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 12 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.

12 things you enjoy in Japan in October

  1. Halloween
  2. Night Illumination / Light up
  3. Seasonal food / Food festivals
  4. Winter hanami
  5. Ski!
  6. Camping
  7. Hiking
  8. Fruit Picking & Vegetable digging
  9. Flower viewing and picking
  10. Autumn colors
  11. Outdoor activities
  12. Events

(1) Halloween

You will find Halloween decorations in shops and malls all over Japan. The malls in particular tend to have photo spots, where you can take a nice Halloween photo. The 100 yen stores have a great selection of Halloween goods, but please note they tend to be put on the shelves in September and taken off them before Halloween. Moreover, in the last few years the number of Halloween events have multiplied. There are loads of Halloween events scheduled for 2023. Here are some of the bigger Halloween events, but you will find dozens more here. You will also find Halloween illumination, in the next section, and Halloween themed food events in section 3.

  1. Halloween Fireworks
  2. A Halloween Hot Air Balloon Ride!
  3. Halloween Night Zoo
  4. Day of the Dead Halloween
  5. Misato Halloween Fes

(2) 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, although the illumination events came back in force in 2022, they didn’t start until later in the year. Thankfully though, there is an Halloween illumination event and also a Lantern Night, with fancy dress, scheduled. Moreover, Seibuen and Tobu Zoo will actually start their illumination in October this year. In addition, there is the monthly light up at Oshi Castle and two other locations in Gyoda. 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 Saimyouji) are not on every night. The dates are provided in the linked articles.

An important update regarding the last one in the list, Teamlab Acorn Forest, from this week it will no longer open daily. It will only open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

**Saitama October Guide**


(3) Seasonal Food / Food events

Seasonal flavors in October include sweet potato, chestnuts and pumpkin. You will find several restaurants with seasonal flavors on their menu. In addition, there are several food festivals, such as the craft gyoza food festival in early October. Furthermore, you can also find several restaurants that have Halloween themed offerings. For example, Shikitei in Omiya have their annual Halloween Afternoon Tea, as always. Meanwhile, in the Kawagoe Prince Hotel, their October afternoon in 2023 is sweet potato themed. Its sweet potato picking season too, see (8) for places to dig sweet potatoes.


(4) 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, which has not been confirmed for 2023. BUT, they have confirmed they will have their winter cherry blossom festival for the first time in four years:


(5) Ski – unfortunately not in 2023

Update October 10th 2023. Unfortunately in 2023 Sayama Ski Resort have decided to wait until November to open. 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:


(6) 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.


(7) 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!


(8) 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

(9) Flower viewing and picking

Cock's comb Shinrin Park at Undo Hiroba

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.
  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 – a location in Saitama City with a particularly beautiful display.
  6. Salvia
  7. Celosia aka Cockscomb, pictured above, photo taken at this location.
  8. Coleus
  9. Autumn Sunflowers – in 2023 most of the Autumn sunflowers finished early, but you will be able to see them in early October at this location.
  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. However, in 2023, they were late, so you should be able to see them in early October too. You will find dozens of red spider lily locations here.


(10) 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.


(11) Outdoor Activities

There is so much you can enjoy outdoors during the month of October. Some fruit picking and vegetable picking included in (8). 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 or take a boat down the river
  6. Line kudari
  7. Funmock
  8. Sauna
  9. Go up in a hot air balloon!
  10. Sky dive!

(12) Events

There are dozens of events on each year in October. Including Halloween events, fireworks (at least 7 displays in 2023) and traditional festivals. There are also several exhibitions and National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan events. There are so many events on, I’ve done a round up just for the month of October:



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

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

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