November 2018: Top Cheapo Events Around Japan

Lily Crossley-Baxter

Things are getting chilly now that it’s November—but there’s plenty to do to keep you distracted and even warm you up, from fire-walking to ramen festivals!

gion odori november
Photo by Nullumayulife used under CC

Gion Odori – Kyoto

This is the only one of the different Kyoto dance performances that takes place in autumn rather than spring, so if you missed the earlier performances you’re in luck. There are 10 days to see geisha at the Gion Kaikan near Yasaka Shrine and two performances on each day.

 Gion Odori

Dates:1st Nov–10th Nov, 2019

Hiroshima Ramen Stadium – Hiroshima

Hakata ramen
Hakata ramen | Photo by Richard, enjoy my life! used under CC

If you’re a ramen fiend, there’s nowhere else you need to be this week—with countless options for ramen and each bowl only costing ¥750!

 Hiroshima Ramen Stadium 2019

Dates:Early Nov, 2019

Karatsu Kunchi Festival – Saga

Photo by Matt used under CC

This is Karatsu Shrine’s main festival as well as being one of the most popular in the prefecture. Be sure to catch the Hikiyama floats which can reach up to 7 meters in height and weigh between 2-4 tons. The best part is on the second day, where the floats are carried across the beach, often getting stuck in the sand.

 Karatsu Kunchi Festival

Dates:2nd Nov–4th Nov, 2019
Entry:Free

Ninja Wifi is the biggest provider of rental pocket wifi devices to international visitors coming to Japan. They also have the most pick-up points. click here for details
 Suggested Activity 

Nigohachi Festival – Shiga


A small festival is an autumnal celebration in Higashiomi. The road will be closed from the Higashiomi city office so that the large market can take over the street. There will be games and activities and plenty for families as well as food and drinks too.

 Nigohachi Festival

Dates:Early Nov, 2019
Entry:Free

Hiwatari Fire Walking Festival – Hiroshima

Fire walking | Photo by Edomuranotokuzou used under CC

Held on the Island of Miyajima at Itsukushima Shrine, this is a chance to see an age-old tradition in one of the most famous places in Japan. You’re welcome to take part but don’t be surprised if you walk away singed!

 Hi-watari (Ritual Fire Walking) Festival at Daigan-ji Temple

Dates:3rd Nov, 2019
Entry:Free

Ube Festival – Yamaguchi

Ube Festival | Photo by Isado

Held on the shores on the Seto Inland Sea since 1933, this local festival features a parade, two stages and a gourmet zone,. The main day is on Sunday, with a pre-festival taking place the evening before.

 Ube Festival

Dates:Early Nov, 2019
Entry:Free

Utsunomiya Gyoza Festival – Tochigi

Photo by kimishowota used under CC

Held in a city renowned for its gyoza (dumplings), there’s no better festival if you’re a lover of the delicious delights often found as extras to your steaming bowl of ramen. With one plate costing only ¥100, you can afford to indulge!



 Utsunomiya Gyoza Festival

Dates:Early Nov, 2019

Shitennoji Wasso Festival – Osaka

Enjoy a parade of over 1,000 traditionally costumed people as they chant ‘wasso’  and march through the streets. Meaning ‘I came’ in Korean, the chant is used to remember all those who have come to Japan from across Asia. The outfits are accurate reconstructions and the event is held at Naniwa no Miya as this is where people would have landed when they arrived.

 Shitennoji Wasso Festival

Dates:Early Nov, 2019
Entry:Free

Ishigaki-jima Festival – Okinawa



This local festival takes place in Ishigaki City and combines a wide range of performances and attractions  including live music, a bench-press challenge and stage performances, with a firework display to close celebrations.

 Ishigaki-jima Festival

Dates:5th Nov–6th Nov, 2019
Entry:Free

Tokushima Yokai Festival – Tokushima

A unique event taking place at an elementary school in Miyoshi—this festival has local delicacies as well as a marching band made up of yokai (supernatural monsters). The town is famed for the supernatural monsters from Japanese folklore and this unusual event is too good to miss if you’re in the area.

 Tokushima Yokai Festival

Dates:Late Nov, 2019
Entry:Free

Arashiyama Momiji Festival – Kyoto

Arashiyama Maple Festival
Photo by Derek Holtham used under CC

Celebrate autumn while you explore one of the most famous bamboo forests in Japan with this stunning fall festival. Boats parade along the river with costumed performers elaborately dressed as members of the Heian period. They will perform Noh theater and play musical instruments to entertain the crowds.

 Arashiyama Momiji Festival

Dates:Mid Nov, 2019
Entry:Free

November Grand Sumo Tournament – Fukuoka

Photo by Julian used under CC

A great opportunity to see the last major sumo tournament of the year, this 15-day competition ends with an eventual champion. It’s busier on the first days, the middle weekend and the last few days—otherwise it should be quite easy to get unreserved tickets.

 November Grand Sumo Tournament

Dates:10th Nov–24th Nov, 2019

Fashion’s Night Out – Osaka


Vogue’s annual shopping and fashion extravaganza has a Kansai version, and will be held at the Hankyu Umeda Honten and the Hankyu Men’s Osaka stores for two nights—while Tokyo only got one! There are special guests, plenty of entertainment and, of course, lots of shopping to be done!

 Fashion's Night Out Osaka 2019

Dates:Mid Nov, 2019
Entry:Free

Mammoth Flea Market – Aichi

Photo by Chris Gladis used under CC

Organized by TV Aichi, this is a large market which happens twice a year and was started back in 1994. With over 1,500 booths, 30,000 keen bargain-hunters are expected and there will be entertainment including local celebrities. Tickets are required, with two prices—one for earlier entry at 9am and one for 10am, both available for advance purchase.

 Mammoth Flea Market Z (Autumn)

Dates:Mid Nov, 2019
Entry:¥500 – ¥1,300

Okinawa International Carnival – Okinawa

Photo by Nguyen Hung Vu used under CC

With over 30 different nationalities at home in Okinawa, this festival is a varied and impressive display of them all. With previous years of samba dancing, live music, karate and tug-of-war too as well as food stalls from all over the world.

 Okinawa International Carnival

Dates:Late Nov, 2019
Entry:Free
Written by:
Filed under: Things to Do
Tags: Activities, Autumn, Events, Family, Featured, Festivals, Food, November, Sumo
Japan Cheapo small logo





Get the best Japan Cheapo hacks direct to your inbox



Questions or comments about this article? Start a thread on our community forum