In the first weekend of December, Tokyo becomes illuminated and beautifully festive. Enjoy Tokyo’s Christmas illuminations, from Roppongi to Oshiage or check out the winter shows of select art galleries. Alternatively, join a cocktail workshop hosted by Arigato Travel or pop by Tokyo LoveHotels nightlife event on Saturday.

Though the SOE is lifted, keep up with social distancing measures and limit unnecessary outings when possible.

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cocktail making workshop

1. Holiday and Winter Cocktail Making Workshop

Travel company Arigato Travel and coworking space The Hive Jinnan have teamed up for this cocktail-making workshop. With 20 years of experience in the food and beverage and tourism industries, Lauren Shannon from Arigato Travel will share and demonstrate recipes that are easy to learn and recreate, but also some tips in making your own delicious cocktails and mocktails at home.

You’ll learn how to make two Japan-inspired holiday cocktails and there will be a brief networking session afterward to meet other cocktail lovers.

If you’re not able to join the event on-site, live streaming will be available. Please register in advance here.

When: Dec 3

2. Tokyo LoveHotels Vol. 25: #LETITSNOW

Join an extravagant night filled with live painting, DJs, popups and live performances at #LETITSNOW while also supporting local Tokyo and international artists.

Tokyo LoveHotels is an art-event organization that exhibits creatives’ works without charge or commission allowing them to network, promote and perform with peace of mind. With a large gathering of local and international talents, Tokyo LoveHotels always creates a night filled with art, music, experiences and love.

When: Dec 4

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3. 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: Untl Jan 23, 2022

Top: “D-1” 2021, Acrylic paints, pencils, canvas on wooden frame, 803×652×25mm | Middle: “D-2” 2021, Acrylic paint, pencil, canvas on shaped panel, 90×80×25mm | Bottom: “D-3” 2021, Acrylic paints, pencils, canvas on wooden frame, 727×500×25mm

4. Shoko Masunaga: Replace

Loko Gallery is proud to present Shoko Masunaga’s exhibition “replace.” Upon planning her exhibition, Masunaga began by observing the gallery’s exterior, atrium structure, the skylight and the differences between the ground and second floor spaces to examine the purpose of the environment where her works are placed, and how time is indicated. Through this exhibition, Masunaga attempts to integrate the act of viewing with visual and conceptual effects which derive from the interrelation of the environment and the painting’s scale, shape and color.

When: Until Dec 12

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

5. 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

6. Mickey Mouse Now and Future Exhibition and Pop-up Store

Parco Museum (4F of Shibuya PARCO) is hosting the “Mickey Mouse Now and Future” exhibition. This is a collaborative project that represents the present and future of Mickey Mouse under the theme of “Gathering of Fans” by artists from all over the world who love Walt Disney’s iconic character. The exhibition will be curated by Nanzuka, a contemporary art gallery in Shibuya.

When: Until Dec 19

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.

The artworks featured in this exhibition were created largely through manual, hands-on methods such as cutting, shredding and pasting to emphasize the three-dimensionality and uniqueness of the works, a purposeful contrast to the digital reproducibility he emphasizes in his collaboration or commission works. The analog methods give the works a sculptural aspect, inviting the viewer to become aware of the physicality of the work and the exhibition space.

When: Until Dec 19

Echoland 2, 2021, Acrylic, dye, ink on burlap, 16″ x 14″ (40.6 x 35.6 cm)

8. Evan Nesbit: Appellative Lines

Lines perform representative and differentiating functions in painting. A line can be an edge, border, contour, mark or texture. It is also a means of suggesting, pointing, meandering, tracing and conjuring. A line can mark a place, contour an object and carry units of measurement. Some lines are fuzzy, some lay shallow on a surface until layered or thatched. Regardless of its varying qualities, additive or subtractive, it is a basic unit of visual language. “Appellative Lines” explores this intriguing notion.

When: Until Dec 23

9. 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, and will only be open for about 100 days.

When: Until Feb 24, 2022

10. 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 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, 2022

Phyllida Barlow, untitled: canvasracks; 2018-2019, Concrete, cotton-duck canvas, hardboard, paint, plastic, plywood, steel, tape, timber, Dimensions variable. Courtesy: Hauser & Wirth, Installation view: cul-de-sac, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2019. Photo: Damian Griffiths

11. Another Energy: Power to Continue Challenging – 16 Women Artists from around the World

This exhibition focuses on 16 female artists in their 70s or older, from across the globe, who continue to embark on new challenges. Ranging in ages 71-105 with their careers spanning over 50 years, these artists are originally from 14 different countries, and equally diverse in their current locations. Showcasing their wide array of powerful works from paintings, video, sculptures, to large-scale installations and performances, it contemplates the nature of the special strength, “Another Energy” of these women who have all continued challenging throughout their long-standing careers.

When: Until Jan 16

Christmas Illuminations

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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 decked out with gorgeous lights. Not to mention the Tokyo Skytree Town ice skating park 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

16. Twinkle Color Christmas 2021

This year, Shinjuku Southern Terrace will be lit 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, 2022

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 6th floor for more illuminations and a beautiful view of city lights.

When: Until Feb 14, 2022