Things to do

Things to do this weekend in Tokyo Friday February 7th – Sunday February 11th

Abracadabra

Fri Feb 7, 2014 Saloon

Abracadabra

Daikanyama’s Saloon welcomes Tokyo resident Englishman Max Essa for this intimate Friday-night bash, where he will be joined by house veteran Toshiyuki Goto.

Details

Open Fri Feb 7

Time doors 11pm

Admission ¥1,500 (¥1,000 with flyer)

Venue Saloon

Address ZaHouse Bldg. B3F, 1-34-17 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama Station (Tokyu Toyoko line); Nakameguro Station (Tokyu Toyoko line, Hibiya line); Ebisu Station

 

Tokyo Grand Shopping Week

Thu Jan 23 – Wed Feb 5, 2014 Laforet Harajuku , Omotesando Hills, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, and other area shops and restaurants
Tokyo grand shopping week
Now this is a sales bash that no tourist can miss! Around 260 shops and restaurants in the Harajuku-Omotesando area will be participating with bargains and much more during Grand Shopping Week, a massive sales event that sees a total of 183 stores in the shopping centres Laforet HarajukuOmotesando Hills, and Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku holding sales with discounts of up to 90%. In addition, 79 area shops will advertise specially recommended souvenirs for foreign tourists, while 23 restaurants, including ’takoyaki’, ‘okonomiyaki’, and crepe shops popular with tourists, participate in Restaurant Week with special offers such as free drinks, 10% off the final bill, and free sweets.

Pick up the official Time Out Tokyo-produced leaflet and map for full information on all discounts, souvenir recommendations, and Restaurant Week offers. During the event, foreign tourists who spend ¥1,000 or more at any of the participating shops receive a scratch card, thus participating in a lottery with prices including gift vouchers and gift items. Shoppers who pay with an overseas-issued Visa card also receive an additional scratch card at the time of purchase.

On February 1 and 2, visitors can experience Japanese culture at workshops, with alternatives including trying on anime and manga character costumes or kimonos, traditional ink marbling, origami paper folding, ‘kendama’ (a Japanese ring-and-pin game), and handkerchief decoration. Guided tours of the Harajuku-Omotesando area will also be available.

Details

Open Jan 23-Feb 5

Time Varies by store

Venue Laforet Harajuku , Omotesando Hills, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, and other area shops and restaurants

Address 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku station (JR Yamanote Line), Takeshita Exit, Meiji-Jingumae station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda, Fukutochin Lines), exit 5.

 

The 88th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition

Until Wed Feb 12, 2014 Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Kokufu bonsai exhibition
 Hobbyists battle it out for years just to get their trees accepted for judging at Japan’s (and the world’s) premier bonsai exhibition, first held in 1934. If you attend both parts, you’ll see over 500 of these fascinating little masterpieces.

 

Details

Open Part 1: Feb 4-7, Part 2: Feb 9-12

Time 9:30am-5:30pm

Admission ¥1,000 (students ¥500)

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

 

High Street feat. DJ Craze

Fri Feb 7, 2014 Sound Museum Vision

High street DJ Craze

High Street, a ‘street-style party for adults’, returns from a 10-month slumber with a bang. Master turntablist DJ Craze and former DMC world champion Kentaro bring the heat to Shibuya’s Vision with their unrivalled scratch skills – a can’t-miss opportunity for any and all aspiring DJs and friends of technical electronic music.

Details

Open Fri Feb 7

Time doors 10pm

Admission Adv ¥3,000; same-day women ¥3,000, men ¥3,500

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)

 

Sterne

Fri Feb 7, 2014 Womb

Sterne

The stars will truly be out tonight at Tokyo techno emperor Takkyu Ishino’s regular party, as Germany’s mysterious and masked house maniacs Snuff Crew take over Womb. Minimal techno master A. Mochi will be responsible for keeping the party going in the lounge area.

Details

Open Fri Feb 7

Time doors 11pm

Admission ¥3,500 (¥3,000 with flyer)

Venue Womb

Address 2-16 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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

 

The Mastery of Time

Fri Feb 7 – Wed Feb 12, 2014 Roppongi Hills

clock

2014 marks the 150th anniversary of Swiss-Japanese diplomatic relations, which is the perfect excuse to celebrate something both countries do extremely well: keep time. This exhibition traces the evolution of timepieces from ornate table clocks to modern-day smartwatches, and also displays traditional Japanese-style clocks.

Details

Open Feb 7-12 2014

Time 11am-6pm

Admission Free

Venue Roppongi Hills

Address 6-10 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

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

 

Sarabeth’s Daikanyama Special Valentine’s Day Menu

Until Fri Feb 14, 2014 Sarabeth’s Daikanyama
Chocolate explosion

Owing to its heavenly french toast and pancakes, Sarabeth’s morning offering is known as the ‘Queen of breakfasts’. This special Valentine’s menu – ‘Chocolate Explosion’ – is only available at the Daikanyama location, and features a harmonious mixture of fluffy pancakes topped with chocolate sauce and marshmallows, finished off with a small explosion of chocolate sauce.

Details

Open Feb 3-14

Time 9am-10pm
(Last order for food 9pm, for drinks 9:30pm)

Venue Sarabeth’s Daikanyama

Address 1-35-17 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama Station (Tokyu-Toyoko line)

 

Chinese Spring Festival 2014

Until Fri Feb 14, 2014 Yokohama Chinatown
lanterns

While it’s fun to visit whatever the season, Yokohama’s Chinatown district is never livelier than during its New Year festival. The two weeks of festivities include traditional lion dance performances and music on February 1, 2, 8, 9 and 11 (at Yamashitacho Park), as well as a parade of traditional costumes on the afternoon of February 8.

Details

Open Jan 31-Feb 14

Time Various times

Venue Yokohama Chinatown

Address Yamashitacho, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture

Transport Motomachi Chukagai Station (Minatomirai line), Ishikawacho Station (Keihin-Tohoku, Negishi lines)

 

The Lumineers

Sat Feb 8, 2014 Shibuya AX
The lumineers
Ever since ‘Ho Hey’ became our resident earworm, we’ve been waiting for this folk-pop outfit to make their way to Japan. Nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy in 2013 and familiar faces at Coachella and Glastonbury, The Lumineers are easy on the ears (and eyes). Don’t miss them at Shibuya AX.

Details

Open Sat Feb 8 2014

Time Show starts 6pm (venue opens from 5pm)

Admission 1/F Standing: ¥6,000 (advance tickets) 2/F Reserved seats: ¥6,000 (advance tickets)

Telephone 03-3444-6751

Venue Shibuya AX

Address 2-1-1 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku station (Yamanote line), Omotesando exit or Meiji-Jingumae station (Chiyoda line), exit 1.

 

Acid City

Sat Feb 8, 2014 Air
Acid city
 As last year’s ‘Acid City’ album proved to be a success, veteran producer DJ Emma decided that a regular acid house-themed party was in order in Tokyo. His plan has now been realised, and this first date at Air will feature Hokkaido’s deep house star Kuniyuki.

Details

Open Sat Feb 8

Time doors 10pm

Admission ¥3,000 (¥2,500 with flyer, under-23s ¥2,000)

Venue Air

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

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

 

Off The Rocker & Verbal present Rad

Sat Feb 8, 2014 Sound Museum Vision
Off the rocker
Shinichi Osawa’s and Masatoshi Uemura’s DJ unit Off The Rocker teams up with big-time rapper and producer Verbal to bring you Rad, an ‘exciting and chaotic’ party, where they’ll be joined by 80Kidz and DJ Kyoko. Join the madness at Shibuya’s Vision.

Details

Open Sat Feb 8

Time doors 11pm

Admission Women ¥3,000, men ¥3,500

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)

 

Little Nap Music Stand

Sun Feb 9, 2014 Vacant
Little Nap Music Stand
 Yoyogi Park’s Little Nap Coffee Stand celebrates its third anniversary with an evening of music, with performances by artists Tica and Kyo Sakurai, as well as DJs Shunji Mori, Michiharu Shimoda, and Pepe California. Jinnan bistro Rojiura provides the food, and interestingly-named pastry makers Mad Donuts Riot serve their signature delicacy. Special t-shirts and prints are also available for purchase. Reservations are required – send an email titled ‘Little Nap Music Stand’ to the address below, and write down your names and contact details.

Details

Open Sun Feb 9

Time doors 4pm

Admission ¥3,000 (includes a cup of coffee) ※Reservation required – email booking@n0idea.com

Venue Vacant

Address 3-20-13 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku station (JR Yamanote Line) or Meiji-jingumae station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)

 

Zoushigaya Handicraft Market

Sun Feb 9, 2014 Kishimojindo , Otori Shrine
Zoushigaya handicraft market
 This handicraft market runs once a month at Kishimojindo shrine, selling everything from pottery and woodcrafts to bags and accessories. Browse the stalls while chatting to the artists over a slice of delicious cake and home-roasted coffee.

Details

Open Sun Feb 9

Time 9am-4pm

Venue Kishimojindo , Otori Shrine

Address 3-15-20 Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku

Transport Kishibojin-mae Station (Toden Arakawa line) or Zoushigaya Station (Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin line)

 

Chocolate Making at Lindt Jiyugaoka

Sat Feb 8 – Sun Feb 9, 2014 Lindt Chocolat Café Jiyugaoka
 Lindt jiyugaoka
 Everyone knows Lindt, and everyone wants some of their goodies for Valentine’s Day. Not only can you get the classic heart-shaped gift box for your beloved one, you can also drop by the café in Jiyugaoka to try making your own matcha or raspberry chocolate. Events are held twice on both Saturday and Sunday, and up to eight people can participate in each event (a minimum of four people are required). Reservations are essential.

Details

Open Feb 8-9

Time 10am-noon, 2-4pm on both days

Admission ¥5,000 (includes ingredients and box)

Telephone 03 5726 8921

Venue Lindt Chocolat Café Jiyugaoka

Address 2-9-2 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Transport Jiyugaoka Station (Tokyu Toyoko line)

Advertisements
Categories: Must see, Things to do, Where to eat, Where to shop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things to do this week in Tokyo: Tuesday January 28th- Sunday February 2nd

of Montreal

Tue Jan 28, 2014 Tsutaya O-West

Of Montreal

Funky indie rockers of Montreal (actually of Athens, Georgia) return to Japan after a five-year absence, during which time their style has gone through a number of mutations, most recently returning to a form of classic, straightforward rock with the 2013 ‘Lousy with Sylvianbriar’ album.

Details

Open Tue Jan 28

Time doors 6pm, show 7pm

Admission Adv ¥5,000, same-day ¥5,500

Venue Tsutaya O-West

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

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

 

Akiko Endo exhibition: ‘Opening the Abyss of the Soul’

Until Tue Jan 28, 2014 Ueno Royal Museum
The evening bell has gone
 Renowned contemporary Tokyo artist Akiko Endo’s work has been compared to Escher’s for its layered complexities. Visit her solo exhibition at Ueno Royal Museum for a retrospective of her work, including a new film ‘depicting the four seasons’ and a talk by the artist herself.

 

Details

Open Jan 15-28 2014

Time 10am-5pm daily (until 6pm during special exhibitions).

Admission ¥600 adults, ¥400 university students, free for high school students and children

Telephone 03 3833 4191

Venue Ueno Royal Museum

Address 1-2 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo

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

 

Jamie Cullum

Wed Jan 29 – Thu Jan 30, 2014 Orchard Hall
Jamie Cullum
Standing at around 5’4″ and with a six-album discography of easygoing swing-pop, Jamie Cullum has become known as the ‘jazz hobbit’ – a nickname that was reinforced when he married the rather taller author and model Sophie Dahl in 2010. Matters of height aside, Cullum is eminently likeable on stage and has branched out musically in recent years to embrace house and trip-hop – there’s even a guest vocal spot by Roots Manuva on his new record Momentum. This Tokyo date, his first visit to Japan since playing at Fuji Rock in 2010, kicks off a nationwide tour including gigs in Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. Tickets go on general sale on July 20.

Details

Open January 29-30

Time Doors 6pm. Gig 7pm

Admission ¥6,500 adv

Venue Orchard Hall

Address Bunkamura, 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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

 

Positive Short Films Program

Until Fri Jan 31, 2014 Brillia Shortshorts Theatre
Positive short films program
This program includes five short films with positive or otherwise light-hearted messages, allowing visitors to escape their daily troubles and emerge from the theatre with smiles on their faces. Check out the German flick Dear Mr Starr, a thoughtful story about a hairdresser in early 1990s Germany who admires the Beatles drummer.

Details

Open Jan 2-31 2014

Time 5:30pm-7:30pm

Admission Adults ¥1,000, children & seniors ¥800

Venue Brillia Shortshorts Theatre

Address Filmee 2F, 5-3-1 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa

Transport Shin-Takashima Station (Minatomirai line)

 

Los Lonely Boys

Thu Jan 30, 2014 Liquidroom
Los Lonely boys
Get a swinging introduction to ‘Texican’ rock ‘n’ roll with Los Lonely Boys tonight at Liquidroom. Hailing from the great state of Texas, the three Garza brothers won a Grammy in 2005, and captured the hearts of many Japanese listeners at the 2012 edition of Fuji Rock. Anyone partial to classic rock should enjoy this trio’s version, which is further flavoured with country and tejano influences.

Details

Open Thu Jan 30

Time doors 6.30pm, show 7.30pm

Admission ¥6,500

Telephone 03 3444 6751

Venue Liquidroom

Address 3-16-6 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ebisu station (Yamanote, Hibiya lines), west exit.

 

Asobinite with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Fri Jan 31, 2014 AgeHa

Asobinite

Celebrate the 21st birthday of Harajuku pop princess Kyary Pamyu Pamyu at this AgeHa bonanza. The lineup is of course led by the birthday girl herself, while other performers include Yasutaka Nakata‘s Capsule, DJ Kyoko, and rapper Verbal. Advance tickets are on sale now.

Details

Open Fri Jan 31

Time doors 9pm

Admission Adv ¥3,000, same-day ¥4,000, couple ticket ¥5,400

Venue AgeHa

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

Transport Shinkiba station (Rinkai, Yurakucho lines).

 

Alien Radio feat. SIS

Fri Jan 31, 2014 Sound Museum Vision

Alien radio

Vision’s underground techno party ‘Alien Radio’ returns with a bang after an all too long absence and welcomes Berlin native SIS of ‘Trompeta’ fame. Dance your socks off to his original but easily digestible beats.

Details

Open Fri Jan 31

Time doors 11pm

Admission Women ¥3,000, men ¥3,500 (one drink included)

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)

 

Hyperdub 10

Fri Jan 31, 2014 Unit
Hyperdub 10
Feel the beat at Daikanyama’s Unit tonight, as London-based dubstep and bass label Hyperdub showcases some of its representative artists at this 10-year anniversary party, which will see appearances by heavy hitters like owner Kode9, DJ Rashad, and Laurel Halo.

Details

Open Fri Jan 31

Time doors 11pm

Admission Adv ¥3,800, same-day ¥4,500

Venue Unit

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

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

 

No Age

Sat Feb 1, 2014 Shibuya Club Quattro

No age

The LA-based based punk duo No Age recently released their fourth studio album, and seem to be getting closer and closer to perfecting their innovative sound that combines noise, psych, and hardcore elements with an honest punk attitude. If you haven’t heard of these guys yet, this Tokyo gig’s a great chance to see what you’ve been missing out on.

Details

Open Sat Feb 1 2014

Time doors 6pm, show 7pm

Admission Adv ¥5,000

Telephone 03 3444 6751

Venue Shibuya Club Quattro

Address 5F, 32-13-4 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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

 

Cocoon / Sven Väth

Sat Feb 1, 2014 Womb
Cocoon
German techno godfather and Cocoon record label founder Sven Väth has been doing his thing for over three decades now, including running the annual ‘Cocoon Ibiza’ bonanza at the party island’s Amnesia club since 2000. The legend now brings his stuff to Tokyo, hopefully treating fans to one of his famed extended-length sets.

Details

Open Sat Feb 1

Time doors 11pm

Admission Same-day ¥3,500 (¥3,000 with flyer)

Venue Womb

Address 2-16 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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

 

Gift feat. Cassy

Sat Feb 1, 2014 Air
Gift
 Minimal techno master DJ Masda is one of the ever-presents in the Tokyo underground scene, having attracted some of the world’s top talent to the city with his long-running ‘Cabaret’ party. His new creation ‘Gift’ now welcomes Berliner Cassy, a regular at the German capital’s famed Panorama Bar, who will be joined by Japanese talents Kabuto and Ryosuke.

 

Details

Open Sat Feb 1

Time doors 10pm

Admission ¥3,500 (¥3,000 with flyer, under-23s ¥2,500)

Venue Air

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

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

 

Yun*chi & Una at Tokyo Grand Shopping Week

Sun Feb 2, 2014 Omotesando Hills Space O

Yun*chi

Tokyo Grand Shopping Week, a massive sales bash for foreign tourists, is in full swing all over the Harajuku-Omotesando area. On February 2, Harajuku-associated singers Yun’chi (about to release her first album this month) and Una will perform at Omotesando Hills’s Space O, flanked by ‘kendama’ performance unit Zoomadanke. Yun’chi will take the stage first, at 2pm, followed by Zoomadanke (from 3.45pm) and Una (from 5.15pm).

Details

Open Sun Feb 2

Time 2pm-6pm

Venue Omotesando Hills Space O

Address 4-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Omotesando Station (Ginza, Hanzomon, Chiyoda lines), Meiji-Jingumae Station (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines)

 

Fuji in the Bakumatsu and Meiji Eras

Until Sun Feb 2, 2014 JCII Photo Salon
Mt Fuji
Continuing the JCII gallery’s series of historical photo exhibitions, this show displays around 100 shots of Mt Fuji, taken in the early years of photography that coincided with the beginning of Japan’s Meiji era. Pictures by Felice Beato, von Stillfried, Wilhelm Burger, Renjo Shimooka, Juzaburo Usui, and other great photographers of the time show the sacred mountain and its surroundings from angles that have become inaccessible in modern times, while also documenting the unchanging beauty of Fuji, recently registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Details

Open Jan 6-Feb 2 2014 (closed Mon)

Time 10am-5pm

Admission Free

Telephone 03 3261 0300

Venue JCII Photo Salon

Address JCII Bldg., 25-banchi, Ichiban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Transport Hanzomon Station (Hanzomon line), exit 4

 

Shinro Ohtake: Documenta 13 – Materials

Until Sun Feb 2, 2014 NADiff Gallery
Shinro Ohtake
Contemporary artist Shinro Ohtake was one of the contributors to last year’s documenta, the world-famous modern art exhibition taking place once every five years in Kassel, Germany. This Ebisu gallery exhibition takes a closer look at his documenta piece ‘Mon Cheri: A Self-Portrait as a Scrapped Shed’, and also marks the launch of a special-edition materials publication by the artist.

Details

Open Dec 20-Feb 2 2014 (closed Mon)

Time noon-8pm

Telephone 03 3446 4977

Venue NADiff Gallery

Address B1F, 1-18-4 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ebisu Station

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

Things to do this week in Tokyo Wednesday January 22nd- Sunday January 26th

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

Salon du Chocolat 2014

Wed Jan 22 – Mon Jan 27, 2014 Isetan Main Building 6F, 7F Event Plaza
Salon du Chocolat 2014
With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks off, Tokyo’s most indulgent romantics will be heading to Shinjuku Isetan to stock up on fancy choccies at this year’s Salon du Chocolat. Now into its 12th year, the Tokyo incarnation of Paris’s famous chocolate trade show bears little relation to its French forebear: gone are the free samples, workshops and chocolate fashion shows, replaced by what more closely resembles a department store food court on the first day of the New Year sales. If you don’t mind braving the crowds, though, there’ll be a range of exotic, hard-to-find treats on offer from the likes of world-famous chocolatiers Patrick Roger and Oriol Balaguer – and look out for the Japan debuts of Thierry Bamas and David Capy.

Details

Open Jan 22-27 2014

Time 10am-8pm (Jan 27 until 6pm)

Venue Isetan Main Building 6F, 7F Event Plaza

Address 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shinjuku-Sanchome station (Marunouchi, Shinjuku lines), exits B3, B4, B5 or Shinjuku station (Yamanote, Chuo lines), east exit; (Oedo line), exit 1.

Savages

Wed Jan 22, 2014 Liquidroom
Savages

Get in touch with your savage side. They only launched their debut album in 2013, but already this punk revival quartet from London has played at impressive venues including David Lynch’s exclusive Paris nightclub, Silencio. Japan saw them at Fuji Rock ’13, and now Savages are back for a more intimate affair at the legendary Liquidroom.

Details

Open Wed Jan 22

Time doors 6pm, show 7pm

Venue Liquidroom

Address 3-16-6 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ebisu station (Yamanote, Hibiya lines), west exit.

Yoji Yamada Retrospective

Until Wed Jan 22, 2014 National Film Centre Main Hall
Yoji Yamada
Celebrating Yoji Yamada’s 50 years as director, the National Film Centre presents a retrospective of the decorated auteur’s work. A total of 54 films will be screened, ranging from Yamada’s first movie ‘Nikai no Tanin’ to 20 films from the ‘Tora-san’ series, as well as more recent works like ‘Twilight Samurai’. The director himself will also give a talk on December 3 (from 5pm, following the 4pm screening).

Details

Open Dec 3-Jan 22 2014 (closed Mon, Dec 28-Jan 6)

Time See schedule

Admission ¥500, students & seniors ¥300, schoolchildren ¥100

Telephone 03 5777 8600

Venue National Film Centre Main Hall

Address 3-7-6 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Kyobashi station (Ginza line), exit 1.

Haim

Thu Jan 23, 2014 Shibuya Club Quattro
Haim
These three sisters took Fuji Rock by storm last summer, and are now back in Japan to promote their critically acclaimed debut studio album, ‘Days Are Gone’. The LA-based trio’s music combines folky rock with R&B influences, an eclectic style that’s been widely praised in industry circles on both sides of the Atlantic. Hop on the fast-moving bandwagon and check out these rising stars at Shibuya’s Club Quattro.

Details

Open Thu Jan 23 2014

Time doors 6pm, show 7pm

Admission Adv ¥5,000

Telephone 03 3499 6669

Venue Shibuya Club Quattro

Address 5F, 32-13-4 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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

Meguro Gajoen Hyakudan Kaidan Festival

Fri Jan 24 – Mon Mar 3, 2014 Meguro Gajoen 100 Steps Staircase
Meguro Gajoen Hyakudan Kaidan Festival
Meguro Gajoen’s celebration of Hinamatsuri, or Girls’ Day, has become a popular yearly occurrence. This year features hina dolls from Kyushu, highlighting the region’s strong traditions in marking this special day. Marvel at the various accessories required in constructing the perfect seven-tieredhina-dan platform, and take the opportunity to learn more about this centuries-old custom.

Details

Open Jan 24-Mar 3 2014

Time 10am-6pm

Admission Adv ¥1,200, same-day ¥1,500, students ¥800

Telephone 03 5434 3140

Venue Meguro Gajoen 100 Steps Staircase

Address 1-8-1 Shimo Meguro, Meguro, Tokyo

Transport Meguro Station (JR Yamanote line, Tokyu Meguro line, Nanboku line, Mita line)

Independent feat. Darren Emerson

Fri Jan 24, 2014 Sound Museum Vision

Independent feat. Darren Emerson

Dance legend and former ‘Underworld’ member Darren Emerson returns to Shibuya’s Vision and kicks off 2014 for the ‘Independent’ party. Having focused on touring the world’s top clubs while managing his ‘Detone’ record label, Emerson has been a very busy man in recent years. Catch the globetrotting mix master tonight at this rare Japan appearance.

Details

Open Fri Jan 24

Time doors 11pm

Admission Women ¥3,000 (incl. one drink), men ¥3,500 (incl. one drink)

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)

Jessy J

Fri Jan 24 – Sat Jan 25, 2014 Cotton Club
Jessy J
American saxophonist and singer-songwriter Jessy J is one of the hottest names in contemporary jazz right now, having mesmerised audiences all over the world ever since releasing her debut album ‘Tequila Moon’ in 2008. Her latest album included guest appearances by smooth jazz giants like Jeff Lorber, Norman Brown, and Jimmy Haslip, creating a fusion sound with R&B and latin elements that was well received by critics. These two nights of gigs at Cotton Club are the perfect opportunity to experience her soulful and energetic performance.

Details

Open Jan 24-25

Time Fri Jan 24: first show – doors 5pm, show 6.30pm; second show – doors 8pm, show 9pm. Sat Jan 25: first show – doors 4pm, show 5pm; second show – doors 6.30pm, show 8pm

Admission Table seat ¥6,800, box seats from ¥8,500

Venue Cotton Club

Address Tokyo Building Tokia 2F, 2-7-3, Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan

Transport Tokyo Station (JR Lines, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line : Marunouchi South Exit)

Guidance 9th Anniversary feat. Enzo Elia

Fri Jan 24, 2014 Amate-Raxi
Guidance 9th anniversary
Eclectic ‘Balearic Gabba’ member and Berlin native Enzo Elia joins the ‘Guidance’ crew at Shibuya’s Amate-Raxi for the ninth anniversary of this regular party, which looks like a must for friends of creative dance floor beats. Joining the headliner will be DJs like Altz, Kenji Takimi, and CMT.

Details

Open Fri Jan 24

Time doors 11pm

Admission ¥3,500 (incl. one drink), ¥3,000 with flyer

Venue Amate-Raxi

Address 3-26-16 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Shonan-Shinjuku line), New South exit

Meewee Dinkee Exhibition (Second Stage)

Sat Jan 25 – Sun Jan 26, 2014 Maywa Denki Atelier
Meewee Dinkee Exhibition
Meewee Dinkee is the first fashion brand launched by the art unit Meiwa Denki and this is their second exhibition since the end of last year. Movie director and blogger Torico is the brand’s managing director and designer, with graphics done by Aruta Soup who returned to Japan in 2012 after working in London. Experience their unique perspective of the world, based on the concept of creating fashion from art.

Details

Open Jan 25-26 2014

Time Unconfirmed

Twitter maywadenki

Venue Maywa Denki Atelier

Address 3-14-30 Ebara, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo

Transport Musashi-Koyama Station (Tokyu Meguro Line)

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

Sat Jan 25 – Sun Apr 6, 2014 Mori Arts Center Gallery
Mori Arts Center Gallery
Having debuted at London’s Tate Britain in 2012, this epochal exhibition now comes to Tokyo and to the Mori Arts Center Gallery. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed in 1848 by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and William Holman Hunt, challenged convention in Victorian Britain and endeavoured to overthrow the art orthodoxy of the time through a return to the classical roots of Italian 15th-century painting, renowned for its rich and complex form of expression. This show traces the evolution of the movement through 72 representative pieces.

Details

Open Jan 25-Apr 6

Time Daily 10am-8pm (Jan-Feb: Tue until 5pm)

Admission Adv ¥1,300, students ¥1,000, children ¥400; same-day ¥1,500, students ¥1,200, children ¥500

Telephone 03 5777 8600

Venue Mori Arts Center Gallery

Address 52F Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Roppongi Station (Hibiya, Oedo lines)

Classics feat. Jeru the Damaja

Sat Jan 25, 2014 Sound Museum Vision
Sound Museum Vision
Now housed at Shibuya’s Vision, the ‘Classics’ party has done the Tokyo club scene a huge service over these last eight years by flying the flag for true 90’s hip hop. Having already brought artists like The Beatnuts and DJ Jazzy Jeff to town, Classics now pulls an ace out of their sleeve and present the legendary Jeru the Damaja, one of the premier rappers of the 90’s New York scene, best known for his epoch-making 1994 album The Sun Rises in the East. DJ Southpaw Chop will also be playing during the night, and as usual, the Deep Space lounge will echo with 90’s R&B classics.

Details

Open Sat Jan 25

Time doors 11pm

Admission Women ¥3,000 (one drink incl.), men ¥3,500 (one drink incl.)

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)

John Talabot: DJ-Kicks

Sat Jan 25, 2014 Air
John Talabot- DJ-Kicks
Can John Talabot do it again? His set at last year’s Sonar Sound was one of the highlights of that bash, but this ‘indie dance’ virtuoso now tries to make it two in a row when he comes to Daikanyama’s Air for a full three-hour set. His latest ‘DJ-Kicks’ album, released in autumn 2013, borrowed from genres ranging from 90’s deep house to Italo-disco, and won over critics worldwide. Talabot will be joined by DJs Moodman and Gonno for this gig, ensuring a night of delirium for all friends of electronic music.

Details

Open Sat Jan 25

Time doors 10pm

Admission ¥3,500 (¥3,000 with flyer), under-23s ¥2,000

Telephone 03 5784 3386

Venue Air

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

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

See ‘Diamond Fuji’

Fri Jan 24 – Thu Jan 30, 2014 Sunshine 60 Building Observatory
Diamond fuji
The phenomenon known as ‘Diamond Fuji’ occurs when sunset and sunrise align perfectly with the peak of Japan’s highest mountain, creating a mysterious, jewel-like image. This twice-a-year occurrence is best viewed from Sunshine City’s 60th-floor observatory, with its 360-degree views of Tokyo and surroundings. The exact date for the first ‘diamond’ is January 27, but the effect can be seen a few days before and after that as well. Don’t miss the opportunity completely though – you’ll have to wait until the middle of November for the next alignment.

Details

Open Jan 24-30

Time 10am-9.30pm

Admission ¥620, schoolchildren ¥460, seniors ¥500

Venue Sunshine 60 Building Observatory

Address 3-1-1 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ikebukuro station (Yamanote line), east exit; (Marunouchi, Yurakucho lines), exit 35 or Higashi-Ikebukuro station (Yurakucho line), exit 2.

Ueda Shoji & Jacques Henri Lartigue: Play with Photography

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
This exhibition explores the work of Ueda Shoji and Jacques Henri Lartigue, two photographers who shared a lifelong delight in the essence of amateur photography. In other words, the joy of simply taking snapshots of the world around them. Both became giants in their field at a time when modern photography was reaching maturity, and even though their individual work contrasts Japanese and French culture, as a whole their work poses one question: what is the human significance of photography?

Details

Open Nov 23-Jan 26 2013

Time Tue-Wed, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm; Thu-Fri 10am-8pm
Closed Mon

Admission Adults ¥700, university students ¥600, high school/junior high school students and over 65s ¥500

Telephone 03 3280 0099

Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Address Ebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ebisu station (Yamanote line), east exit; (Hibiya line), exit 1.

Categories: Things to do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An office for everyone: 5 share spaces in Tokyo for creatives and freelancers

With the cost of property in Tokyo so high, and an estimated 6,000 people squeezed into every square kilometre of the city, more and more urbanites are starting to think small. As well as choosing tiny houses that provide everything required for living but with none of the clutter, people are learning that life is far easier if, rather than yearning for their own private spaces and a multitude of possessions, they learn to share.

Following in the footsteps of movements such as last winter’s Warm Share, which offered incentives to members of the public who frequented designated–heated–public areas instead of sitting at home with their air-con cranked up, a number of “share spaces” are cropping up all over Tokyo, inviting both business people and freelance workers to use their facilities rather than staying in an office or cooped up at home.

So throw your laptop in your bag and come with us as we take a quick look at eight of Tokyo’s trendiest shared places to work.

Offering a wide variety of workspaces and the facilities you’d find in most modern offices but with a cooler, comfier vibe, share spaces are a sign of things to come in urban Japan. With high-speed internet access practically everywhere, ultra-portable computers, and data always obtainable from the cloud, many jobs can be done without the need for a dedicated office. But when team members need to get together, or when individuals simply need a place to work other than their own home, where can we turn?

Enter share spaces.

  • 1. The Terminal Harajuku

The terminal Harajuku

It might look a little bit like an Internet cafe, but you won’t find anyone playing WoW here. For 380 yen (US$3.80) per hour or 1,000 yen ($10.15) for three, freelancers at The Terminal can enjoy the facilities of a typical office without needing to suit up or clock in. Those with a lot of work to get through can pay 2,000 yen and remain glued to their computer for the entire day, while business types can rent private meeting rooms for 5,000 yen per hour.

Other facilities on offer include: space for giving presentations, copy machine access, access to additional power outlets, space for relaxing and reading, drink service, a roof garden for smokers, and of course wireless internet access.

The terminal

▼ A cute and cosy presentation room, complete with projector.

presentation room terminal

  • 2. Portal Point Kita Aoyama

Portal Point Kita Aoyama

Situated between trendy Omotesando and Gaienmae Station, “Transit Sharestyle Office” Portal Point is a sophisticated blend of a hotel, business centre, and cafe. One of the most extravagant of Tokyo’s newest share spaces, a hotel-style concierge service is available at reception, with staff on hand to direct groups or freelancers to the area best suited to their needs and handle future bookings.

With a dedicated conference room, long, well-lit tables for team-based tasks, personal booths for those who prefer cubicle-style office spaces, and even low chairs with coffee tables for those caffeine-fuelled tete-a-tetes, there’s something here for everyone. Beware, though, these facilities won’t come cheap; prices range from 52,000 yen (US$527) per month for personal-use desks with standard office equipment, to 399,000 yen ($4,000) for offices suitable for small businesses.

Aoyama

  • 3. Academy Hills Roppongi

Academy hills Roppongi

Another marvellously trendy and expensive workspace is Academy Hills, which can be found on the 49th floor of Roppongi Hills‘ iconic Mori Tower and aims to bring together “space, books, and opportunity.” Private study/work spaces can be rented for just 10,000 yen ($100) per month, with creatives and businesspeople alike given full access to an enormous library, desk and meetings spaces, and of course those absolutely stunning views of the surrounding city to take in while getting creative. You’ll need to be a ‘community member’ to gain entry to the facilities, but then if you’re hanging around one of Tokyo’s poshest areas, chances are you already are!

  • 5. Creative Lounge MOV Shibuya

Creative lounge MOV Shibuya

Soft sofas, armchairs and expensive-looking bicycles brought indoors, Creative Lounge MOV is something of a trendster’s dream. Boasting nine uniquely decorated meeting rooms costing between 6,000-16,000 yen ($60-162) per session, a spacious, comfortable lounge with rows of private booths, and a “residents’ area” which is made up of small rooms designed for individuals or pairs to use on a daily basis, MOV can be forgiven for looking a little like a hangout for the those who refuse to ride anything other than fixies and only listen to bands that no one else has heard of.

Categories: Must see, Things to do, Workspaces in Tokyo | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yukata: not quite a kimono

20131019-112939.jpgThe term ‘yukata’ usually refers to the light cotton dressing gown worn after bathing at Japanese style inns; thereby an item of clothing associated with leisure. After the hot spring waters of the onsen have drawn out the stresses and strains of the day, all that remains is to eat, drink, relax and then crawl into the futon – an action most folk get around to clad in said yukata. More often than not, the yukata presented to or left for guest at ryokan are white with a simple blue print pattern and are worn by both sexes.

A more decorative version of the yukata is worn by women at traditional Summer festivals such as the ‘Bon Odori’ and at firework displays. Here the yukata become something of a fashion item and are worn more like a kimono, with a matching obi sash tied at the back. If you’re lucky enough to visit Japan in the summer, and luckier still to attend a festival, you’ll find that the dazzling array of color created by the fireworks above is almost matched by that at ground level.

Yutaka as the perfect lightweight and relatively cheap souvenir are best purchased in the streets around Asakusa, Taito Ward, in the shadow of the huge Senso-ji Temple. Don’t be afraid to hold them up to see what they look like but don’t actually try them on – bad form!

Categories: Japanese customs, Stories about Japan, Things to do, What to buy, Where to shop | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things to do this weekend in Tokyo October 18- October 20

Innovative Sweden

innovative designs
This touring show of innovative designs has arrived in Tokyo, having already visited a number of countries, including the US, China and Brazil. Expect innovative design and technology from 20 up-and-coming Swedish companies in the fields of ICT, cleantech, gaming and life sciences, with the likes of eye-controlled computers and green mobile phone chargers on the bill.

Details

Open Oct 2-18

Time 10am-5pm

Admission Adults ¥600, 18 or under ¥200

Venue National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation

Address 2-3-6 Aomi (Odaiba), Koto, Tokyo

Transport Funeno-Kagakukan station or Telecom Center station (Yurikamome line).

 

The Trojans

Fri Oct 18, 2013 Shibuya Club Quattro
The trojans
Celebrating the first new Trojans album in 14 years, frontman Gaz Mayall brings his ska rockers back to Japan and to Shibuya’s Club Quattro. Members and times have changed, but the Trojan sound remains something truly special, combining ska and reggae with Celtic tunes and more. The band will be joined by guest vocalist Hollie Cook and trumpeter Eddie ‘Tan Tan’ Thornton.

Details

Open Fri Oct 18

Time 7.30pm (doors open 6.30pm)

Admission Adv ¥6,000

Venue Shibuya Club Quattro

Address 5F, 32-13-4 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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

 

Tokyo Vegefood Festa 2013

Sat Oct 19 – Sun Oct 20, 2013 Yoyogi Park (Keyaki Namiki Road)
Tokyo vegafood festa 2013
Throughout the year, Yoyogi Park serves as a gathering point for Tokyo’s various ethnic minorities and special interest groups. This weekend, one of the more long-suffering communities gets its moment in the sun: the vegans. Tokyo Vegefood Festa boasts roughly 100 stalls, ranging from macrobiotic cafes to vegetable vendors to fair trade goods. Though the event hopes to convert a few carnivores to the cause, it’s probably the people who’ve already sworn off meat, fish and dairy that’ll enjoy it the most.

Details

Open Oct 19-20

Time 10am-5pm

Admission Free

Venue Yoyogi Park (Keyaki Namiki Road)

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

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

 

Tokyo Meat Market Festival

Sat Oct 19 – Sun Oct 20, 2013 Tokyo Central Meat Wholesale Market
Tokyo meat market festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once every year, and perhaps as a rebellious answer to Yoyogi’s Vegefood Festa, this unique wholesale market opens its doors for one meaty festival. This is your chance to try free samples, buy special wares at reduced prices, and marvel at the various animal flesh-related exhibits. The focus is squarely on the good stuff: shabu-shabu, tonkatsu cutlets, yakiniku, and so on.

Details

Open Oct 19-20

Time Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 10am-3pm

Admission Free

Address 2-7-19 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shinagawa Station (JR lines)

 

Japan Hoop Dance Championship

Japan hoop dance championship
The time has come to give credit to the most talented hoop dancers in the land. Although relatively popular in the West, hooping has failed to break out on a large scale in Japan so far. However, the community keeps growing and this event brings together the best dancers from all over the country. Marvel at the finalists’ performances at the main gala show and get acquainted with this energetic form of expression.

Details

Open Sat Oct 19

Time 1pm-3:30pm

Admission General admission ¥1,500, children ¥500 (first-come, first-serve)

Venue Ushigome Tansu Citizens’ Hall

Address 15 Tansumachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ushigome-kagurazaka Station (Oedo line), exit A1

 

Sancha de Daidogei

Sat Oct 19 – Sun Oct 20, 2013 Setagaya Public Theatre , around Carrot Tower
Sancha de Daidogei
Though Sangenjaya is always nice for a wander, there’s no better time to visit than during this two-day street performance festival, in which acrobats, clowns, musicians, dancers and assorted costumed freaks ply their trade to a gawping public. Keep an eye out for the international visitors including France’s aerial hoop artist Julot and the stilt-sporting Nani-Sole (who, at about 10 feet tall with enormous wings, is pretty hard to miss).

Details

Open Oct 19-20

Time 6pm-8pm

Venue Setagaya Public Theatre , around Carrot Tower

Address 4-1-1 Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Sangenjaya station (Tokyu Denentoshi line) Sancha Patio exit.

 

Nezu-Sendagi Shitamachi Matsuri 2013

Sat Oct 19 – Sun Oct 20, 2013 Nezu Shrine
Nezu Sendagi Shitamachi Matsuri
Nezu flaunts its shitamachi (downtown) roots at this autumn festival, a relatively recent invention that marks its 15th edition this year. The action centres around Nezu Shrine, which will be hosting concerts and performances throughout the weekend, accompanied by a flea market and stalls selling traditional goods. The rest of the neighbourhood follows suit, with attractions including a Sunday afternoon parade, and performances of traditional Japanese music and various dances at the Fureai-kan on Shinobazu-dori.

Details

Open Oct 19-20

Time 6pm-8pm

Venue Nezu Shrine

Address 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Nezu Station or Sendagi Station (Chiyoda line), Todaimae Station (Namboku line)

 

Kagurazaka Bakeneko Parade

Sun Oct 20, 2013 Kagurazaka Nursing Home, around Kagurazaka O-dori
Kagurazaka Bakeneko parade
Kagurazaka will again play host to the Bakeneko Parade, one of the more curious Halloween-related events in the city. Everyone is welcome, all you have to do is dress up as a cat and bring a feline attitude. You can get a cat makeup done for ¥100 before the parade, and there are also costume-related goods available for purchase in case you feel the need to complement your outfit. The parade route reaches along Kagurazaka O-dori toward Iidabashi Station and back again.

Details

Open Sun Oct 20

Time 2pm-3.30pm
participant registration 10am-1pm at Kagurazaka Nursing Home

Admission Free

Venue Kagurazaka Nursing Home, around Kagurazaka O-dori

 

Shimokitazawa Curry Festival

Until Sun Oct 20, 2013 Shimokitazawa area
Shimokitazawa curry festival
‘Making Shimokitazawa the holy ground of curry’ is the motto of this spicy ten-day festival, in which participating restaurants (over 70 in total) tout their specialty curries in all corners of the trendy neighborhood. Meet the ‘Curryman’ mascot, see who gets crowned ‘Miss Curry’, and use the curry map (available for free around town) to discover the tastiest curry joints.

Details

Open Oct 11-20

Time Varies by event

Twitter CurryShimokita

Venue Shimokitazawa area

 

Rhizomatiks Inspired by Perfume

Until Sun Oct 20, 2013 NTT InterCommunication Center
Rhizomatiks inspired by perfume
Creative group Rhizomatiks – best know for their work on the stage productions of J-poppers Perfume – will be displaying their work in an exhibition. This group of creators and engineers have garnered attention around the world for their original production methods and use of cutting-edge technology – including 3D scanning and data visualisation. This exhibition will introduce visitors to their production techniques, and showcase costumes and equipment from Perfume’s music videos and stage performances, as well as 3D models of Perfume group members.

Details

Open Sep 21-Oct 20 Closed Mon (Tue if Mon is a holiday)

Time 11am-6pm

Admission ¥500

Telephone 0120 144199

Venue NTT InterCommunication Center

Address 4F Tokyo Opera City Tower, 3-20-3 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Transport Hatsudai Station (Keio line)

 

Mitsuaki Iwago: Cats & Lions

Mitsuaki Iwago
Popular wildlife photographer Mitsuaki Iwago just can’t seem to get enough of milking the internet’s favourite meme. Following his Go With Cats show at Mitsukoshi Nihombashi, the avid snapper heads to the more highbrow Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography for another exhibition devoted to all things feline. This time around, Iwago will be juxtaposing photos of domestic cats with similar images taken of lions in the wild. ‘Cats are just small lions,’ he observes. ‘Lions are just big cats.’ Deep.

Details

Open August 10-October 20 Closed Mon (Tue if Mon is a holiday)

Time Tue-Sun 10am-6pm (Thu, Fri until 8pm)

Admission Adults ¥800, students ¥700, over 65s, high school & junior high school students ¥600

Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Address Ebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ebisu station (Yamanote line), east exit; (Hibiya line), exit 1.

 

 

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

Things to do: Have birds eye view dinner in the Tokyo Skytree

Taste of sky: Shokkan Solamachi-ten is located on the 30th floor of Solamachi's East Tower, and serves family-friendly Japanese cuisine.

Taste of sky: Shokkan Solamachi-ten is located on the 30th floor of Solamachi’s East Tower, and serves family-friendly Japanese cuisine.

Timing is everything at Tokyo Skytree. in daylight the urban sprawl below just looks banal; at night, the city lights gleam with romance, but you can’t see to the far horizons. get there for sunset, though, and if conditions are right, the view can be little short of magical.

The same applies when you pick a place to eat at the city’s most popular tourist attraction. At peak meal times there are waits of up to an hour. But arrive early or as the crowds are thinning, and there’s every chance you will waltz straight in.

That’s definitely the way to do it at Shokkan Solamachi-ten. Dinner service opens from 5 p.m., which at this time of year is right around sunset. While most other visitors are taking in the view as the city lights up for the evening, you can claim pole position right outside the restaurant’s front entrance.

Almost invariably there will be a few places unreserved, if not at the most coveted tables right by the floor-to-ceiling picture windows, then at the counter, where you sit right in front of the busy open kitchen watching your meal being prepared. If, like me, you enjoy the theater of a Japanese kitchen, those are the best seats in the house.

As at the original branch in Shibuya Shokkan serves Japanese cuisine with a casual, contemporary inflection. Stylish, relaxed and affordable, it offers enough creativity in the kitchen to draw in a youngish crowd but without alienating those with more dyed-in-the-wool tastes.

The menu may be nigh-on identical, but the demographic is anything but. Skytree is a magnet for visitors of every age, and Shokkan, which is located on the 30th floor of a building adjacent to the tower, serves them all: dating couples, groups of old codgers, parents with adult children, and extended families with kids of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. It also has a comprehensive, well translated English menu to ensure everyone’s taken care of.

And for that reason, there are different strategies for approaching the menu. Those with children in tow mostly pick out a couple of dishes to share, followed by a more filling rice or noodle dish, and close with a dessert. Then there are omakase (chef’s choice) set meals (¥5,000 or ¥7,000) for those who want a little taste of all the trademark Shokkan dishes.

But there is also a third approach, and this can be the most rewarding. You can treat Shokkan as an izakaya (tavern), ordering a couple of dishes at a time in tapas style, to go with your sake or shōchū (or beer or wine).

Where to start? Well, just about everyone goes for the house-specialty appetizer, slices of raw vegetables served with a dip of tomato-miso. The thick paste of vivid red is one of the original ideas that helped put owner-chef Kan Sato on the map, and its intriguing savory-sweet flavor is a surprising hit.

Alternatively, try the rolls of crab and wakame (seaweed) wrapped in yuba(soy-milk skin) and topped with a tart, refreshing gelee of ponzu (rice vinegar mixed with soy sauce and dashi stock). Other options as nibbles include deep-fried ginkgo nuts or slices of lightly smoked duck breast.

There is also a list of seasonal specials (in Japanese only). Current offerings range from plump oysters on the half shell, freshly flown down from Hokkaido, to lightly seared anago (conger eel), in bite-sized morsels served with small dabs of aromatic sanshō pepper paste.

These are all ideally suited to the extensive sake selection. Some 17 regional brews are kept in the refrigerated cabinet by the entrance — recommendations here would include Kikuyoi, Tengummai Gorin and Kokuryu — which are available in either one- or two-person servings.

At this point, food with a bit more heft is called for. The “Grilled” section of the menu obliges with miso-marinated chicken, Platinum pork (it’s a breed from northern Japan) and steaks of tender, well-marbled premium Kuroge wagyūbeef. A small steak is included in the more substantial ¥7,000 course, though if you don’t like yours rare, you will need to specify otherwise.

The other signature dish comes toward the end of the meal: kamameshi rice, prepared in small individual pots together with seafood or vegetables. Salmon and ikura (salted salmon roe) is a great combination, and so is zuwai crab cooked with mushrooms and butter.

The top-of-the-line item is Shokkan’s self-described “famous seafood paella.” This is cooked in a wide earthenware donabe casserole, and comes laden with generous amounts of salmon and its roe, clams, mussels and small, pinksakura-ebi shrimps. Just as you’d get in Spain, the rice is cooked with a nice crisp brown crust at the bottom.

By this time, night will have fallen, and the glitter of the low-lying city below will be matched by the lights reflected in window glass from the open kitchen. With the effects of the sake kicking in, everything takes on a cheerful glow.

The wait staff make up for their hesitations with a genuine desire to please. The food is not premium high-end fare — in fact, at times it seems a bit soulless — but it’s perfectly suited to the easygoing atmosphere.

Best of all, though, Shokkan is child-friendly, no-smoking, wheelchair-accessible and open year-round without any holidays (not even New Year’s Day). There are few restaurants in the city that can match that.

SHOKKAN SOLAMACHI-TEN
 Address
Tokyo Solamachi East Tower 30F, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo;
 Website View URL
 Phone 03-5809-7251
 Nearest Station Oshiage Skytree (Hanzomon, Toei Asakusa and Keisei-Oshiage lines); Tokyo Skytree (Tobu Skytree Line).
 Open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (L.O.) and 5-9 p.m. (food L.O.).
 What Works Casual, creative, family-friendly Japanese fare with a stupendous view.
 What Doesn’t The specials of the day are only written in Japanese.
 Smoking Not permitted
 Price per head Set lunch from ¥1,200 (kid’s plate ¥800); dinner menus from ¥5,000, also a la carte.
 Credit Cards Major cards accepted.
 Language English menu available; a little English spoken.
Categories: Things to do, Where to eat | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hotaka mountains ablaze as autumn starts

 

limbers make their way through forests tinged with autumnal colors in Karasawa Cirque in the Northern Japan Alps.

Climbers make their way through forests tinged with autumnal colors in Karasawa Cirque in the Northern Japan Alps.

 

MATSUMOTO, Nagano Prefecture–Karasawa Cirque, a popular mountaineering base to the Hotaka mountain range in the Northern Japan Alps, is rewarding climbers and hikers with a gorgeous vista of autumnal reds, yellows and oranges.

 

The leaves of rowan, Erman’s birch and other trees have turned their seasonal colors, in stunning contrast to the dwarf stone pine and other evergreens.

 

The cirque, formed by alpine glaciers, is located at an altitude of 2,300 meters in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture.

 

Visitors will be able to enjoy the autumnal foliage until mid-October, according to Takashi Yamaguchi, who operates the Karasawa Hyutte mountain hut.

 

Categories: News about Japan, Things to do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ritual transfer of deity at Ise Grand Shrine

Ise grand shrine
Many Japanese were visiting the Ise Grand Shrine in central Japan on Wednesday, ahead of an important ritual that is closed to the public.

The event dates back 1300 years and involves the rebuilding of the shrine. All of the sacred wooden buildings at the site in Mie Prefecture are dismantled and built anew every 20 years.The event reaches a climax on Wednesday evening with the ritual transfer of the shrine’s deity to its new sanctuary. Worshippers prayed at the old sanctuary for the last time.

Shrine officials are preparing a special passage-way for the deity, lit with paper lanterns.

A group of 150 priests will make the transfer to the new building.

Categories: News about Japan, Things to do, Weekend trips | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things to do: Fashion Week Tokyo October 10-October 23rd

Check out Tokyo's fashion week from October 10-23

Check out Tokyo’s fashion week from October 10-23

This year’s autumn Fashion Week kicks off at Shibuya‘s Hikarie building with the Zakka Runway (themed ‘British Check’), Sweets Runway, and Designers’ Cocktail Runway events. Sample the latest accessories, snack on some glamour sweets, sip on fashion-inspired drinks, or just take in the atmosphere of a world-class event. The runway shows start from October 14.

Details

Open Oct 10-23

Time See official website for event details

Venue Shibuya Hikarie

Address 2-21 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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

 

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.