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May 2018 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

May in Tokyo is always packed with unmissable festivals, parties and other open-air fun, beginning with the latter half of the Golden Week holiday and continuing with local classics like the 700-year-old Sanja Matsuri, Tokyo Port Festival and the quirky Kurayami Matsuri out in Fuchu. May is also when beer gardens all across town open for the season, while highlights like Taico Club and Yokohama's Greenroom kick off the music festival season. Make sure you don't miss out with our guide to all the best events going on in Tokyo this May.

Our May highlights


Greenroom Festival 2018

Greenroom Festival was started under the banner of protecting the ever-shrinking number of usable domestic beaches. Marine and beach culture are the main themes here, which are incorporated in live music performances, art gallery exhibitions, videography screenings, and photography shows. This year's edition is set to include legendary Jamaican reggae artist Jimmy Cliff, one of the only living artists to have received the Order of Merit from the Jamaican government for his musical contributions. He spread reggae to the world even before Bob Marley made waves, won a Grammy for his 1985 'Cliff Hanger' album, and at 70 years old, shows no signs of slowing down or losing his touch just yet.

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Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse , Minato Mirai Saturday May 26 2018 - Sunday May 27 2018

Delicious! Animating Memorable Meals

Studio Ghibli's animated films are renowned for upholding meticulous attention to detail, particularly when it comes to portraying the everyday life of each individual character. This year-long special exhibition zooms in on the deep meanings hidden in Ghibli food scenes – Pazu and Sheeta sharing a fried egg on toast in Castle in the Sky, or Chihiro shedding tears of relief eating a rice ball in Spirited Away – by recreating some of these famed frames within the museum's rooms and illustrating how these scenes came into being.

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Ghibli Museum , Kichijoji Until Thursday May 31 2018

Tracing the Colors

Known for her vibrant use of colour and flowing style, artist Manika Nagare is taking over the Atrium Gallery inside Hakone's Pola Museum as part of its 15th anniversary 'Hiraku Project' programme. Using some well-known classics which are exhibited at the museum, such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir's 'Nude in the Water', Vincent van Gogh's 'Clumps of Grass' and Claude Monet's 'Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas', Nagare has interpreted and reimagined the Impressionists's use of colour in her own, original works.  

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Pola Museum of Art , Hakone Saturday March 17 2018 - Sunday May 13 2018