8 Things You Don’t Want to Miss This Weekend: April 19–21

It is a misnomer that sake is a rice wine. Sake is sake. Grapes naturally contain sugar that yeast consumes and excretes as alcohol. Rice has no sugar. Enter koji, the national mold of Japan also used in soy sauce, miso and other staples of Japanese cuisine. In sake production, amber-yellow koji spores are added to steamed rice, converting the starch into sugar, allowing the yeast to do its thing.

“Koji production is at the very heart of the sake-brewing process,” writes sake guru John Gauntner. “The leverage it holds over the final product is immense.” Come to Roppongi Hills to see how local sake brewers are manipulating koji to produce a new generation of sake. Other events brewing this weekend in Tokyo include spring flower festivals, food festivals, live music and much more.

Craft Sake Week

For 11 days in Roppongi Hills artisan sake producers from across Japan introduce their wares to those wanting to learn more about Japan’s national drink. Different areas are highlighted each day of the event, so check the schedule beforehand.

Shinjuku Gyoen Cherry Blossom Illumination

For the first time ever, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is opening at night to light up the ubiquitous cherry blossoms for an illumination event.

Sichuan Festival 2019

Experience the bold and spicy flavors of China’s Sichuan Province with more than 20 of Tokyo’s top restaurants at Shinjuku Central Park.

Kameido Tenjin Wisteria Festival

This picturesque shrine near Tokyo Skytree is famous for its 50 wisteria trees, which bloom in late April, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

Charles-François Daubigny, The Wine Harvest, 1863, oil on canvas, 24.5 x 42.3 cm, France, Private collection © Christian Devleeschauwer

Charles-François Daubigny Exhibition

This is the first exhibition in Japan of the works of Charles-François Daubigny, the 19th French landscape painter who influenced such artists as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

The Novembers

Following the release of their seventh album, Angels, the alternative rock four-piece takes the stage in Shimokitazawa to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the live house, Garage.

Tom & Jerry 80th Birthday Exhibition

Celebrate almost 80 years of playing cat and mouse with the much loved Hanna Barbera characters at this all-encompassing exhibitions Matsuya Ginza.

Far East Indies presents… Le Band

Check out some new Tokyo bands, ranging in sound from slowcore to electro pop to shoegaze, at this indie showcase in Koenji.

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