It seems bittersweet to celebrate Japan’s Spring Equinox national holiday, which falls on Friday, Marcy 20, this year. In Tokyo this is normally a time for cherry blossom viewing, graduations and other ceremonies. Instead, the coronavirus epidemic continues to sweep across the world.

Last Saturday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declined to declare a state of emergency for Japan, instead warning people to avoid places such as fitness centers, live music venues and other places with poor ventilation where large groups of people cluster and communicate in close contact. Abe added that children should have the opportunity to go outside and get exercise in safe environments.

Adults need the same opportunities as well, so here are some of the events happening in Tokyo this weekend that have not been canceled, and some that have started to reopen following temporary closures. (Be sure to call or check the venue website before attending.)

yoshi0511 / Shuttertock

Cherry Blossoms at Tokyo Midtown

From March 20 be sure to check out Tokyo Midtown’s iconic night illuminations. The avenue of sakura trees will be lit up at night, making it a perfect spot for a lovely evening stroll. Several of the corresponding events have been canceled (full cancellation details available on their website///


Contemporary artist KAWS launches a limited-edition AR experience featuring his iconic character. Download the free app and you can capture your very own shot of his latest work at and around Shibuya Crossing. ///daring.underway.recipient

Ogata Kenzan, Sakurazu

Rinpa – Decoration and the Beauty of Simplicity

The Japanese painting style rinpa began in Kyoto during the Edo period and has been passed down for nearly 400 years. See the outstanding design sense and the sophistication of painting at Kashima Arts from March 20–29. ///

Sakura Nights at Toshimaen

The classic amusement park Toshimaen reopens on March 21 after temporary closure to add some excitement to your cherry blossom viewing with a roller coaster, viking ship and all the fun of the fair. ///wing.candles.prayers

Une moderne Olympia, 2018 ⓒ Yasumasa Morimura

Yasumasa Morimura: Ego Obscura, Tokyo 2020

For this exhibition at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, which reopened on March 18 after temporary closure, Morimura appears as Emperor Hirohito, General Douglas MacArthur, Marilyn Monroe and Yukio Mishima – iconic figures deeply etched into the collective memory of the Japanese people. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, entrance will be limited to groups of 10 people or less. ///stencil.single.wool

Waza – An Exhibition of Traditional Skills and Innovation

Through March 23 at Matsuzakaya at Ueno, browse the latest additions to Omotenashi Selection’s roundup of top quality Japanese products. ///revised.robots.bells

Perfect Liars Club Tokyo

A night of deception, interrogation and plenty of laughter awaits at Good Heavens on March 20, this time in a special International Women’s Day edition with an all-female lineup. Numbers are limited to 50 for this show (audience, staff and cast). ///siesta.panther.union

Hokusai ― The Teacher-Student Showdown!

Preparing to reopen on March 20, Sumida Hokusai Museum displays works of legendary ukiyo-e artist Hokusai alongside his apprentices and descendants. ///dent.tickles.nests

Tree of Light & Nihonbashi Art Street

Nihonbashi unveils a raft of sakura-themed illuminations and installations around the opulent Coredo Muromachi complex. Unfortunately many of the events that were set to run in tandem with the artworks have been canceled (full cancellation details available on their website). ///herring.range.risks

Rikako Inoue, A provisional image that was exchanged there, 1620 x 1300mm / Oil on acrylic panel / 2019

Rikako Inoue: “Kiss for Sadness”

From March 20 at Loko Gallery, award-winning painter Rikako Inoue exhibits her organic motifs, inspired by Françoise Sagan’s “Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness).” ///glad.simple.bracelet

Street Art Museum of the Youth

Tokyo Midtown holds the annual Tokyo Midtown Awards, a design and art competition that supports and shines the light on young talented artists. The artworks produced by the six winners of the 2019 art competition will appear at Plaza B1 in Tokyo Midtown. ///

Akita Spring Festival in Tokyo

Celebrate spring the Akita way. This March, visit Akita Bisaikan to learn more about the prefecture’s seasonal produce. Selected items will be on sale for those who want to sample the goods. This event also features a lottery giving guests a chance to win a special Akita-inspired prize. ///

Kilara Sen: “No Mask Required!” Standup Comedy

Well, maybe now a mask is recommended. Japanese comedian Kilara Sen, a.k.a. Pink Unicorn, returns home to perform her debut one-hour show at Good Heavens on March 22. ///siesta.panther.union

Hajime Sorayama: Sex Matter and Trex Art Exhibitions

Hajime Sorayama, known for his illustrations of erotic feminine robots, opens his Sex Matter and Trex art exhibitions simultaneously at the Nanzuka gallery (///viewers.usual.touched) and Shibuya Parco (///than.newly.engaging).

Naoya Inose, Romantic depression, 2020 ©Courtesy of the artist

Naoya Inose x THE CLUB: “Romantic Depression”

THE CLUB at Ginza Six launches Naoya Inose’s solo exhibition Romantic Depression, introducing the London-based oil painter’s most recent works inspired from a research trip to Iceland. ///bridge.legwork.caller

Suchart Boonyavech /

Tokyo German Village

Head to Chiba for an amazing illumination display of light and sound featuring a rainbow tunnel. Some facilities are closed through March 27, so check the venue website for updates. ///sooner.skins.tapers

Image courtesy of Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.

Kaikai Kiki Gallery Exhibition: ob

The works on display at this exhibition (ending March 24) were used during the shooting of the upcoming Netflix drama series Followers. Within the drama, ob’s pieces are displayed in Kaikai Kiki Gallery as the works of the character Sunny, played by KOM_I. ///push.sedated.rely

Ginza Six – Prismatic Cloud

Bending and shaping light itself to the form of a cloud Tokujin Yoshioka, a Japanese artist who designed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch, launches his Ginza Six debut with this masterpiece – “Prismatic Cloud.” ///vaccines.pulses.slides

© RK

RK: NEOrient Art Exhibition

Diesel Art Gallery presents Japanese photographer RK’s solo exhibition, “NEOrient.” RK is a street photographer whose magical and colorful take on street, architecture and nature is gaining attention domestically and internationally. ///burst.torches.shade

Yukie Ishikawa, Impermanence — Wind through Rape Blossoms, 2019, Acrylic and sand on canvas, 114 1/8 x 77 inches, © Yukie Ishikawa

Yukie Ishikawa

Ishikawa’s latest compositions are part of an ongoing, highly intricate body of work titled Impermanence (2012-present), now on exhibit at the Ueno Royal Museum. ///prance.engaging.replays