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Headline

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 Week: September 12–18

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

By Weekender Editor

There’s plenty to keep you occupied in Tokyo this week including a Jujutsu Kaisen café, a moon festival, a Sumo Tokyo Basho tournament and a comedy slam. On top of all that, there are various exhibitions, live music and the annual Tokyo Game Show. Here’s what to look out for in the capital this week.

1. James J. Robinson Exhibition: On Golden Days

“On Golden Days” is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on Australian history by Filipino-Australian artist James J. Robinson. He is based between New York, Los Angeles and Melbourne. Initially shooting from 2014 at the age of 18, Robinson has since been published by the likes of The New York Times and Vogue.

Robinson’s exhibition is an optimistic and fascinating look at a past that never existed. More than 100 Asian Australians collaborated on this work to correct the history of racism in Australia.

When: Until Oct 1 | More Info

2. Sake Ware Exhibition 2022: An Evening Gathering

This autumn, Huls Gallery Tokyo will hold its second exhibition showcasing sake ware. Japanese sake ware comes in many different materials and shapes. In the many ways that we can enjoy and appreciate them — using them according to your mood or the taste of the sake, or simply admiring them as decoration — they never fail to fascinate us. This exhibition will include over 200 works from more than 50 artists and manufacturers, ranging from ceramics to lacquerware, glass and metalwork.

When: Until Sep 24 | More Info

Roppongi Art Night
Courtesy of Kaikai Kiki Gallery

3. Doraemon Maquettes at Roppongi Art Night

During “Roppongi Art Night,” Kaikai Kiki Gallery will showcase the maquettes of the balloons created as collaborations between Doraemon and 13 artists curated by Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami. Aya Takano, Madsaki, Shin Murata, Yuta Hosokawa of Readymade and others take on Murakami’s challenge of using a Doraemon motif in their works to create the largest balloons ever exhibited at this art festival.

The original maquettes painted and designed by the artists have a powerful presence. Visitors can also observe each artist’s artwork exhibited alongside their balloon maquettes. “Roppongi Art Night” will also include art installations, music, performances and talks.

When: Until Sep 24 | More Info

4. Moon Art Night Festival Shimokitazawa

Visitors can look forward to artworks created by six artists, all related to “tsukimi,” meaning moon viewing. In addition to participating artists from Japan and abroad, local shops will be involved via activities such as stamp rallies and themed food and drinks such as a special tsukimi IPA craft beer, tsukimi burgers, doughnuts and more.

When: Until Sep 25 | More Info

Tokyo Game Show

5. Tokyo Game Show 2022

As one of the top gaming shows in the world, Tokyo Game Show 2022 will feature major game publishers, console makers and mobile gaming companies from Japan, as well as some indie and international companies.

The first two days of the event will be for industry and press only. Visitors can try playing new games but must be prepared to possibly wait in long lines.

When: Sep 15-18 | More Info

6. Rooftop Festival 2022 at Platform 9

Platform 9, Pullman Tokyo Tamachi’s rooftop bar, is holding an event organized especially for those who want to make the most of the last few weeks of the summer and get carried into fall with an evening breeze. Guests can enjoy cocktails and light bites at the bar before sitting down to watch a movie on the comfortable compression garden sofas courtesy of Output Life on the adjacent terrace.

When: Sep 16-17 | More Info

icon photography

7. Icon Contemporary Photography II Exhibition

“Icon Contemporary Photography Ⅱ” will feature 50 artists who are part of the contemporary photography scene and are shaping its future. Among them are Mari Katayama, who is known for her sculpture and body work, Nagi Yoshida, who travels around the world photographing minor ethnic groups, Photographer Hal, whose work follows themes of individuality, style, communication and intimacy, and TW’s Solène Ballesta.

When: Sep 16-19 | More Info

Nezu Shrine Festival
Editorial credit: Terence Toh Chin Eng / Shutterstock.com

8. Nezu Shrine Festival

While Nezu Shrine is most famous for its Azalea Festival in April and May, it also has an annual festival in mid-September. This festival is well-known for the shrine’s traditional Kagura dance, “Sanza no Mai.” The festival will also feature a parade with portable shrines and food stalls.

When: Sep 17-18 | More Info

jujutsu kaisen cafe

9. Jujutsu Kaisen Café Pop-up

Fans of the anime and manga series Jujutsu Kaisen can try food and drinks inspired by the show. The café menu includes chicken over rice depicting Mahito’s mouth, a stylish and fashionable sweets menu depicting the silhouette of Satoru Gojo and a summery fresh green apple mint soda inspired by Megumi. There will also be original goods including acrylic key chains, badges, pins, postcard sets, stickers and more.

When: Until Oct 10 | More Info

Sumo
Editorial credit: J. Henning Buchholz / Shutterstock.com

10. Sumo Tokyo Basho Tournament

Sumo grand tournaments are held only six times a year in four different cities in Japan and the autumn tournament will be held this September. They are held three times a year in Tokyo (January, May and September), giving the public a chance to witness a distinctly Japanese traditional sport.

When: Until Sep 25 | More Info

Nakanobu Nebuta Festival
Editorial credit: Terence Toh Chin Eng / Shutterstock.com

11. Nakanobu Nebuta Festival

The Nakanobu Nebuta Festival will be held for the first time since 2018 and this will be its 17th iteration. The covered shopping street named Nakanobu Skip Road will host the event. There will be no street stalls, but visitors can still expect music, dancers and floats like those at the grander Aomori Nebuta Festival.

When: Sep 17 | More Info

Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine
Editorial credit: Rittis / Shutterstock.com

12. Setagaya Hachimangu Autumn Festival

Residents of Tokyo interested in watching a free sumo event can attend the Setagaya Hachimangu Autumn Festival. The festival will last the entire day, but the ritual sumo event will take place from 10am to 11:30am. While this event normally takes place over three days, it has been shortened to one day. Certain parts of the festival, such as the mikoshi processions, entertainment and food stalls will not take place.

When: Sep 18 | More Info

sumo slam

13. Tokyo Comedy Bar Sumo Slam: Topical Comedy Quiz

In this panel-style comedy show, two to three comedians will compete by telling the funniest stories. Each week will showcase fresh material by diverse comedic talent, creating a perfect night for friends and family.

When: Sep 17 | More Info

14. Kodo Interactive Performance

Perfect for those curious about Japanese traditional taiko drumming and families with children, Kodo Interactive Performance gives audience members a chance to hear and play taiko drums. Since the Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble debuted at the Berliner Festspiele in 1981, they have performed over 6,500 times in 53 countries on five continents. Around 4,000 of those performances fell under the “One Earth” banner. This is a theme that embodies their goal to unite people around the world using music that transcends language and cultural boundaries.

When: Sep 14 | More Info

Mid-autumn moon night

15. Moon Viewing at Happoen Garden

Visitors can partake in moon viewing on the lawns of a garden with a history of around 400 years. While listening to live koto performances, they can savor tsukimi dango and “seasonal balls” made using seasonal ingredients from all four seasons. Customers can also enjoy an original gin drink too. The entry fee includes the special menu “seasonal ball” and one drink.

When: Until Sep 25 | More Info

blue period exhibition

16. Blue Period Exhibition

Fans of the anime and manga series Blue Period can enjoy the first “Blue Period Exhibition,” which features exhibits such as paintings from the manga and an immersive theater that allows visitors to relive the characters’ journeys to the University of the Arts as well as explanations of famous paintings and other exhibits. There will also be a chance for visitors to create their own blue oil painting, frame it and take it home. What Cafe will also serve a collaboration menu that includes items such as the “Blue Cream Soda of Youth” and “Colorful Jelly Soda.”

When: Until Sep 27 | More Info

17. Ph Mode x TYO Exhibition

Ph Mode x TYO by Manila Fashion Festival (MFF) successfully launched its first show on September 2 at Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo 2023. MFF is the Philippines’ biggest fashion week, featuring collections of established and promising designers. Ph Mode x TYO by MFF is in collaboration with Stylem, a leading fabric trading company in Japan. Senior and contemporary designers from the Philippines created an exclusive collection ensemble by merging Japan’s quality fabric and indigenous material from the Philippines, paving the way for creative camaraderie.

When: Sep 12-16 | More Info

 


Feature image credit: yu_photo / Shutterstock.com