Things to do in Tokyo this week

This week’s hottest events, gigs, films, festivals and more
Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony | Time Out Tokyo
By Time Out Tokyo Editors
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When you're spending time in a city as big as Tokyo, it's never too early to start planning for the week ahead. You can pack a lot of living into seven days, whether you're someone who likes to spend an afternoon at the museum or prefers to stay out late clubbing. We've sifted through hundreds of listings to weed out a handful of the week's best events, gigs, festivals and things to do.

On a budget? Check out our list of the best free things to do in Tokyo this week.

Best things to do this week

Things to do

Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony

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A large-scale tea ceremony event where even those who aren’t familiar with the custom are welcome to participate. The event will be held at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum from Saturday October 13 to Sunday October 14, and at Hamarikyu Gardens from Saturday October 20 to Sunday October 21. The indoor tea ceremony costs ¥700 and requires booking in advance, but there are plenty of other programs available in both English and Japanese. In addition to the workshops, there will also be a number of stalls to shop from and a series of exciting shows including Kabuki and Noh performances. Check out the website to see what’s on at each venue.

Art

Designart Tokyo 2018

icon-location-pin Omotesando
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This festival dedicated to all things (you guessed it) design and art, Designart Tokyo is back for its second edition and set to take over central Tokyo from Aoyama to Shibuya, Nakameguro and Roppongi for a fortnight in October. The brainchild of designer Akio Aoki, artist Shun Kawakami and architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, it'll see shops, galleries, cafés, restaurants and a wide range of other venues host work by more than 70 artists from both Japan and elsewhere. The list of exhibitors and venues is set to include artists such as Yuko Nakayama, Akira Fujimoto, and Hiroshi Yoshizoe, and shops such as the Fred Perry Shop Tokyo, Hay, and Conde House. 

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Art

Ningen Restaurant

icon-location-pin Shinjuku
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A two week pop-up restaurant and bar by artist collective Chim↑Pom has just opened in Kabukicho. The restaurant will feature a menu devised from a list of last meals requested by death row prisoners, and display works by Austrian avant-garde artist Hermann Nitsch. The restaurant event also includes performances by BLACKSMOKER, KILLER - BONG, Fuyuki Yamakawa, Kairai bunch, Aida Makoto, Dengeki Network and more. Be sure to check the event schedule to know who’s performing when. Note: This is a one-off event, not to be confused with another restaurant in Kabukicho called Ningen Restaurant.

Things to do

Kawasaki Halloween

icon-location-pin Kawasaki
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La Cittadella's Kawasaki Halloween is back for its 22nd edition and once again features one of the top costume parades in the capital region: on October 28, dressed-up revellers will be making the walk around the area while jamming to dance tunes courtesy of DJ Club Hollywood and company. Registration for the parade costs ¥1,000, but just watching the spectacle is of course free. In addition to the main event, Cittadella's stores are running special Halloween discounts and campaigns through the month of October.

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Things to do

Aqua Pop Halloween Directed by Naked

icon-location-pin Shinagawa
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Once again Shinagawa’s Aqua Park changes its appearance according to the season – and autumn comes along with a colourful Halloween design produced by Naked, the company famous for its many events featuring spectacular projection mapping and art installations. The setting for the aquarium's dolphin show during the evening, named Aqua Pop Party, is emphasised with colourful flowers and pumpkins thanks to projection mapping, while the jelly fish area boasts flashy lights reminding one of disco. Make sure to stop by the Halloween Records Bar and grab some coloured drinks before making your way through the multicoloured underwater world.

Attractions, Arcades and amusements

Puro Halloween Party

icon-location-pin Tama-Center
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The best place to celebrate Halloween with kids in tow is at Sanrio Puroland. Here you can enjoy the theme park's kitschy Halloween ambience at noon and its spooky events in the evening. After taking adorable souvenir photos with Hello Kitty and My Melody in their cute Halloween-style costumes during the day, the whole park turns into a scary spectacle with plenty of 'horror areas' in the evening. If you can't get enough of Japan's beloved cat-girl and friends, then stay the whole night from October 27 to 28 (10pm-5am) and celebrate with DJ Hello Kitty, Sky-Hi, Tempalay and more (participants must be aged 20 or older; tickets from ¥4,500).

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Art, Graffiti

hitch solo exhibition ‘.ORG’

icon-location-pin Shibuya
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Artist hitch from the collective WHOLE 9 is holding his first solo exhibition in Tokyo. As hitch’s style is to incorporate his love of hip hop into his work, his team of painters often collaborate with music artists such as PUNPEE and SIRUP. WHOLE 9, on the other hand, has also done work overseas as well as for international brands such as adidas.  This exhibition is yet another nod to hip hop culture – so anyone with an appreciation for vibrant murals and street art should drop in at this exhibition. 

Art, Galleries

SHIMURAbros Seeing Is Believing

icon-location-pin Ginza
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The sister-and-brother duo SHIMURAbros, known for creating art based on all things film, have brought their exhibition to Tokyo after a brief tour overseas. The duo use a combination of still images, sculptures and videos to connect the history of filmmaking with modern motion picture technology – this is evident in their works such as ‘X-RAY TRAIN’, which was inspired by the 50-second silent film ‘Train Pulling into a Station’ by the Lumière brothers. For this exhibition, the element of reflective light is used in a majority of the installations to create a mesmerising display that would make the observer question their perception and contemplate what it means to look at something versus seeing it. 

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Perrotin gimhongsok
Inadequate (EVERY, DAY, ACTS, LIKE, LIFE) - LIKE, 2016. Cast bronze. 119 × 92 × 99 cm | 46 7/8 × 36 1/4 × 39 1/3 in. Courtesy the artist and Perrotin.
Art

Gimhongsok

icon-location-pin Roppongi
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Catch Korean conceptual artist gimhongsok as he presents his latest solo show at Perrotin Tokyo. Featuring seven of his artworks, this exhibition showcases the artist's main interests and recent works including three bronze balloon-shaped sculptures from his series 'Inadequate (EVERY, DAY, ACTS, LIKE, LIFE)', as well as a wall mural, two oil paintings and a cast resin sculpture.  For those interested in getting a further insight on the artist and his works, Perrotin Tokyo is hosting a free talk with gimhongsok and Mori Art Museum's chief curator Mami Kataoka on September 22 between 2-3pm. The talk will be conducted in English with Japanese translations and no reservation is required. 

Shopping, Fashion exhibitions

Swizz Beatz Presents Bally x Shok-1

icon-location-pin Ginza
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In the latest news of art and fashion, renowned Swiss sportswear brand Bally has teamed up with British artist Shok-1 and Grammy-award winning music producer Swizz Beatz to come up with a new collection of wearable art that melds perfectly into Tokyo's stylish fashion scene. Shop for sneakers, bags, clothing and fashionable accessories that feature Shok-1's x-ray-inspired images.  Aside from the collection which is available in-store from October 10, there will be a pop-up art exhibition happening on the second floor of the Bally Ginza flagship store featuring selected works from Shok-1. If you're not around Ginza, head to Shibuya where the artist will be creating his first large-scale mural in Japan. 

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Art

Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise

icon-location-pin Hachioji
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This sprawling exhibition examines the creation and impact of the classic sci-fi anime film ‘Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise’. Released in 1987, ‘Royal Space Force’ was produced by Gainax, who would go on to make the hugely influential television series ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’. At this exhibition, you’ll be able to see the production process of the now cult classic, with the secrets of its stunning visuals and groundbreaking production methods revealed through a large collection of shooting scripts, behind the scene photographs and more.

Art

Marcel Duchamp and Japanese Art

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A collaboration between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Ueno’s Tokyo National Museum, this exhibition traces the connection between inspirational French-American painter, sculptor and chess player Marcel Duchamp and Japanese art. Here, the works of Duchamp, who is widely credited with utterly changing the course of 20th-century art history, are displayed alongside Japanese art, in order to re-evaluate the latter through his perspective. The exhibition will be split in two parts: the first features over 150 of Duchamp’s works and materials as part of an international tour supervised by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, while the second part is titled ‘Rediscovering Japan through Duchamp’. Here, Japanese artworks will be shown, alongside Duchampian keywords such as ‘ready-made’, for a whole new interpretation.

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Art

Lee Kit: We Used To Be More Sensitive

icon-location-pin Shinagawa
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  Born in Hong Kong and currently working in Taipei, artist Lee Kit is known for his installations which use tablecloths, curtains and other everyday items to expand on the concept of ‘paintings’. His installations for the Hong Kong pavilion at the 2013 Venice Art Biennale were met with critical acclaim and led to him being regarded one of the leading artists in the Asian art scene. This exhibition, Lee’s first solo in Japan, is set at the striking Hara Museum – we can’t wait to see how Lee will transform this iconic building with his works.

Restaurants

Kirby Café

icon-location-pin Oshiage
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After a two-year hiatus, the popular Kirby Café is coming back to Tokyo with their new spot located on the fourth floor of Skytree’s Solamachi shopping mall. Everybody’s favourite cute, pink, ever-expanding ball of joy first appeared in a Nintendo video game in the early 90s. Now, get ready to follow him on a culinary journey to Dream Land. The menu has something for everyone with their adorably designed dishes that are nearly too cute to eat. Sample the Whispy Woods plate (¥2,580) and the Kirby Soft-Strawberry Mousse (¥1,480) to bring back nostalgic vibes from the past. Most of the dishes and drinks come with a gift, which explains the higher price tag – think plates, figurines, coasters, and mugs. If your decision falls on a menu item that doesn’t come along with a souvenir, you can shop exclusive merchandise at the onsite shop. The café will be around until February 17, so if you want to make a reservation, visit here.

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