' 'fairies,' and 'demons.'

The opulent venue is accompanied by an "original musical composition" composed specifically for this event, along with olfactory enhancements. Engage all your senses as you immerse yourself in this enchanting and surreal world.

Event Details:
・Venue: Hyakudan Kaidan (Hundred Steps Staircase), a designated tangible cultural property of Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
・Dates: July 1, 2023 to September 24, 2023
・Hours: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Last entry at 5:30 PM)
・Admission: On-site tickets - 1,500 yen, Students - 800 yen, Children (not yet in school) - Free, Students require student identification
・Closed: Open throughout the event period
- Contact: 03-5434-3140 (Event planning: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM)

  • Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
    • Address Meguro Shimomeguro 1-8-1 , Tokyo, 153-0064
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Meguro Station (JR Yamanote Line / Tokyo Metro Namboku Line / Toei Mita Line / Tokyu Meguro Line)
      5 minutes on foot

    Vacancy search, reservation

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

As September brings the hint of autumn while still offering many hot days, why not join in on unique events and festivals that capture the essence of this season? From refreshing art exhibitions to the vibrant Samba Carnival, there's plenty to enjoy during Japan's autumn excursion season.

The information in this article is accurate as of its publication in August 2023. For the latest updates, kindly refer to official websites and sources.

*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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