The weather is warming up and with it the compulsion to explore and discover. Luckily, Tokyo obliges with numerous anniversaries this final February weekend, including our favorite samurai and children’s book characters. Head outside and fill your lungs with pre-spring air or hang on the balcony with a good book. Either way, make sure you wear your mask and keep a safe distance.
An exhibition celebrating 25 years of the popular series Rurouni Kenshin, telling the story of a former assassin turned Japanese hero. Fans of the series, or historical manga and anime in general, will be delighted by the rare exhibits on show, including more than 200 handwritten manuscripts and original color drawings.
When: Until Mar 7
Where: Gallery AaMo, Tokyo Dome City, 1-3-61 Kokuraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Celebrate 20 years since the lovable black-and-white pair first debuted in Japan. Created by French husband and wife duo, Gaspard et Lisa (Gaspard and Lisa) are the main characters of a series of children’s book which have yielded decades of sequels, spin-off goods and collaborations. This special exhibition features over 150 original drawings from the picture books in addition to messages from the authors.
When: Until Mar 3
Where: Matsuya Ginza, 3 Chome-6-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
A stylish and delicious market offering tasty bread and lifestyle goods. This year, the fashionable annual bread bonanza sets up shop at Laforet Museum for two days of pan-tastic action. Bakeries from across the country are gathering alongside select shops and creators to sell a variety of baked goods and bread-related items.
When: Feb 27 – Feb 28
Where: Laforet Museum, 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
A decadent dessert buffet awaits you offering delicious sweets and treats with a rose and strawberry theme. The elegant and exciting world of Beauty & the Beast is conjured up at this magnificent feast at the InterContinental Tokyo Bay. Indulge in pink rose cupcakes, strawberry mousse with rose petals and even a beast-like chocolate cake!
When: Until May 3
Where: InterContinental Tokyo Bay, 1-16-2 Kaigan Minato-Ku
Picaresque Art Gallery presents ‘One-Person Marriage Ring Exhibition’ which features 36 artists and 113 rings. Unlike the common engagement and wedding rings, the works showcased at this exhibition are made to celebrate the love of ‘self’ and the promise to love oneself forever.
When: Until Feb 28
Where: Picaresque Art Gallery, 4 Chome-54-7 Yoyogi, Shibuya City, Tokyo
KOKI ARTS is pleased to announce Peter Shear’s first solo exhibition in Japan, Empty Boat. This exhibition will showcase 10 new paintings. Shear, a self-taught artist, experiments with color, composition, and gesture to create images that emotionally relate to the viewer.
When: Until Mar 13
Where: Koki Arts, 1-15-2 Higashi-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku
In the gardens of Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, you will find thousands of camellias in full bloom. For the first time, there will be a Tokyo Tsubaki art installation that fuses nature and art. Climb the 150 steps to the three-story pagoda and find a spectacular view of petals gracefully falling beneath the large camellia tree, spread like a red carpet immersed in mist and lights. The view changes depending on the time of day so be sure to visit twice.
When: Until Mar 14
Where: Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, 2 10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo City, Tokyo
Perrotin Tokyo is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Japan by the German painter Thilo Heinzmann. On view are paintings that combine the compositional elements from various series from his past practices – pigment paintings, Tacmo, Aicmo, and polystyrene paintings with glass – in a new way for the first time.
When: Until Mar 20
Where: Perrotin Tokyo, Piramide Building, 1F, 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-Ku
THE CLUB, Tokyo presents Oliver Beer’s solo exhibition, which builds on his previous display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Beer perceives the physical world in musical terms. He encourages us to look for the musicality of material forms, to “look at objects from an acoustic perspective.” While Ghost Notes (Part 1) examines how music ties cultures together across geographic distance and history, Ghost Notes (Part 2), in July 2021, will have an interactive sound installation.
When: Until Mar 16
Where: THE CLUB, 6F Ginza Six, 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku
This exhibition brings together around 30 of Kosai Hori’s works, from early paintings to recent compositions. It is held in conjunction with another Kosai Hori exhibition. In the retrospective, we can see not only the progress of the artist’s career but also of art history.
When: Until Mar 6
Where: Root K Contemporary, 6 Minami Cho, Shinjuku-ku
Collage artist Yahiku Henrique Yudi will hold his largest solo exhibition to date at Diesel Art Gallery. With a background in Brazilian and Japanese culture, Yabiku looks for inspiration in the beauty of incongruity and imperfections of today’s world. As he expands his creative platform mainly through collages and installation art, Yabiku is currently considered one of Tokyo’s emerging artists.
When: Until May 13
Where: Diesel Art Gallery, 1-23-16 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
An online performance of one of the most popular Noh plays, Funa Benkei, will be streamed for a limited time with English subtitles. This virtual experience offers something more profound than even watching the real thing at a theater — the organizers have created visual artwork to add to the performance, including a combination of video footage from the audience seats and on-stage, thus allowing to see the performance from all possible angles.
When: Until Mar 31
Explore Japan through the lens of your favorite Ghibli films. This virtual tour takes you through various locations in Japan, which are said to have inspired seven of the most popular Ghibli films, including My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke.
When: Until April 10
From lovely panda obento to gyoza from scratch and Carbonara taught by an Italian chef, you have a lot of options to choose from, but the best thing is that you’ll never wonder what to cook next. There is also a good selection of vegan recipes and such for people with different dietary preferences. Participants will be provided with a list of all necessary ingredients and cooking supplies prior to the class and when the food’s ready, you can sit down and enjoy the meal along with all other participants.
When: Until Mar 31
15. ‘Wolf Italian Songbook’ Opera on YouTube
Originally a collection of 46 songs composed by Hugo Wolf, but now adapted and reconstructed into a love story by director Tatsumune Iwata. Performed in November of last year, this unique collaboration between a singer, who specializes in German lied, and an up-and-coming contemporary dancer will breathe new emotion into the music.
When: At your own pace
Where: Tokyo Bunka Kaikan’s YouTube Channel
16. Netflix at home
Staying at home under your kotatsu (or blanket) doing nothing is one of the best things we can all do right now. Not only for ourselves but for the sake of everyone out there too. Here are a few of our own recommendations on what’s best on Netflix — old and new, there’s something for everyone.
- ‘Alice in Borderland’ is the Netflix Show We Need to Make Sense of 2020
- 5 Less-Known LGBT Movies To Watch on Netflix Japan This Year
- 5 of the Best Japanese Kids’ Shows on Netflix
- TW ScreenCap: The Best Documentaries on Netflix Japan
- 14 Netflix Shows To Binge Watch (And Study Japanese With) Now
- Top Japan Netflix Shows for Improving Your Japanese
- 10 Films And Documentaries On Black History And Systemic Racism You Can Watch In Japan
When: At your own pace
Where: At home
17. Reading at home
We also have quite a few book recommendations if you prefer the company of a good read and a warm cup of coffee as relaxation time.
- 5 Japanese Books That Made Me Fall in Love With Japan
- 8 Japan Memoirs To Read in 2021
- 12 Heartwarming Children’s Books That Teach Kindness and Empathy
- 12 Japanese Books to Get You in the Mood for Autumn
- 9 Japanese Ghost and Mystery Books To Read This Summer
- The Books Behind Your Favorite Japanese Films
- 9 Essential Books for Your Japan Reading List
- Book Review: “Earthlings” by Sayaka Murata is a Scathing Review of the Society We Live In
For more recommendations, join our TW Book Club.
When: At your own pace
Where: At home