From live music events to Christmas markets, this weekend Tokyo and its surrounding municipalities have a plethora of activities for you to attend.

Though the state of emergency has been lifted, keep up with social distancing measures and limit unnecessary outings when possible.

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This Week Only

1. 6th Edition of MUTEK.JP

MUTEK.JP returns to Tokyo for its sixth edition. This year’s installment, which takes place over five days, will explore the latest in audiovisual creation in three venues — the Miraikan Dome Theater, Line Cube Shibuya and Shibuya Stream Hall.

Last year’s edition, which took place in a hybrid event format with a focus on local talent, featured a limited live audience accompanied by a strong virtual presence. For 2021, however, MUTEK.JP is returning in full force by extending the length of the festival and the size and range of venues to its 2019 format while maintaining adequate health measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The 2021 edition will create a space where audience members are able to gather in a safe manner and return to the joy of experiencing live music and audiovisual performances.

When: Dec 8–12

2. MUTEK.JP Presents A/Visions 2

The A/Visions 2 program, part of MUTEK.JP’s sixth festival, will transcend performing arts and musical concerts with musician Marihiko Hara. They’ll present a special live performance joining the piano, synthesizers and a string ensemble alongside the Persian instrument santur. Hara, who recently presented his work at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, will be joined by visual artist and programmer Ryo Shiraki.

When: Dec 9

TW Picks

3. 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 an eerie holiday atmosphere.

When: Until Dec 25

4. 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

5. 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

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

6. 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

7. Kosuke Kawamura: Try Something Better

Born in 1979 in Hiroshima, Kawamura moved to Tokyo after graduating high school and immediately became involved in the city’s creative community. Initially a graphic designer, Kawamura 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

8. 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 and 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

9. Queen 50th Anniversary Exhibition – DON’T STOP ME NOW-

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the formation of Queen, one of the most legendary bands in rock, the Queen 50th Anniversary Exhibition Production Committee will hold a special exhibition entitled “Queen 50th Anniversary Exhibition – DON’T STOP ME NOW-.”

The exhibition in Shibuya will cover the 50 years of Queen’s music, from their debut to the birth of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the miracle of Live Aid and their final farewell to Freddie. The 50 years of the band’s career are divided into seven scenes along with major milestones and places that symbolize each era (live venues, studios, etc.) are recreated and linked with photos, videos and documents.

When: Until Feb 13

10. Tokyo Ramen Street’s Local Ramen Challenge: Phase 2

The Local Ramen Challenge by Tokyo Ramen Street started in July earlier this year. The event mainly consisted of the opening of a limited-time ramen store, Shina Sobaya. From November 12, Tokyo Ramen Street will initiate the second phase of the event by introducing Kumamoto’s Tengai Ten ramen shop to their selection. This is the second of seven local shops you’ll be able to taste during the event. It will only be open for about 100 days.

When: Until Feb 24

Christmas Illuminations

11. Roppongi Hills Christmas 2021

Roppongi Hills comes to life when the whole complex is ablaze 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, be sure to 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 Patryk Kosmider // Shutterstock