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
- Traditional festivals
- Winter hanami
- Halloween events
- Night Illumination / Light up
- Anime and Manga events
- Seasonal food / Pop ups
- Fruit Picking & Vegetable digging
- Autumn colors
- Outdoor activities
- Other events
More information for Saitama
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
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!
- 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
- Urawa Misono Festival and Halloween Fireworks back in 2022
- Tobu Halloween Night Zoo and Autumn Night Zoo 2022
- A Halloween Lite at the Saitama Children’s Zoo in 2022
- 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
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.
- Halloween night in the forest
- Autumn night zoo illumination
- Lantern night in Kawajima Town, more information coming soon!
- Stunning Night light up at the Floating Castle, aka Oshi Castle Ruins
- Hanachozu week: Floating flowers in the floating castle city!
- Tove Jansson Akebono Children’s Forest (Moomin Valley) and Light up
- Saimyouji Pink Ribbon Light Up for the month of October
- TeamLab Acorn Forest
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
- 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.
- Autumn Roses – a selection of ten places for roses in Saitama Prefecture.
- Dahlia – Saitama’s famous Dahlia garden.
- Marigold – stunning marigold spot in Northern Saitama.
- Autumn Sunflowers
- 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:
- Rent a tuktuk in Nagatoro!
- Rent a bike
- Have a barbecue
- Raft down the river
- Line kudari
- Go up in a hot air balloon!
- Sky dive!
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?