Wanna see the Japanese countrysides in their highest glory?
Then, October is the month for you. With the beginning of the autumn season, the temperature remains pleasant for sightseeing.
Apart from that, there are a bunch of other things to do in Japan in October that will leave you in awe.
So, hold your curiosity a little more and start going through every segment that I will mention from here.
- Related: Most Popular Festivals In Japan
15 Coolest Things to Do in Japan in October: A Complete Tour Guide
While travelling to Japan in October, there are loads of things that will keep you entertained such as fun festivals, great outdoor activities, delicious food, and the most awaited Halloween.
First of all, I will talk about all the festivals and events that take place in October in Japan.
Enjoy Traditional Festivals & Entertaining Events
Festivals and events are something that can’t be attended in another month. As they take place for a certain time, you shouldn’t miss any.
1. Witness The Craze of Takayama Autumn Festival
Many people wonder, when is the Takayama Festival held in Japan?
Maybe you are confused as to why I have mentioned such a question.
Well, it’s because this feast is held twice a year: once in spring (April 14th to 15th) and another in autumn (October 9th to 10th).
As it is one of Japan’s three most exciting festivals, visitors who travel in April and October don’t miss the opportunity to attend this feast.
The October one is organized by Hachiman Shrine, situated on the northern side of Takayama town.
The main attraction of this feast is dozens of decorated floats (yatai) displayed in the city’s streets. Some of these floats are adorned with sophistical mechanical dolls (Karakuri dolls) that can even dance!
Yes, they dance and groove to the music, and you are going to love each of their moves.
Don’t even think that the dolls will start doing hip hop or locking and popping dance! But, their moves can definitely please all ages of people from young to kids.
Anyway, a portable shrine is carried around the city during the two days of celebration.
When the puppet show and the parade keep the people amused, the nighttime has a totally different charm.
After the evening, the floats are covered with bright lanterns that make them look even more beautiful.
2. Experience The Horror of Halloween in Japan
Pumpkin lanterns that smile horrifically, dressing up as a witch, zombie, or vampire!
All these things come to your mind when thinking about Halloween, right?
Even though you can celebrate it in your own country, I suggest you experience the Japanese style.
In October, there are many Halloween events organized in our country. One of them is arranged by Tokyo Disney Resort.
Here you will see the iconic pumpkin decoration and various dressed-up Disney characters.
In case you are traveling to Japan with your children, and they love Disney characters, you should definitely take them here to meet their favorites.
There are many other places in Tokyo where Halloween is celebrated, such as Sumida Aquarium and Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa. And you can also attend the Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival.
However, my personal favorite place is Universal Studios Japan (USJ), where you can witness zombies roaming around the street after dark.
Hmm.. it seems like finally, you got something to be scared off!
Well, although these zombies are not as scary as the “Train to Busan” movie’s ones, luckily they know how to dance!
Yes, during the whole month of October, you can enjoy Zombie de Dance, an event where zombies dance to EDM music.
So, to witness this cool thing in Japan, just head to Osaka, where Universal Studios Japan is located.
3. Attend The Tokyo Ramen Show
My favorite type of men is Ramen!
Now don’t question my gender, and just know that I am a die-hard fan of ramen.
And, if you are like me, then the Tokyo Ramen Show is ready to satisfy your tummy with some mouth-watering ramen dishes.
It is the biggest ramen event in Japan that takes place in Komazawa Park, Tokyo. Only the finest ramen shops are qualified to present their ramen bowls at this event.
Therefore, you have the golden opportunity to taste the most delicious bowls from all over the country without traveling to the various regions.
Another interesting fact is you can even vote for your favorite ramen here.
Anyway, this event is divided into two rounds (24th to 29th October & 30th Oct to 4th Nov), and there will be several ramen booths during each segment.
There is no entry fee required for the venue, but you have to purchase Ramen Tickets to buy the bowls. And the tickets are being sold at the event site.
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4. Participate in Kyoto’s Festival of Ages
One of the good things about our Japan is although we are advanced in technology, we also know how to keep our culture alive for ages.
One of the examples is Jidai Matsuri (Festival of Ages), which has been celebrated from 1895 till this date.
Every year, this feast is held on 22nd October and is one of Kyoto’s three most famous festivals, along with Gion Matsuri (in July) & Aoi Matsuri (in May).
It features a large parade that travels from the Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine. The parade participants are dressed up in costumes from every period of Japan’s history.
Hence, it’s an excellent opportunity to watch the entire historical side of Japan in one go.
Besides, you will see famous historical figures, princesses, warriors, and commoners, all represented as well.
There are around 2000 participants each year, and it will take approximately two hours to watch the full parade pass by.
I will say if you plan to stay in Kyoto in October, you may attend this feast to experience the tradition of Japan.
5. Be A Part of The Kochia Carnival
One of the nice places to visit in October is Hitachi Seaside Park, situated in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Here you can see cute pom pom plants that are called “Kochia.”
From mid-September to mid-October, a popular seasonal event is held known as “Kochia Carnival.”
During this time, the Miharashi Hill in Hitachi Seaside Park is filled with 32,000 Kochia balls, creating spectacular scenery.
Although the Kochias can also be seen on summer days when they are in fresh green color, October is a perfect time if you want to watch them in full glory with a fire burning red color.
Another good thing is, besides Kochia, cosmos flowers are in full bloom in early to late October, and both of the fields are next to each other.
So, it seems like you have a scope of witnessing beautiful flowers and plants at the same time.
But, one important fact I want to share with you is that this park is extremely popular and gets crowded on weekends. It’s because everyone, including local people, comes to see the carnival during this time.
That’s why I recommend you visit there on weekdays to avoid most crowds.
6. Taste The Delicacies of Hokkaido Food Festival
Autumn in Japan is the season when we Japanese people celebrate the new harvest, which is also called “Autumn’s Appetite.”
It is the best time to try out various seasonal foods in Japan. Even a number of events are arranged in October to celebrate this food feast.
Among them, the largest fiesta is the Hokkaido Food Festival. It is an outdoor event organized in the first week of October for four days in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo.
Wait, wait, did you get confused when I said the location is Tokyo?
Well, it’s normal because even though the feast name represents Hokkaido, it actually takes place in Tokyo.
So, I hope you won’t mix up things and end up going to Hokkaido city!!
Anyway, talking about the event, you will find over 400 delicacies that are from Hokkaido.
Hence, just like the Ramen Show, you have another opportunity of tasting another region’s signature dishes within Tokyo.
From seafood to regional Ramen, you will definitely find something that will go with your taste and preferences.
7. Join The Nagasaki Kunchi Feast
Organized in the city of Nagasaki, this feast dates back to 1634. The event is held from October 7th to 9th to incorporate different aspects of Europe and Chinese cultures, which have played a role in Nagasaki’s history.
The main highlight of this fiesta is the dance performances by various teams representing various city districts of Nagasaki.
These teams perform on a rotating schedule of 7 years, so the performances are always unique & fresh, even for the local spectators.
You will see various types of performances involving a dragon dance or large floats. While some dance shows are quite calm and peaceful, others get hectic and wild.
Therefore, if you are an energetic and fun-loving person, maybe the wild one will hit you. And in case you are a calm person, the peaceful one is also there for you.
Now, if this festival seems exciting, you have to purchase tickets in advance as they may get sold out several weeks before the event date.
Yet, there are some locations where you can watch freely, but note that those areas get really crowded, and you have to secure a spot in the early morning.
8. Watch Some Wild Men Bouncing!!
I guess the title of this segment caught your attention!!
Well, why not? I think looking for something unique is the traveler’s first goal.
Therefore, when you visit Japan in October, Niihama Taiko Festival should be on your bucket list.
It’s because, during this feast, around 150 men bounce the 2 ton heavy floats with the rhythm of taiko drums.
The celebration takes place in mid-October (16th to 18th) on Shikoku Island and consists of about 47 floats shaped like giant taiko drums.
Every year nearly 250,000 spectators gather around to support these teams and cheer for them.
9. Enjoy The Breathtaking Tamagawa Fireworks Festival
Who said fireworks could only be enjoyed on new year’s eve?
When you are in Japan, expect a festive mood and glittering atmosphere every season. You can watch fireworks in both summer and autumn.
In October, numerous fireworks events are held across the country, but a remarkable one is the Tamagawa Fireworks Festival.
The event date varies each year, so please check out beforehand.
During the event, about 6,000 fireworks are held along the banks of the Tama River near Futakotamagawa Station.
All these fireworks light up the sky and create a breathtaking view.
The local couples are often seen in such events, so you may consider taking your partner too.
Try Out Some Fun Activities in Japan
You are coming to Japan and not trying out some fun & adventurous activities; it can’t happen.
Now, check out these must-do Japan activities in October.
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10. Catch A Glimpse of The Spectacular Autumn Leaves
Just imagine yourself strolling through a place where you are surrounded by shiny gold, yellow and red leaves.
And those leaves are falling on you like a movie scene!
Well, maybe you are craving for such a scene to happen with you.
So, it’s time to come out from the dream and capture some instagrammable moments under these falling autumn leaves.
You may know that cherry blossom viewing is one of the famous things about Japan, but nowadays, autumn leaf viewing has become popular too.
Even it has special words associated with it, like “Koyo” which means red leaves & “Momiji-gari” meaning red leaf hunting.
Now the question is, where will you go to witness these colorful leaves, right?
Well, in October, highly recommended autumn foliage viewing locations are, Kamikochi (in Nagano), Arashiyama (in Kyoto), Nikko, Nara, and Kawaguchiko (in Fuji Five Lakes area).
Apart from them, Hokkaido also ranks high on our list. Here you can visit Hiraoka Jugei Center, Blue Pond, Onneto Lake, and Jozankei to catch a glimpse of these colorful leaves.
11. Explore Some Adventurous Hiking Trails
While looking for pure adventures in Japan, hiking hits my mind at first.
And, you should thank the excellent weather of October that provides you with the perfect hiking opportunity. From picturesque islands to rugged mountains, diverse trekking trails are available in Japan.
One great thing is you don’t even need to travel in the wilderness to find exceptional hiking trails. In fact, with a day trip from major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, you can easily enjoy hiking.
One of the easy hiking destinations is Mount Takao, within one hour from central Tokyo. You may choose either Omotesando or Biwa Waterfall Trail as both are paved and well maintained.
Mout. Oyama is also popular, where you can enjoy beautiful nature along with gorgeous autumn leaves.
Now, for those who want tougher and off the beaten paths, you may go for Nakasendo Trail and Futabanosato Trail.
12. Plan A Cycling Tour at Shimanami Kaido Route
No one can be sad while riding a cycle. There is an unknown pleasure when the cool breeze touches your skin. You feel wild and free at the same time.
With a bunch of your friends or even alone, you can plan a cycling tour at the Shimanami Kaido route.
It is one of the ideal cycling routes in Japan that attracts cyclists from around the world.
While going through this stunning route, you will cross over seven bridges, the Seto Inland Sea, and six small islands.
The good thing is that bridge tolls are all free for cyclists, and there are English signs for foreigners.
Although you can bring your own bike here, I suggest you rent one from the terminals situated on Shimanami Kaido.
And the rental fee is approximately 1,000 yen per day. Several types of bicycles are available, such as tandem bikes, electrical cycles, and kids’ bicycles.
So, there are suitable options for everyone, and you may also plan this tour with your family.
Don’t Miss Out The Best Places to Visit in Japan in October
Till now, I only described festivals and outdoor activities. But what about those who are on the hunt for pure natural beauty?
Well, here is your serving, so dig on it.
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13. Travel to Iya Valley, A Secret Place in Tokushima!
Most travelers think Japan is all about Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka. And that’s how they miss some of the less discovered places of this country.
One such example is Iya Valley, which is situated on the island of Shikoku in the Tokushima Province.
Although it’s a remote place, trust me, your journey will be well worth it. The Iya Valley area is surrounded by mountains and equipped with several vine bridges.
From October to November is the best time to explore this valley, because during this time you will see its peak beauty.
For a thrilling and adventurous feel, you can hike the bridges just like the locals do. First, head uphill and try the Oku Iya Niju Kazura double vine bridge to enjoy the breathtaking environment.
Then go for the Iya Kazurabashi, which is one of the three rarest bridges in Japan. Even the most daredevil persons quake in their boots while crossing this bridge.
So, if you are a scaredy-cat, you may avoid it. Otherwise, go for it without any hesitation.
However, don’t worry about the safety, because the bridge is well maintained and is rebuilt every 3 years.
Now, you obviously won’t come this far only to enjoy nature and outdoor activities, right?
Well, in such a case, a visit to Hotel Iya onsen is gonna fulfill your heart’s lust. You can take a 5 minutes cable car tour to this hotel and take a glimpse of the spectacular autumn colors of the valley.
In the onsen, you will surely find the utter serenity of an open-air bath with the flowing river alongside.
Nothing but the sound of wind crinkling in the trees and the singing of birds will keep your mind calm.
14. Drop By The Lake Daigenta
Another top place in Japan to travel in October is Lake Daigenta, situated near the Yuzawa Ski Park in Niigata.
Here, you will be able to see colorful autumn leaves reflected on the lake’s pristine surface.
This area also offers hiking, taking a boat ride, and camping opportunities. As there are several campsites in this place, you don’t have to worry about any inconvenience.
15. Visit Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido
Hokkaido’s Daisetsuzan National Park is one of the most beautiful sights in Japan. Luckily, this area hits its peak charm in early October.
As this park is huge, I suggest you explore it by joining a ropeway tour.
There is also a hot spring resort named Asahidake Onsen that is located at the bottom of Mt Asahidake. Here you can enjoy the relaxing bath as well as the greenery view of the outside.
Alright, by far, I have given a guide on what to do in Japan in October.
However, you need to learn about some other things associated with October, such as weather conditions, costs, and crowd.
And that’s what I am gonna discuss from now on.
Japan’s Weather in October
The weather in Japan in October is kinda warm but not too hot. Rainfall is very low this month throughout the country, making October one of the best months to visit Japan.
Look at the following chart to learn the average temperature in Japan in October.
As you can see, major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Kyoto have warmer days, but the nighttime temperature drops low.
In Sapporo (capital of Hokkaido), the temperature is much cooler than in the other regions.
However, Okinawa still remains hot in October but not as heated as in July or August.
But, without any doubt, the overall weather is suitable for traveling. If you prefer moderate temperature and a dry environment, October is an excellent time to plan your trip to Japan.
What to Wear in Japan in October?
While going to Japan in October, you need to be prepared with both light and warm clothes.
As you already know, the temperature drops during the morning and evening, you have to pack accordingly.
So, here’s a list of basic things you will need.
- Lightweight cotton tops.
- Long-sleeved shirts.
- Light jackets or sweaters.
- Long pants or skirts.
- Rainproof jacket or umbrella.
- Woolen light scarf.
- Light gloves.
- Comfy closed shoes and socks.
- Heavier jacket (required while going to Hokkaido or the mountain area).
- Hiking boots (if you want to go hiking).
Besides the clothes, don’t forget your travel document, mobile charger, power bank, camera, mini first aid kit, travel size backpack, toothbrush, and necessary skincare product.
Tourist Statistics & Expected Cost
Because of the pleasant weather in October, foreign visitors come to Japan during this time.
Also, the arrival of the autumn season makes this month more special.
Especially in Hokkaido, Tohoku region, and mountain areas, the atmosphere is suitable, and the nature is breathtaking during October.
In fact, anywhere you can see the fall foliage will get busy with visitors.
Moreover, the regions like Tokyo and Kyoto are always crowded because these cities are filled with loads of attractions.
In late October, Kyoto sees more travelers because of the Jidai Festival, and that’s why hotel prices get a bit higher than usual.
Thus, I suggest you book your accommodation in advance for your good.
Anyway, if you are afraid of the crowd, I want to clarify something.
Firstly, festivals are all about gathering and celebrating, so you should not bother with this situation.
On the other hand, the crowd in Japanese tourist places is not over the top, and you can always enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Finally, our long discussion on things to do in Japan in October comes to an end.
I hope you have gathered enough information regarding this topic and are now fully prepared to decide on your bucket list.
Lastly, I wanna thank you for staying with me till the end and wish you an exciting experience in Japan.