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September 2020 events in Tokyo

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

By Time Out Tokyo Editors

Say goodbye to summer in style and get ready for all things autumn in Tokyo with our pick of the best events this September. From traditional moon-viewing to after-hours shopping at Fashion's Night Out and curry, Bollywood and yoga at Namaste India, September welcomes us not only with the usual typhoons and wildly changing weather, but also a real feast of great things to do. And there's still a little bit of outdoor fun to be had – plenty of beer gardens stay open until the end of the month, as do some of the city's top public pools.

Our September highlights

Paul Klee
Paul Klee 'Flower in the Valley' (1938). Watercolour on cotton fabric (pasted on wood)

1. New Acquisitions: The Paul Klee Collection


No other artist of the 20th century made marks, lines and doodles sing with quite the same melody as Paul Klee (1879-1940). As a result, you’ll spend ages peering at and poring over the witty, joyful masterpieces in this career-spanning, 25-work retrospective of the Swiss-German artist, watching Klee’s ideas spring to life on canvas.Drawing influences from Surrealism, Cubism and Expressionism, Klee experimented tirelessly with colour theory, materials and technique...

Kitawaki Noboru
Kitawaki Noboru, Diagram of I Ching Divination (Heaven and Earth), 1941

2. Kitawaki Noboru: To See the Universe in a Seed


The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, draws upon its extensive collection to offer a different perspective on the work of avant-garde painter Kitawaki Noboru (1901-1951). Active in Kyoto during the ’30s and ’40s, Kitawaki has until now been assessed in terms of the influence he derived from the Surrealists...

 Meiji Jingu Forest Festival of Art
名和晃平《White Deer (Meiji Jingu)》2020 ブロンズに塗装 Photo: Keizo Kioku

3. Meiji Jingu Forest Festival of Art

Art Meiji Shrine & Inner Garden, Harajuku

A celebration of art and culture set in the forest surrounding Meiji Shrine, this festival – co-presented by Japan Cultural Expo – zooms in on the relationship between nature and Japanese culture. The diverse art programme, which coincides with the host venue Meiji Shrine's 100th anniversary, is running until 2021. Held at the shrine along with its immediate vicinity, the Meiji Jingu Forest Festival of Art kicks off with ‘Tenkukaikatsu’, an open-air sculpture exhibition running until December 13 2020...

Stars Exhibition
Photo: Pink Boat 1992, stuffed sewn fabric, boat, pair-oar 90 x 350 x 180 cm, Yayoi Kusuma, Nagoya City Art Museum

4. Stars: Six Contemporary Artists from Japan to the World

Art Mori Art Museum, Roppongi

Stars brings together six celebrated figures from the Japanese modern art scene, each of whom rose to prominence as the country became Asia’s first postwar economic powerhouse, and transcended Japan’s cultural borders to capture imaginations worldwide. The careers of Yayoi Kusama, Tatsuo Miyajima, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Hiroshi Sugimoto and South Korean-born Lee Ufan, a resident of Japan for over six decades, are traced from their earliest works through to new pieces specially commissioned for this show...


5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cafe

Things to do Kichijoji Parco, Kichijoji

Now you can enjoy your favourite children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, with your taste buds at this pop-up café in Kichijoji Parco. Designed to look like a fruit parlor, you’ll get to eat the hungry caterpillar’s favourite fruits in both sweet and savoury dishes at the café. Order The Very Hungry Caterpillar Fruit Curry, which isa delectable pork curry made with fruits and tomato, topped with an apple, and accompanied by banana shaped rice...


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