Things to do: this week in Tokyo September 4- September 8

Posted on Sep 3, 2013 in Must see, News, Things to do |

Tokyo Tower 2020 light-up

Until Sat Sep 7, 2013 Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower is doing its part to get the city into the spirit of the Games. Check it out after dark to see it lit up in the Olympic colours of green, yellow, blue and red, with the shut-off observatory lights representing black to complete the set. Catch it while you can – the lights will only be on until the announce date (September 7).


Open Until Sep 7

Time 5-10pm

Venue Tokyo Tower

Address 4-2-8 Shiba-Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Kamiyacho station (Hibiya line), exit 1 or Onarimon station (Mita line), exit A1 or Akabanebashi station (Oedo line), Akabanebashi exit.

Thatta: Boys be Commercial Tour Final

Wed Sep 4, 2013 Club Asia

J-rockers Thatta will conclude their release tour for new album Boys Be Commercial in Shibuya tonight. Sporting a sound that’s heavily influenced by Madchester and the ’90s music scene in both the US and UK, you can expect an energetic live show when they take the stage at Club Asia.


Open Sep 4

Time Doors 6pm

Admission ¥2,500 (including one drink)

Venue Club Asia

Address 1-8 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya station (Yamanote, Ginza lines), Hachiko exit; (Hanzomon line), exit 3A.

Ukiyoe: Floating World from the Saito Collection

Until Sun Sep 8, 2013 Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo
Though it’s restricted itself mostly to 19th century European art thus far, the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum will be plunging headfirst into the world of ukiyoe woodblock prints this summer, with a show so sprawling that it’s had to be divided into three parts. There’ll be a total of 600 pieces on display during the exhibition, starting with the late-18th century ‘golden age’ (June 22-July 15), moving through the print series of Hokusai, Hiroshige, et al. (July 17-August 11), then finishing with the rush to modernism of the late Edo and early Meiji eras (August 13-September 8).


Open June 22-September 8 Closed Mon (Tue if Mon is a holiday)

Time Tue, Wed, Sun & hols 10am-6pm, Thu-Sat 10am-8pm

Admission Adults ¥1,300, students ¥1,000, junior high & elementary students ¥500

Venue Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo

Address 2-6-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo

Transport Tokyo station (JR, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Lines), Marunouchi South exit


MHD malt whisky tasting

Thu Sep 5, 2013 Shoto Gallery

Get acquainted with the Glens at this malt whisky tasting session held by MDH. This year’s lineup includes quality single malts from 12 distilleries, including Talisker, Lagavulin and Glenmorangie (see the full list below). Bookings must be made in advance, and the event is limited to 300 people. Don’t forget your ID…

Talisker (Isle of Skye)
Glenmorangie (North Highland)
Ardbeg (Islay)
Lagavulin (Islay)
Caol Ila (Islay)
Glenkinchie (Lowland)
Dalwhinnie (Highland)
Cragganmore (Speyside)
Glen Elgin (Speyside)
Knockando (Speyside)
Clynelish (North Highland)
Oban (West Highland)


Open Sep 5

Time 7-9pm

Admission ¥3,000 men, ¥2,500 women, couple’s ticket ¥5,000

Telephone 03 3796 0126

Venue Shoto Gallery

Address 1-5-4 Shoto, Shibuya, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Ginza, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin, Denentoshi, Tokyu Toyoko, Keio Inokashira lines)

Tokyo Jazz Festival 2013

Fri Sep 6 – Sun Sep 8, 2013 Tokyo International Forum Cotton Club
Japan’s biggest jazz event is also its least catholic. The three-day Tokyo Jazz Festival doesn’t balk at booking crooners (Burt Bacharach last year, Tony Bennett this year), and each indisputably great musician on the lineup seems to be counterbalanced by a soporifically smooth operator (we’re looking at you, Bob James and David Sanborn). After seeing de facto headliner Ornette Coleman pull out of last year’s event at the last minute, the organisers are probably praying that the same thing doesn’t happen with the 86-year-old Bennett or saxophonist Lee Konitz (85). Also look out for appearances by Chick Corea, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, Bobby McFerrin and the hugely gifted Ai Kuwabara. The main concerts are complemented by more intimate shows across the road at the Cotton Club, plus free gigs held in TIF’s open-air plaza.


Open September 6-8

Time Various times

Admission The Hall: ¥6,500-¥9,500 (one-day pass ¥18,000); The Club: ¥3,000; The Plaza: free

Venue Tokyo International Forum Cotton Club

Address 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Transport Yurakucho station (Yamanote, Yurakucho lines), Tokyo International Forum exit.


Hibiya Oktoberfest 2013

Fri Sep 6 – Mon Sep 16, 2013 Hibiya Park
Tokyo has gone into Oktoberfest overdrive this year, with no less than ten Bavarian bacchanales taking place over the summer months – only one of which actually coincides with the original festival in Munich. Hibiya Park’s second session of the year promises to lure back the same throngs of office workers, fräuleins and men with impressive beards with the promise of sausages, oom-pah music and quality German beer served from hefty glass tankards (note that you’ll have to pay a refundable ¥1,000 deposit each time you order one). There’s always a strong showing by German breweries, plus local heavyweights like Sankt Gallen and Fujizakura Heights, with a few beers that aren’t available anywhere else… well, except in Munich.


Open September 6-16

Time TBA

Admission Free

Venue Hibiya Park

Address 1-6 Hibiya Koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Transport Hibiya Station (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi/Chiyoda Lines, Kasumigaseki Station; Toei Subway Hibiya Line)

Belgian Beer Weekend (2013)

Fri Sep 6 – Mon Sep 16, 2013 Roppongi Hills Arena
Just when Tokyo’s Oktoberfest onslaught was beginning to get too much, along comes an alternative. Compared to its Munich forebear, the Belgian Beer Weekend is a recent invention: the first edition was held in 1999, at the Grand Place in Brussels. Tokyo became home to the Weekend’s first international offshoot in 2010, and it’s been getting bigger and better ever since. Expect a vast selection of beers, including fruit beers (Boon Kriek, Redbocq), white beers (Hoegaarden, Pater Lievin Wit) and golden ales (Duval), among others. The Tokyo line-up is yet to be announced, but if last year’s is anything to go by you can expect some big-name Belgian acts.


Open September 6-16

Time TBC

Admission TBC

Twitter BBWJapan

Venue Roppongi Hills Arena

Address 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Roppongi Station (Hiroo, Oedo lines)


Omohara Beer Forest

Until Sun Sep 8, 2013 Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku
It’s starting to feel like every department store in Tokyo is turning its rooftop into a beer garden this summer, and Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku clearly isn’t immune. Thankfully, they’re doing things a little differently: rather than encouraging visitors to get royally sloshed on all-you-can-drink Super Dry, they’ll be serving a classier lineup of microbrew beer, courtesy of Kanagawa’s Sankt Gallen – and all for the reasonable price of ¥500 a glass. Expect a rotating selection of tipples, plus offbeat concoctions like a ‘beer punch’ made with fruit beer and sliced fruit.


Open July 13-September 8

Time Mon-Fri 5pm-9pm, Sat, Sun, hols & Aug 12-16 noon-9pm

Venue Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

Address 4-39-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Meiji-Jingumae Station (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines)


Fashion’s Night Out 2013

Sat Sep 7, 2013
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour conceived Fashion’s Night Out as a globe-straddling nocturnal celebration of the glories of haute couture (and its related pastime, shopping). This year, the after-hours shopathon will run from 6-11pm, with more than 400 stores and boutiques in Harajuku, Omotesando and Aoyama getting in on the act. There’ll be DJs playing throughout the night, and hardened shopaholics can clock up stamps in the official guidebook to take part in a raffle for all kinds of covetable goodies. This year, you’ll be spending for a good cause – a selection of T-shirts and bags designed by Souun Takeda will be on sale, with proceeds going towards earthquake relief activities.


Open Sep 7

Time Opening ceremony 5pm, closing ceremony 11pm


The Power of Manga: Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori

Until Sun Sep 8, 2013 Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo pays tribute to two of Japan’s great manga pioneers in its summer show. Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori weren’t just ground-breaking innovators in the world of Japanese comics – they were also colleagues, working together on Shonen Mangamagazine in the early 1950s. The Power of Manga charts the careers of both men, from early drawings to seminal works like Tezuka’s Atom Boyand Ishinomori’s Cyborg 009. In testament to their lasting impact, it also includes homages from young Japanese and international artists who’ve been influenced by these two manga giants – and we’re guessing there have been quite a few.


Open June 29-September 8 Closed Mon (except July 15), July 16

Time Tue-Sun 10am-6pm

Admission Adults ¥1,200, students & over 65s ¥900, high school & junior high school students ¥700

Venue Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

Address 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Transport Kiyosumi-Shirakawa station (Hanzomon line), exit B2 then 9mins walk. Kiyosumi-Shirakawa station (Oedo line), exit A3 then 13mins walk.

Francis Alÿs: Gibraltar Focus

Until Sun Sep 8, 2013 Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo has been giving some generous exposure to Francis Alÿs this spring and summer, with two shows devoted to the oeuvre of the Belgian-born, Mexico-based conceptual artist. Following on from the career-spanning Mexico Survey, the museum now hosts a more recent work. Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River revolves around a massive performance art piece that Alÿs orchestrated on both sides of the Gibraltar Strait in 2008, documented across a hundred-odd pieces of video, photos, drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations.


Open June 29-September 8 Closed Mon (except July 15), July 16

Time Tue-Sun 10am-6pm

Admission Adults ¥1,100, students & over 65s ¥800, high school & junior high students ¥600

Venue Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

Address 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Transport Kiyosumi-Shirakawa station (Hanzomon line), exit B2 then 9mins walk. Kiyosumi-Shirakawa station (Oedo line), exit A3 then 13mins walk.