Along with 2019 we usher in the year of the boar, the 12th and final animal on the Chinese zodiac. While the wilds of Japan are rife with wild boar, most of the pork sold in Tokyo’s supermarkets and served at tonkatsu restaurants comes from the state of Iowa. Look at the map of the US and you will find Iowa just to the left of Chicago. This agricultural state larger than the Kanto, Chubu and Kansai regions combined is 92 percent cornfield. The home state of John Wayne and Ashton Kutcher has more than twice as many pigs as Tokyo has people. So this year when you chow down on yakiton, tonjiru or burger (as Tokyo’s meat patties are mostly pork and panko), give a hearty thanks to Iowa’s pig farmers. The Tokyo National Museum will also be honoring the pig with an exhibition launching this weekend, and a host of other events happening in Tokyo will make you squeal with delight.

New Year’s Celebration at the Tokyo National Museum

Historic works of art from screens to scrolls to ceramics adorned with boar motifs will be on display at the Tokyo National Museum. The character for “boar” in Japan can be read as “pig” in China and Korea hence some discrepancies in Western interpretations. Rather than the domesticated pig, the Japanese boar is a fearless animal symbolic of strength and abundant harvests.

Wrestle Kingdom 13

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s annual New Year event held Friday at the Tokyo Dome sees the world’s top talent battle it out at the largest professional wrestling show outside of North America.

60 Years of Baron Yoshimoto

Baron Yoshimoto debuted as a manga artist in 1959 and became a seminal part of the ‘gekiga’ manga movement in the ’60s and ’70s which popularized comics amongst a mature audience with their dramatic, cinematic and sexy stories.

Engei – Traditional Japanese Performing Arts

Discover wasuma, traditional magic dating back more than 400 years, try your hand at kamikiri paper cutting and take home your creation or find yourself amazed by the skills of kyokugei (traditional acrobatics) including kasamawashi rotating umbrellas.

Cute & Funny Ukiyo-e Exhibition

From strange creatures to slapstick comedy, discover the charming, cute and funny elements of the historical Japanese art form ukiyo-e at the Ota Memorial Museum of Art.

City Light Fantasia – White Night Story

Just because Christmas and New Year’s is over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Tokyo’s glorious illuminations. Tokyo Tower’s City Light Fantasia and the main deck combines the spectacular city view with the magic of winter and romance through ethereal images projected on three sides of the tower.

A Thousand Wonders of Japanese Technology

This special exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Nature looks back at 150 years of Japanese technology including automobiles, cameras and robotic pets.

‘Strawberry Wonderland’ Sweets Buffet

The popular Alice in Wonderland-themed dining series returns to the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo including an all-you-can-eat strawberry sweets buffet.