Summer is slowly winding down, but you can mark the end of August with two of Tokyo’s liveliest festivals, the euphoric Koenji Awaodori and the sultry Asakusa Samba Carnival. Rain may be part of the forecast, but don’t let a few raindrops overshadow this fun-filled weekend. If “traditional” matsuri are not on your agenda, you can always head down to Yokohama for some California-themed goodness, view a cat exhibition, partake in an art workshop, or make back-to-school plans for the near future. Take your pick:
Red Brick Resort
Yokohama’s Red Brick Warehouse area has transformed into a mini-holiday resort for the entire month of August, and this weekend is your last chance to check it out. The area is going for “West Coast” theme this year, so visitors can enjoy California burritos, Mexican taco rice and fresh fruit smoothies while kicking back on sofas and dangling their feet in the foot water pool.
Neko Break Exhibition
The “Neko Break Exhibition” is a series of photographs of, you guessed it… cats. That’s right, over 300 photos of cats just doing their thing—sleeping, relaxing, stretching and just generally looking cute. For those of us having a stressful work week, this is the perfect way to relax and let the soothing power of the humble pussycat work its magic.
This&That Cafe Vol. 25 – Shamanz CD Release Party
“This&That Cafe” is a monthly event that goes down at Nishi Azabu’s renowned creative hub SuperDeluxe. Over time it has grown to become one of the most diverse and creative events on Tokyo’s arts calendar, with live music and performances from a enviable array of genres, coupled with real-time projections and visual artists. This month’s edition is dedicated to launching local band Shamanz’s new CD, and also features an eclectic lineup of DJs, bands, performances, projections and live visual artists.
New Zealand natives Yumi Zouma are renowned for their lush female vocals floating over dream-pop melodies. Having signed to New York based label Cascine, this band have been on the radar of those in the know since the release of their debut EP early last year.
McGill MBA Japan Open House Session
Ever considered building your professional qualifications through further study during your time in Japan? Whether you’re in Japan for a short time or for good, a Master of Business Administration could be the competitive edge you need to get ahead in your professional life. Attend this open house session to find out if this is right for you.
Summer Kids Workshop—Ai Sasaki
Artist Ai Sasaki encourages children to run wild with their imaginations at this one-off summer art workshop. Using paper around the gallery walls, kids are encouraged to draw until having used up one whole color pencil. Using the entire body to move and create, Sasaki hopes for them to “experience the time between the things and themselves.”
Yumeka-Shira & Chums—Music Night
Head down to The Pink Cow in Roppongi for a fantastic lineup of live acoustic music from singer-songwriter Yumeka-Shira, who is celebrating the release of his new album, “Was that the dream?”, which will be on sale at the event. Make sure to grab one of the Cow’s famous burritos as you check out the tunes.
Live from the Kitchen Disco Vol. 16
Beat the Sunday night dread with this free, recurring event combining music and food. Drop by the Kitchen Disco for a lineup of live music, along with Papera’s mouthwatering menu of tasty foods and thirst-quenching drinks. It’s also a non-smoking event (a rarity in Tokyo), so feel free to bring the whole family!
Around 12,000 Awa dancers and countless more members of the public will descend upon the neighborhood to take in the parades that snake through nine different routes along the narrow, atmospheric streets. The sight of many of the troupes’ multigenerational casts might just inspire you to join in!
Asakusa Samba Matsuri
The annual Asakusa Samba Carnival sees dancers wiggling their way through downtown Tokyo and shaking their feathers to the beat in what is possibly the city’s sexiest summer festival. Troupes of dancers will parade through the traditional quarters of Asakusa, going from Sensoji Temple to Tawaramachi Station. Samba beats, churrasco grills and some Brazilian exuberance are sure to spice up the end of the summer.