January 2020 events in Tokyo

Plan your January in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including concerts, winter festivals and art exhibits

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
Furusato Matsuri

January in Tokyo can be cold and dreary, especially once the New Year's holidays are over. However, while most of the city illuminations are still up, the first month of the year is also the time for classic winter festivals, tasty food shows and ice skating under the starry sky – not to mention the Coming of Age celebrations or those rare but hilarious snowy days when this oh-so-orderly city is thrown into disarray. So calm down, take a break from those New Year's resolutions and check out our picks of the best events Tokyo has to offer.

Our January 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'...

National Museum of Western Art Promotional Poster

The Habsburg Dynasty: 600 Years of Imperial Collections

The National Museum of Western Art, Ueno

Originating from the Upper rhine region, the House of Habsburg, founded in the 10th or 11th century, ruled not only Austria and a vast area of central Europe, but also Spain, parts of France and Italy, and the New World territories. At the height of its rule, the Habsburg dynasty...

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...


Vincent van Gogh

Ueno Royal Museum, Ueno

How did Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) become the world-famous iconic artist?  Van Gogh died at the young age of 37, and 10 years of his life were devoted to painting. He didn’t pursue art until the age of 27, when he was accepted at The Hague School, which had a perceptible influence on him and would continue to inform his style even after his move to Paris...

STAR WARSTM Identities: The Exhibition
Museums, Film and TV

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition

Warehouse Terrada, Tennozu

After touring Canada, Europe, the UK and Australia and being viewed by over 2 million people, the X3 Productions and Lucasfilm collab exhibition is finally descending on Tokyo. This special 'Star Wars' exhibit will showcase 200 original props, costumes and artworks from the film franchise, plus tons of interactive pieces designed in consultation...

Masataka Nakano Photo Exhibition

Masataka Nakano Photo Exhibition

Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Ebisu

In ever-changing Tokyo, the only unchangeability in the capital is its great size. Masataka Nakano has been photographing the city for over 30 years, expertly capturing urban areas with sharp perception and a keen understanding of space. Over 100 of Nakano’s works have been selected for this exhibition from his most famous collections...

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...

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...

大江戸骨董市 あさの様より/小滝

Oedo Antique Market


The Oedo Antique Market, the largest and oldest outdoor market of its kind in Japan, is great for picking up some cool art, unique handicrafts or vintage decorative items. Keep an eye out for real Edo-era treasures hidden among the heaps of merchandise, which range from ceramics and clothing to ukiyo-e prints. You can visit the bazaar at two different locations throughout the month...

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