Laughing, drinking highballs and reveling under the luminescent Tokyo Tower – that’s what Tokyo summer is all about (along with erratic weather patterns). Regardless, get out there and make the most of your weekend, whether it’s dancing the night away at one of various festivals, hanging out with David Bowie in ukiye-o form or enriching yourself with the world’s finest opera singers.


Tokyo Tower Highball Garden and Rooftop BBQ

Tokyo Tower opens up not one, but two outdoor drinking gardens. Enjoy all-you-can-eat Genghis Khan-style barbecued mutton with friends or co-workers on the rooftop of Tokyo Tower Foot Town, located directly between the tower’s four legs. For traditional summer barbecue fare, hit up the ground floor highball garden located outside the tower’s front entrance. Fully stocked with beverages, summer festival foods and appetizers, everyone is sure to leave with a smile.


Zipang in Shirahama Flower Park

Head to the seaside for Chiba’s own version of the Burning Man community and arts festival. The annual beachside festival at Shirahama Flower Park combines art and culture with swimming and dancing. Whether you’re laying in the pool or crowd surfing near the stage, everyone can enjoy Zipang festival. The lineup of underground artists includes DJ Nobu and other techno artists as well as local hip hop acts and jam bands.


David Bowie Ukiyo-e and Photography Exhibition

This 10-day exhibition at Bookmarc features stunning traditional style woodcut prints of the late pop icon, actor and musical legend, David Bowie.  Bowie is the third subject in the Ukiyo-e Project’s ongoing series mixing the traditional Japanese art of ukiyo-e (hand carved woodcut printing) with pop culture crossovers.  Referencing Bowie’s own creative and aesthetic connections to Japan, the latest works take inspiration from iconic photographs including Terry O’Neill’s Diamond Dogs promo photo and Brian Duffy’s Aladdin Sane cover.


Omohara Beer Forest by Yona Yona Beer Works

Once again Omohara Beer Forest welcomes Tokyo’s beer thirsty crowd with craft beer creations by Yona Yona Beer Works and a variety of food stalls selling summer festival favorites. Stop by this gorgeous rooftop garden at Tokyu Plaza Omotesando for a drink, or celebrate a full night out under the open summer sky at one of the summer’s more popular beer garden events.



As always, the New National Theatre, Tokyo welcomes some of the world’s finest opera singers to its stage. For this grandiose, Italian-style production of Puccini’s melodramatic opera (first performed in Rome in 1900), the role of Tosca is played by Catherine Naglestad, acclaimed world-wide for her rich musicality and charisma.


Dead Pop Festival Kanagawa

The brainchild of Shonan punk band SiM (Silence iz Mine), this festival showcasing various genres of metal music upgraded to a proper outdoor venue. Now spanning two days on the outskirts of Kawasaki, bands appearing this year include 10-Feet, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Coldrain and Dustbox – with SiM naturally headlining each night.


Blanca Li “Solstice”

As part of TACT Festival 2018, Spanish-born, Paris-based choreographer and director Blanca Li brings her dance company and Latin temperament to Tokyo. Performing “Solstice,” the dancers exude a primal power and wild passion as they move across the Playhouse stage at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre.


Natsu Biraki Music Festival – Osaka, Fukuoka, Tokorozawa

Natsu Biraki Music Festival has grown epic proportions, boasting three venues across the country, kicking off in Osaka this weekend. The concept is simple: create a festival that’s easy to get to for a day trip from the city, and make it kid-friendly. Not only is there a family area where families have all the amenities needed (nursing and diaper changing rooms for example), kids under the age of 12 get in free.


Print Kingdom

Machida City Museum Of Graphic Arts’ latest exhibition is dedicated to the numerous styles that form the art of printmaking. Ranging from traditional Japanese woodblock prints by masters such as Katsushika Hokusai to Western copperplate etchings by the likes of Goya or Rembrandt to lithographs by Alphonse Mucha, Print Kingdom showcases how famed artists used various techniques of printmaking to share their vision.


NNT Opera Studio: Excerpts of Two Operas Based on Romeo and Juliet

Every year, up-and-coming opera singers who entered the New National Theatre’s Opera Studio in the last three years perform on stage. This year the students will present excerpts of two operas, “I Capuleti e I Montecchi” composed by Vincenzo Bellini, and “Roméo et Juliette” composed by Charles Gounod, both works based on Shakespeare’s beloved “Romeo and Juliet.”