My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: October 19, 2023
While the whole of autumn is a great time to visit Tokyo, the brilliant hues of the fall foliage are at their most vibrant in November. This is the best time of the year to see the beautiful rows of ginkgo trees at Meiji Jingu Gaien and the flowers of the Chrysanthemum Exhibition at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. In addition to these natural highlights, November is a great month to take in cultural events, like the Tori-no-ichi Fair in Asakusa.
The average temperature is around 13ºC (55°F) during the day, and 4ºC (39°F) at night. Early November tends to be a bit warmer. Temperatures may fluctuate a bit during the day, and the evenings can get a bit chilly. It's a good idea to wear a lightweight jacket or sweater—especially in late November. November is relatively dry, with 96 mm (3.7 in) of rainfall on average.
In November the foliage reaches a peak of beauty, making this the best time to enjoy the autumn leaves in Tokyo. Visitors who want to appreciate this picturesque beauty can do so from many locations throughout the capital, including Meiji Jingu Gaien (Outer Garden), Hibiya Park, Yoyogi Park, and Rikugien Gardens.
Mt. Takao, a popular hiking location less than an hour from Shinjuku Station, hosts the Mt. Takao Autumn Leaves Festival every November. Visitors can enjoy various performances and events throughout the festival, and also try local dishes such as the famous Mt. Takao grated yam soba.
Note: Please check the website for more details and schedule information.
For more information on how to enjoy autumn at Mt. Takao, please watch this introductory YouTube video.
Tori-no-ichi Fairs are held every November at shrines and temples on dates that the traditional lunar calendar designates as days of the rooster. People wish for health, good fortune, and prosperity. Merchants also sell beautiful kumade (ornamental rakes) decorated in gold and silver. In Tokyo, you can participate in the festivities by visiting areas such as Asakusa, Shinjuku, and Fuchu. The exciting atmosphere and wonderful items available for sale are imbued with the energy of old Tokyo.
From November 1 to 15, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden hosts an annual Chrysanthemum Flower Beds Exhibition. Chrysanthemums have been cultivated in Japan for centuries and have been displayed at Shinjuku Gyoen since the 1920s. This tradition is associated with the imperial family, and has been carried on to this day through this event. Brilliant displays are guaranteed.
Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, using sports equipment and musical instruments in the garden are prohibited. Please check the Shinjuku Gyoen website for the most up-to-date information on the garden's opening hours.
The Kokubunji Festival is Kokubunji City's largest annual event. With a focus on people, industry, and commerce, the festival offers a wide range of events. Visitors can experience parades, live traditional music, and other stage performances. Kokubunji residents also sell homemade goods and refreshments at booths, making the festival a great opportunity to meet some local people.
The Dream Yosacoy Festival, a dance festival held in early November, is one of Tokyo's biggest annual events. Any group that wishes to perform may do so, regardless of nationality, age, or gender. Thousands of unique groups dance at multiple venues across Tokyo. The wonderful routines and exciting atmosphere make this a must-see event.
The Hachioji Ginkgo Festival is a perfect occasion to admire the area's beautiful ginkgo trees. Over 700 of them decorate the area around the Koshu Kaido road. Take in the crisp autumn air while you collect stamps or brands (on a wooden plaque) at 12 local checkpoints. Enjoy the local delicacies available at the festival's stalls. However you choose to take part in the festival, you're guaranteed to have a great time.