Things to do this week in Tokyo July 29th-August 4th 2013

Oi Oktoberfest 2013 (TCK 1)

Mon Jul 29 – Fri Aug 2, 2013 Tokyo City Keiba
How many Oktoberfests is too many Oktoberfests? Tokyo is pushing things to the limit this summer, with a total of ten editions of the Munich beer festival (plus Asahi’s pseudo-Oktoberfest in late August). Tokyo City Keiba is one of the newest converts to the cause, and will be hosting a pair of mini-festivals during the summer. Expect the usual mix of suds, sausages and sauerkraut, with beers from German and Japanese breweries, all served up in proper glasses. The first runs from July 29 to August 2, with the second going from August 12 to 16.

Details

Open August 12-16

Time 2.20pm-9pm

Admission Free

Venue Tokyo City Keiba

Address 2-1-2 Katsushima, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo

Asovision

Mon Jul 29, 2013 Sound Museum Vision

Clubs

Proving that you don’t have to wait until the weekend to have a good party, this regular bash organised by the Asobisystem agency turns Monday into the most bangin’ night of the week. Producer Yasutaka Nakata and his barnstorming electro-house duo Capsule top the bill, joined by event regulars including Ram Rider, Verbal and Yun*chi.

Details

Open July 29

Time Doors 10pm

Admission ¥3,500 on the door; ¥3,000 with flyer, ¥2,500 adv

Venue Sound Museum Vision

Address 2-10-7 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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

Savages

Mon Jul 29, 2013 Astro Hall

Music

UK hype bands don’t always translate, but this all-female post-punk quartet has been leaving nothing but corpses in its wake during 2013. Savages recall a lot of music you might already know – PiL, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dead Kennedys, even PJ Harvey – but the high points of debut album Silence Yourself are far too thrilling to dismiss as mere pastiche. Fresh from making their Japan debut at Fuji Rock, the group heads to Tokyo for a headlining show at Astro Hall. Tickets go on sale on July 13.

Details

Open July 29

Time Doors 6pm. Gig 7pm

Admission ¥4,500 adv

Venue Astro Hall

Address New Wave Harajuku Bldg B1F, 4-32-12 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku station (Yamanote line), Takeshita exit or Meiji-Jingumae station (Chiyoda line), exit 5.

Mumford & Sons

Tue Jul 30, 2013 Studio Coast

Music

Strap on your waistcoats and pull on your boots: having stormed to worldwide success with a hugely popular combination of banjos, braces and big, big choruses, Marcus Mumford’s travelling band are finally making their Japan debut this summer. With an appearance at Fuji Rock Festivalalready confirmed, the group have announced an additional Tokyo date.

Details

Open July 30

Time Doors 6pm. Gig 7pm

Admission ¥6,000 adv

Venue Studio Coast

Address 2-2-10 Shinkiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shin-Kiba Station (Rinkai, Yurakucho lines)

66th Tsukiji Honganji Bon Dance Festival

Wed Jul 31 – Sat Aug 3, 2013 Tsukiji Honganji

Around Town

Mid-summer is synonymous with obon, the traditional Japanese festival of the dead – and where there’s obon, there’s usually dancing. Get in on the action at one of Tokyo’s more established obon festivals, held across four evenings at Tsukiji Honganji temple. There’ll be taiko drumming and group dancing every night, while August 2 – for reasons that we can’t quite determine – has been designated ‘fancy dress day’.

Details

Open July 31-August 3

Time July 31-Aug 2, 7pm-9pm; Aug 3, 6pm-8.30pm

Venue Tsukiji Honganji

Address 3-15-1 Tsukiji, Chuou-ku, Tokyo

Transport A 1-minute walk from Tsukiji Station (Hibiya Line : exit1) / A 5-minutes walk from Shintomichyo Station (Yuurakuchou Line)・Higashiginnza Station (Asakusa Line)・Tsukijishijyou Station (Toei Ooedo Line)

Dreamgirls

Wed Jul 31 – Sun Aug 25, 2013 Tokyu Theatre Orb

Performing Arts

Bust out the sequins: Henry Krieger and Tom Eyen’s Supremes-inspired musical is returning to the Tokyo stage in a touring Broadway production, to mark the first anniversary of Theatre Orb.

Details

Open July 31-August 25 No performances Mon, Tue

Time Performance times vary

Admission S ¥12,500, A ¥9,500, B ¥7,500

Venue Tokyu Theatre Orb

Address 11F Shibuya Hikarie, 2-21 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Shonan-Shinjuku, Ginza, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin lines, etc.)

Shuji Terayama: Knock

Until Sun Oct 27, 2013 Watari-Um Museum of Contemporary Art

Art

In 1975, unruly dramatist Shuji Terayama conducted a 30-hour performance in Asagaya, where his accomplices roamed the neighbourhood randomly knocking on doors (prompting some befuddled residents to call the police). The inspired anarchy of Knock is documented in this exhibition at the Watari-Um, which includes films and a variety of previously unseen ephemera.

Details

Open Until October 27 Closed Mon (except Sept 16 & 23, Oct 14)

Time Tue-Sun 11am-7pm (Wed until 9pm)

Admission Adults ¥1,000, students ¥800; pair ticket ¥1,600 (students ¥1,200)

Venue Watari-Um Museum of Contemporary Art

Address 3-7-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Gaienmae station (Ginza line), exit 3.

Quincy Jones

Wed Jul 31 – Thu Aug 1, 2013 Tokyo International Forum

Music

The stars are out in force for this 80th anniversary tribute to producer, composer and 24-time Grammy winner Quincy Jones. Singers Patti Austin, James Ingram and Siedah Garrett will be paying tribute to their hit-making collaborator, alongside a host of youthful musicians who’ve recently received the Quincy stamp of approval. But it’s not all about the overseas guests: homegrown musicians ranging from jazz pianist Makoto Ozone to M-Flo frontman Verbal and guitar god Miyavi are on board for an all-Japanese tribute session, led by producer Seiji Kameda.

Details

Open July 31-August 1

Time Doors 6pm. Gig 7pm

Admission SS ¥12,000, S ¥9,500, A ¥8,000

URL qj80.jp

Venue Tokyo International Forum

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

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

Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival (2013)

Thu Aug 1, 2013 Rinko Park
The Minato Mirai waterfront lends a picturesque location to this bombastic summer fireworks display. There’ll be around 15,000 fireworks deployed in the course of the event, the largest of which measures 480m in diameter, with musical accompaniment to heighten the sense of spectacle. If you want to secure a good spot, there are ‘Fireworks Appreciation Tickets’ sold at Lawson convenience stores (L-code 31110); note that the display will be postponed until Friday if the weather is poor.

Details

Open August 1

Time 7pm-8.30pm

Admission Adults ¥2,500, junior high & elementary school students ¥500

Venue Rinko Park

Address 1-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama

Transport Minatomirai Station (Minatomirai line)

Walking with Dinosaurs

Thu Aug 1 – Wed Aug 7, 2013 Saitama Super Arena

Museums & AttractionsAround Town

Kids and big kids alike are catered to with this live stage show, an offshoot of the TV show of the same name. If you’ve always fancied a trip to Jurassic Park without the risk of being eaten by a pack of raptors, then this is about as close as you’re going to get. The show starts at the cretaceous period, before moving to the jurassic period and finally the triassic period using a mixture of video footage and enormous puppets that roam the stage fighting, feeding and doing your usual dinosaur activities. Expect to see triceratops, stegosaurus and, of course, the always crowd-pleasing T-rex.

Details

Open August 1-7 August 5

Time 11am, 3pm & 7pm

Admission Adults ¥4,200-¥10,500; children ¥3,150-¥9,450

URL wwdj.jp/

Venue Saitama Super Arena

Address 8 Shintoshin, Chuo-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama

Transport Saitama Shintoshin station (Keihin-Tohoku, Utsunomiya/Takasaki lines)

Steve Vai

Thu Aug 1, 2013 Akasaka Blitz

Music

No disrespect to guitar god Steve Vai, but we’re pretty much over the technically proficient, yet emotionally empty, razzle-dazzle that’s on display tonight. Gotta hand it to the dude, though – he hasn’t let up on his fret-shredding ways since his days studying with Joe Satriani, counting among his many achievements stints with both Zappa and David Lee Roth, a still-thriving solo career and a new album, last year’s The Story of Light.

Details

Open August 1

Time Doors 6pm. Gig 7pm

Admission ¥7,000 adv

Venue Akasaka Blitz

Address Akasaka Sacas, Akasaka 5-3-2, Minato, Tokyo

Transport Akasaka Station (Chiyoda line), Akasaka-Mitsuke Station (Ginza, Marunouchi lines)

Movie Day
The first day of the month is Movie Day, meaning you can get discounted ¥1,000 tickets at cinemas throughout Tokyo – an ideal opportunity to catch recent openings includingHope Springs and Emperor.

Monsters University

Antique Jamboree (2013)

Fri Aug 2 – Sun Aug 4, 2013 Tokyo Big Sight

ShopsAround Town

Knicknack lovers rejoice as the nation’s largest antiques market returns to Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba, bringing with it 500 dealers specialising in artefacts and heirlooms from Japan, Europe and the US. This being the land of the otaku, special attention is reserved for collectors of aged toys and playthings, but there’s usually enough going on at these events to interest even the most passive browser. Hardened scavengers pay extra to get in on Early Buyer Day on Friday, but regardless of when you go, it’s worth hitting the jamboree’s website beforehand for their printable couponsthat knock a few hundred yen off the ticket price.

Details

Open August 2-4

Time 10am-5pm

Admission August 2 (early buyer day) ¥3,000, August 3, 4 ¥1,000

Twitter Tech2R

Venue Tokyo Big Sight

Address 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto, Tokyo

Transport Kokusaitenjijo Station (JR Rinkai Line) or Kokusai-tenjijo-seimon station (Yurikamome Line)

Hachioji Matsuri (2013)

Fri Aug 2 – Sun Aug 4, 2013 Koshu Highway, Hachioji

Around Town

Floats and portable shrines are carried down Hachioji’s central Koshu Highway in this summer festival, held in the first weekend of August each year. When rival dashi floats pass, their bands attempt to throw each other off their groove in a musical face-off known as buttsuke – a distinctive Hachioji tradition. Also look out for taiko drummers, ice sculptures, dragon dancers and more in the course of the three-day fest.

Details

Open August 2-4

Time Noon-9pm

 Venue Koshu Highway, Hachioji

Club Chic Summer 2013

Fri Aug 2, 2013 Grand Hyatt Tokyo Grand Ballroom

Clubs

The Grand Hyatt dusts off the mirrorball for the classiest disco party of the summer on August 2. Put on your dancing shoes and sashay into the Roppongi hotel’s main ballroom for an evening of ’70s grooves and free-flowing booze, with DJs Ai Emori and K-Co, plus live vocals from Bro. Kone and Tsunoda Hiro. If you’re feeling extra plush, spring for one of the VIP tickets, which includes top-notch tipples such as Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2005 and Henri Giraud Fût de Chêne NV. Revellers can also stay overnight for a reduced price of ¥25,000; call 03 4333 8838 for details.

Details

Open August 2

Time 8pm-midnight

Admission ¥15,000 (VIP ticket ¥30,000)

Venue Grand Hyatt Tokyo Grand Ballroom

Address 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Roppongi station (Hibiya line), exit 1C; (Oedo line), exit 3.

Lone Ranger

This Hi-ho Hollywood reboot can’t ride off into the sunset soon enough

Lone Ranger

Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Arnie Hammer, Ruth Wilson

Since his first appearance in 1933, he’s galloped his way between radio, movies, books and television. His popularity led to a spin-off series starring a little character known as the Green Hornet, while his catchphrase (‘Hi-ho Silver, away!’) and theme music (the William Tell overture) have become permanent fixtures of the popular culture lexicon.

Given that pedigree, a Hollywood reboot of the adventures of the masked lawman known as the Lone Ranger was inevitable. Of course that purveyor of blockbluster bloat, Jerry Bruckheimer, saw it as a chance to launch a new Pirates of the Caribbean–like franchise. And of course his house star of the moment, Johnny Depp, signed on to bring his increasingly diluted quirkiness to the role of Tonto, Native American companion to our white-hat vigilante hero John Reid (Arnie Hammer, nondescriptly noble).

Credit where it’s due, though: both Depp (only sort of cashing a paycheck) and his not-untalented Pirates 1–3 director Gore Verbinski have a lot of fun with the story’s setup. The promising opening scene, set in 1930s San Francisco, cleverly introduces Tonto as an aged attraction at a Wild West carnival exhibition (Depp rather movingly performs the role under what looks like a ton of Dustin Hoffman–in–Little Big Man prosthetics). He relates his and the Ranger’s often-convoluted adventures to a wide-eyed young audience of one, which establishes a nice air of innocence – it’s telling that Verbinski explicitly references Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon (1956) in an early composition. But the childlike sense of wonder is almost immediately eliminated once the movie flashes back to the late-1800s Wild West.

Though his adeptness with throwaway gags suggests he could have been a superb Warner Bros animator (there’s a particularly humorous one here involving vampire rabbits), summer tentpole morass tends to squash Verbinski’s gifts. As in nearly all of his films, an overstuffed plot gets the better of him: there’s a mutilated and malevolent gunslinger (William Fichtner, expectedly bringing the crazy) prowling the land. The transcontinental railroad is winding its way through the Monument Valley desert, a project overseen by a big-city businessman (Tom Wilkinson) with clearly suspicious motivations. There’s cold-blooded murder and declarations of vengeance, run-ins between the local Indians and the cavalry, a whorehouse madam with a wooden gun leg (Helena Bonham Carter, apparently on loan from an aborted Tim Burton project), a romantic interest and plenty of low comedy courtesy of Tonto’s smirky training of his new partner. Reference is even made to Depp’s ‘stupid fucking’ role in Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 acid Western Dead Man – minus the f-word, lest one offend the sensitive ears of the PG-13 multiplex demographic.

It’s all too much and not enough – a succession of disparate, can-you-top-this episodes inelegantly piling up like skidding cars on a freeway. And that’s not even taking into account the action scenes. Lord, those action scenes: monotonous, loud and relentless, they’re a punishing example of the self-satisfied, digitally augmented ephemera that typifies modern Hollywood moviemaking, and House Bruckheimer in particular.

When Tonto moves between two speeding locomotives with chamois-like agility or the Ranger leaps across the roofs of buildings and moving vehicles on his faithful steed, we never have any true sense of danger or exhilaration because everything is too uncannily seamless. Even if only at a subconscious level, we’re all too aware we’re watching ones and zeroes slathered around performers making ‘oh shit!’ faces at objects to be fully rendered later. This machine-tooled pomposity is all the more irritating for the few times Verbinski brings a genuine sense of invention to the proceedings (he shoots some of the Monument Valley locations with a comically askew eye that’s equal parts Ford and Leone). Or for those rare moments when Depp and Hammer – tossing off a quip or flashing an ingratiating grin – show a flicker of the gleam-in-the-eye ranger spirit. Otherwise, ‘Kemosabe’ and his faithful sidekick can’t ride off into the sunset soon enough.

Lone Ranger opens nationwide on August 2

Rock in Japan Festival 2013

Fri Aug 2 – Sun Aug 4, 2013 Hitaichi Seaside Park, Ibaraki

Music

Few music magazines have a better grasp of what the public wants thanRockin’ On, the influential periodical behind the annual summer Rock In Japan festival and its winter counterpart, Countdown Japan. The former, held at an attractive seaside park on the Ibaraki coast, consistently sells out in advance each year – despite (or maybe because of) the fact that the lineup has more repeat performers than any other summer music fest. Here’s the lineup so far…

August 2
The Back Horn, Back Number, Bigmama, [Champagne], Coldrain (NEW),Dr DownerThe FlickersFlower Flower, Fujifabric, FukurouzuGood Morning AmericaMotohiro Hata, Hey-Smith, Husking Bee, Inoran,Shishido Kavka, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Last Alliance, Maximum The Hormone, Merengue, MowMow Lulu Gyaban, Mongol800, Yuji Nakada, Negoto, Shiori Niyama, Noise and Milk, Okamoto’s, One OK Rock, Puffy, Rip SlymeRottengraffty, Sakanaction, Straightener, Shugo Tokumaru, Soil & “Pimp” SessionsTancobuchin, Totalfat, Unison Square Garden, Wasureranneyo, Zazen Boys…

August 3
Akai Ko-en, Androp, Applicat Spectra, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Back Drop Bomb, Base Ball Bear, Bump of ChickenBuzz The Bears, Capsule, The Chef Cooks MeCinema Staff, Creephyp, A Flood of CircleGood4NothingHello SleepwalkersHilcrhymeKen Hirai, Leo Ieiri, J, Miliyah KatoKinniku Shojo Tai, Lecca, Low IQ 101 & The Rhythm Makers, Magokoro Brothers, Nico Touches the Walls, 9mm Parabellum Bullet, Nothing’s Carved in Stone, The Novembers, Overground Acoustic Underground “5”, PassepiedPesPolysicsSamezame, Sayonara, mata kondo ne, Shinku-Horou, Special OthersYu Takahashi, Mao Uchu, White Ash, Masayoshi Yamazaki…

August 4
Yuko Ando, Anzen Chitai, Avengers in Sci-fi, The Band Apart, The Birthday, CNBLUE, Does, Dragon Ash, The DresscodesFlower CompanyzGroup Tamashii, The Hiatus, Kana-BoonKinoco Hotel, Taro Kobayashi, Kreva, Luki, Tortoise Matsumoto, The Mirraz, Miwa,Miyavi, My First Story, Nubo, Ohashi Trio, Tamio Okuda, Orange Range,Perfume, Plenty, PredawnQuruliRihwa, Maaya Sakamoto, Sakanamon, ScandalScott & Rivers, The Starbems, 10-Feet, TK from Ling Tosite Sigure, Tokyo Karankoron, Tricot

Details

Open August 2-4

Time Doors 8am. Gig 10am-8.30pm

Admission 1 day ¥11,500 (including parking ¥13,000), two days ¥22,000 (inc. parking ¥25,000), three days ¥30,000 (inc. parking ¥34,500)

 URL rijfes.jp/

Venue Hitaichi Seaside Park, Ibaraki

Bondaid feat Co La

Fri Aug 2, 2013 Seco

Clubs

Baltimore producer Co La – whose dreamworld beatscapes sit comfortably alongside the likes of Clams Casino and the Tri-Angle label – is the guest of honour at this liminal all-nighter. Hypnotic Tokyo-based guitarist Dustin Wong joins him for what’s billed as an ‘ecstatic sunshine session’, with further support from hazy house producer Sapphire Slows and DJs including Cold Name (from Jesse Ruins) and Mayu.

Details

Open August 2

Time Doors 9pm

Admission ¥3,000 on the door; ¥2,500 with flyer

URL bondaid.jp

Venue Seco

Address B1F, 1-11-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Shonan-Shinjuku, Ginza, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin, Denentoshi, Toyoko, Keio Inokashira lines), east exit

Prom Nite feat. Kelela & Total Freedom

Fri Aug 2, 2013 Unit

Clubs

‘I would like to do Brandy but weirder,’ was how hotly tipped R&B singer Kelela described her approach in an interview with Fact earlier this year. She’s been keeping good company so far, guesting on tracks by Kingdom and Teengirl Fantasy and hooking up with LA’s Fade to Mind posse, whose Total Freedom is accompanying her for this date at Unit. DJs including Toby Feltwell and 1-Drink lend eclectic support.

Details

Open August 2

Time Doors 10pm

Admission ¥3,000 on the door

Venue Unit

Address Za House Bldg, 1-34-17 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

Funktaxi feat Marc Schneider

Fri Aug 2, 2013 Air

Clubs

Though he’s the main buyer for German distributor Word and Sound, Marc Schneider was a late bloomer when it came to producing his own music. Already a fixture on the club circuit by the mid-’90s, he didn’t start releasing tunes himself until a decade later; fortunately, his rough, Fuckpony-esque house cuts were worth the wait. He returns to Tokyo’s Funktaxi party almost exactly a year on from the last time he played there, with support from event regulars Den, Da and Pi-Ge.

Details

Open August 2

Time Doors 10pm

Admission ¥3,000 on the door; ¥2,500 with flyer

Venue Air

Address Hikawa Bldg B1F-B2F, 2-11 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

Itabashi Fireworks (2013)

Taking advantage of a serendipitous schedule clash, Itabashi’s annual fireworks display takes place at the same time as the one in Toda City, just across the waters of the Arakawa River. You can expect a combined 11,000 fireworks to go up in the course of the evening, including an enormous ‘star mine’ and the spectacular ‘Niagara Falls’, a 600-metre chain of explosions that always draws the biggest cheers of the night. If you want to guarantee yourself a good vantage point, reservations for reserved seating areas are being taken from June 29 (details, in Japanese only, available here).

Details

Open August 3

Time 7pm-8.45pm

Venue Banks of Arakawa River, Itabashi

Address

Transport Takashimadaira Station (Mita line), Nishidai Station (Mita line), Hasune Station (Mita line)

Ocean Peoples (2013)

Sat Aug 3 – Sun Aug 4, 2013 Yoyogi Park

Around Town FREE

Yoyogi Park doesn’t seem like the most obvious location for a festival celebrating the sea (surely the beach would be a better option?), but don’t let that mar your enjoyment of this weekend’s Ocean Peoples fest. Organised by the crew behind the annual Greenroom Festival in Yokohama, this freebie two-day event boasts live music from the likes of Sandii (of ‘Goodbye Morning’ fame) and energetic dance shows, plus a dedicated beer garden and food offerings including burgers, shaved ice, kebabs and ice cream. Keep an eye on the timetable on the official website for announcements on who’ll be playing when.

Details

Open August 3-4

Time 11am-8pm

Admission Free

Venue Yoyogi Park

Address 2-1 Yoyogi Kamizounocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku Station (Yamanote line), Yoyogi-Koen Station (Chiyoda line), Yoyogi-Hachiman station (Odakyu line)

Asagaya Bali Dance Festival (2013)

Sat Aug 3 – Sun Aug 4, 2013 Asagaya Shinmeigu Shrine

Around Town

The Balinese counterpart to the Asagaya Tanabata Matsuri reaches its 12th edition this year, supplying two evenings of free gamelan and traditional Indonesian dance. Bonus marks to anyone who can explain exactly why there’s a Balinese festival held in Asagaya every year, but it sounds like a pretty tempting proposition either way. Note that the event will be called off if there’s heavy rain on the night – an all-too-regular occurrence at this time of year.

Details

Open August 3-4

Time Doors 4.30pm. Show 5pm

Admission Free

Venue Asagaya Shinmeigu Shrine

Address 1-25-5 Asagaya-Kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo

Transport Asagaya Station (Chuo line)

Tatemono-en Shita-machi Yu-suzumi

Sat Aug 3 – Sun Aug 4, 2013 Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum

Around Town

The Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum will be extending its opening hours for this two-day event, which invites visitors to enjoy a balmy summer evening (known as yusuzumi in Japanese) like they used to in the Showa era. With bon-odori dancing, food stalls and paper lanterns lighting the streets, it promises to be atmospheric – though the taiko drumming and cries of a veteran street hawker should stop things getting too tranquil.

Details

Open August 3-4

Time 2pm-8.30pm

Admission Adults ¥400, university students ¥320, high school age and under ¥200

Venue Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum

Address 3-7-1 Sakuracho, Koganei Ishi, Tokyo

Transport Musashi Koganei station (Chuo line), north exit then any bus from bus stops 2 or 3 to Koganei Koen Nishi-Guchi.

One Summer Night with DVS1 & DJ Nobu

Sat Aug 3, 2013 Unit

Clubs

If the recent closure of Nishi-Azabu’s Eleven left a bitter taste in the mouth, that’s partly because the über-underground nightspot was subsequently transformed into a commercial EDM club. In a brilliantly malicious bit of timing, the old Eleven crew have chosen the opening weekend of Double Tokyo to host their own get-together at Unit, starring a host of DJs who’ll be familiar to club regulars. Minneapolis techno warrior DVS1 shares the podium with local hero DJ Nobu in the main room, while Kez YM, Kikiorix and co. take charge of the downstairs Saloon. Double who…?

Details

Open August 3

Time Doors 11pm

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

Venue Unit

Address Za House Bldg, 1-34-17 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

Juno Reactor Final Frontier Tour

Sat Aug 3, 2013 AgeHa

Clubs

Ben Watkins has been trawling the globe with his ever-morphing electro-trance collective for over twenty years, but if you still haven’t decided where you stand on them, here’s a simple litmus test: do you have happy memories of The Matrix Reloaded? Juno Reactor certainly won’t be sparing any excess during this mammoth twelve-hour party at Ageha, which boasts additional live sets by collaborators including Miyavi, Sugizo and Jayant ‘Jitter’ Luthra, plus DJ turns by the likes of Mike Maguire, Ree.K and Numanoid aka DJ Tsuyoshi.

Details

Open August 3

Time Doors 6pm (all night)

Admission ¥4,500 adv

Venue AgeHa

Address 2-2-10 Shinkiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shinkiba station (Rinkai, Yurakucho lines).

Takkyu Ishino @ Otodama Sea Studio

Sat Aug 3, 2013 Otodama Sea Studio

Clubs

Techno heavyweights Takkyu Ishino and Ken Ishii descend on Zushi’s Otodama Sea Studio for a sweaty daytime dance party – though we’re not sure how literally to take the event’s Japanese title, which translates literally as, ‘It’s hot, so take all your clothes off!’ Champion turntablist DJ Kentaro and beatboxer Afra support.

Details

Open August 3

Time Doors 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)

Magic Mike

At last: Channing Tatum gives the ladies what they want

Magic Mike

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody McMains

First (because we know it’s on your mind): the Channing Tatum male-stripper movie is filled with male stripping. Tons of it. With the exception of one backstage shocker of a close-up, you don’t get the full monty – but maybe something even better. These choreographed dance numbers, set to pumping remixes of ‘Like a Virgin’ and, unavoidably, ‘It’s Raining Men,’ are hilariously unsubtle. Never is an opportunity lost for an assless-chapped cowboy or a trench-crawling soldier to perform a crotch thrust; pants are removed with a magician’s bold flourish. For these sequences alone, Magic Mike connects on a screamingly funny level, and not just for wayward bachelorettes.

This being a Steven Soderbergh movie – he of the overstated ‘retirement’ and reinvigorated craft (ContagionHaywire) – it’s also a beautiful piece of straightforward storytelling, burnished with golden-hued cinematography and snappy cutting. Our hero, Mike (Tatum, who spawned the script from his own experiences), is the aging, unsatisfied star of a nightly revue; lanky Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a jobless drifter, is drafted into the squad, thrilling to the female adoration and druggy edges of the scene. There’s an unusually fine sense of money anxiety, from Mike’s seedy ’70s-style beach house in Tampa and construction day work to the routine of counting all those single-dollar bills and plunging them into ‘equity’ – a relocation to Miami is the dream.

You know where this is all going. If Magic Mike doesn’t quite attain the hedonistic stature of twin cautionary tales Boogie Nights and the campyShowgirls, it can’t be faulted for wanting to satisfy on a deeper level. Meanwhile, didn’t Soderbergh notice there was pathos enough in Matthew McConaughey’s beefcake proprietor, an ab-slapping, spandexed Peter Pan? Between this role and his owlish DA in the subversively sly Bernie, the actor has finally found a way to subvert his six-pack. He’s the magic here.

Magic Mike opens at select Tokyo area cinemas on August 3

Meteo Night 2013

Sun Aug 4, 2013 Shibuya O-West Shibuya O-Nest, 7th Floor

Music

Call it the anti Rock in Japan. Meteo Night takes place on the same day as the ultra-commercial J-rock fest up in Ibaraki, but that’s where the similarities end. Organised by indie label Less Than TV, this one-day gig sprawls across four floors of the Shibuya O complex, and peddles a diet of scrappy, occasionally brutal music that’s unlikely ever to get within spitting distance of the pop charts. This year’s Meteo Night takes a slightly different format from previous editions, devoting the larger O-West to a face-off between acts from 11 different indie labels, including noise-Vocaloid combo Hatsune Kaidan (representing Alchemy Records), beatmakers The Lefty (Black Smoker Records) and the faintly Steely Dan-esque Cero (Kakubarhythm). Upstairs, you can expect plenty of the usual suspects, ranging from veteran hip hopper ECD + Illicit Tsuboi to pulverising post-hardcore act Tiala and hard-riffing mentalists Limited Express (has gone?) – and keep an eye out for Safari, featuring a certainTadanobu Asano on vocals.

Details

Open August 4

Time Doors 12pm. Gig 1pm

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

Venue Shibuya O-West Shibuya O-Nest, 7th Floor

Address 2-3 Maruyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya station (Yamanote, Ginza, Hanzomon lines), Hachiko exit.

The Von Trapps

Sun Aug 4, 2013 Shibuya Kokaido

Music

The real-life great grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp belt out ‘Edelweiss’, ‘Maria’ and other tunes from The Sound of Music, in the final date of their first-ever tour of Japan.

Details

Open August 4

Time 2pm

Admission ¥6,500

Venue Shibuya Kokaido

Address 1-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya station (Yamanote, Ginza, Hanzomon lines), Hachiko exit.

Champagne Garden at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Until Sat Aug 31, 2013 Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Bars

Trust the Hotel Chinzano to supply a classier alternative to Tokyo’s beer garden booze-ups. The elegant Mejiro hideaway is putting its new rooftop Serenity Garden to good use for this summer-only promotion, where ¥5,000 gets you two hours of free-flowing Laurent-Perrier champagne – the same tipple served at Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding in 2011. The price also includes wine, beer and a selection of nibbles, though note that you’ll need to reserve by 6pm the day before in order to take advantage of the offer.

Details

Open July 22-August 31

Time 1st session 3pm-5pm, 2nd session 5pm-7pm

Admission ¥5,000 per person

Telephone 03 3943 1111

Venue Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Address 2-10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Mejiro Station (Yamanote line), then 61 bus or Edogawabashi Station (Yurakucho line), exit 1A

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Categories: Daytrips, Must see, Things to do, Where to drink | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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