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Asakusa Samba Carnival | Time Out Tokyo

August 2020 events in Tokyo

Plan your August in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including summer festivals, fireworks, gigs and dance parties

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
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August in Tokyo is usually when the summer heat hits its peak, resulting in plenty of sweaty messes on the trains, peak electricity usage and incessant dehydration warnings. However, August is also the month for some of the city's best summer festivals, firework shows and outdoor drinking events, not to mention the Obon holidays and after-dark activities on water. Find the right beer garden, hit a public pool or head out to Chiba for Summer Sonic – our guide to all the best events in Tokyo this August helps you avoid FOMO for good.

Our August highlights

Daniel Arsham x Pokémon
©2020 Pokémon. TM, ® Nintendo. ©Daniel Arsham

1. Daniel Arsham: Relics of Kanto Through Time

Art Parco Museum, Shibuya

American artist Daniel Arsham has teamed up with Pokémon for an exhibition at the Parco Museum Tokyo following his Pokémon showcase at Nanzuka. Recently, Arsham also released a limited-edition Uniqlo T-shirt collection, giving fans a sneak peek at what's in-store. Titled 'Relics of Kanto Through Time', the exhibition features Pokémon characters in Arsham's signature fossilised, decaying style which he has coined as 'Fictional Archaeology'...

Beauty and the Beast café
Photo: ©Disney

2. Oh My Cafe Tokyo – Beauty and the Beast

Restaurants Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, Harajuku

Disney fans rejoice! Step into Belle’s world at this pop-up café inside Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, where you can enjoy 'Beauty and the Beast'-themed dishes throughout the summer. There are six options available, including a sandwich, curry rice and pasta, all based on Belle, the Beast, Gaston and other iconic characters from the 1991 animated movie. Make sure to order a drink as well, which comes with either a beautiful coaster or a tea cup if you pay a little extra...

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Rilakkuma Cafe
2020 San-X Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved

3. Rilakkuma Fruits Cafe

Restaurants Harajuku AR Box, Harajuku

Visit Harajuku AR Box for some kawaii Rilakkuma-themed foods, which are offered for a limited time during the summer. Unlike your average dining experience, the Rilakkuma Fruits Cafe incorporates an interactive projection mapping show, created by Sony, at your table. Once the food is placed on your table, Rilakkuma and his friends will appear there too and entertain you before you dig in...

重要文化財 小袖 白綾地秋草模様 尾形光琳筆 江戸時代・18世紀 東京国立博物館蔵
重要文化財 小袖 白綾地秋草模様 尾形光琳筆 江戸時代・18世紀 東京国立博物館蔵

4. Kimono: Fashioning Identities

Art Tokyo National Museum, Ueno

Get a thorough introduction to an iconic piece of Japanese clothing at the Tokyo National Museum and Japan Cultural Expo's spring special, which digs deep into the history and cultural significance of the kimono. The exhibition's five sections touch on themes such as the garment's origins, its evolution and its contemporary role, and feature a range of remarkable items – from the only remaining kimono decorated by master painter Ogata Korin and a jinbaori coat worn by the 16th-century warlord Oda Nobunaga to the OTT clothing designs of Taro Okamoto...

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メッツァ アンブレラスカイ・デザインプロジェクト
©Moomin Characters™

5. Metsä Umbrella Sky Design Project

Things to do Multiple venues

Rainy season is approaching, and there are 2,000 colourful umbrellas lining the paths in Metsä Village and Moomin Valley Park, just waiting for you to walk underneath them. Both 300-metre long paths are hued in vibrant colours and create stunning light and shadow scenes – perfect for your Instagram feed. The umbrellas in Moomin Valley Park (admission fee applies) feature warm colours and some of them come with attached Moomin characters. The project is supervised by world-renowned textile designer Masaru Suzuki.

Takanawa Forest Garden
Photo: Prince Hotel

6. Takanawa Forest Garden

Restaurants Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa, Takanawa

One of the more exclusive outdoor booze spots opening around town in summer, the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa's poolside garden offers treats from sparkling wine to all-you-can-eat Japanese beef. The lit-up pool adds to the atmosphere at night, while the gazebo-style roof means this beer garden is an option even on rainy days. It all comes with a price, though: the barbecue sets start from ¥6,800.

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7. Secret Source of Inspiration: Designers’ Hidden Sketches and Mockups

Art 21_21 Design Sight, Roppongi

21_21 Design Sight, a sleek Roppongi venue dedicated to contemporary design, is offering a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at the working processes of some of Japan’s foremost practitioners of industrial design, architecture, interactive development and more. All 26 current members of the Japan Design Committee (established in 1953) have shared work-in-progress sketches, drawings and mockups to form an exhibition that reveals the essence of creativity...

Olafur Eliasson
Photo: Installation view: Tate Modern, London Photo: Zan Wimberley, 2019 Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

8. Olafur Eliasson: Sometimes the river is the bridge

Art Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Kiyosumi

Olafur Eliasson does epic like few others. The Danish-Icelandic artist’s first Tokyo show in ten years will see breathtaking installation pieces from throughout his career fill the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo’s vast halls. Eliasson’s grandiose works demonstrate both his masterful manipulation of light and geometry, and deft incorporation of phenomena from the natural world. ‘Beauty’ (1993), in which a rainbow emerges in a darkened space, is just one such highlight...

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バンクシー展
バンクシー展

9. Banksy: Genius or Vandal?

Art Multiple venues

Banksy is the most notorious street artist of this generation, but his real identity remains a mystery to the world that admired his works as they spontaneously appeared on city streets overnight. Though images of Banksy's work have been widely circulated online, the artist has never organised conventional exhibitons, making it harder for international fans to see a collection of his works in person. This unauthorised exhibition, which has already been held in five cities around the world, is made possible by private art collectors...

Aloha Night
Photo: Cafe Kaila

10. Starry Sky Beer Garden Aloha Night

Restaurants Cafe Kaila, Shibuya

Shibuya’s popular Hawaiian restaurant Cafe Kaila has a beer garden with a touch of the tropical.. Sit outside on the terrace, where you’ll hear Hawaiian music playing throughout the night, and dine on Hawaiian dishes such as marinated smoked salmon, chicken wings and dried curry, in addition to unlimited garlic edamame and cajun fries. This ¥4,400 (¥4,900 on Fri & Sat) course also includes a free-flow of selected beers, cocktails and soft drinks, and is ¥200 cheaper if booked through the Café Kaila website (Japanese only).

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