The best upcoming events in Tokyo
Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony
A large-scale tea ceremony event where even those who aren’t familiar with the custom are welcome to participate. The event will be held at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum from Saturday October 13 to Sunday October 14, and at Hamarikyu Gardens from Saturday October 20 to Sunday October 21. The indoor tea ceremony costs ¥700 and requires booking in advance, but there are plenty of other programs available in both English and Japanese. In addition to the workshops, there will also be a number of stalls to shop from and a series of exciting shows including Kabuki and Noh performances. Check out the website to see what’s on at each venue.
Summer might be over, but there are still a few big traditional festivals to enjoy. The Kawagoe Festival is one of them, an over 370-year-old event where huge floats are paraded along the city's kurazukuri (old architectural) streets. To make it even more spectacular, they're lit up at night, and the festivities reach their peak in a cacophony of drums, bells, flutes, clapping, moving floats, and dancing, known as Hikkawase.
Chofu Autumn Fireworks
Chofu celebrates its connection to the movie industry in an explosive way: as several film scenes have been shot on the banks of the Tamagawa, and Chofu is home to multiple studios and film-related companies, the festival is dubbed 'City of Cinema: Chofu Autumn Fireworks'. It sees around 10,000 rockets launched over the river, choreographed to popular film scores.
A two week pop-up restaurant and bar by artist collective Chim↑Pom has just opened in Kabukicho. The restaurant will feature a menu devised from a list of last meals requested by death row prisoners, and display works by Austrian avant-garde artist Hermann Nitsch. The restaurant event also includes performances by BLACKSMOKER, KILLER - BONG, Fuyuki Yamakawa, Kairai bunch, Aida Makoto, Dengeki Network and more. Be sure to check the event schedule to know who’s performing when. Note: This is a one-off event, not to be confused with another restaurant in Kabukicho called Ningen Restaurant.
31st Tokyo International Film Festival
Tokyo’s top cinematic extravaganza is returning for its 31st edition and will again shine the spotlight on an eclectic – some would even say random – selection of movies, primarily shown at Roppongi Hills and Ex Theatre Roppongi. It usually offers a decent opportunity to catch new films that have been doing the rounds on the festival circuit, and also provides a rare chance to see fresh Japanese and foreign-language cinema with English subtitles. See the full line-up here.