Autumn and winter is a prime time to be in Tokyo, not only because it's the season for koyo but also because the city throws itself full force into a bevy of fun fall events. Here are our picks to make the most of your autumn visit...
1) Try sake outdoors
Now in its third year, the Oedo Sake Festival brings brewers of nihonshu, known outside of Japan as sake, from around the country to Kanamono-dori Street in Kanda for a fun day of tastings, performances, food pairings and more tastings. After all, it would be unthinkable to come to Japan and not try some of the national beverage!
November 7, 1pm-7pm, Kanamono-dori, 2 Iwamotocho, Chiyoda-ku.
2) Have high tea on the terrace
Photo courtesy of Grand Hyatt Tokyo
The outdoor terrace of The French Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt is always a great location in fine weather, but even more so when you can enjoy one of their unique afternoon teas. Currently, they are offering a menu featuring Parisian tea maker JANAT's French Oak tea, which uses leaves matured in traditional oak barrels from Champagne to give it a smoky flavor. The food tips its hat to the tea's French provenance with salmon rilletes, mini croissants with ham and cheese, leek and mushroom quiche and opera cakes, plus a recreation of the cheesecake served at the opening of the Eiffel Tower. Très bon!
Thursday to Sunday, 3pm-5:30pm, until February 29, French Kitchen: Grand Hyatt Tokyo 2F, 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku, restaurants.tokyo.grand.hyatt.com
3) Get to know noh
Noh is one of the traditional performing arts of Japan, with a history going back about 700 years. This month, Arts Council Tokyo is hosting an event called 'Noh Theater: Beyond Words, Beyond Borders', which will offer not just the rare chance to see English performances of classic noh scenes but also a schedule of interactive lectures and experiences to help international audiences appreciate noh in a global context. The event will also feature an English kyogen, a comic interlude traditionally performed between acts of a noh play.
Nov 21, from 12 noon, peformance at 2pm. Kita Noh Theatre, 4-6-9 Kami-osaki, Shinagawa-ku, tixee.tv (website only in Japanese)
4) See the cutting edge of design
Photo courtesy of Tokyo Design Week / teamLab
Tokyo Design Week 2015, a tradeshow that presents the best of current Japanese design, art, fashion and music, turns 30 this year. The event, which actually runs two weeks, will include exhibitions, performances, art installations, networking events, pop-up shops and other fun for creators and design aficionados. Plus a robot show!
October 24 - November 3, Various locations, tokyodesignweek.jp
5) Combine Kubrick with classic music
2001: A Space Odyssey
Fans of film and fans of the symphony finally have an event they can agree on. Bunkamura's Orchard Hall will be screening an uncut version of the classic sci-fi movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ to the live accompaniment of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus.
November 25, 7pm - November 26, 2pm, Bunkamura, 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, www.bunkamura.co.jp
6) Break a sweat for a good cause
Run for the Cure © Joy Fajardo
Now that the hot, sticky heat of summer has waned, it's an ideal time to check out the jogging course around the Imperial Palace. You can even do it for charity at the Run for the Cure Foundation's popular annual event to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. Participants can choose from 10K or 5K runs or a 5K walk. There will also be live entertainment, food trucks and a raffle to enjoy even if you come just to cheer on the participants.
November 28, registration online until the 25th, day of registration also possible. Hibiya Park, 1 Hibiyakoen, Chiyoda-ku, runforthecure.org