You can instantly tell what time of the year it is by what food gimmick is staring you in the face wherever you turn — like how it’s not officially autumn in the West until everything is pumpkin spice. Things are a little bit different in Japan. Here, the end of summer is announced with eggs.
Starting in early September, everything is suddenly available in a “tsukimi” (moon-viewing) variety, meaning with fried or poached egg-like tsukimi burgers, udon, or rice. It’s so common, it’s easy to forget tsukimi is supposed to be about the moon and not eggs. But the play is on the resemblance of the two and it’s the only way you can eat the moon. If you’d like to celebrate the tsukimi season properly this September, simply head on over to the Hotel New Grand in Yokohama.
The tradition of tsukimi dates back to the ninth century when people would gather to admire and honor the autumn moon on some of the clearest nights of the year, usually around mid-September. This eventually evolved into the ninth month of the year effectively becoming Eggtember (because of the yolk’s similarity to a full moon). And now, Hotel New Grand is going back to the festival’s roots with a night of moon-viewing at its 18th floor Sky Chapel. Named “Kaguya,” after the Moon Princess in the famous The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter folktale, the event promises to live up to its royal name with moon-viewing accompanied by drinks, a violin concerto and an exquisite French cuisine dinner. This is a one-time-only event, so if you are looking for something to do in September in Yokohama with that special someone, this is it.
When: Sep 22 (reservations until Sep 19), 6–8pm
Where: 10 Yamashitacho, Naka-ku
How Much: ¥10,000 per person
The upcoming New “Artists Today” Exhibition 2021 in Yokohama, subtitled “Contours of Life,” will be showcasing the works of photographer Kazutomo Tashiro and multimedia artist Aya Momose, which focus on the everyday. The exhibit will feature over 100 works from Tashiro, including new photographs taken in Yokohama and some old work documenting the lives of regular people on the South Korean island of Ulleungdo. Momose, on the other hand, will be displaying the new Flos Pavonis visual installation about the relationship between humans and authority. Some of the artist’s other works will also explore the oppressive power of the coronavirus and its impact on society because Covid-19 is now part of everyday life, so we might as well roll with it.
When: Sep 18–Oct 10
Where: 26-1 Miyazakicho, Nishi-ku
How Much: Free
The best science museums and exhibitions need to be part art so as not to reduce their fascinating content to a bunch of Latin names and numbers. This happens way too frequently with dinosaurs, with paleontological displays often lacking the magic and imagination that has fueled so much of our fascination with these gigantic prehistoric thunder lizards. “Gr8 Koburina Kyoryu-Ten” doesn’t want to repeat those mistakes. This is why it has partnered with the artist known as Yoichiro to help liven up their dinosaur exhibit with some dinosaur-inspired street art. So, while you’re there learning about the adaptive evolution of herbivores or what made the T-Rex such an effective carnivore, you can also admire 12 Yoichiro works that will hopefully remind you that dinosaurs are supposed to be cool.
When: Sep 4–Oct 10
Where: 1-1 Shinko, Naka-ku
How Much: From ¥1,000
A native of Yokohama, Tomohiro Maeda is Japan’s first professional close-up magician (a title he acquired after working at the Tycoon restaurant for five years). After a string of TV appearances and consulting for the 2000 Toshiharu Ikeda movie Sweet Sweet Ghost, he has slowly been winding down the number of his public live shows, which is why his upcoming performance is so exciting. For two days only, the close-up magic legend will be performing his “Miracle Fingers” show at the Hotel New Grand. Only 80 tickets are available so reserve yours today before they disappear in a puff of smoke.
When: Sep 17 and 18
Where: 10 Yamashitacho, Naka-ku
How Much: ¥25,000 per person
Feature image by SUNG YOON JO / Shutterstock