This week in Japan is Golden Week, a series of national holidays. Most of the country’s working population is off, making it the perfect time to catch up on new things happening in the city.

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1. 23rd Spiral Independent Creators Festival

Launched in 2000, Spiral Independent Creators Festival (SICF) is an open-call art festival that aspires to discover, foster and support emerging artists and designers. SICF brings together creative talents across different fields and disciplines to present their work and attracts a wide variety of visitors from the creative industries, including gallery owners, curators, collectors, buyers and media professionals.

When: May 3–8 | More info

2. Tokyo Comedy Bar Grand Opening

Finally, a dedicated stand-up comedy club in Tokyo. This is the English opening event split into an early and late show, each with a different line-up of Tokyo’s top stand-up comics. Spectators can enjoy eight varieties of craft beer along with other drinks to warm you up.

When: May 6 | More Info

3. Book Fair – TUJ Continuing Education Program

Join Temple University Japan Campus for its first-ever TUJ Continuing Education “Book Fair” and see what books might be of interest to you.

Over the years, TUJ has accumulated a ton of great books, including English and Japanese Language textbooks covering topics on finance, management, marketing, design and more. However, they are constantly updating the books they use for their courses, leaving them with stacks of books no longer in use but still rich in information and insights. TUJ will also be accepting donations for the TUJ library, so if your Tokyo apartment is short on space, you can bring some of your books in to donate or to trade, as long as they are in good condition.

When: May 7 | More Info

4. Aaron Garber-Maikovska: “Cushion of Air”

Blum & Poe presents “Cushion of Air,” the second solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Aaron Garber-Maikovska.

The work presented depicts Garber-Maikovska in a state of performative movement where he channels the human condition through his gestures captured and recorded in ink and oil on fluted polypropylene boards. Furthering the artist’s explorations of communication, interpersonal connection, urban sprawl and the body, the pieces that comprise this exhibition act as memorandums of the visual language that he has developed throughout his works of art.

When: Until May 7 | More info

5. “You can be a doctor” Exhibition

TV Asahi reopened the Wakabadai Media Center in October 2021. Based on the concept of “experiences that will be a turning point in life,” the venue provides exhibitions and experiences that bring awareness and learning while having fun. The first participatory event, “You can be a doctor” exhibition allows children to experience the popular TV Asahi program Sandwich Man & Dr. Aina Ashida. In this exhibition, the children make notebooks using the knowledge they acquired from the adults appearing in the program.

When: Until May 8 | More info

6. Naoki Honjo: “(Un)real Utopia”

Photographer Naoki Honjo is known for his characteristic style of photography that uses a large format camera with a tilt-shift lens to capture cities as if they were dioramas. Evoking the feeling of a miniature world, Honjo blurs the lines between the reality and fiction of the world around us. This is the artist’s first large-scale solo exhibition and will feature approximately 200 works, including previously unseen collections, which together provide a comprehensive overview of his career to date.

When: Until May 15 | More Info

7. Momo: “Life Goes On”

Momo is a painter fascinated by the beauty of Aboriginal pointillism coming from the indigenous peoples of Australia. Practicing art since childhood she has experimented with oil paintings and digital design, which has ultimately led her to create her own technique using toothpicks and color to express her pointillism art.

From Momo’s unique perspective, she introduces a story hidden in the streets of a familiar cityscape where common symbols are reborn as if they were from another world.  Momo’s animal series also implements this same technique of colored toothpicks.

When: From May 7 | More Info

8. Mark Ryden: “Yakalina 9”

Perrotin and Kasmin are delighted to announce a jointly organized exhibition of new works by American artist Mark Ryden. Encompassing the newly created series of bronze sculptures and drawings of the mysterious entity Yakalina, the exhibition is conceived as a component of the artist’s upcoming exhibition, Animal Secrets, opening at Perrotin
Paris in May.

Mark Ryden’s imaginative creations probe into the invisible and interpret the life of things filled with spiritual essence. Yakalina 9 features sculptures and drawings of the mysterious animal recently created by Ryden. Yakalina, with an appearance that is both lovely and eerie, has a long conical body covered with fur and outstretched arms symbolizing worshiping and piety.

When: Until May 14 | More info

yayoi kusama museum new exhibition

9. Yayoi Kusama Museum New Exhibition: A POEM IN MY HEART

The Yayoi Kusama Museum in Tokyo has completely changed its selection, making the visit a fresh new experience even for frequent patrons. The latest exhibition is titled “A POEM IN MY HEART,” showing some of Kusama’s rare works such as nihonga paintings and collages. Also on display are her latest works, some as late as 2020. A few of the works in the museum are being exhibited for the first time.

The room-size installation and the rooftop sculpture have been changed too. “I’m Here, but Nothing” is a new room-size fluorescent installation on the fourth floor, while the rooftop sculpture that used to be a pumpkin when the museum first opened is now a mesmerizing work called “LIFE.”

When: Until Aug 28 | More info