The best upcoming events in Tokyo
Earth Garden Winter
You know that people are serious about all that 'love the earth' stuff when they're still willing to gather in Yoyogi Park around mid-January. The winter edition of the quarterly Earth Garden features the usual array of eco-themed stalls, food stands and workshops, with music and art performances also taking place.
Chinese Spring Festival 2017
While it's fun to visit whatever the season, Yokohama's Chinatown district is never livelier than during its New Year festival. The two weeks of festivities are stacked with events, including a countdown party on the night of January 27, traditional lion dance performances and music both in Yamashitacho Park (February 4) and the main thoroughfares (January 28), a parade of traditional costumes on the afternoons of January 29 and February 5, and a spectacular Lantern Festival on February 11 from 5.30pm (around Masobyo Temple).
Flowers By Naked 2017
Lightup impresarios Naked Inc return to Nihonbashi with an updated version of this expansive projection mapping project, which incorporates a wild jumble of elements from flowers and scents to the Fibonacci sequence and was a huge hit both last winter at the same venue and this past summer at Tokyo Midtown. Composed of real flowers, video, interactive imagery, aromas, edibles and more, it makes for a pre-hanami celebration to be experienced with all five senses. Do note that you'll probably need to queue to get in, especially on weekends.
Black Card Cabaret: A Night in Monte Carlo
Have a night out for a good cause: this fundraiser for Refugees International Japan is hosted at Cruise Club Tokyo, where you can gaze across Tokyo Bay at the stunning night-time scenery while drinking and dancing away on a boat. For this edition, they've gone all out with the theme, with a casino game-filled salon, a burlesque show, a funky DJ and more. The ¥15,000 fee (minimum donation) includes unlimited boozy substances and canapes. Sign up in advance through their website; proceeds go to a pre-school education programme for Syrian children living in Lebanon. Just note that you'll be expected to dress to the nines – the dress code is '007/Bond Girl'. For more information, check out the event website or visit guyperryman.com.
Nitro Circus 10th Anniversary World Tour
Headed by motocross stunt hero Travis Pastrana, 'action sport collective' Nitro Circus bring their anniversary tour to Tokyo Dome for two shows in February. As seen on the crew's eponymous reality TV show, their performance includes everything from gravity-defying motorcycle jumps and BMX artistry to some rather amazing wheelchair moves and skateboard tricks, all performed with impeccable flair. Tickets are available now.
Tsukiji Honganji Lunchtime Concerts
Held on the last Friday of every month, these mini-concerts at Tsukiji's Honganji are returning for another run from January to March. Lasting for a mere 30 minutes during lunchtime, they've been popular among Tsukiji workers and local residents alike, and feature songs from Buddhist hymns to baroque and contemporary music. The sheer power of the sound is impressive and reverberates through the hall, with vocals and saxophones joined by the over 2,000 pipes of the West German organ. And if you'd like a little spiritual guidance to go with the tunes, consider staying for the sermon by Tsukiji Honganji's lead monk, who takes the stage directly after the concert.