It seems bittersweet to celebrate Japan’s Spring Equinox national holiday, which falls on Friday, Marcy 20, this year. In Tokyo this is normally a time for cherry blossom viewing, graduations and other ceremonies. Instead, the coronavirus epidemic continues to sweep across the world.
Last Saturday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declined to declare a state of emergency for Japan, instead warning people to avoid places such as fitness centers, live music venues and other places with poor ventilation where large groups of people cluster and communicate in close contact. Abe added that children should have the opportunity to go outside and get exercise in safe environments.
Adults need the same opportunities as well, so here are some of the events happening in Tokyo this weekend that have not been canceled, and some that have started to reopen following temporary closures. (Be sure to call or check the venue website before attending.)
From March 20 be sure to check out Tokyo Midtown’s iconic night illuminations. The avenue of sakura trees will be lit up at night, making it a perfect spot for a lovely evening stroll. Several of the corresponding events have been canceled (full cancellation details available on their website) ///records.survey.shop
Contemporary artist KAWS launches a limited-edition AR experience featuring his iconic character. Download the free app and you can capture your very own shot of his latest work at and around Shibuya Crossing. ///daring.underway.recipient
The classic amusement park Toshimaen reopens on March 21 after temporary closure to add some excitement to your cherry blossom viewing with a roller coaster, viking ship and all the fun of the fair. ///wing.candles.prayers
For this exhibition at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, which reopened on March 18 after temporary closure, Morimura appears as Emperor Hirohito, General Douglas MacArthur, Marilyn Monroe and Yukio Mishima – iconic figures deeply etched into the collective memory of the Japanese people. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, entrance will be limited to groups of 10 people or less. ///stencil.single.wool
A night of deception, interrogation and plenty of laughter awaits at Good Heavens on March 20, this time in a special International Women’s Day edition with an all-female lineup. Numbers are limited to 50 for this show (audience, staff and cast). ///siesta.panther.union
Nihonbashi unveils a raft of sakura-themed illuminations and installations around the opulent Coredo Muromachi complex. Unfortunately many of the events that were set to run in tandem with the artworks have been canceled (full cancellation details available on their website). ///herring.range.risks
From March 20 at Loko Gallery, award-winning painter Rikako Inoue exhibits her organic motifs, inspired by Françoise Sagan’s “Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness).” ///glad.simple.bracelet
Tokyo Midtown holds the annual Tokyo Midtown Awards, a design and art competition that supports and shines the light on young talented artists. The artworks produced by the six winners of the 2019 art competition will appear at Plaza B1 in Tokyo Midtown. ///records.survey.shop
Hajime Sorayama, known for his illustrations of erotic feminine robots, opens his Sex Matter and Trex art exhibitions simultaneously at the Nanzuka gallery (///viewers.usual.touched) and Shibuya Parco (///than.newly.engaging).
THE CLUB at Ginza Six launches Naoya Inose’s solo exhibition Romantic Depression, introducing the London-based oil painter’s most recent works inspired from a research trip to Iceland. ///bridge.legwork.caller
Head to Chiba for an amazing illumination display of light and sound featuring a rainbow tunnel. Some facilities are closed through March 27, so check the venue website for updates. ///sooner.skins.tapers
The works on display at this exhibition (ending March 24) were used during the shooting of the upcoming Netflix drama series Followers. Within the drama, ob’s pieces are displayed in Kaikai Kiki Gallery as the works of the character Sunny, played by KOM_I. ///push.sedated.rely
Bending and shaping light itself to the form of a cloud Tokujin Yoshioka, a Japanese artist who designed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch, launches his Ginza Six debut with this masterpiece – “Prismatic Cloud.” ///vaccines.pulses.slides
Diesel Art Gallery presents Japanese photographer RK’s solo exhibition, “NEOrient.” RK is a street photographer whose magical and colorful take on street, architecture and nature is gaining attention domestically and internationally. ///burst.torches.shade