Started last year, Songs of Tokyo is an annual fest to showcase the best of Japan's music scene to the world, from quintessential J-Pop to old-school favourites and everything in between. The show is broadcast across the world, making it easier for international viewers to get a taste of what's hot in Japan's music scene right now.
This year sees the show split into two distinct sections, with a line-up of three bands who are all known for their anime soundtracks followed by the likes of rock band Alexandros and the eternal youthfulness of News.
On the anime front, Eir Aoi, Garnidelia, and Hiroyuki Sawano (pictured top) – as SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] – all make an appearance. Sawano in particular is the ultimate crowd pleaser, and will be playing some of his hit songs that were used as title songs for popular anime.
The anime-themed set is followed by some of Japan’s biggest pop stars who have also caught attention of audiences abroad. That includes Keyakizaka46, who are praised for their intricate dances, during which the members run around the stage in mind-boggling formations without ever crashing into each other.
Another highlight is Alexandros, who have benefitted from their six-month recording session in New York: they’ve brought back renewed power and stage presence, making their performance more riveting than ever.
The cherry on the cake is News. This boy band is one of the biggest things after SMAP, and they’ve been going strong for 15 years now. To celebrate this anniversary, they’ll be performing a special edition of a few of their hit singles.
NHK Songs of Tokyo will be broadcast on NHK World Japan at these times: Part 1, Sat Nov 17, 8.10-8.58am; Part 2, Sun Nov 18, 8.10-8.58am; Part 3, Sat Nov 24, 8.10-8.58am; Part 4, Sun Nov 25, 8.10-8.58am. There will be repeats on each of those days at 2.10pm, 7.10pm and the next day 2.10am (all Japan standard time).