TOPTokyo Life17 Things To Do in Tokyo This Weekend: April 16-18

17 Things To Do in Tokyo This Weekend: April 16-18

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

By Weekender Editor

Spring cleaning has taken over many homes this April. Join in the change and reinvigorate your home with a plant purchased from one of this season’s fantastic outdoor markets. Pick up some fresh flowers to add an extra shade to your room or indulge yourself in farmer-quality produce. If you are a history buff, discover the secrets of ancient Egypt at Bunkamura or explore the art of the tea ceremony at the newly reopened Idemitsu Museum of Arts. Try the undiscovered, and look forward to what Tokyo has left to teach you.

© Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (Leiden, the Netherlands)

1. Egypt, Land of Discoveries at Bunkamura Museum of Art

This exhibition delves into all aspects of the lives of the ancient Egyptians, from their aesthetics to their medical knowledge. Over 200 objects will be displayed from one of the largest Ancient Egypt collections in Europe, but of particular note are the mummy cases, which will be displayed together and in the upright standing position. They are rarely showcased in this manner, making this exhibition a great opportunity to view them.

When: Apr 16 – Jun 27
Where:  Bunkamura The Museum, 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku

Hiromart Gallery The Voice of Shellfish
Shinsuke Tomita, The Voice of Shellfish. Intaglio print, 2021.

2. The Voice of Shellfish at Hiromart Gallery

Shinsuke Tomita works mainly in oil painting and copperplate printing. His debut solo show in Tokyo features selected copperplate prints and some new works. The scenes in his prints are enigmatic, with the quality of cinema – we are not always quite sure what we are looking at. Tomita begins on the copperplate with a “vague image” and, as he marks the surface and conducts test prints, the composition grows “firmer.” “It’s like a dialogue with myself when starting to draw and the image made on the copperplate,” he says.

When: Apr 14 – May 30
Where: Hiromart Gallery, 1-30-7 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku

Kohei Nawa, Metamorphosis Garden (garden of transformation), 2013 ©Kohei Nawa | Sandwich Inc.

3. Metamorphosis Garden at Ginza Six

On the second floor of Ginza Six, in the central atrium, there will be an installation of biomorphic sculptures by Kohei Nawa. The sculptor imagines a world in which life forms and matter, and those entities in between, coexist. A sculpture group – we see a deer, accumulations of ether – will be suspended in the atrium. Characteristically Nawa focuses on the material properties of these forms, covering them with alumina and microbead grains. After the end of April, an augmented reality show co-produced by choreographer Damien Jalet will occur.

When: Until Apr 1, 2022
Where: Ginza Six, 6-11-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku

4. Ayashii : Decadent and Grotesque Images of Beauty in Modern Japanese Art

The word ‘ayashii’ directly translates as ‘suspicious’, but in this case indicates the artistic styles that arose during the Meiji Period: decadence, sensuousness, grotesqueness, and eroticism. This kind of artistic style reflected the people’s desire and anxiety during the turbulent and drastic era. The collection exhibits paintings, prints and illustrations in magazines and books published from the mid-19th century to around 1930.

When: Until May 16
Where: National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, Kitanomarukoen 3−1, Chiyoda ku

5. Hibiya Blossom Garden

Visit a vibrant garden abundant with flowers and 3-D art at Hibiya Step Square. Relax on a bench surrounded by an exhibition of brightly colored flowers and celebrate the beginning of spring. In the evening, illuminations will shine out every 10 minutes and a special surprise can be found in the center of the square.

When: Until Apr 18
Where: Hibiya Step Square, Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, 1-1-2 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku

6. Hibiya Blossom Marche

Alongside the Hibiya Blossom Garden, you will find a brilliant flower market in the 1F outdoor area outside Tokyo Midtown Hibiya. Stalls will sell specialty teas from Ginza Croesus, as well as bouquets, dried flowers, candles, small dishes, foliage plants and much more. Plant goods of all kinds and variety will be sold, so find something that brings spring into your home and your heart.

When: Apr 16 – 18
Where: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, 1-1-2 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku

7. Terrace Marché at Tama Plaza Terrace

A charming farmers market conveniently located outside the shopping mall at Tama Plaza. From seasonal fruits and vegetables to baked goods, sweets and even small gifts, this marché offers a wide array of produce fresh from the farmers, makers and creators. If you prefer to spend your weekend away from the city center, there is plenty to keep you busy and satisfy your shopping needs at Tama Plaza Terrance, and this handy market is the perfect last stop before you catch the train home.

When: Apr 17
Where: Tama Plaza Terrace, Utsukushigaoka, Aoba-ku, Kanagawa, Yokohama

8. Diptyque Ginza – Flower Shop Event

The Diptyque store at Ginza Six transforms into a one-day flower shop for a special event delivering some extra special fragrant floral flair. Diptyque boutiques offer a wide variety of luxury perfumes, body & skincare, and fragrance candles. For one day only, the Ginza store will undergo a floral makeover with curated bouquet demonstrations and special mini bouquet gifts given to customers with limited purchases.

When: Apr 17
Where: Ginza Six, 6-11-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku

Image: Kokei Kobayashi, Lotus Flowers. Color on Silk, Showa Period, 1932; Yamatane Museum of Art

9. A Profusion of Flowers at Yamatane Museum of Art

Around 60 works are up for display – you will see a vast mosaic of petals and leaves at the Yamatane Museum’s 55th anniversary special exhibition. Since ancient times, artists in Japan across disciplines have loved flowers. Working off of the Chinese-style floral and vegetal art of the Middle Ages, artists after the Meiji Period sought new expressions maintaining the aesthetics of the past, but integrating Western painting techniques and modern sensibilities.

When: Until Jun 27
Where: Yamatane Museum of Art, Hiroo 3-12-36, Shibuya-ku

10. Mondrian: In Search of Pure Pictures

SOMPO Museum of Art holds a special exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dutch abstract painter Piet Mondrian. 50 works by Mondrian on loan from Kunstmuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands will be on display, in addition to around 20 more additional works from international museums.

When: Until Jun 6
Where: SOMPO Museum of Art, 1-26-1 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku

Perrotin Tokyo
Xavier Veilhan, Richard. Birch plywood, acrylic paint, 2020. © Veilhan / ADAGP, 2021. Courtesy Perrotin

11. Xavier Veilhan – “Chemin Vert” at Perrotin Tokyo

For his first solo gallery in Japan, Xavier Veilhan explores statuary and the presence of bodies in space (which he presents in both two and three dimensions), abstraction, marquetry and drawing. Veilhan is particularly interested in music and sound, which we can see in his delicate mobile statues and even his mathematical representations of the human form.

When: Until May 15
Where: Perrotin Tokyo, Piramide Building, 1F, 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-Ku

12. Takeru Amano Exhibition: Primavera The Appearance of Venus

Takeru Amano’s stylistic compositions, bold lines and motifs of impressionist landscapes are not to be missed. He combines the block colors of pop art with the dreamy qualities of the classics. This April, 20 of his fantastic works will be displayed including portraits of the goddess Venus and the unveiling of ‘Impression Primavera’.

When: Until Apr 29
Where: UltraSuperNew Gallery, 1-1-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

©Mark Manders, Mind Study, 2010-11, Collection of Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht Courtesy: Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp Photo: Peter Cox / Bonnefanten

13. The Absence of Mark Manders

The Dutch artist Mark Manders has acquired worldwide acclaim for his ‘self-portrait as building’ concept. In this, his first solo exhibition in a Japanese museum, Manders has designed the whole exhibition space as a single work, the ‘building’. Each individual work in the exhibition is part of a larger whole, and while each can be viewed in isolation, it is as a whole that they develop greater meaning.

When: Until Jun 20
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku

14. TeNQ Special Exhibition – Starry Room

TeNQ Space Museum holds a special exhibition in collaboration with planetarium creator Takayuki Ohira. Ohira’s Planetarium MEGASTAR enables realistic reproduction of the vast and spectacular starry sky. Using projection mapping on dioramas and various new technology planetariums you can experience unique and beautiful views of the Tokyo night sky in addition to informative panels about the development and creation of the exhibits.

When: Until May 9
Where: Space Museum TeNQ, 1-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku

©Proto-A/FORMATA 2020

15. 2021 A Space Odyssey Monolith: Memory as Virus – Beyond the New Dark Age

Two decades on from the setting of Stanley Kubrick’s epic science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, this exhibition challenges 9 artists to consider the themes of the movie as they relate to modern-day society. The technological revolutions that have occurred since the release of the movie in 1968 provide a very different framework for viewing the central themes of the film, such as artificial intelligence, space travel, and artificial evolution.

When: Until Apr 25
Where: Gyre, 5-10-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

16. 270th Anniversary of the Birth of Matsudaira Fumai: The Esthetics of Cha no Yu

After a lengthy closure for the pandemic, the Idemitsu Museum of Art is scheduled to reopen in April. This first exhibition is dedicated to the Japanese culture of drinking tea, and the art of the tea ceremony, or Cha no Yu. Masterpieces relating to the practice of Cha no Yu from the Idemitsu Museum’s collection will be on display, allowing a thorough immersion into the history and development of the tea ceremony in Japan.

When: Apr 13 – May 30
Where: Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Marunouchi 3-1-1, Chiyoda-ku

17. Japanese Painting from the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Discover the unseen treasures of a vast overseas collection of Japanese painting masterpieces. Masterpieces from the Japanese Painting Collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art showcases a selection of works from the highly regarded Midwestern art museum’s impressive aggregation. The exhibition focuses on Edo era works including artists from the Kano school and many pieces by renowned ukiyo-e masters.

When: Apr 14 – Jun 27
Where: Suntory Museum of Art, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku