Cherry blossom mania has swept Tokyo; be it people lining up for a taste of this seasons’ pink treats or camera in hand, ready to shoot the first sign of blossoms. If you are unsure of the ideal time to arrange your socially-distanced hanami then check out the forecast for this year. Or consider an art exhibition, afternoon tea or online party to celebrate the budding of the nation’s most-viewed flower.
The National Museum of Modern Art is celebrating spring with a wonderful art exhibition that will include Kawai Gyokudo and his famous cherry-blossom painting as well as around 200 works that celebrate the flowers of the season, including more than 40 types of rare cherry blossoms. This is a collection where you can see the flow of Japanese art over the last 100 years, from the Meiji era to the present day.
When: Mar 23 – Apr 11
Where: The National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, 3-1 Kitanomaru Koen, Chiyoda-ku
Mottainai can be roughly translated as “What a waste!” and is a phrase that encourages people to recycle, reuse and reduce waste. “Mottainai” flea markets are held regularly in the suburbs of Tokyo, including the fashionable Nakano Central Park located just minutes from Nakano Station. This is a good chance to re-home some unwanted items or clear out your own clutter.
When: Mar 27 – Mar 28
Where: Nakano Central Park, 4-10-2 Nakano, Nakano-ku
Kakai Kiki Gallery presents ‘Healing x Healing’ a unique exhibition curated by the well-renowned Takashi Murakami. This showcase features brilliant artists such as Mr., Chiho Aoshima, ob, MADSAKI and many more. Its inception began in the pandemic with a thought about the relationship between people and art; the dark place our mind goes when the world is in panic. Murakami knew this feeling all too well and escaped into art to heal.
When: Until Mar 27
Where: Kaikai Kiki Gallery, 2-3-30 Motoazabu, Minato-ku
This exhibition celebrates the modernity and continuing influence of the artist and designer Settai Komura (1887-1940). By successfully imbuing the essence of Edo style but adding a distinctly modern flair, Settai Komura developed designs that continue to influence artists today. Undeniably charming, his work covered a range of mediums including book design, illustration, prints, stage sets and advertising.
When: Until Apr 18
Where: Mitsui Memorial Museum, Nihonbashimuromachi 2-1-1, Chuo-ku
Yuji Kimura is a preeminent figure of editorial design, with work featured in – or, rather, on the cover of – Esquire Japan, Asahi Shimbun GLOBE and several other newspapers, magazines and books. While his works contain traces of the late-century graphic design scene, his bold typography and clear compositions, combining punch and delicacy, continue to make him a contender in his field.
When: Mar 23 – Apr 24
Where: Creation Gallery G8, Recruit Ginza 8 Bldg., 1F 8-4-17 Ginza, Chuo-ku
An exhibition at the National Museum of Nature and Science takes a close-up look at the predators of the animal world. Take a walk on the wild side and discover fascinating facts and remarkable natural history artifacts at this special exhibition, ‘Hunters on Land’. From crocodiles to tigers, and even bees, learn about the importance, evolution and hunting tactics of predators in the ecosystem.
When: Until Jun 13
Where: National Museum of Nature and Science, 7-20 Ueno Park, Taito-ku
Explore the wonder of sports from a scientific perspective at this special exhibition at Minato Science Museum. From the biology of athletes to the evolution of the tools and equipment they use, this exhibition celebrates and explains the science behind the sports we love.
When: Until May 8
Where: Minato Science Museum, 3-6-9 Toranomon, Minato-ku
The animated cartoon ‘Tom and Jerry’ has long fascinated children around the world as a symbol of American culture. Laforet Harajuku is holding an exhibition that celebrates the whacky fun these two much-loved characters enjoy, featuring short animations, trick art, a space filled with cheese, collaborative works with many artists and more.
When: Until Mar 28
Where: Laforet Museum, 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
TeamLab Planets will reopen and with it an explosion of pink in time for cherry blossom season. Its interactive artworks such as ‘Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers’ will surround you with thousands of blooming cherry blossoms. At the ‘Infinity’ installation, the digital koi around your ankles will scatter and burst into the seasonal flower. What’s more, delicious cherry blossom sweets, such as dorayaki, can be found at the on-site food stand.
When: Until Apr 30
Where: teamLab Planets, 6-1-16 Toyosu, Koto-ku
This year, Nihonbashi is bringing spring to you. Food and cherry blossoms have always had a strong relationship and Nihonbashi intends to celebrate that. Around 150 historical and modern restaurants from the area will be participating in a take-out campaign with specialized menus. The streets of Chuo-dori and Edo Sakura-dori will be lit up in a pink haze and an original bench topped with a cherry tree umbrella can be utilized for photoshoots.
When: Until Apr 11
Where: Around Nihonbashi Area
Chef Julien Perrinet has crafted a beautiful menu with an ingenious design for this sakura season at Pastry Boutique. His Sakura Palette features the showstopping Sakura Roll Cake with an exquisite dark chocolate cherry blossom tree proudly protruding from the center.
When: Until Apr 4
Where: Park Hyatt Tokyo, 3-7-1-2, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
There are plenty of cherry blossom delights for you to enjoy at Andaz Tokyo this season. On their 52nd-floor rooftop terrace, Sakura Garden, you’ll find yourself looking out at breathtaking views of Tokyo Tower and the city beyond while indulging in delicate sweets and morish savory bites. Cherry blossoms are the key ingredient, so expect a burst of pink on your plate when sampling this exquisite Sakura Afternoon Tea.
When: Mar 26 – Apr 11
Where: Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, 1-23-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku
For the first time, enjoy more than 100 cherry blossoms of 20 varying species amongst a sea of clouds at Hotel Chinzanso at this year’s Sweet Selection. Watch them roll in from the terrace as you sip sparkling wine and dine on a two-tiered tower of glorious cherry macaroons, sakura-scented bread and perfectly crafted scones. Savory dishes such as quiche, roast beef, clam chowder soup and rapeseed sandwiches are also on offer.
When: Mar 25 – Apr 9
Where: Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, 2 10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku
For the Vision of Contemporary Art exhibition, curators, journalists and researchers are asked to recommend artists under 40, who then exhibit their two-dimensional works. Past exhibitors have included Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami. This year, we see such promising artists as Nanae Mitobe and Shu Okamoto.
When: Until Mar 30
Where: Ueno Royal Museum, 1-2 Uenokoen, Taito-ku
Jazz composer and pianist Hiromi Uehara bring her energetic performances to Blue Note Tokyo for this series of concerts mixing styles and genres with her dynamic improvisation. Following on Hiromi’s ambitious live music project playing 36 shows over 18 days, the dynamo pianist is back for more. This run comprises ‘Solo’ dates and ‘Duo’ sessions collaborating with world-renowned tap dancer Kazunori Kumagai.
When: Until Mar 29
Where: Blue Note Tokyo, 6-3-16 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku
World touring taiko drumming group Yamato present an online live performance ‘Spring is just around the corner!’ Hailing from Asuka Village in Yamato province this sensational live drumming group has travelled all over the world, boasting more than 4000 performances. With the global pandemic badly affecting their usual touring schedule, the group has organized a live streaming spring-themed special for audiences everywhere.
When: Until Mar 28
Tune in to Japan’s largest gay mix party live streaming from Warp Shinjuku in the heart of Kabukicho. To celebrate the state of emergency lifting, LGBT nightlife staple VITA is back with a huge spring day party, and this time even those outside of Tokyo can join in on the action. Two of Japan’s top DJs, five Go-Go boys, and four K-Pop dancers will deliver nonstop fun and excitement, navigated by two hilarious drag queens, Pink Grapefruit and Lady J.
When: Until Apr 3