17 Things To Do in Tokyo This Weekend: July 31–August 2

Tokyo Weekender's guide to events, activities and things to do in the city this weekend

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Tokyo’s daily confirmations of new coronavirus infections are still increasing, and with what looks like a second wave on the horizon we must all remember to social distance when looking for things to do, and to wear a mask at all times.

This weekend we say goodbye to the rainy month of July to what hopefully will be a dryer August. With sun, fun and perhaps a few rain showers, we at Tokyo Weekender have compiled a list of online or offline events to help you social distance while you socialize this weekend.

1. Forever Saul Leiter at Bunkamura

A revived retrospective (temporarily closed due to Cover-19) showcases the life’s work of the late photographer Saul Leiter. Leiter’s work was first exhibited at the museum in 2017. This revived exhibition includes never seen before pieces, many of which come from recent discoveries made by the Saul Leiter Foundation in New York.

Omotesando Rooftop Beer Garden Food Nightlife Tokyu Plaza Tokyo Weekender

2. Omotesando Rooftop Beer Garden

This summer, the much-photographed rooftop terrace of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando will host a beer garden curated by famous Japanese YouTubers Kobashiri (こばしり。), Tohru (トオル) and SAORI. Instagrammable drinks, cocktails and sweets join the atmospheric terrace and music. The menu includes the Elderflower Garden, a cocktail (or mocktail, if you so wish) designed by Kobashiri; the Ultimate Chocolate Mint Ice, an indulgent parfait by Tohru; Shabon-cocktail, the foamiest of the drinks by SAORI; and a pomegranate vinegar cocktail with skin-beautifying jelly. With cool breezes, verdure and string lights everywhere, this is a fantastic place to pass a summer night.

Summer Kitte Marunouchi Hikari Matsuri Hanabi Festival Shopping Tokyo Weekender

3. Summer KITTE

This summer, Heart, Dance, Summer is the theme of KITTE, a shopping complex in front of Marunouchi Station. Summer-exclusive foodstuffs like chilled noodles and shaved ice aren’t the only offerings, however. On the final day of this summer campaign, KITTE will be hosting a light festival celebrating Japanese style with modern edge, which will involve an installation in the atrium that combines Japanese tradition (particularly mizuhiki craft) and novel technology (color-changing LED lights).

Yayoi Kusama Museum Art Exhibition Tokyo Weekender

4. Yayoi Kusama – ‘The Vision of Fantasy’

From Yayoi Kusama comes the new exhibition at Yayoi Kusama Museum. The Vision of Fantasy collection spans much of her long career, from her latest and wildly popular canvas series My Eternal Soul to her equally famous immersive installations to never-before-seen works.

5. Milky Way Illuminations at Tokyo Tower

See the stars from 150 meters above the city as these cosmic summertime illuminations return to Tokyo Tower. This summer tradition at one of Tokyo’s best-loved attractions creates a spectacular sight reflecting the light installation of the Milky Way into the night’s sky over Tokyo.

Mori Art Museum Hiroshi Sugimoto
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Polar Bear, 1976, Gelatin silver print, 42.3 x 54.6 cm

6. Stars: Six Contemporary Artists from Japan to the World

For this long-awaited exhibition at Mori Art Museum, the museum showcases six artists, including Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama and Hiroshi Sugimoto, whose careers propelled them beyond the confines of Japan during this period, earning them high acclaim around the world and across generations.

Katsushika Hokusai, ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’

7. The Ukiyo-e 2020

An extensive exhibition of ukiyo-e woodblock prints at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum comprises over 450 pieces from three magnificent collections. This exhibition includes works from the Ota Memorial Museum, Japan Ukiyo-e and Hirai Ukiyo-e Foundation, including pieces by legendary masters such as Katsuhika Hokusai.

Michael Reeder Hidari Zingaro Nakano Broadway Art Exhibition 4th Dimensional Voyeur Tokyo Weekender

8. Michael Reeder – ‘4th Dimensional Voyeur’

Subculture hub Hidari Zingaro presents LA artist Michael Reeder’s first solo exhibition in Japan. Inspired by skate culture and street art, his background in academic art, wall murals and graphic design, Reeder’s portraits incorporate realism and geometric patterns, as well as skull and classical statue motifs.

9. Miffy 65th Anniversary Exhibition

Celebrate the 65th Anniversary of Miffy at this commemorative exhibition. Created by Dutch picture book artist Dick Bruna, Miffy and friends have become beloved characters to generations of children and adults alike. Millions of fans worldwide delight in the bold composition, vivid colors and heartwarming tales of the much loved minimal rabbit.

10. Beautiful Body for Women – Luxury Beer Garden

Indulge your tastebuds and pamper your body from the inside out at this luxury beer garden tailored for women at Aoyama St. Grace Cathedral. A special menu has been created to enhance and nourish a beautiful body utilizing healthy ingredients and mineral rich foods to give women a natural and nutritional beauty boost.

Zero as You Are Shibuya Film Movie Documentary Tokyo Weekender

11. English Screening – ‘Zero as You Are’

Sky (Takamasa) Kobayashi, now 24 years old, was the first student to be born female and enter junior high school in Japan as a boy. In Zero as You Are, filmmaker Miyuki Tokoi follows Kobayashi for 9 years as he explores his identity. A screening of Zero as You Are with English subtitles will take place on August 1 at Uplink Shibuya. After the screening will be a talk by Tokoi and documentary filmmaker Ian Thomas Ash.

Ibaraki Ichi Farmers Market Vendors Roppongi Hills Tokyo Weekender Shopping

12. Ibaraki-ichi Market at Roppongi Hills

You might be surprised to see an bounty of Ibaraki produce in the middle of Roppongi. Every Saturday, fresh farm-grown vegetables from the prefecture, along with eggs, grapes, flowers and more, are available at Roppongi Hills’ East Court.

13. Tsutomu Makishi – Turbulence 1941-2015

A retrospective at Tama Art University Museum showcasing the works of the prolific Okinawan artist Tsutomu Makishi, also known as Tom Max. Born in Naha, Okinawa. Makishi graduated Tama Art University in 1964. Aside from a year spent in New York in the early ’70s, Makishi spent the majority of his life residing in Okinawa where he held exhibitions almost every year and founded his own painting school.

Tokyo Little Big Band Music Jazz Cotton Club Marunouchi Weekender

14. Tokyo Little Big Band at the Cotton Club

The Tokyo Little Big Band, a “compact,” 12-piece version of the Tokyo Big Band, returns to live performance on July 31 and August 1 with a bang at the Cotton Club. While Tokyo Big Band is known for tackling traditional Japanese songs with a Western jazz twist, these shows’ lineup will also include genre classics like “Take Five” and “I Got Rhythm.” To attend to the safety of the audience, performers and staff, the venue will operate at half-capacity with checkerboard seating.

15. The Great Edo Almanac

Sumida Hokusai Museum’s latest exhibition introduces Edo life by exploring the annual events of the historic period. The Great Edo Almanac focuses on traditional events and seasonal customs from the Edo period, using artworks by the great master Hokusai to give an intimate sense of life and culture at the time. Exhibition highlights include “The Red Demon Queller,” whose image was used to ward off plagues and the Chinese tale of Kiku Jido, which became associated with yearly Chrysanthemum festivals.

16. World of Miniature Photography 2020

An exhibition presenting the world of miniature photography, invites you to take some tiny snapshots of your own. Miniature photography involves crafting tiny models and dioramas to be photographed to look as real as possible. This exhibition at Todays Gallery Studio showcases the incredibly small scale models and miniatures alongside side stunning photographs of them, with over 38 exhibitors involved (including some big names in the online miniature photography community).

Ginza Sony Park Live Ayaka Tatamino Homecomings Live Show Online Streaming Music Tokyo Weekender

17. Park Live Presents Ayaka Tatamino (Homecomings)

Ayaka Tatamino, guitarist and vocalist of indie quartet Homecomings, joins Ginza Sony Park’s online streaming series on August 1. With sweet and mellow instrumentals and Tatamino’s voice to match, Homecomings’ seasoned indie-pop princess is bound to charm.

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