TOPTokyo LifeGuides & Insights17 Things To Do in Tokyo This Weekend: January 14–16

17 Things To Do in Tokyo This Weekend: January 14–16

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

By Weekender Editor

As we breeze through January, Tokyo is seeing new exhibitions pop up throughout the city and some luxury hotels are already getting ready for Valentine’s Day. And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the winter illuminations before they’re over.

Note: Be sure to take all precautionary measures against Covid-19 and its variants. Remember to stay informed.

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TW Picks

1. Omotenashi Selection Pop-up Shop

Looking for something quintessentially Japanese? Our friends at Omotenashi Selection are hosting a special pop-up shop in Nihonbashi this January. There you’ll find an exciting lineup of products, some of which were featured in our 2021 gift guides. If you’ve been looking for a special gift or simply want to get to know new and unique lesser-known Japanese producers, be sure to check it out.

When: Until Jan 30 | More info

2. Hiroto Ikeuchi Exhibition at Sai Gallery

This exhibition will be Hiroto Ikeuchi’s largest solo show to date and will present a conceptual space featuring full-body suits created with the development and manufacturing team of the body-enhancing robot company Skeletonics. Visitors will be able to experience new large-scale works created in collaboration with the interactive design company Prototype Inc. This will be featured alongside a selection of Ikeuchi’s previous works to provide visitors with the opportunity to see the development and inspiration behind his artistic process.

When: Until Jan 30 | More info

3. Fumiaki Aono Exhibition: Growing from the Valley – The Remnant of a Tate-mono

In this exhibition, Fumiaki Aono presents his latest works inspired by the bowl-shaped terrain around Shibuya Station which is near the gallery and the high-rise buildings constructed for the area’s redevelopment. From the act of “repairing” objects, Aono draws a narrative that leads the object’s primary reason of being to another dimension.

When: From Jan 14 | More info

4. Red Roses and Strawberries for Valentine’s at Grand Hyatt Tokyo

Celebrate the season of love with a visit to Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Indulge in a special strawberry-focused selection of sweets including double-layered choux filled with rich strawberry cream. Alongside the berries, take your pick from rose-infused desserts to get you in the Valentine’s Day mood. 

When: Until Feb 28 | More info

5. 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 | More info

6. Eugene Studio Exhibition in MOT: After the Rainbow

After the Rainbow is the first solo exhibition of the Eugene Studio in a Japanese museum, namely The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT). Based in Japan, the Eugene Studio is headed by Eugene Kangawa, an American-born artist who is the subject of growing international acclaim. As Kangawa was born in 1989, this will also be the first solo exhibition at MOT by an artist born during Japan’s Heisei Era (1989–2019). After the Rainbow will showcase two-dimensional works, large-scale installations, video and sculptural works from the Eugene Studio. The exhibition will explore the perspectives, ideas and philosophies that underlie the studio’s diverse body of work.

When: Until Feb 23 | More info

7. 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.

When: Until Feb 28 | More info

8. Shohei Miyachi: Blow

The Container hosts 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 performance art. It also chronicles his journey in navigating stigma and self-acceptance as a Japanese man.

When: Until Feb 28 | More info

9. Collapse and Awakening: American Movies of the ‘70s

From the late 1960s to the 1970s, American cinema faced a major turning point. The social changes characteristic of the time, such as the Vietnam anti-war movement, inspired innovative movies that shook the core of individual consciousness. This exhibition looks back on the light and darkness of these classic movies from a 21st century perspective.

When: Until Mar 13 | More info

10. Togetherness: Design Exhibition by Esther Sandler

From January 2022, I AM gallery in Higashi-Nagasaki will exhibit the products of designer and illustrator Esther Sandler, under the name “Togetherness.” Togetherness is a label launched by Sandler, under which she creates products such as textiles, ceramics and cards. In addition to bold colors and beautiful designs, the creator is particularly proud of the environmentally friendly production, such as eschewing the use of harmful chemical substances and utilizing natural fibers that can be decomposed.

When: Until Mar 27 | More info

Winter Illuminations

11. Twinkle Color Christmas 2021

Shinjuku Southern Terrace is 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 | More info

12. 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 | More info

13. Marunouchi Illumination 2021

As with every year, around 340 trees on both sides of the Marunouchi Naka-dori street are brightly lit with around 1.2 million “Champagne Gold” lights. The lights stetch along Tokyo Torch Park and Otemachi Naka-dori street. Around Tokyo Torch Terrace, many restaurants and cafes have available terrace seats, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the illuminations.

When: Until Feb 14 | More info

Tokyo Dome City

14. Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination 2021

When it comes to illuminations, Tokyo Dome City is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places to visit in the capital. You’ll find magnificent tunnels of lights, a giant Christmas tree and dozens of winter-inspired sculptures scattered around the area. This year’s theme is “picture perfect illuminations.”

When: Until Feb 28 | More info

15. Tokyo German Village Winter Illumination

Celebrating its 16th anniversary in 2021, Tokyo German Village’s illumination event is a union of light and music. Walk under a river of lights, spot the different characters sculpted in the fields and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. This illumination is definitely worth the trip.

When: Until Mar 21 | More info

16. Sagamiko Illumillion 2021

This winter, in addition to their regular display which uses six million LED lights, Sagamiko Illumillion features a Sailor Moon Eternal-themed area for fans of the franchise. It’s so impressive, it almost feels like you become one of the Sailor Guardians yourself.

When: Until Apr 3 | More info

17. Yomiuri Land Jewellumination 2021

The world’s only gemstone-inspired illumination event is taking place at Yomiuri Land. The installations use LEDs projecting the world’s first jewel LED color developed by Motoko Ishii. The theme that Ishii chose for the 2021-2022 season is “The Glimmer of Hope! -Symphony of Diverse Lights-.” Various colorful illuminations come together to create a magical environment.

When: Until Apr 4 | More info