東京湾納涼船

September 2022 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

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Say goodbye to summer in style and get ready for all things autumn in Tokyo with our pick of the best events this September. As we near the end of summer, 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.

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

Our September highlights

  • Art
  • Roppongi

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the ‘Sailor Moon’ franchise, and the city is pulling out all the stops to celebrate these iconic ‘90s superheroes. The exclusive events include this vast exhibition that’s set to run through the end of the year at the Roppongi Museum, boasting over 600 pieces of ‘Sailor Moon’ costumes, storyboards and memorabilia. 

Beginning with the original manga drawings of series creator Naoko Takeuchi and leading up to an immersive room complete with special effect images and coloured lasers, this dazzling showcase is so extensive that it may as well be its own museum, hence the exhibition title.

  • Art
  • Roppongi

It’s only been a few months since Daniel Arsham’s crystalised Pokémon were installed in exhibition spaces across Tokyo, but the artist is now back in the city with a new collection of artworks on show at Perrotin Tokyo. For this exhibition, Arsham is debuting three new works in a combination of sculptures, still life paintings and movie posters, which reflect his passion for imagining and crafting future relics using present time objects. 

Highlights include the 'Still Life with Eroded Bust of Diana the Huntress, Sneaker and Telephone' painting, where Arsham has arranged everyday objects like Nike sneakers and a cordless telephone alongside a deteriorated Renaissance sculpture. There will be a book signing event on the opening day of the exhibition (August 26), where the artist will be autographing copies of the Daniel Arsham Sketchbook from 3pm-5pm at the gallery.

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  • Art
  • Nogizaka

To celebrate its 15th anniversary since opening, the National Art Center Tokyo is hosting the largest Lee Ufan retrospective that has ever been exhibited in Tokyo. The Korean artist, who spent many years teaching, studying and developing his craft in Japan over the course of his career, is celebrated the world over for his minimalist works that are often made with natural materials like stone and wood. 

Ufan’s philosophical approach to art stems from a movement called Mono-ha, meaning ‘school of things’, which he founded together with a group of Japanese artists in the late 1960s. Ufan felt that the world had been so heavily industrialised by that point that he felt no desire to create artificial objects with manmade materials.

Instead, he made the deliberate choice of using natural resources and doing as little as possible to manipulate their original forms. In this extensive exhibition, viewers can look back on Ufan’s early works and trace his evolution to recent installations while contemplating the artist's simple yet powerful philosophy.

  • Art
  • Tokorozawa

Good news for art lovers – it turns out we won’t have to wait until July to experience Van Gogh in immersive digital form after all. In addition to the Immersive Museum’s Impressionism exhibition coming to Nihonbashi in July, a digital art exhibition dedicated solely to Vincent Van Gogh is opening at the Kadokawa Culture Museum in Saitama this June. The exhibition will run from June 18 through November 27, in the same 1,100sqm space that hosted last year’s Dreamed Japan, Images of a Floating World digital ukiyo-e showcase.

For this Van Gogh special, moving imagery will be projected from floor to ceiling to give visitors exploring the space the illusion of walking into – and becoming a part of – the Dutch Post-Impressionist master's revered paintings. Expect to be immersed in some of Van Gogh’s most famous pieces including 'The Starry Night', 'Sunflowers' and 'Cypresses', to name a few. There will be accompanying music to evoke the beautifully poetic and complicated inner world of the artist. 

General admission is ¥2,200 for those who buy their tickets online (available now), while same-day tickets will be sold for ¥2,400 at the door. Tickets for high school students and junior high school students are ¥1,800 (same-day ¥2,000), while tickets for elementary school students are ¥1,100 (same-day ¥1,300).

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  • Attractions
  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Shinagawa

Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa is teaming up with one of Japan’s largest fashion events, Tokyo Girls Collection, to transform its aquariums with colourful projection mapping to make you feel like you’re underwater. You’ll walk through a corridor where water ripples appear every step you take, leading you to rooms where all kinds of sea creatures reside. All the walls and ground are covered in colourful projections of fish and corals as well as fireworks.

The Ryugu Bar café will be serving exclusive drinks during the event, including an alcoholic apple cocktail (¥800), two kinds of soda floats (¥750) that come in blue and pink colours, and a five-tier parfait (¥1,000) topped with a vanilla soft-serve and a shell-shaped monaka wafer.

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