Kohgen | Time Out Tokyo

May 2022 events in Tokyo

Plan your May in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including Golden Week fun, outdoor festivals and hot gigs

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May in Tokyo is always packed with unmissable festivals, exhibitions and other open-air fun, beginning with the latter half of the Golden Week holiday and continuing through the month. As the weather starts to warm up, May is also when beer gardens all across town open for the season. Make sure you don't miss out with our guide to all the best events going on in Tokyo this May.

Note: venue opening hours and capacity limits may change depending on current Covid-19 situation.

Our May highlights

  • Things to do

Kyu Furukawa Gardens in Tokyo’s Kita Ward is known for its colourful roses that start to bloom in May and this festival is your best chance to enjoy them all. The Western-style garden located on the upper grounds is adorned with 200 roses of 100 different varieties. In addition to your vivid red and pink blossoms, you’ll get to see pastel-coloured ones including Blue Moon, Vanilla Perfume and Eglantine roses, too.

Come here on May 28 and 29 to see a musical performance by a saxophone quartet, and make sure to vote for your favourite flower at the ballot box in front of the service centre before you leave.

  • Art
  • Waseda

After a brief hiatus, the Yayoi Kusama Museum has reopened, and with it comes an exhibition of the artist's new and recent works which have never been displayed in Japan, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

This showcase consists of a diverse range of Kusama's works that are reminiscent of surrealism, including several pieces she created at the beginning of her career. Highlights include the artist's rarely seen Nihonga (Japanese-style paintings) art, as well as her immersive room titled 'I'm Here, but Nothing'. 

Through her work, Kusama is able to share her innermost perceptions of the universe and the world around her, which in turn makes viewers more aware of the immensity of the universe around them and the vastness of the unknown.

Note that tickets are not available at the door. Timed tickets are only available on the museum website (¥1,100 adults, ¥600 children 6-18). 

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  • Art
  • Omotesando

Now showing at Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo is this magnificent installation by Chicago-born Rashid Johnson, a photographer and sculptor who is often identified as part of the post-Black movement.

From ceramic pots to shea butter and walkie-talkies to African-American history books, the variety of materials Johnson uses in his ‘Plateaus’ (2014) installation is a reflection of Johnson's multifaceted upbringing that made him the artist that he is today. 

According to Johnson, the pyramid-like framework he uses as the foundation of this piece is not intended to symbolise a hierarchy, but rather a unique synthesis of things he draws inspiration from. 

  • Things to do
  • Food and drink events
  • Saitama

Enjoy a hygge-themed barbecue at the Hanno Riverbank, located only an hour away from central Tokyo. All equipment will be provided – just bring a big appetite and your favourite food to cook on the grill. The campsite will set up the  tables, chairs, tarp tents, benches and barbecue grills along with utensils, bowls, plates and even a trash bag for ¥6,400 per party of up to four people. Dogs are welcome, too, for an additional ¥800.

You can make a reservation for 10am or 2pm; each slot allows you to stay up to three hours. There are only 10 spots available daily, so reservations must be made in advance online.

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  • Things to do
  • Oshiage

Japanese anime JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is celebrating its tenth anniversary by taking over Tokyo Skytree this summer. Appropriately enough, May 22 also marks Skytree’s tenth anniversary since opening to the public. The Tembo Deck, located 350m above ground, will be filled with exclusive illustrations of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, plus a Jolyne-themed photo spot and exhibits.

Ride the elevator up to the Tembo Galleria and you’ll see a panel with illustrations of all six main characters that you can take photos with. As you continue on, you’ll find the entire 110 metre-long corridor has character introductions, dialogues and stories, looking back on the series' ten-year history. Make sure to stop by the Sorakara Point where you can write your best wishes for the show’s tenth anniversary on stickers, which you’ll get to put on the wall.

Go down the slope that connects floor 450 to 445, where the walls are covered in graphics, accompanied with voiceover dialogue that takes you through the story. At the end, you’ll be treated to a merchandise shop with exclusive goods including keychains, cookies, folders and more. Fans can also enjoy JoJo-themed meals, desserts and drinks at the café, too. 

Come here in the evening to watch clips of the anime on the screen that wraps around the 350th floor. You’ll even get to see Tokyo Skytree itself lit up in six different colour schemes that represent Jonathan, Joseph, Jotaro, Josuke, Giorno and Jolyne every Saturday from 7.30pm to midnight (7.45pm from June 4 to Jul 30).

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