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The Voice of Tokyo for over 50 Years

JAPAN’S NO.1 ENGLISH LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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17 Things To Do in Tokyo This Weekend: December 17–19

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

By Weekender Editor

Christmas celebrations are in full swing. Keep your eyes peeled for holiday-themed events such as Shibuya Scramble’s Xmas. For those who enjoy arts and crafts, look out for workshops such as making your very own ornament at The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho. All this and more in this week’s event roundup of things to do in Tokyo.

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Jasper Johns Eyes in the Persistence of Form Fergus McCaffrey
Installation view of Jasper Johns: Eyes in the Persistence of Form, Fergus McCaffrey Tokyo, September 2021 © Jasper Johns and ULAE/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Published by ULAE; Courtesy of Fergus McCaffrey Gallery; Photo: Ryuichi Maruo

1. Jasper Johns: Eyes in the Persistence of Form

Concurring with a dual retrospective at New York’s Whitney Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the latest Jasper Johns exhibition at Fergus McCaffrey looks at the artist’s later work, where his trademark flags and targets give way to records of his memories. From around the 1980s to the early 2000s, Johns moved past the exploration of internal, mental symbols to representations of visual perceptions. In these prints, which were created between the East Coast and Saint Martin, a torrid storm features prominently.

When: Until Dec 18

2. Kosuke Kawamura: Try Something Better

Born in 1979 in Hiroshima, Kosuke Kawamura moved to Tokyo after graduating high school and immediately became involved in the city’s creative community. Initially a graphic designer, he became active as an exhibiting artist in the early 2000s, holding shows throughout Japan and overseas in conjunction with his collaborative and design work. Since then, his distinctive collage-based style has become well known both within the Harajuku scene and abroad thanks to his prolific collaborations with Adidas, G-shock, Uniqlo, Gundam, Evangelion, Akira and more.

When: Until Dec 19

TW Picks

3. Shibuya Scramble Xmas

Shibuya Scramble Square is hoping Tokyoites will look to Shibuya as their neighborhood of choice to celebrate the holidays this year. Attend one of the dozens of events held until December 25 or shop for limited-edition items at the Shibuya Scramble Xmas Market. Special lotteries are also open to shoppers who want to win exclusive goodies. Finally, head up to Shibuya Sky for a special exhibition featuring art layered onto the Tokyo skyline. All this and more throughout the shopping complex.

When: Until Dec 25

4. Christmas Cheer at The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho

With the theme of “Gift for the Future,” guests and visitors can join in on the activities that will definitely bring in the holiday cheer this year at The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho.

From creating your own Christmas tree ornament inscribed with your personal holiday wishes or messages, to special hotel plans with a room filled with Steiff teddy bears and gorgeous Christmas decorations, the Christmas spirit is all around this luxury hotel.

When: Until Jan 1

5. Sumida Aquarium: Around Breath

The Sumida Aquarium is holding a special, hands-on event inspired by the oxygen bubbles created by the photosynthesis of aquatic plants. The aquarium will also feature a fascinating exhibition showcasing the unique breathing techniques of sea creatures.

Until: Feb 28

6. Shohei Miyachi: Blow

The Container is delighted to host the first solo exhibition in Japan of Shizuoka-born photographer Shohei Miyachi. The exhibition Blow presents works from Miyachi’s practice over the last decade in New York and Tokyo, documenting and capturing moments of intimacy and sexual acts between men. Often featuring himself, Miyachi’s work highlights his interest in sexuality, the human body and in performance art. It also chronicles his journey in navigating stigma and self-acceptance as a Japanese man.

Until: Feb 28

7. Christmas Market at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

The Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse is hosting its annual Christmas Market with extra caution and prior online registration required on peak days. As always, the event features food stalls and pop-up stores featuring seasonal favorites such as mulled wine and more. The 10-meter Christmas tree stands tall and creates a holiday atmosphere.

When: Until Dec 25

8. Lacquer Art Exhibition: Until Dawn by Eiko Tanaka

Eiko Tanaka is a woodturner and lacquer artist based in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Tanaka does everything herself, from the preparation of the materials to the finishing touches. Curves, created by her advanced wood-turning technique and a glossy world-view expressed by black-red lacquer, leave a lasting impression. It makes you feel that the darkness of night is approaching.

In this exhibition, Huls Gallery Tokyo showcases Tanaka’s lacquerwork including sake cups for restaurants and bars and art panels.

When: Until Dec 25

Jesper Just, Corporealités #4, 2021, Framed photography. 67 x 92 x 3.7 cm. 1/3 Editions + 2 AP. Courtesy Perrotin

9. Jesper Just Exhibition: Seminarium

Perrotin Tokyo is hosting Jesper Just’s first solo exhibition in Japan. The Danish artist is known worldwide for his films and multi-projection video installations.

Seminarium is an amalgamated installation of four recently produced film works extending throughout the gallery. The viewer is part of an intimate and sensual encounter with luminous violet bodies and a floating woman whose voice fills the exhibition. “Experience emotional wellness with clinically proven biofeedback technology,” the voice intones. “Ready. Play. Feel…”

Seminarium addresses the perpetual human drive – past and present – to cultivate super-plants and super-bodies: to control nature and force it to assume specific shapes and properties.

When: Until Dec 28

10. Hiromart Gallery: Winter Show

Hiromart Gallery is hosting its annual group exhibition Winter Show which features gallery artists from previous exhibitions. This year, the lineup includes Canadian painter Robin Fry as well as Japanese artists Sachie Kashima and Masanobu Sakakibara.

Notes from the gallery: Admission may be limited when the space is crowded. Please wear a face mask or covering. Please understand that hours and closure times of the gallery may be subject to change without notice depending on the situation concerning Covid-19.

When: Until Jan 23

Christmas Illuminations

11. Roppongi Hills Christmas 2021

Roppongi Hills comes to life when the whole complex is awash with light, celebrating the season all the way along the Keyakizaka-dori, Mohri Garden and the Christmas tree at Roku-Roku Plaza. Watch some 70,000 lights glitter along the elegant streets of Roppongi. Make the most of the holiday season as you stroll through the stores and hunt for festive mulled wine.

When: Until Dec 25

12. Tokyo Midtown Christmas 2021

Under the concept of “Vivid,” this year’s festive event will present an exciting and colorful Christmas scene. In addition to the tree illumination, there will be snow globes trapping the beautiful moments of the four seasons, colorful trees marking the countdown to Christmas and other installations, including the popular skating rink, that will heighten your anticipation for the holidays.

When: Until Dec 25

13. Kitte Marunouchi: White Kitte Christmas

This year’s Christmas event will be held under the concept of “Japanese style and novelty.” In the atrium on the first floor, immerse yourself in a white winter wonderland created with approximately 12,000 sheets of washi snow falling from the ceiling. Keep your eyes open for other beautiful decorations throughout the shopping complex and Christmas deals at select stores.

When: Until Dec 25

14. Magical Christmas at Tokyo Skytree Town

Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Skytree Town will be decked out in Christmas colors and lights. An eight-meter Christmas tree will be on display featuring gorgeous lights. Not to mention the Tokyo Skytree Town ice skating park, which will also be open until March 6, 2022. Enjoy the festive messages lit up on Tokyo Skytree while ice skating with friends, family and loved ones this holiday.

When: Until Dec 25

15. Omohara no Mori Christmas Illumination 2021

Omohara no Mori on the rooftop of Tokyu Hands Omotesando lights up during the holiday season. The illumination is designed to give off a warm and relaxing feel using blue and white lights that complement the surrounding nature. On your way down, you can do some Christmas shopping as the stores feature various Christmas-themed items and gifts for your loved ones.

When: Until Dec 25

16. Twinkle Color Christmas 2021

This year, Shinjuku Southern Terrace will be lit up with fantastical “Mirrorbowler” mirror balls and a Christmas tree in collaboration with Kiki & Lala, Little Twin Stars. Don’t miss out on the stunning Christmas tree decorated with pink and blue light baubles.

When: Until Feb 14

17. Hibiya Magic Time Illumination 2021

The concept for this event is “a moment like magic.” Hibiya is a town that frequently appears in movies and television dramas, making it the best place to take a moment away from everyday life. The illuminations are champagne gold and amber, giving a warm and relaxing vibe to the whole area. Go to the Park View Winter Garden on the sixth floor for more illuminations and a beautiful view of city lights.

When: Until Feb 14


Top and feature image by picture cells // Shutterstock