Music

Your complete guide to the best gigs and festivals in Tokyo

The ‘Ninja Gaiden’ soundtrack returns on vinyl – 30 years after its initial release
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The ‘Ninja Gaiden’ soundtrack returns on vinyl – 30 years after its initial release

The classic video game tunes come back to life with this remastered collection

Interview: Lite
Music

Interview: Lite

The globetrotting post-rockers on why getting out of Japan every once in a while can be beneficial for a band

The mighty wa
Music

The mighty wa

Exploring the deep appeal of wamono, aka Japanese oldies

Six of the best Tokyo area jazz joints
Music

Six of the best Tokyo area jazz joints

Not sure where to get your groove on in Tokyo and surrounds? Let us show you the way

The best music spots in Tokyo
Music

The best music spots in Tokyo

55 of the city's finest music bars, clubs, record stores and gig venues – it's your ultimate guide to music in Tokyo

The best upcoming gigs in Tokyo

Cornelius
Music

Cornelius

Keigo 'Cornelius' Oyamada has laid rather low in recent years, dabbling in various commercial projects and collaborative schemes while performing sparsely and usually alongside fellow big-name indie artists. But 2016 saw his solo activities pick up speed, with a US tour preceding the announcement of Mellow Waves – the first Cornelius album in 10 years. With that disc hitting shelves in late June and first single 'Anata ga iru kara' already having gotten fans' hopes up, Oyamada heads to Liquidroom for two consecutive nights in July.

Sigur Rós
Music

Sigur Rós

After years of increasingly grandiose records and tours, ethereal Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Rós are pumping the breaks on their latest tour. Touring as a trio – without any opening acts or backing band – to road test a batch of new songs and play new interpretations of old ones, the band promise an elaborate stage show, developed by the same team responsible for the complex projections and lights of their previous tours. Taking place at the International Forum, this is bound to be a special batch of shows. Tickets go on sale April 15.

Slow Live in Ikegami Honmonji
Music

Slow Live in Ikegami Honmonji

One of summer’s most popular music festivals, Ikegami Honmonji’s annual Slow Music Slow Live returns for the 14th year in a row. This is your chance to enjoy laidback tunes courtesy of domestic indie favourites including Hanaregumi, Asako Toki, Glim Spanky and Trio Ohashi at a traditional temple down in the southern suburbs. All-acoustic, smooth and relaxing, once again. Tickets usually run out fast, so best book yours now.

Hostess Club All-Nighter
Music

Hostess Club All-Nighter

One of the better bits of the ever-so-unfocused Summer Sonic festival, this night-time programme assembled by indie promotion supremos Hostess Entertainment is back for 2017 with a reliably strong lineup. In addition to big names such as Scottish post-rock outfit Mogwai and psychedelic post-punk-meets-shoegaze quintet The Horrors, you'll be treated to gigs by Geoff Barrow's Beak and Fuck Buttons member Benjamin John Power's solo project Blanck Mass, plus a DJ set from electronic music polymath Matthew Herbert.

Wise Owl Hostels 1st Anniversary Party
Nightlife

Wise Owl Hostels 1st Anniversary Party

Opened in July last year, Hatchobori hostel Wise Owl now celebrates its first birthday with food, art, a flea market and quality tunes. The restaurant on the premises serves up a special take-out menu throughout the day, while artists will be selling a range of travel-related knickknacks in the neighbouring space. In the evening, the Howl bar in the basement, which is equipped with a top-of-the-line sound system and DJ booth, welcomes local greats Daito Manabe, Yosi Horikawa, Daisuke Tanabe and Ametsub, plus Berlin-based avant-techno artist Kyoka, to fire up the crowd. 

World Happiness
Music

World Happiness

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the family-friendly World Happiness is one of those rare summer music festivals going on right here in Tokyo. The play-it-safe lineup is usually veteran-heavy (think Yukihiro Takahashi, Denki Groove and Towa Tei), but this year’s edition also features young blood in the form of glitchy pop starlet Zombie-Chang and guitarist Yuri Miyauchi. There’s a special discount for parents with children of elementary-school age or younger. Note that the festival makes way for Olympics-related construction and moves from Yumenoshima to Kasai Rinkai Park for this edition.

See more gigs in Tokyo

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The best music venues in Tokyo

SuperDeluxe
Bars and pubs

SuperDeluxe

Liquidroom
Clubs

Liquidroom

Cotton Club
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Cotton Club

WWW
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WWW

Unit
Clubs

Unit

Club Quattro
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Club Quattro