February 2019 events in Tokyo

Plan your February in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including Valentine's Day fun, festivals, concerts and art exhibits

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
Plum-viewing in Tokyo | Time Out Tokyo

February in Tokyo is when the chilly grip of winter finally loosens and the first signs of spring – most notably, plum (ume) flowers bursting into bloom – can be seen all over the city. The month also features a number of big-time events, from Setsubun celebrations and the Tokyo Marathon to Lunar New Year festivities, not to mention Valentine's Day and all the chocolatey commotion surrounding it. Make the most of the month with our guide to the top events going on in Tokyo this February.

Our February highlights

Open Space 2019
Art, Digital and interactive

Open Space 2019

NTT InterCommunication Center, Hatsudai

The Intercommunication Center has been hosting these annual, almost year-long media art exhibitions since 2006, and they are so on point that they sometimes end up eclipsing the cultural facility’s other concurrent exhibitions. The latest Open Space show, titled 'Alternative Views', takes a look at how our ideas and perceptions of the world are influenced by the alternative world views propagating through media and technology...

赤坂サカス 音×テラス
Things to do

Akasaka Sacas Sound x Terrace

Akasaka Sacas, Akasaka

Get your camera ready as you walk through the ‘vertical tube’ at Akasaka Sacas that's equipped with LED lights which are capable of creating 16.7 million colours. The lights are synchronised to seasonal music, so you can expect different tunes at different times, ie Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc...

Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Photo: Masahiko Terashi
Music, Classical and opera

Il Barbiere di Siviglia

New National Theatre, Tokyo, Hatsudai

This witty two-act opera buffa, based on the French comedy ‘The Barber of Seville’, is Rossini’s most popular work. In this frivolous story, Spanish nobleman Count Almaviva is infatuated with the sheltered Rossina, who is already claimed by her guardian, the old and lecherous Dr Bartolo...

Rooftop Star Garden
Things to do

Rooftop Star Garden

Ginza Six, Ginza

The rooftop garden at Ginza Six is piling on the romance for the year-end holidays. The illimunination feature calming water elements and sparkling LED pillars (there are 147 of them), turning the space into a star-filled galaxy come nighttime...

Dance, Ballet

Kenneth MacMillan's Manon

New National Theatre, Tokyo, Hatsudai

Based on the novel ‘Manon Lescaut’ by Abbé Prévost, Manon tells the story of a fickle young woman with a taste for luxury and her hapless lover who goes to extreme lengths to please her. This bewitching ballet about the ultimate femme fatale is choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan and features a sequence of challenging lifts and movements, as is typical of MacMillan’s work...

Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange, 'The Orb', 2018

Future and the Arts

Mori Art Museum, Roppongi

This major exhibition highlights past and present advances in science and technology through art. In today’s world, biotechnology is playing an increasingly big role in food, medicine and the environment, and it is not too far-fetched to say that sooner rather than later we'll leave much of our everyday decisions to artificial intelligence...

Dumb Type
Dumb Type, S/N Photo: Yoko Takatani

Dumb Type. Actions + Reflections

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Kiyosumi

Dumb can mean one of two things: stupid or mute. And this dual meaning is the founding concept behind the group of artists who named their collective ‘Dumb Type’.  Formed in 1984, Dumb Type is known for creating new art forms that portray a dark, cynical and humorous world in which media, consumerism and technology are the norms of everyday life...

Mummies of the World

Mummies of the World

National Museum of Nature and Science, Ueno

Featuring an array of preserved human bodies from around the world including some from ancient Egypt and naturally mummifed corpses from Europe, this Ueno exhibition will explain how mummies came into being. It will also teach visitors about the cultural and scientific aspects of these fascinating, well-preserved, and, it must be said, slightly creepy artifacts...

Things to do

Winter Wonderland in Moominvalley Park

Multiple venues

While the Moominvalley Park is not in Tokyo per se, it’s still worth the roughly one-hour trip from Ikebukuro Station. During the park’s winter illumination event – based on the iconic troll’s fifth book ‘Moominland Midwinter’ – you can expect a colourful and immersive spectacle complete with projection mapping, lights and sound...

Szinyoi Mersu Pal. Lady in Violet, 1874 Hungarian National Gallery © Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest-Hungarian National Gallery, 2019

Treasures from Budapest

The National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT), Nogizaka

The National Art Center, Tokyo will bring European and Hungarian masterpieces amassed by the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest and the Hungarian National Gallery to Tokyo. The exhibition is held to commemorate 150 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Hungary...

Illumination shows in Tokyo | Time Out Tokyo
Things to do

Tokyo illuminations 2019-2020

The days may be getting shorter and colder, but even so, Tokyo doesn't turn into a dark and desolate place at this less than cheery time of year. In fact, as the city transitions from autumn into winter, millions of colourful LED lights are displayed in trees as well as on and around buildings, turning Tokyo into a sparkling wonderland...

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