While we may not be attending Ebisu’s Bon Odori Festival (yet to be confirmed), there are still other things to get excited about. The Tokyo Toilet project that gave us the transparent toilets near Yoyogi park is now rumored to be rolling out a number of flashy modern toilets in the Shibuya area. Unagi season is here and it’s brought fresh eels and new restaurants. Whether you’re into smashing bananas like Donkey Kong or practicing your French at Bunkamura, there’s plenty to do this July in Shibuya.
Restaurants and Dining
Banana X Banana — For When You’re Hangry
Try a drink that’s rich in fiber and nutrients instead of your regular Starbucks order. Banana X Banana in Shibuya109 specializes in delicious banana juice but with a twist — you get to crush the bananas yourself. Use a dedicated hammer and table to take your frustrations out on this delicious treat. Both soy and almond milk are also available.
Fun fact: The website for the shop is written as 877 – a Japanese language pun that reads “ba-nana-nana”.
Where: 2-29-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku
Eel Season Brings a New Standing Restaurant
Japanese summers tend to be accompanied by several cravings, from citrus-flavored water to a decent helping of delicious grilled eel. Considered gourmet food, it can be tough to find inexpensive and delicious unagi but the restaurant chain Unatoto makes it easier. Their new store Unatoto Sasazuka is a first for the company as it is a standing-only restaurant. They additionally offer a take-out service for those in even more of a rush.
Where: 1-57-16 Sasazuka, Shibuya-ku
Museums & Exhibitions
Bunkamura Celebrates Everything French
Shibuya’s hot spot for cultural activity is getting a Parisian makeover this July with Bunkamura Bon Bon, a month that transports the passions and talents of France to Japan. Bite into a succulent tarte while listening to live music at the famous Les Deux Magots, or spend Bastille Day admiring the muses of visual artist Man Ray at the Museum. There’s no limit to the drama at the Cinema where tumultuous love affairs and deep connections take center stage. Expect no less than the crème de le crème. Maybe we cannot travel yet, but this is the easiest trip to France you can ever take.
When: Throughout July
Where: Bunkamura, 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku
Kazumi Nakamura Exhibition at Blum & Poe
Kazumi Nakamura will return to Blum & Poe for the third time in an illuminating solo exhibition. This time around he will highlight his works on paper in contrast to his canvas pieces. His use of intense colors and sweeping brushstrokes capture attention. While his hidden East-Asian motifs and expertly placed diagonal forms establish undeniably pleasing compositions.
When: Until Aug 07
Where: Blum & Poe, 1-14-34 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
New National Theatre Tokyo: Carmen
Come to the theatre and see a whirlwind of emotions in this poignant Spanish love story. Follow the life of free-spirited Carmen as she battles the unpredictable tendrils of love and seduction while giving us unforgettable operatic performances such as “Habanera,” “Seguidilla” and more. Outbursts of flamenco dancing along with a score sung in French will transport you to another world. English and Japanese subtitles available. Event details here.
When: Jul 3—Jul 19
Where: New National Theatre Tokyo, 1-1-1 Honmachi, Shibuya-ku
Artistic Expression With Free Shibuya zine
Celebrate the cyberpunk aesthetic of Shibuya with this free zine. Made by volunteers on the popular app Clubhouse, this small booklet is designed to explore the underground of Shibuya by shooting overlooked and unexplored places and people. Editor-in-chief Hiratabin hopes it will encourage others to participate in the community and utilize their own creativity.
Where: Distributed at participating cafés and live houses
Mario Collaboration at Shibuya Parco
The much-loved Italian plumber will be showing his face a lot more this season at Shibuya Parco. Kicking off the summer with a discount bazar at 50-70 percent off, Parco will also release special items that fuse Super Mario with notable in-house brands. Iconic t-shirts, pouches, watches, fans and LED lights will be on offer, so you’re bound to find a keeper.
When: Pre-sale (Jul 1—20) | General release (From Jul 21)
Where: Shibuya Parco, 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku
Here is what else is new: