Things to do in Tokyo this weekend

Time Out Tokyo's editors pick the top parties, festivals, concerts, food events and more this weekend in the big city
Showa Kinen Park Autumn Leaves Festival | Time Out Tokyo
By Time Out Tokyo Editors
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With so many things to do in Tokyo, it's hard to get a free weekend in the city. But just in case you need more recommendations, here are the top events and festivals taking place over city on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Our top picks this weekend

Things to do

Mt Takao Maple Festival

icon-location-pin Mt Takao, Takaosan
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Various happenings will be taking place around Mount Takao in November, including kokeshi doll demonstrations and sales of masuzake, the curious boxed beverage (on weekends and holidays). The main attraction is of course the autumn foliage, with the maple trees around the area turning fiery red and yellow. Primary event locations include the Takao Forest Center at the foot of the mountain, Kiyotaki Station and the Ju-Itchome tea house on the hillside. Check out the official website for further details, and consider heading over by train – finding parking here can be a nightmare.

Rubens and the Birth of the Baroque
Photo: fb.com/rubensten2018
Art

Rubens and the Birth of the Baroque

icon-location-pin The National Museum of Western Art, Ueno
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Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) is widely known for his dramatic, highly charged paintings featuring Christian history and allegorical subjects. His unique style showcases a masterful handling of movement, colour and sensuality, and it has come to define the 17th century Baroque period in European art. You can get an up close look at his famous pieces at this exhibition, which brings together one of the largest displays of his works. There’s a particular focus on his relationship with Italy, where he lived intermittently for about eight years. And to add context, you’ll also find a selection of works by Italian artists of the same era.

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Things to do

Autumn Leaves Festival

icon-location-pin Showa Kinen Park, Tachikawa
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The ginkgo and maple leaves turn beautifully yellow and red at Showa Kinen Park, with the 300-metre stretch of ginkgo trees lining the street toward Tachikawa going first (usually from the very end of October). The momiji and kaede maple trees in the Japanese garden take on a fiery appearance from around the middle of November, so head on down to the park for a relaxing walk under the colourful autumn leaves before winter takes over.

Things to do

Hotel Chinzanso Autumn Garden Lightup

icon-location-pin Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, Mejirodai
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The opulent Hotel Chinzanso in Mejiro opens up its gorgeously decorated garden during the autumn leaves season, lighting up the lush grounds at night to produce one of the city's most beautiful foliage shows. Head over a little bit later in the evening if you want to escape the crowds – the garden stays open until 10pm.

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TOKYOGRAPHY
宮崎いず美「おにぎり山」2016年 © 2016 IzumiMiyazaki
Art, Photography

TOKYOGRAPHIE

icon-location-pin Fujifilm Square, Roppongi
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KYOTOGRAPHIE is a highly-acclaimed international photography festival held annually in Kyoto and for the first time, it’s organising an offshoot event in Tokyo. For this special Tokyo edition, the most popular works from KYOTOGRAPHIE 2018 (the sixth year of the festival) will be exhibited in Tokyo.  Expect sensational works by the late Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase who’s widely known for images depicting his domestic married life; celebrated French graphic designer-photographer Jean-Paul Goude; and contemporary Chinese photographer Liu Colin, who incorporates camouflage tricks into his arresting visuals. Catch the exhibitions at multiple locations, such as Fuji Film Square, Chanel Nexus Hall, and the Institut français du Japon.

Things to do

Smart Illumination Yokohama 2018

icon-location-pin Zou-no-Hana Terrace, Yokohama
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Held every autumn since 2011, Yokohama's Smart Illumination show makes use of the latest in energy-efficient lighting technology to turn the city's waterfront areas into a sea of colour. Workshops and interactive installations complete the lineup, so make sure to head south to Yokohama in late autumn and see this spectacle light up the evening. Note that although the main festival takes place from October 31 to November 4, the illuminations will remain in place until December 31.

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Things to do

Yebisu Garden Place Winter Illumination

icon-location-pin Yebisu Garden Place, Ebisu
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An annual wintertime display at Yebisu Garden Place, this one incorporates a Baccarat chandelier that's 5m tall and 3m wide – making it one of the largest chandeliers in the world – and decorated with 250 lights, 230 of which symbolise the number of years from the company’s establishment to the construction of the chandelier in 1994. In total – including lesser displays in areas such as the Entrance Pavilion, Clock Plaza, Promenade, Center Plaza and Glass Square – the venue makes use of almost 100,000 lights. The festivities are kicked off with a lighting ceremony on November 3.

Art, Painting

Munch Exhibition

icon-location-pin Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Ueno
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This retrospective exhibition celebrates the work of iconic Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, most famous for his masterpiece ‘The Scream’. Munch's work was heavily influenced by Impressionists the likes of Claude Monet and Edouard Manet, and he became a part of the Post-Impressionist movement, which was led by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne.  Munch did not receive much appreciation for his art in his time, but he was eventually hailed as a pioneer of Expressionism in the world of fine arts. Nearly 100 pieces of his work will be exhibited, including oil paintings and master prints courtesy of the Munch Museum in Oslo. While there are multiple versions of ‘The Scream’, this is the first time the version created with oil paint and tempera is being shown in Japan.  Explore 60-plus years’ worth of paintings depicting deep human emotions such as anxiety and loneliness, as well as stunning natural landscapes of Norway, and works from his final years which feature vibrant, pigmented colours.

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