1. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo
    Photo: Dan Wong PhotographyWarner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter
  2. teamLab Borderless
    Photo: teamLab BorderlessTokyo © teamLabteamLab Borderless
  3. Jurassic World: The Exhibition
    Photo: Universal Studios and Amblin EntertainmentJurassic World: The Exhibition

15 best events and new openings to look forward to in Tokyo in 2023

From a Harry Potter attraction to a new Studio Ghibli anime by Hayao Miyazaki, we’ve got a lot coming in 2023

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

With so many exciting exhibitions, festivals and long-awaited openings, 2023 has already been a brilliant year. What's more, those of you who have been waiting to visit Japan for the past two years are well aware that there are countless new attractions to check out, from the life-sized moving Gundam in Yokohama to Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan.

Tokyo has also been gaining momentum, with a host of exciting new openings such as huge entertainment destination Tokyu Kabukicho Tower and the Tokyo Midtown Yaesu shopping and dining complex. We've also got even more to look forward to, with the Jurassic World Exhibition coming to Tokyo for the first time this spring, followed by the opening of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour dedicated to the movie magic behind the 'Harry Potter' franchise. As the old saying goes: you haven’t seen anything yet. 

RECOMMENDED: Best art exhibitions in Tokyo right now

Just opened

  • Things to do

Shinjuku’s bustling nightlife district of Kabukicho is now home to Tokyu Kabukicho Tower, Japan’s largest hotel and entertainment complex, which opened its doors on April 14 2023. The towering skyscraper spans 48 storeys and five basement floors, with plenty to keep you entertained. There's a cinema, live concert venue, gaming arcadeyokocho food hall and much more. 

Tokyu Kabukicho Tower also features artworks by 26 artists scattered throughout the building, including art rooms inside the building's Hotel Groove Shinjuku. Additionally, there are highway bus stops for Haneda and Narita airports on the first floor, making it easy to connect to other destinations. 

  • Things to do

One of the newest additions to the city’s skyline is the shiny new Tokyo Midtown Yaesu, a convenient shopping and dining complex right across the street from Tokyo Station

The most striking feature of this complex is the 45-storey Yaesu Central Tower, which is home to Japan’s first Bulgari Hotel from floors 40 to 45. Making a grand statement on the ground level, however, are two massive public art installations: the 10m-tall 'Star' by Tokujin Yoshioka and 'Mountain Range' by Takashi Kuribayashi.

Underground, meanwhile, is the Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu. Located on the second basement floor, this transport hub is connected to Tokyo Station via an underground passageway. Here you'll be able to catch buses to Haneda and Narita airports as well as cities like Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka.

  • Travel
  • Transport & Travel

Opened in January 2023, Haneda Airport Garden is directly connected to Haneda Airport Terminal 3 and features a new bus terminal, a rooftop spa plus dozens of shops and restaurants.

The facility also includes two Villa Fontaine hotels, which opened on December 21 2022. As its name suggests, Hotel Villa Fontaine Grand is the larger of the two, with a total of 1,557 guest rooms that include Japanese-style tatami rooms. Hotel Villa Fontaine Premier, meanwhile, is a touch more luxurious than its sister establishment with 160 spacious suites overlooking the Tamagawa River.

Those who don’t need to spend a whole night at the airport on their layover have the option of unwinding at the 2,000sqm hot spring facility on the 12th floor of the complex, which is open to non-hotel guests for a separate admission fee.

At the bus terminal, meanwhile, you can coaches into Tokyo or further afield to destinations like Ise in Mie prefecture, Osaka and Hakuba in Nagano prefecture.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

The Sunshine 60 Observatory on the 60th floor of Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City closed its doors in October 2022 to undergo renovation, but it reopened in April 2023 with a revamped interior. Previously known as Sky Circus for its art installations and interactive activities, the observation deck has been transformed into Tembo Park, an indoor park where you can relax and enjoy the views.

The main area inside Tembo Park is Tembo no Oka, which means ‘observatory hill’ in Japanese. Most of the floor is covered in turf, so you can sit on the ground or relax on the couches while taking in breathtaking panoramic views of the city from 251 metres above ground. The area is particularly good for children and even has a designated space for toddlers where they can crawl around and play with toys.

Next to Tembo no Oka is a café that serves meals like chicken curry (¥950), honey chicken banh mi (¥850), a blue sky-inspired banana smoothie (¥800) and even organic baby food (from ¥550). You can also bring in meals from elsewhere during lunch hours (11.30am-2pm) on weekdays, and even borrow a picnic mat for free.

  • Shopping
  • Shopping & Style

Animate Ikebukuro has long been a destination for anime and manga fans, with this year being its 40th anniversary. But Animate has another reason to celebrate as a recently completed revamp has turned it into one of the biggest anime shops in the world. This ten-storey complex has expanded into the former Ikebukuro Health Centre and now has double the floor space, plus a new theatre and exhibition halls.

The second and third floors are dedicated to manga for young adults, and stock light novels, fanzines and art supplies. It can be overwhelming to browse through the entire two floors, but you can find book recommendations from the staff on the shelves.

You can now also shop for apparel and household goods inspired by anime characters at Space A La Mode on the fourth floor. Need a break from shopping? Stop by the first floor Gratte café for treats such as anime printed lattes and iced cookies.

  • Theatre
  • Theatre & Performance

It’s finally here: after a long pandemic-induced hiatus, Cirque du Soleil is back in Japan for the first time in five years, presenting Alegría: In a New Light. This production, which is the longest-running show in Cirque du Soleil history, is a version of a 1994 production that has been revamped to resonate with modern times. 

The show is on now through June 25 at Odaiba Big Top, after which it will move to Osaka. The show is roughly two hours long (including a 25-minute intermission), featuring an incredible ensemble of 52 performers, including clowns, acrobats, aerialists and fire dancers from 17 countries.

Tickets are available online. Prices start from ¥6,800 for adults, ¥5,800 for students and ¥4,800 for children.


Coming soon

For four years, the teamLab Borderless museum was one of the hottest attractions in Tokyo with its interactive digital art exhibits that changed with the seasons. We sadly had to bid farewell to the museum’s original venue in August 2022 as the Odaiba area has been slated for a full-scale revamp, but the Guinness World Record breaker will soon reopen in a new location.

Though the upcoming plans have been kept under wraps for quite some time, teamLab finally revealed that the new teamLab Borderless museum will reopen in 2023 as part of the Toranomon-Azabudai Project.

  • Film
  • Film

Mark your diaries for July 14 2023 as Studio Ghibli’s first Hayao Miyazaki film since ‘The Wind Rises’ (2013) will undoubtedly be the biggest film release of the year. Tentatively titled ‘How Do You Live?’, the upcoming animation is loosely based on the director's favourite childhood novel by Genzaburo Yoshino. 

The original 1937 story is about an inquisitive 15-year-old boy who is prompted to challenge his preconceptions about life, relationships and ethics following the death of his father. Studio Ghibli hasn’t divulged much besides the film’s domestic release date, but Miyazaki’s adaptation is expected to deviate from the book’s real-world setting and involve strong fantasy elements. 


After a knockout premiere in Paris, Jean Paul Gaultier’s ‘Fashion Freak Show’ is now on tour and will hit Tokyo from May 19 to June 4 at Tokyu Theatre Orb in Shibuya. A revue crossed with a madcap fashion show, the production is a creative spectacle inspired by the life and career of legendary French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier. Since its debut in 2018, the show has attracted a staggering 250,000 spectators and counting with its pop culture showcase spanning 50 years of Gaultier’s life.

‘Fashion Freak Show’ was directed and designed by Gaultier himself, and features over 200 of his original couture pieces. Beginning with his childhood before moving into his fashion debut in 1976 and onto his work with celebrities like Madonna, Rihanna and Pedro Almodovar, the show is a colourful exploration of fashion through the decades accompanied by the iconic songs that inspired Gaultier’s work.

Tickets start from ¥9,000 and are now available online.

Potterheads, rejoice! Tokyo is getting a permanent attraction dedicated to the movie magic behind the Harry Potter franchise, opening on June 16 2023. The attraction will be modelled on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London where visitors can view production sets, get up close with props like wands and potions, and meander down the shopping street of Diagon Alley.

The Tokyo version, which will be the second Harry Potter exhibition of its kind in the world, includes a re-created indoor soundstage and outdoor backlot (fancy terms for film set). It will be roughly 30,000 square metres and take about half a day to explore.


The biennial Tokyo Motor Show is one of the world's biggest and most famous automobile trade shows. It returns to Tokyo this autumn after three years of cancellations due to Covid-19. Head to Tokyo Big Sight from October 26 to November 5 to see a hot new array of smart cars, sports cars and futuristic automobiles from the world's premiere industry leaders. 

Soon, Osaka's Universal Studios Japan won’t be the only place in the country where you can meet the prehistoric creatures that appear in the Jurassic Park franchise. ‘Jurassic World: The Exhibition’ is set to land in Tokyo sometime during spring 2023, with a thrilling array of life-sized dinosaur animatronics that look astoundingly realistic.

The attraction will transport you to the volcanic island of Isla Nublar. You can explore the Hammond Creation Lab, where scientists recreate dinosaurs to release into the lucrative Jurassic World theme park, and look at dino eggs in their incubators.

Bob Bob Ricard Tokyo
Photo: Tristan Gassert/Unsplash (A stock image of champagne)

Bob Bob Ricard Tokyo

Ever dreamed of ordering champagne with the mere push of a button? That fantasy will soon become a reality with the 2023 opening of Bob Bob Ricard’s first international outpost in Tokyo. Originally opened in London, this glitzy Russo-European restaurant serves up a mix of British, French and Russian fare like caviar blinis, duck confit and mushroom vareniki.

You can order shots of Russian vodka (chilled to a glacial minus 18 degrees Celsius) to pair with your caviar, but how could anyone resist that inviting gold switch signalling ‘Press for Champagne’? An exact opening date has yet to be announced for this, so stay tuned for more updates in the coming months.

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