Things to do in Tokyo this week

This week’s hottest events, gigs, films, festivals and more

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
Advertising
Electronicos Fantasticos

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.

RECOMMENDED: Get your tickets to events and gigs here

Best things to do this week

Things to do

Hamacho Marché

Winter doesn’t mean a lack of fresh produce. Spend a morning at this farmers' market in Nihonbashi-Hamacho, where local producers stalls set up to sell seasonal fruit, vegetables, sundries and flowers direct from the farms and orchards.  There are also food trucks along the street for you to grab a light meal as you peruse the booths. Bring the kids along – a play area will be set up with games and workshops for families...

Music, Rock and indie

Of Monsters and Men Japan Tour 2020 Tokyo

Akasaka Blitz, Akasaka

The Icelandic rock band Of Monsters and Men is no stranger to Japan. Right after their debut album 'My Head is an Animal' landed the sixth position on the American charts in 2012, the group made its way around the world, ending up in a live performance at Harajuku Astro Hall in 2013. After their second album 'Beneath the Skin' took third place in the US charts, the group headlined Fuji Rock in 2015. Now the band seeks to make the world listen once again with their third album 'Fever Dream'...

Advertising
Music

Bon Iver

Zepp Tokyo, Odaiba

Fronted by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon, American indie-folk band Bon Iver is known for their distinctive sound that combines folk and rock with electro. Considering the band name is derived from the French phrase ‘bon hiver’, meaning ‘good winter’, there couldn’t be a better season for their Asia-Europe tour...

Tokyo Unplugged: Time Out Acoustic Open Mic Night
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Nightlife

Tokyo Unplugged: Time Out Acoustic Open Mic Night

Time Out Café & Diner, Ebisu

Tokyo is a music hub of the region and we’re adding on to the lively scene with our very own open mic night. For our last two shows in 2019, we’ve featured around 10 musicians each, spanning a wide range of genres from rap and folk to down-tempo acoustic and pop. Our third installment, happening on Thursday January 23, will similarly host an eclectic roster of international and homegrown artists...

Advertising
Things to do

Usokae Bullfinch Exchange

Kameido Ten Jinja, Kameido

The Kameido Tenjin Shrine isn’t just popular for its annual chrysanthemum festival – the grounds have hosted a unique Shinto ritual since 1820. Bullfinches are considered to bring good luck, and the shrine provides figurines in the shape of that little bird on January 24 and 25. If you’re an annual visitor, simply exchange your old figurine from the previous year with a new one...

村上隆 「スーパーフラットドラえもん」
©️2019 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. ©️Fujiko-Pro. Photographer: Kei Okano
Art

Takashi Murakami Superflat Doraemon Exhibition

Perrotin Tokyo, Roppongi

Takashi Murakami’s latest work is a collaboration with one of Japan’s beloved cartoon, Doraemon. The blue cat robot is rendered in Murakiami’s signature Superflat style, thus giving this nostalgic character, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, a modern makeover...

Advertising
Things to do

Electronicos Fantasticos at Shibuya-san

Shibuya-san, Shibuya

Electronics Fantasticos gives old and disused electronics a second life by turning them into musical instruments, which are on display at Shibuya’s newest tourist information centre, Shibuya-san. Members of the Nicos Orchest-Lab, a musical project founded by musician Ei Wada, will be there at 8pm-9pm on weekdays and 2pm-3pm on weekends to guide you through a practical session with the instruments...

Things to do

Japan Brewers Cup

Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal, Yokohama

Taking place on Osanbashi Pier, the scenic international ferry terminal between Minato Mirai and Yamashita Park, this event is both a craft beer jubilee and a contest between the vendors. Thirty-two Japanese brewers and six international importers will be setting up shop, offering a staggering 300-plus beers on tap...

Advertising
Shopping

Masking Tape Jamboree

Kirarina Keio Kichijoji, Kichijoji

Japan is famous for its wide-ranging and inventive stationery, from delicate letter-sheets to erasable highlighters and rolls of masking tape that come in every design imaginable. At the Masking Tape Jamboree, you can geek out over 1,000 kinds of masking tapes to decorate your notebooks, letters and household goods. You’ll also find workshops throughout the day to help you come up with innovative ways to use masking tape...

Shopping

Famous Ekiben Tournament

Keio, Shinjuku

Station bento boxes, also known as ekiben are a quintessential part of traveling in Japan, each box is packed with regional specialities. Tokyo Station’s Ekibenya Matsuri may be everyone’s go-to shop to purchase these delicious lunch boxes year-round, but this event is the biggest one yet featuring over 270 goods from all 43 prefectures. Their highlights feature Fukushima’s five-way king crab bowl, Hyogo’s octopus rice bowl topped with simmered eel and veggies served in a flashy golden pot, and Saga’s carnivorous bento with generous cuts of skirt steak, roast and sukiyaki beef...

Advertising
Museums

New Year’s Celebration at the Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum, Ueno

Celebrate the New Year and usher in the year of the rat at Tokyo National Museum admiring artworks featuring adorable little mice. While many of us see these little creatures as pests, ancient Japanese tales reveal that they were symbols of families blessed with many children...

Things to do

VR Sound Stage Tokyo – Mahler’s Third

Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Ikebukuro

London-based Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen is taking up residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater, albeit in digital form, thanks to VR Sound Stage, the orchestra’s pioneering virtual reality project. This event is free and will ‘transport’ you to the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in October 2017, where you’ll enjoy Mahler’s Third Symphony...

Advertising
Things to do

Sakedokoro Nabegoya

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Minato Mirai

Savour different kinds of hot pots from prefectures all around Japan at Sakedokoro Nabegoya. You’ll have the chance to sample rare dishes not commonly found in Tokyo, including Hokkaido’s tomato cream and Iwate’s duck hot pots. While this winter warmer is generally a communal dish, here at this festival you can order a single portion, too...

Stamp Eraser
Photo: Natsuko Taguchi
Art

Eraser Stamp Exhibition – Reflect the Seasons

Za-Koenji Public Theatre, Koenji

When visiting Koenji, make a detour to this eraser stamp exhibition by artist Natsuko Taguchi. Her intricate work incorporates warm colours and traditional Japanese elements, and often feature scenes from the four seasons. Taguchi has her own segment at the weekly variety TV show 'Purebato' and publishes a variety of books on eraser stamp art techniques. Her most iconic works include wall art as well as designs for traditional Japanese sliding doors...

Advertising
Things to do

Live in the Dark – Classic

Konica Minolta Planetaria Tokyo, Yurakucho

Konica Minolta Planetaria makes for a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, especially when you get to stare into space, or more specifically the ‘French night sky’, while listening to live classical music. The planetarium dome is equipped with the latest technology and a screen that stretches from floor to ceiling...

Art

Choi Jeong-Hwa Exhibition: Blooming Matrix

Gyre, Omotesando

One of the most influential artists in the Korean contemporary art scene, Choi Jeong-Hwa is showcasing his work at Gyre in a solo exhibition that runs until February 24. Choi has a particular fondness for collecting knick-knacks from around the world and then shape those everyday objects into grand sculptures. Of great acclaim is his ‘Alchemy’ series, a collection of room-sized sculptures that are built by stacking objects onto each other...   

Advertising
Things to do

See the best illuminations in Tokyo

The days may be getting shorter and colder, but even so, Tokyo doesn't turn into a dark and desolate place at this less than cheery time of year. In fact, as the city transitions from autumn into winter, millions of colourful LED lights are displayed in trees as well as on and around buildings, turning Tokyo into a sparkling wonderland...

Things to do

Hotel New Otani Japanese Garden Illumination

Hotel New Otani Tokyo, Kioicho

The Hotel New Otani's Japanese garden will again be lit up through the end of February. Loved by many as a veritable oasis in the middle of the city, the garden sees an illumination set to shed light (sorry) upon the beauty of nature. With this particular garden having a 400-year-plus history and boasting a whopping 10,000 tsubo (about 33,100sqm) of space, that shouldn't prove too difficult...

Advertising
Things to do

47 fashionable clothes to represent 47 prefectures

D47 Museum, Shibuya

Shibuya’s d47 Museum has always been committed to introducing the unique characteristics of Japan’s 47 prefectures through various media and exhibitions. Its current exhibition, which revolves around the theme of fashion, is showcasing a curated collection of clothes, shoes, bags and accessories that represent each prefecture...

Things to do

Winter Wonderland in Moominvalley Park

Multiple venues

Even though the adorable Moominvalley Park is not in central Tokyo, it’s definitely worth the roughly one-hour trip from Ikebukuro Station. During the park’s winter illumination event, that’s based on the iconic troll’s fifth book ‘Moominland Midwinter’, you can expect a colourful spectacle supported by projection mapping, lights and sound...

Advertising
Tokyo Mega Illumination
©Tokyo Mega Illumi
Things to do

Tokyo Mega Illumination

Oi Racecourse - Tokyo City Flea Market, Oimachi

The Oi Racecourse, aka the Tokyo City Keiba, will be lit up during the nighttime races with colourful illumination. What's more, there will be a 'time travel area' featuring designs and artworks from the Edo, Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras, as well as a 100 metre tunnel covered in lights, making it the biggest illumination in the Kanto area...

UNU Farmer's Market
Photo: fb.com/farmersmarket.at.unu
Shopping

United Nations University Farmers' Market

Aoyama

The UNU farmers’ market is one of Tokyo’s longest running and best-attended markets. Taking place every weekend in front of the university’s Aoyama headquarters, this one always attracts a knowledgeable crowd. Organic and local fare is readily available every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm, with the farmers themselves happy to provide details about their wares.

Advertising
Art

Mori Building Digital Art Museum Epson teamLab Borderless

Odaiba

Tokyo's hottest art opening of 2018, self-styled 'ultra-technologists' teamLab have now got their very own museum on Odaiba. The 10,000sqm is space inside the huge Odaiba Palette Town development, courtesy of the Mori Building group and Epson. A good 50 artworks are on display, which all interact with visitors and can even move between rooms – it's truly 'borderless' art...

Looking for more things to do for the next seven days?
Advertising