This weekend, take your pick: will it be getting fit around Marunouchi or browsing antiques at Tokyo Big Sight? Another major fireworks festival or hitting the galleries? Here are two handfuls of events to keep you busy until Sunday night.
Whether you’re already a fitness fanatic or looking to try out a new sport, Marunouchi Sports Festival has plenty to offer. Daily demonstrations and events welcome the public to get active and involved with a huge variety of sports – from soccer to basketball and fencing to baseball – and the chance to meet some of Japan’s top athletes.
For its annual Tanabata festival the length of Asagaya’s main shopping arcade is covered with bright colorful streamers and papier-mâché decorations. Local groups and businesses build unique 3D creations promoting their wares or depicting their favorite characters and celebrities from anime characters to sporting heroes.
Take a bizarre journey through 500 years of Belgian art. Discover the demons, monsters and other grotesque creatures depicted by the fantastic mind of Flemish painters from the end of the 15th century to the present day. The exhibition includes work by famous masters Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel and Peter Paul Rubens, alongside works by lesser known artists from the region.
A few times each month, Suntory Art Museum invites you to experience a traditional tea ceremony. The event is held inside the beautiful Genchoan Tea Ceremony Room, which was constructed partly with materials from the original museum built in 1961. Enjoy matcha green tea and seasonal Japanese sweets in a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of the city.
The Geinoh Yamashirogumi group brings the incredible sights and sounds of Bali to the centre of Shinjuku’s skyscraper metropolis. The highlight of the annual event is the mesmerising display of Kecak – with its ritualistic frantic hand movements and dramatic “cak” chanting as well as the composition made famous by the icon movie Akira.
The biggest antique show in Japan boasts about 500 hundred vendors of Western and Japanese antiques and collectible toys. There is also a “repair street” with stalls providing help and advice on how to fix broken porcelain, watches, furniture and many other items.
In Japan, summer is synonymous not only with scorching weather but also with ghost stories. Right on time, Ota Memorial Museum of Art opens an exhibition displaying a series of yokai (monsters, ghosts, specters) by the last great ukiyo-e master, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.
Various Art exhibitions and events will be held throughout the luxurious Park Hotel Tokyo as part of its Hotel Art Fes. Sit back and sip an Art cocktail in the 25th floor Art lounge before you take a rare tour of the hotel’s gorgeous artists’ rooms and special installations.
Don’t know the difference between “hona” and “honma“? Fear no more, there’s a Kansai dialect class that’ll set you right. The seminar is followed by a casual get-together where participants can hang out with their native Kansai-ben teachers and fellow students.
Fireworks shows are always a must-see during Japan’s summer season. This year’s Edogawa festival features 14,000-plus fireworks with an opening highlight of 1,000 fireworks being set off within five seconds.