Despite the ongoing pandemic which has been hard for businesses and attractions of all kinds, we’ve seen many new restaurants, cafés, bars and galleries pop up around Tokyo in the past year. However, we also had to say goodbye to some of Tokyo’s iconic landmarks last year, including major tourist attractions like Kawaii Monster Café, Mega Web Toyota City Showcase and Oedo Monogatari Onsen.
Unfortunately, 2022 is set to see more of the same, with many venues already announcing they’ll be shutting down this year. So you don’t get caught out, here’s a chronological list of the major Tokyo attractions closing in 2022.
While Shinkiba might not be known as a nightlife district, many Tokyoites have stories of wild nights out at Ageha, Tokyo’s biggest nightclub. Most weekends (and some weeknights), Ageha takes over the live music venue Usen Studio Coast, turning it into a sprawling club known for its big dancefloors and bigger parties. Unfortunately, Usen Studio Coast is closing its doors for good on January 30 and Ageha is shutting down along with it. Ageha’s organisers say they’re still hoping to find a new home for the club, so keep an eye out.
Hotel Koé Tokyo
This sleek hotel in central Shibuya is sadly closing on January 31. Run by clothing company Stripe International, Hotel Koé Tokyo is known for its stylish space, in-house apparel shop and a spacious dining area that offers an all-you-can-eat bread buffet for breakfast.
Ikebukuro's famously quirky glasses shop is shutting down on March 20. The store on the east side of Ikebukuro Station is impossible to miss – the ceiling, walls and even the façade are adorned with an eclectic range of frames, reading glasses and sunglasses. After 50 years in business, the shop is finally, sadly, closing down. But there's a silver lining: until closing day, everything in the shop is 50 percent off. Plus, every visitor to the shop gets two free items as a special gift.
This huge shopping mall in Odaiba is part of the Palette Town complex, which is undergoing a massive redevelopment starting this year. While Mega Web Toyota City Showcase and Zepp Tokyo have already closed their doors at the end of 2021, VenusFort will be operating until March 27. Don’t miss out on its last illumination event, Thankful Carnival, to see the Fountain Plaza decked out in colourful lights and golden drapes.
Yokohama Gundam Factory
Despite the delayed opening due to the pandemic, Yokohama Gundam Factory opened in December 2020 with an 18-metre-tall mecha. Unlike the Gundam statue in Odaiba – or any of the others in Japan – this one can actually move. Plus, the venue features shops, exhibits, interactive experiences and a themed café dedicated to the Gundam series. Surprisingly, despite all the work that went into building it, the giant robot is only temporary.
It was set to be removed on March 31 this year, but in a last-minute twist, the venue announced the Gundam will stick around for another year, shutting down in 2023 instead. Sadly, the Gundam cafés in Tokyo (and Japan) weren't so lucky – all the cafés closed down on or before January 30.
One of Tokyo's most popular history museums is in for some changes. Don't worry – this closure isn't permanent, but it is a big one. The Edo-Tokyo Museum opened in 1993 and, with nearly three decades in business, it’s long overdue for a renovation. The temporary closure will start on April 1 and last until 2025 or early 2026. During that three-year period, there will be an extensive renovation of the entire facility, including displays, equipment, devices and more.
Thought to be Japan’s longest running jazz café, this jive spot in Yokohama will have its last day of business on April 10. Founded way back in 1933, Chigusa has already been forced to close twice over its long history, but has always bounced back. So jazz lovers needn't worry – this time, loyal patrons are expanding and preserving the café as a jazz museum (with some live music for good measure). Chigusa is expected to reopen sometime in 2023.
After more than 50 years, Iwanami Hall in Kanda-Jinbocho is screening its very last film on July 29 due to the impact of the pandemic. This mini-cinema is a favourite haunt of Tokyoites who love indie films that you just won’t find at bigger multiplexes. The theatre is still screening movies until its last day, so head to Jinbocho to catch foreign films like Ankon and Golden Thread while you still can.
Just four years after opening in summer 2018, Odaiba’s record-breaking digital art museum teamLab Borderless is set to close on August 31. Since it’s located in the same complex as VenusFort, the museum is being forced out by the same redevelopment. However, there’s some good news here: while Borderless won’t reopen in the same location, the art collective says it will get a new city-centre spot sometime in 2023.
Giant Sky Wheel
The 115-metre-tall ferris wheel in Odaiba is also a part of Palette Town, meaning it’s set to be taken down this year. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to catch a ride on this iconic bayside attraction before its last day on August 31.
One more thing…
Unlike Borderless, teamLab Planets was only ever meant to be temporary. Opened in 2018 and originally set to close in autumn 2020, the Toyosu museum has instead seen its closing date postponed throughout the pandemic. It even got upgraded with a new garden area and a branch of the art collective’s Vegan Ramen Uzu restaurant last year.
Now, the digital art attraction will stick around a little longer. teamLab Planets was initially scheduled to shutter at the end of 2022, but with the closing of teamLab borderless this August, the museum will remain open until the end of 2023.
This article was published on January 17 and updated on August 26.
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