Tokyo Tower
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa

Things to do in Tokyo today

The day's best things to do in Tokyo, all in one place

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Note: Due to Covid-19, events in the city are limitedStay informed with the latest updates here

Not sure what to do this evening? Well, you're in the right place now: Tokyo always has plenty of stuff going on, from festivals and art shows to outdoor activities and more. Even though Covid-19 has put many events on hold, there are still tons of spots around the city that are open and events happening with safety precautions in place. Enjoy Tokyo, but do it safely.

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  • Restaurants
  • Shinanomachi

Taking over the expansive outdoor lawn within the children’s play area at Meiji Shrine’s Outer Gardens, the Forest Beer Garden distinguishes itself from other boozy events in town with its lush green surrounds and bubbling waterfall. The popular two-hour all-you-can-eat (¥4,800) option includes everything from barbecue beef, pork and lamb to veggies, yakisoba, onigiri and even dessert. It includes an all-you-can-drink selection of Kirin and Heineken beers, highballs, sours, wine, soft drinks and more. Despite being one of the largest beer gardens in Tokyo with a capacity for around 900 people, the event can get extremely busy at weekends, so advance bookings are recommended.

  • Things to do
  • Yurakucho

Combine upscale izakaya fare with free-flowing Premium Malts beer at Yurakucho's Kotsu Kaikan, whose 13th floor rooftop is now a beer terrace. Opt for one of the all-you-can-drink deals (from ¥6,000) for unlimited beer, wine, umeshu, shochu and highballs, plus a variety of meaty dishes. With live music and gorgeous views facing Marunouchi, this summer beer terrace might just be a winner.

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  • Things to do
  • price 0 of 4
  • Yokohama Station area

Spend an evening in Yokohama Bay Quarter marvelling at colourful paper lanterns – you’ll feel like you have been transported to the heritage town of Hoi An in Vietnam. Whether it’s during the day or at night, there are plenty of opportunities to get your Instagram shots here. And from June 15 to August 31, there will be food trucks outside serving iced cold beer, sandwiches and meals for you to enjoy on-the-go while taking in the postcard view.

  • Things to do
  • Shiba-Koen

Tokyo Tower's alternative to the ubiquitous summer beer gardens is welcoming the outdoor drinking season with a double dose of whisky highballs. In addition to the regular terrace at the base of the tower, where a lengthy menu of highballs is combined with a variety of drinking snacks (think karaage and grilled bacon), it also operates a meatier option on the roof of the Tower Foot Town building, offering Jingisukan, the Hokkaido-born lamb barbecue named after the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan. Two hours of all-you-can-drink alcohol and limitless jingisukan can be had for ¥5,000 (teens aged 13-19 ¥3,000, primary school students ¥2,000, children aged 4-6 ¥1,000, all with non-alcoholic drinks, of course). Just keep an eye on the weather forecast, as both terraces close in the case of heavy rain. The Tokyo Tower Cho-Ten Highball Garden at the base of the tower is open until October 2, from 4pm-8.30pm (until 9.30pm in June) on weekdays and 12noon-10.30pm on Sat, Sun & holidays (until 9.30pm in June). The Tokyo Tower Rooftop Highball Garden is open until October 10, from 5pm-10.30pm daily (until 9.30pm in June). Make your reservations here.

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  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
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  • Harajuku

The renowned champagne house is touring the world with the Veuve Clicquot Solaire Culture exhibition to mark the brand’s 250th anniversary. As a tribute to Madame Clicquot, aka the La Grande Dame of champagne, the free exhibition is showcasing artworks by ten influential female artists from Japan and across the world, including Yayoi Kusama and manga artist Moyoco Anno. You’ll also get to explore the brand’s historical archives, iconic objects, paintings, illustrations as well as VC music and literature. As an experiential element to complement the exhibition, the venue is hosting a boutique offering souvenirs from the Solaire Culture exhibition, plus a pop-up restaurant. At the latter you’ll be able to sample Veuve Clicquot champagne paired with light bites from Chef Nao Motohashi of Tokyo restaurant Julia. While the exhibition is free, you must make a time slot reservation before visiting. (And of course, entry is limited to those aged 20 years old and above).

  • Restaurants
  • Omotesando

Dine on barbecue at the String Hotel’s New York-inspired café and restaurant Zelkova. The barbecue course (¥4,500) comes with premium starters such as a charcuterie platter, melon and bocconcini cheese caprese, and falafel with tahini sauce. Don’t fill up on these just yet because you’ll have lots more to enjoy for your main course: a pasta dish as well as spicy grilled chicken and sirloin steak. The meal plus a drink will set you back ¥5,500. For a better deal, shell out ¥6,500 and you’ll enjoy the barbecue as well as two hours’ of free-flow beer, wine and cocktails.

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  • Things to do
  • Food and drink events
  • Ochanomizu

It’s matcha all the way at this beer garden run by green tea restaurant 1899 in Ochanomizu. ¥3,500 (¥3,000 with advance reservation) gets you two hours of all-you-can-drink matcha-infused booze including matcha beer, green tea dark beer, hojicha beer, matcha wine, sencha gin soda and matcha highball. Three kinds of matcha mocktails are also available – matcha coke, black tea salty dog and spiced sour tea – should you prefer to ditch the booze. However, separate charges apply for food as you order a la carte. Choose from a selection of savoury dishes made with green tea, including hojicha roasted pork fillet (¥1,100), matcha-flavoured french fries (¥580), matcha soba noodles (¥700), and more. Still want more matcha? End your feast with a decadent matcha gelato (¥550) with matcha rice puffs and sweet bean paste.

  • 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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  • Art
  • Digital and interactive
  • price 0 of 4
  • Harajuku

Step into an enchanted digital forest in this collaborative exhibition between teamLab and Galaxy. This interactive experience is based on the concept of catching different digital animals to study them before releasing them back into their habitat. Rather than using butterfly nets or jars to catch, however, visitors of this digital art space can use an app on their smartphone to collect different animals in the mystical forest.  Be gentle when approaching these critters! If you try to touch them they might run and disappear into the forest. Instead, aim your phone camera at them so they’ll appear on your screen. You can also work together with other exhibition visitors and create an observation net at your feet by surrounding the animals projected on the floor and shepherding them to the centre of the space.  While the exhibit is free, reservations are required so as to avoid overcrowding the venue. Each session is an hour long, with the exhibition open from 11am until 7pm daily. You can book a timeslot via the event website. The end date of this event is yet to be announced. 

  • Restaurants
  • Roppongi

Roppongi rooftops have gardens too, and this one at Ark Hills takes top honours. You'll spend a relaxing summer evening at the seasonal lounge, where hearty grilled grub and light appetisers are served with wine and cocktails. Book one of three barbecue sets. The Casual BBQ course (¥5,300) includes meats like rib fingers, marinated pork and jerk chicken, plus veggies and appetisers. The Turf and Surf BBQ course (¥6,300), on the other hand, comes with additional seafood to put on the grill, such as herb marinated tuna, shellfish and shrimp. If you want it even more indulgent, top up an additional ¥1,200 for lobster and steak. For something a bit more casual, opt for the ¥3,950 plan and you can bring ingredients purchased from its basement depachika. While you can order drinks by the glass, it’s worth paying an additional ¥2,200 for a two-hour all-you-can-drink deal (or ¥3,300 for three hours). This comes with standard beer and cocktails, plus sparkling, red, white and rosé wines.

Free things to do in Tokyo today

  • Things to do
  • price 0 of 4
  • Yokohama Station area

Spend an evening in Yokohama Bay Quarter marvelling at colourful paper lanterns – you’ll feel like you have been transported to the heritage town of Hoi An in Vietnam. Whether it’s during the day or at night, there are plenty of opportunities to get your Instagram shots here. And from June 15 to August 31, there will be food trucks outside serving iced cold beer, sandwiches and meals for you to enjoy on-the-go while taking in the postcard view.

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • price 0 of 4
  • Harajuku

The renowned champagne house is touring the world with the Veuve Clicquot Solaire Culture exhibition to mark the brand’s 250th anniversary. As a tribute to Madame Clicquot, aka the La Grande Dame of champagne, the free exhibition is showcasing artworks by ten influential female artists from Japan and across the world, including Yayoi Kusama and manga artist Moyoco Anno. You’ll also get to explore the brand’s historical archives, iconic objects, paintings, illustrations as well as VC music and literature. As an experiential element to complement the exhibition, the venue is hosting a boutique offering souvenirs from the Solaire Culture exhibition, plus a pop-up restaurant. At the latter you’ll be able to sample Veuve Clicquot champagne paired with light bites from Chef Nao Motohashi of Tokyo restaurant Julia. While the exhibition is free, you must make a time slot reservation before visiting. (And of course, entry is limited to those aged 20 years old and above).

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  • Art
  • Digital and interactive
  • price 0 of 4
  • Harajuku

Step into an enchanted digital forest in this collaborative exhibition between teamLab and Galaxy. This interactive experience is based on the concept of catching different digital animals to study them before releasing them back into their habitat. Rather than using butterfly nets or jars to catch, however, visitors of this digital art space can use an app on their smartphone to collect different animals in the mystical forest.  Be gentle when approaching these critters! If you try to touch them they might run and disappear into the forest. Instead, aim your phone camera at them so they’ll appear on your screen. You can also work together with other exhibition visitors and create an observation net at your feet by surrounding the animals projected on the floor and shepherding them to the centre of the space.  While the exhibit is free, reservations are required so as to avoid overcrowding the venue. Each session is an hour long, with the exhibition open from 11am until 7pm daily. You can book a timeslot via the event website. The end date of this event is yet to be announced. 

  • Art
  • price 0 of 4
  • 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. 

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  • Things to do
  • price 0 of 4
  • Hibiya

Tokyo Midtown Hibiya’s summer event is making it more comfortable for you to spend time outdoors. The Hibiya Step Plaza will feature seating made from recycled wooden pallets, which are decorated with plants and flowers. Come evening, the staircase at the plaza is lit up with blue lights, with the area enveloped in cooling mist from 6pm to 11pm. You can even sip on fruity cocktails such as rosehip cassis sour and kiwi mojito, available from several of the shopping mall’s restaurants from 5pm to 8pm daily (until September 30). The event at Hibiya Step Plaza takes place from July 22 to August 28; cocktails are available throughout summer until September 30.

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