17 Things To Do in Tokyo This Halloween Weekend: October 30 – November 1

Tokyo Weekender's guide to the best events, activities and things to do in the city this weekend

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Halloween is finally among us, and for those looking for a list filled to the brim with Halloween-themed events, look no further than our Halloween event round-up. But since there’s a lot more going on in Tokyo than Halloween, we have also blended in a few non-Halloween events with this weekend’s round-up for those who aren’t quite in the mood yet.

On this week’s agenda, we have a traditional “How To Make” Hanko live tutorial stream, a film festival, a few exhibitions and a few events for those with a sweet tooth — and, last but not least, our very own spooky Halloween Live House! Online or offline, let’s safely enjoy this Halloween weekend together.

Last year, we collaborated with Kamakura Hanko to produce a series of articles presenting what a hanko is and why it is culturally significant for Japan. This year, we’ll be showing you the behind the scenes of how hanko is made from scratch via an exclusive free online stream tutorial. Watch the making of a hanko process, discover fun facts about it (you’ll get to see what the emperor’s hanko looks like, too) and dive into its history and tradition as you watch a hanko craftsman work his magic. More good news — keep your ears peeled for interesting information during the live stream and test your knowledge at our follow-up online quiz on the TW website for a chance to win your own hanko-making experience! 

When: Oct. 31, 2020, 12:30 – 13:00
Where: Online Streaming via Tokyo Weekender’s Facebook page

2. Tokyo Weekender x ROPPONGI TSUTAYA BOOKS Sake Fair

Dip back into Japanese sake and food culture without putting yourself at risk. Until November 6, we welcome you to stop by into the pop-up TW Lounge, hosted in a chic space on the second floor of ROPPONGI TSUTAYA BOOKS, where you’ll be able to sample carefully crafted sake and food. A variety of sake brands from around the country will be participating, giving you the opportunity to discover new flavors — or perhaps fall back in love with a few old favorites. Find more information about the Sake Fair here.

When: Every day until Nov. 06, 2020
Where: ROPPONGI TSUTAYA BOOKS, ROPPONGI HILLS Roppongi Keyakizaka Street, 6-11-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

We are throwing an online Halloween bash to remember for the October episode of TW Live House. Once again Tokyo Weekender’s favorite Japan-based performing artists recorded songs at their home for us to share with the TW audience staying at home on a Saturday night. It wouldn’t be Halloween without some creepy-crawlies, so we have a celebrity bug snack taste challenge that will make your skin crawl – and your heart swoon.

When: Oct. 31, 2020, 22:00 – 23:00
Where: Online Streaming on Tokyo Weekender’s Facebook page

Dress up in your spookiest outfit and float down to this special Halloween edition of Tokyo Love hotels. With a large gathering of local and international talents, Tokyo LoveHotels always creates a night filled with art, music, experiences and love. By providing a free space for artists to sell or exhibit their works, Tokyo LoveHotels supports the art world in Tokyo, and you can too by attending Tokyo LoveHotels Vol 18.

When: Oct. 31, 2020, 19:00 – 01:00
Where: Sankeys PENTHOUSE 6-28-6 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo

5. Autumn Rose Festival at Jindai Botanical Gardens

Jindai Botanical Gardens is opening its doors early (8:00 instead of 9:30 which is the usual time) on weekends during its Autumn Rose Festival, which ends on Saturday, October 31st. At this beautiful botanical garden, over 300 types of rose flowers bloom every year, filling the air with their fresh aroma, especially potent in the morning. Order their Jindai Rose Softcream which is not only flavorful but has a soft pink color, perfect for those instagram posts as well! *Please note that doors open at 9:30 on weekdays.

When: Until Oct. 31, 2020, 08:00 – 17:00
Where: Jindai Botanical Gardens, 5-31-10 Jindaiji Motomachi, Chofu, Tokyo

Halloween at Sumida Aquarium is an event that features special Halloween-themed decorations and desserts, open to visit until the 1st of November. The popular Kaleidoscope Tunnel is a long slope with about five thousand mirrors lined up on the ceiling, reflecting the ‘Jellyfish and Halloween’ exhibition on display. The jellyfish swim with light decorations in the shape of witches and jack-o-lanterns, making them look as if they are ghosts dancing on Halloween. For those of you who are visiting after 6pm, the area transforms into a Halloween Horror Tunnel where the lights change from orange at daylight to blood-red at nighttime.

When: Oct. 01, 2020 – Nov. 01, 2020
Where: Sumida Aquarium 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

Enjoy a Sleeping Beauty-themed dessert buffet at the Gramercy House, on the 2nd floor of THE STRINGS Omotesando. Their fairy-colored Mont Blanc cakes, witch’s castle chocolate mousse and tiara decorations make you feel as if you’ve entered a world of magic. Also, don’t forget to grab the tarte and panna cotta, made from Ibaraki brand ‘Earl’s Melon’  only available during Autumn! To secure your seats at the buffet, you can make a reservation from here.

When: Sep. 19, 2020 – Nov. 13, 2020
Where: The Strings Omotesando 3-6-8 Kitaaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Toyama is known for many things, beautiful mountains, trams but most importantly amazing fresh fish. The seafood in Toyama are deliciously fresh pulled from the port located a short 30mins from the center of Toyama. These freshly caught jewels of the sea will be brought to Tokyo Station for this Taste of Toyama Autumn Event.

When: Oct. 01, 2020 – Oct. 31, 2020
Where: Tokyo Station 1-9 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Get ready for the sweetest afternoon buffet at the Westin Hotel Tokyo! Located on the first floor of the hotel is The Terrace, an international restaurant that is currently holding a weekday-only chocolate dessert buffet. Chocolate desserts at The Terrace change monthly, offering over 500 variations in 2months. You can go for the 2-hour course, or 2.5 hours for an extra time of indulgence.

When: Oct. 01, 2020 – Nov. 30, 2020
Where: Westin Hotel Tokyo 1-4-1 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

10. Photo Exhibition: “SHINING WOMAN #cancerbeauty”

“SHINING WOMAN #cancerbeauty” is a portrait project dedicated to women who currently are or have battled cancer at some point in their lives. Japanese photographer Hideka Tonomura travels across Japan to meet women willing to share the scars of their cancer treatment to raise awareness of the social stigma against cancer patients and specifically women suffering from it. The project also wants to send the message that women can coexist with cancer and emerge from the illness stronger physically and emotionally. In this first round of exhibiting the project, Tonomura and Zen Foto Gallery will display the photographs of nearly 30 women. Read more about how the project started in this article.

When: Until Nov. 21, 2020, 12:00 – 19:00
Where: Zen Foto Gallery, 6−6−9 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
A special exhibition looking at the sexual activities of sea creatures returns to Sunshine Aquarium. This year’s installment of the aquarium’s sex-focused evening event promises an even sexier time, with pink neon lighting, interactive hands-on exhibits and plenty of fascinating courting and copulating facts. Ever wondered how fish get frisky? Or are you curious about otters in love? You can even experience the scent and feel of parts of various cute (or slippery…) creatures. In addition, limited exhibition goods will be on sale, including boxer shorts, original pink energy drinks and condoms!
When: Sep. 12, 2020 – Nov. 05, 2020
Where: Sunshine Aquarium 1-3 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku

Yamada’s first solo exhibition works with motifs and themes of “faceless” figures and “blind” faith” were inspired by the gods of various religions around the world. The sculptures of masked gods in the series of ceramic and bronze works express the artist’s unique religious and life views.

When: Oct. 21, 2020 – Nov. 02, 2020
Where: Takashimaya Shinjuku 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku

A flea market that takes you back to Japan’s golden age, offering an abundance of retro treasures bursting with vibrant color and unique style. Time to get nostalgic for the good old days, specifically the Showa Era, from 1926-1989 when post-war Japan sped forward into modern times. Browse vintage objects and ephemera, from rare collectibles to throwback oddities, including furniture, records, textiles, accessories, toys, signs and more. This is a specialist flea market so don’t expect rock-bottom prices, but any retro enthusiasts will, at the very least, find this a visual treat well worth the admission fee.

When: Oct. 31, 2020 – Nov. 01, 2020, 11:00 – 16:00
Where: Mensho Kaikan 8-10 Nihonbashitomizawacho, Chuo City, Tokyo

From Saturday, October 31, a “BEST of YUSUKE NAKAMURA” exhibition will be held at Gallery AaMo. Yusuke Nakamura is a popular illustrator known for designing CD jackets for rock band ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, as well as the book covers for “Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de” and “The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl.”

When: Oct. 31, 2020 – Dec. 13, 2020
Where: Gallery AaMo Tokyo Dome City, 1-3-61 Kokuraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Model maniacs flock to Makuhari Messe for this one day “garage kit” hobbyist extravaganza! Dealers, creators, makers, cosplayers and fans of plastic and resin model kits and figurines congregate at the event for exhibitions, sales booths, workshops and more. Lovers of anime, manga and game characters have a chance to see and buy rare and custom figures, as well as full kits, parts and accessories. Exhibitors range from amateurs to artisans and even professional manufacturers get involved in this frenzy of 3D rendering. This is far from a typical toy show (and note that a large percentage of the figures are not suitable for children!), but if you’re curious about the modeling phenomenon or just Japanese hobby culture in general, then it’s certainly an eye-opening day out.

When: Nov. 01, 2020, 10:00 – 17:00
Where: Makuhari Messe 2-1 Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba
 

This year marks the 33rd edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), the only Japanese film festival accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF). One of the leading film festivals in Asia, TIFF seeks out excellent films from around the world and brings them to Tokyo, where filmmakers and film fans can enjoy them, meet young filmmakers and be inspired. For the screening schedule and participating locations, please check the event website. For our top 5 recommendations, see this article.

When: Oct. 31, 2020 – Nov. 09, 2020
Where: Various Locations

Enjoy beer and fine food underneath the starry sky at this luxury hotel with beautiful scenery. Forest Inn Showakan is part of the Showa-no-mori resort town located in Akishima, west Tokyo. During the summer months through early fall, the hotel’s restaurant Centro offers a special beer garden course including all you can eat food and two hours of free drinks, served on the outdoor terrace with stunning garden views. The restaurant is open to hotel guests and day-trippers alike, but advance reservations are highly recommended.

When: Until Oct. 31, 2020
Where: Forest Inn Showakan Showa no Mori, Akishima-shi, Tokyo

For more event recommendations, see our recently revamped event listing page. Got an event to share? Let us know at [email protected]

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