Temperatures are still quite cold – and the winter illuminations are still going – but there’s the first hint of a change in seasons with a plum festival kicking off this weekend. Plenty of other things to enjoy, whether your tastes run to the artistic or the video game persuasion. Check out what the weekend has in store – as usual, click on the header for more details about each event.
As part of New National Theatre, Tokyo’s 20th anniversary program, the National Ballet of Japan performs their thrilling production of “Tales of Hoffmann.” This piece portrays an intensely human drama through the love affairs of the protagonist Hoffmann from adolescence through to his later years. It is a fantastical and romantic story with a hint of sadness as we meet his lovers as well as the devil who appears in many forms.
Now in its 10th year, this is Tokyo’s biggest outdoor skating rink and boasts plenty of magical illuminations at night, making it a favorite spot for dating couples (who aren’t afraid to look awkward on ice).
Master of the weird and erotic, Toshio Saeki holds his largest solo exhibition to date at NANZUKA gallery in Shibuya. Saeki’s work mixes eroticism, humor and horror in his unique style heavily inspired by traditional shunga – erotic art and yokai – Japanese folk mythology and monsters.
Argentinian postmodern theater show Fuerza Bruta is back, and this time with an injection of Japanese inspiration. This event is neither a stage show nor a musical, but it is an unforgettable and awe-inspiring experience for all the senses. Leave your expectations at the door and get ready to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.
Enjoy traditional attractions, refreshments and souvenirs after you stroll through the beautiful plum blossoms. Hanegi Park in Setagaya-ku is one of the most famous spots for plum viewing inside the city and its annual Plum Festival makes the most of the beautiful red, pink and white flowers and their sweet alluring scent.
All the game machines you could want and more! Japan Amusement Expo showcases the latest arcade equipment for game centers and amusement facilities. Visitors can play on all the machines in the venue free of charge in addition to watching stage events and taking part in contests. At the Tokaigi (Battle Conference) you can witness some of the strongest gamers in the country and from across the world battle it out head to head in various tournaments.
INFINITVM is a multi-media art exhibition and immersive experience by renowned artist Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic in collaboration with poweredby.tokyo. You’re invited to witness the debut of a collection of new original works on film, exploring themes and sentiments such as: “As we look to the future, we reflect on the past” and “A journey into the infinite.”
As part of the Koenji Engei Festival, the Rakugo Without Borders group will be holding a special rakugo performance with English subtitles. Rakugo is a type of comedic storytelling where a lone performer sits kneeling on a cushion and tells a long and entertaining tale using minimal props and gestures.
The minimalist British pop group return to Japan in 2018 for a handful of solo shows following on from a spectacular stage at Fuji Rock Festival last year. The group is considered by many to be some of the best contemporary live performers around, so don’t miss this one!
In case the cold hasn’t been reminding you, it’s still winter, and the illuminations that go with it are still glittering up the city. Check out our guide to all the bright lights.
Main Image: Benjamin Hung via Unsplash