15 things to do in Japan in October

October is a great month to get out and about in Saitama, and all of Japan. The night time temperatures have cooled right down and by mid October the day time temperatures are cool and comfortable. The occurrence of typhoons also decreases, but do bear in mind that there have been some really large typhoons in October in the past. Including typhoon Hagibis in October 2019, which badly effected Saitama Prefecture. However, by and large, it is an excellent month to get outdoors and to enjoy all the month of October has to offer.

Here is a selection of 15 things you can do in Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo, in October 2022! The examples in this post are for the prefecture of Saitama, next to Tokyo, but the ideas can be applied to most of the prefectures in Japan.

15 things you enjoy in Japan in October

  1. Fireworks
  2. Traditional festivals
  3. Winter hanami
  4. Halloween events
  5. Night Illumination / Light up
  6. Anime and Manga events
  7. Seasonal food / Pop ups
  8. Ski!
  9. Camping
  10. Hiking
  11. Fruit Picking & Vegetable digging
  12. Flowers
  13. Autumn colors
  14. Outdoor activities
  15. Other events

More information for Saitama

(1) Fireworks

There are at least three firework displays on in the October of 2022. For the first time in three years, you can enjoy one of Japan’s largest and most exciting fireworks in Konosu City in October. And it is not the only fireworks display on this October. The popular Cosmos festival X Fireworks event is also back in Okabe this year. Moreover, the only Halloween fireworks in the Kanto plain are back in 2022 too.


(2) Traditional festivals

Several large scale traditional festivals are scheduled for 2022, for the the first time in three years. In fact, Tokorozawa festival will be on for the first time since 2018. Unfortunately several festivals, including Sakado Yosakoi, have remained cancelled. Here are three of the biggest on in 2022:


(3) Winter hanami

October 5th 2019 from the Kamikawa town tourism website

Picnic under cherry blossom trees in Kamikawa town in the most Northern part of Saitama. Yes, cherry blossom trees! Incredibly the winter sakura of Jomine park are not better known, but every year the stunning blooms open in October. For many years it was around the end of October, but in recent years its not uncommon for them to open earlier. Jomine Park normally light them up at night too:


(4) Halloween events

In the last few years the number of Halloween events have multiplied. Obviously, the pandemic threw a spanner in the works in 2020 and 2021. But thankfully there are loads of Halloween events scheduled for 2022! Here are the ones that I have got up on the blog so far and I will be adding more in the coming days!

  1. First up, one that is on today, October 1st, and it looks like a particularly nice event for children: For the first time in years – Halloween Fair at Pair Mall
  2. Urawa Misono Festival and Halloween Fireworks back in 2022
  3. Tobu Halloween Night Zoo and Autumn Night Zoo 2022
  4. A Halloween Lite at the Saitama Children’s Zoo in 2022
  5. Halloween events for children at the Museum of Rivers

There is also Halloween illumination, in the next section, and Halloween themed food events, see section 7.


(5) Night Illumination / Light Up

Night illumination in Saitama Prefecture in October and all year round at the TEamlab Acorn Forest
Night illumination all year round at TeamLab

Before the pandemic a few of the larger night illumination displays were switched on in October. However, unfortunately despite being outdoor events, many illumination displays were either completely cancelled or postponed until winter in 2021 and 2020. This year, there are already two confirmed for October and both are Halloween themed! And there is also a Lantern Night scheduled. In addition, there is the monthly light up at Oshi Castle tonight, October 1st. As well as the monthly hanachozu light up. Furthermore, there is light up each weekend at Tove Jansoon Akebono Children’s Forest. Please note that unlike the winter illumination, these light up events (with the exception of TeamLab and Saimyouji) are not on every night. The dates are provided in the linked articles.

Last year, 2021, Tokorozawa Sakura Town had Halloween Illumination. Currently, there is no mention of that on their official website. But they are having a Halloween event. Also, you can see illumination all year round, weather permitting, at Teamlab. However, it closes on two Tuesdays a month.

**Saitama October Guide**


(6) Anime and Manga events

Saitama’s largest anime and manga event is held annually in October. “AniTamaSai” will take place on October 22nd this year:

There is also a Marvel Avengers Station starting on October 8th at the EJ Anime museum:


(7) Seasonal Food / Pop up cafe

Seasonal flavors in October include sweet potato, chestnuts and pumpkin. You will find several restaurants with seasonal flavors on their menu. In addition, you can also find several restaurants that have Halloween themed offerings. For example, Shikitei in Omiya have their annual Halloween Afternoon Tea, as always. Also, every October in Saitama, Aeon Lake Town have a pop up cafe. This year it is a Gintama themed pop up that will start on October 7th and runs until November 10th. Information on the official website.


(8) Ski

Information for the 2022 – 2023 season has not yet been released, but usually the Sayama Indoor Ski Resort opens for the season in October. Generally the last week, but in 2021 it didn’t open until October 30th. Hopefully the dates will be released soon. In the meantime, general information:


(9) Camping

October is normally a great month to enjoy camping in Saitama and Japan in general. There are a number of places you can camp in Saitama, one of our picks of family friendly campsites is Nagatoro Autocamp. Nagatoro Autocamp has cabins too, some of them converted train carriages, so you can camp or glamp in comfort. There are fridges for rent and even a nursery on site making it a great place for a first family camping trip. More information:

If you’re not up for an overnight camp, or maybe don’t have the holidays for it, there are several places you can do a day camp in Saitama. One of the most popular posts on this blog, Kinomura Camp, have a day camp option. As indeed does Nagatoro Autocamp above. Take a look at the camping tag to find even more camping, glamping and cabin stay ideas for the Kanto area of Japan.


(10) Hiking

Like with camping, the temperate weather of October makes it a suitable month for enjoying hiking and other outdoor activities. Usually the train lines, particularly those that go to Hanno, Ogose or Chichibu have some sort of hiking rally and other hiking events. Ridgeline is an English language website with information for hiking trails all in the Tokyo area, including Saitama. On this blog you will find information for one of the most popular hiking trails for families and for Ghibli fans!


(11) Fruit picking

Komatsuzawa Leisure Fruit Picking farm in Yokoze town in Chichibu has fruit and vegetable picking almost all year round. In October you can normally pick grapes. However, due to the weather this year it maybe finished early. Please do check with the official website before heading out.

October is also potato and sweet potato digging season. There are dozens of places in Saitama where you can dig potatoes. Just because we were there recently I will suggest Arakawa Roadside station as one such place! Moreover, in Kawagoe there are seven places you can dig potatoes:

Six places for sweet potato picking in Kawagoe

(12) Flowers

October is a great, really great, month for flowers in Japan! Here is a selection of ten flowers you can see in Japan in October:

  1. Cosmos – a selection of ten places to see Cosmos in Saitama. However, please note that the post was written specifically for the pandemic when several cosmos fields were off limits. I hope to update it soon with even more places to enjoy cosmos this year.
  2. Autumn Roses – a selection of ten places for roses in Saitama Prefecture.
  3. Dahlia – Saitama’s famous Dahlia garden.
  4. Marigold – stunning marigold spot in Northern Saitama.
  5. Kochia
  6. Salvia
  7. Celosia
  8. Coleus
  9. Autumn Sunflowers
  10. Red buckwheat

…to name but a few! Red spider lilies used to bloom in early October, but in recent years they have been finishing up at the end of September.


(13) Autumn colors

November is known as the month for autumn leaves. Which is true for the tones of oranges and red. But you can see ‘Autumn colors’ in October. For example, many (but not all) of the gingko trees turn golden around mid October. Very generally speaking, avenues of gingko trees turn yellow in October, while stand along ‘giant’ gingko turn yellow much later. Often the end of November or early December. Another autumn sight you can enjoy in October is that of the pampas grass changing to golden around early to mid October. The Kochia mentioned in section 12 also change color in October, from green to pink to red.


(14) Outdoor Activities

There is so much you can enjoy outdoors during the month of October. The moderate temperature allows for physical and outdoor activity. On the flip side, it becomes a bit too cold to swim or play in the river, but there are some days its warm enough for a foot dip! Here are ten ideas of things to do outdoors in October:

  1. Rent a tuktuk in Nagatoro!
  2. Geocaching
  3. Rent a bike
  4. Have a barbecue
  5. Raft down the river
  6. Line kudari
  7. Funmock
  8. Sauna
  9. Go up in a hot air balloon!
  10. Sky dive!

(15) Events

In 2021 there were very few events on and in 2020 even fewer. But thankfully in 2022 there are a huge selection of events, some of which are mentioned in other sections above. Such as fireworks and festivals. But there are also dozens of other festivals on. There are also several exhibitions, such as the popular “Immersive Van Gogh” at Kadokawa Culture Museum. One of the more unique among October’s round up is the Ryusei Rocket Festival, a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan:


That is just some ideas for the month of October. What do you like to do in Autumn and / or October in your home country or the country you are living in now?

20181001

12 Comments

  1. Now I want to visit! The light illuminations look brilliant. My kids would love that. And I’m always a sucker for flower festivals. I really hope to make it to Japan sometime. Saving this list. 💙

    1. Author

      Woohoo, objective achieved 🙂 I really hope you get to visit one day. Night illuminations are one of my favourite things about Japan, so beautiful and different and something we don’t really have at home (Ireland), well not on this scale anyway. Thank you so much <3

  2. Wow there are so many cool activities you can do in Japan. What kind of fruit can you pick?? I love this list!!

    1. Author

      At this time of year you can pick grapes and we should be able to pick apples and “mikan” (Japanese orange) soon too. 🙂 Thank you so much for your warm comment <3

  3. All these things sound amazing! I would love to visit Japan someday. I’ve never been overseas, but I think Japan will be one of the first places I go!

    1. Author

      I have been a few places over the years but Japan is definitely still at the top of my list of the best places to visit, even though I’ve been here 18 years now. :-O Spain is a close second. 🙂

  4. these sound like SUCH a great idea- anything with fireworks, camping and skiing is always in my book! i def would love to visit someday!

    1. Author

      The problem with Japan is that there is TOOOOO much to do and see 🙂 18 years here now and still finding new adventures, things to do and places to go. <3

    1. Author

      Now just to find the time to do them all 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

    1. Author

      This is it, Japan keeps us active, busy and engaged 🙂 Don’t you miss it!!??

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