Things to do this week in Tokyo

Gokiburi Combinato’s grown-up haunted house

Until Tue Jun 25, 2013 Vanilla Gallery

This ain’t no famliy-friendly haunted house,’ promises the PR blurb for the last show at Ginza’s Vanilla Gallery before the kinky art space’s impending relocation. Extreme performance troupe Gokiburi Combinato – a regular presence at fetish events like Sadistic Circus – will be offering their own spin on the fairground spook house, and it’s one that’s been specifically designed to scare the bejeezus out of grown-ups. Visitors are advised to wear clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty, and the ¥1,500 admission fee includes a photo of your best scaredy-cat face.


Open June 22-25

Time 4pm-7pm (June 23 from 1pm)

Admission ¥1,500

Venue Vanilla Gallery

Address 4F, 6-10-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ginza Station (Ginza, Marunouchi, Hibiya lines)

Leonardo da Vinci: Portrait of a Genius

Until Sun Jun 30, 2013 Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
If you were hoping that Tokyo might be able to muster a show of the same calibre as the National Gallery’s acclaimed Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, carry on dreaming. Of the over 100 paintings, sketches and writings featured in this heavily promoted exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, only a handful come from the hand of the Renaissance master himself (even the provenance of the 1490 Portrait of a Musician, pictured above, is disputed). The remainder of the show is given over to works by contemporaries and students – drawn from the collection of Rome’s Biblioteca Ambrosiana – which do at least provide some valuable context for da Vinci’s oeuvre.


Open April 23-June 30 Closed Mon (except April 29, May 6), May 7

Time Tue-Sun 9.30am-5.30pm (Fri until 8pm)

Admission Adults ¥1,500, students ¥1,300, over 65s ¥1,000, high school students ¥800

Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Address 8-36 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ueno Station (Yamanote line), park exit; (Ginza, Hibiya lines), Shinobazu exit

Tokyo 1st Foam Party

Fri Jun 28, 2013 Club Asia
It’s time to bust out your swimsuit, as Club Asia holds its first foam party of the summer. Bikini-clad women wield foam cannons over the crowd while house scene stalwart Sugiurumn supplies the tunes, accompanied by party organiser Afromance. This might get messy.


Open June 28

Time Doors 11pm

Admission ¥3,500 on the door; ¥2,500 adv


Venue Club Asia

Address 1-8 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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

The Power of Manga: Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori

Sat Jun 29 – 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

Sat Jun 29 – 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.

Nagisa Music Festival Tokyo 2013

Sat Jun 29, 2013 Ajinomoto Stadium
Once a regular fixture in Odaiba, where it used to happen twice a year, the Nagisa Music Festival has been awfully quiet recently. The event returns this month after a lengthy hiatus, though it’s moving the action to Chofu’s Ajinomoto Stadium this time. We’re not sure how the venue is going to handle a multi-stage event such as this, but there should be plenty on the lineup to keep Nagisa’s more psychedelically inclined fans happy, including appearances by big-name trance acts Astral Projection and Yoji, chill-out supremo Banco de Gaia and Orbital’s Phil Hartnoll.


Open June 29

Time Doors 11am. Gig noon

Admission ¥4,300 adv

Venue Ajinomoto Stadium

Address 376-3 Nishimachi, Chofu, Tokyo

Transport Tobitakyu station (Keio line).

Mottainai Festa 2013

Sat Jun 29 – Sun Jun 30, 2013 Akihabara UDX
The late Wangari Maathai kickstarted the Mottainai movement in 2005, a year after she became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize on account of her political and environmental activism. The Japan-based campaign encourages environmental conservation and sustainable use of resources through a variety of means, ranging from custom vending machines to events like this weekend festival in Akihabara. There’ll be a variety of booths propagating the Mottainai message – reduce, reuse, recycle, respect – along with flea market stalls run by children (1-3pm only), artisans and some of the local otaku. Because, eh, toys need to be recycled too. Hang around on Saturday evening for a candle display, sand art performance by Karin Ito and music by pop singer Chay.


Open June 29-30

Time June 29 11am-8.30pm, June 30 11am-5pm

Venue Akihabara UDX

Address 4-14-1 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Transport Akihabara Station (Yamanote, Sobu, Hibiya, Tsukuba Express lines)

281 Anti Nuke Retrospective

Until Sun Jun 30, 2013 The Pink Cow
You won’t know his face (and he’d prefer to keep it that way), but you probably know his work. The subversive stickers of street artist 281 Anti Nuke have become a ubiquitous feature on Tokyo’s landscape since the Fukushima disaster, taking well-aimed jabs at prime ministers, TEPCO and a political culture that puts profit before citizens’ wellbeing. The Pink Cow will be presenting a selection of 281’s work throughout June, and you can meet the artist himself at the opening night on June 6 (from 7pm), when they’ll also be screening a new documentary by Tokyo-based filmmaker Adrian ‘Uchujin’ Storey.


Open June 1-30

Time Tue-Sun 5pm-late (opening party June 6, 7pm-11.30pm)

Admission Free entry

Venue The Pink Cow

Address B1F Roi Bldg, 5-5-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Roppongi Station (Oedo, Hibiya lines)

Start of Summer party

Sun Jun 30, 2013 Otodama Sea Studio
You know summer’s here when Zushi’s seaside gig venue kicks into action. Otodama Sea Studio holds its first Sunday dance party of the season on June 30, with a host of DJs who’ll be more than a little familiar to Tokyo clubbers, including Takkyu Ishino, Shinichi Osawa, Taku Takahashi and Dexpistols.


Open June 30

Time Starts noon

Admission ¥4,000 on the door; ¥3,500 adv

Venue Otodama Sea Studio

Address 2-3 Shinjuku, Zushi, Kanagawa

Transport Shin-Zushi Station (Keikyu line) or Zushi Station (Yokosuka/Shonan-Shinjuku line)

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