The bell has been rung, champagne has been drunk and osechi has been eaten—now what? Unless you plan to brave the crowds to get your hands on a “lucky bag” or get early dibs on the January sales, there is an interesting selection of activities to do around the city. And the good news is, it’s not as crowded as usual, so take this opportunity to explore Tokyo and its surroundings minus the queues.
Dive into the strange and quirky world of the renowned filmmaker. Containing hundreds of drawings from throughout the artist’s career, including material from his early days as a student at the California Institute of the Arts, preliminary sketches of his much-loved film characters, short films and models, this is the most extensive collection of all things Burton to date.
Lace up your skates and glide on top of art- that’s right. Artist Shumpei Minagawa is the artist setting the ambiance and exploring the theme of ‘Narrative’ by creating a space of art and light. Wrap up warm and head down to this popular date spot where musicians, dancers, and more will be on hand to keep you entertained until late February.
This popular manga hit depicts a world where humans must defend their city walls from the monstrous Titans that live outside. While this exhibition at Ueno’s Royal Museum mostly contains an impressive collection of original drawings and sketches, you can view full size Titan statues and even experience a virtual reality experience.
Welcome the Year of the Sheep with more than just a visit at the local shrine: the Special New-year exhibition features selected masterpieces from the museum’s collection, including Hasegawa Tohaku’s masterful ink painting Pine Trees, while the Chinese zodiac’s Year of the Sheep will be honored with artworks based on the auspicious animal. Be sure to check out the daily schedule for Taiko drum performances, lion dances and other entertainments.
Rainbow Bridge Special Light-Up
Until Sunday January 4th, the Tokyo landmark will display all the shades of the rainbow. Take a stroll around Odaiba to catch the best view, and turn it into a memorable date night and beautiful way to start the year.
Illuminations Around Town
Even though we tend to associate illuminations with Christmas, the most notable ones around Tokyo are still displayed until later this winter. After all, who doesn’t need a little brightness to cheer up those cold months? Our favorite ones include the Tokyo Station GranRoof Illumination, which features music and light, as well as White Sacas Tokyotown Ice Garden, which lets you skate on the rink, surrounded by white lights.
For an insight into the world of kyoyaki—Kyoto ceramics—head down to the Roppongi-based Suntory Museum of Art for an exhibition of the work of master potter Ninnami Dohachi. A vast array of the talented artists works are on display—from ceramic sculpture to tableware, check out the exquisite detail of his craft.
One of Japan’s best-known temples offers a plethora of activities to celebrate the New Year. After you queue up for the first prayer, you can get into the festive spirit with traditional festival food stalls, drink warm amazake and buy some good luck charms. Best if you’re not afraid to mix and mingle with the rest of Tokyo, including tourists from all over the world!
Main image: jamesjustin/Flickr