The heat of summer is interspersed with promises of cooler weather; we’ve picked the best events for you to go out and get to know Tokyo better!
September 1-3 | The 16th Tokyo Jazz Festival
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Fans of Haruki Murakami are bound to be familiar with the author’s reverence of jazz, and probably have a romantic notion of the jazz scene in Tokyo themselves. Get a taste of the vibrant jazz scene at the 16th Tokyo Jazz Festival, happening all around Shibuya. Performances will not only be held in the usual concert halls, but will also take place in public spaces such as beautiful tree-lined streets, parks, and train stations. This will give absolutely everybody a chance to discover and enjoy jazz. Established maestros as well as rising stars from all around the world will perform. Click here for more info!
Until September 9 | Ikeda Manabu Art Exhibitions
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What’s different about artist Ikeda Manabu’s art? Each piece can be massive – his latest piece, Rebirth, measures a staggering 3m by 4m – and they’re primarily drawn with pens, with painstaking patience and military intricacy. No matter how intently you study his work, you’ll be hard pressed to notice every single detail in one sitting. Our favourite is History of Rise and Fall, where Manabu melds Japanese culture and history into a fantastical landscape; it’s easy to lose yourself in the sheer enormity and fluidity of his work. You can find Rebirth on display at the Mizuma Gallery in Ichigaya until the 9th of September. For more info, click here.
September 9 | Vogue Fashion’s Night Out
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The incredibly fashionable Omotesando, Aoyama, and Harajuku districts will throw their shop doors open until 10pm for this trendy event, complete with enticing bargains, attractive promotional events with limited edition items, and live music. Don’t miss the opening ceremony at Omotesando Hills at 4pm, where you’re bound to spot some uber trendy fashionistas!
September 16-18 | Ultra Japan
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Ultranauts unite! One of the world’s largest outdoor EDM festivals, the fourth Tokyo instalment of Ultra Japan will see headliners like Tiesto and Hardwell return to the Main Stage. Sing along to the top hits on the airwaves with mainstream acts like The Chainsmokers and Kygo, and get ready to party! Be sure to get your tickets before they sell out.
Until September 24 | The Art of Disney – The Magic of Animation
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Ever wondered how your favourite childhood films came to be? Head down to the Miraikan in Odaiba to peruse over 450 animation sketches and concept artwork, and see your beloved characters evolve from concept from completion. Gain a deeper appreciation of beloved animated movies such as Beauty and the Beast and Frozen by learning about the different technologies utilized from the past to the present, from the primitive flipbook to current cutting edge 3D and CGI. The star of this exhibition is undoubtedly the Tangled room; emerge into a mesmerizing dreamscape of infinite lanterns floating around you. This illusion is actually done with the help of mirrors, LED lights, and sensors, but that doesn’t make it any less magical! Click here for the deets.
Throughout September | Beer Gardens around Tokyo
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Crack open a cold one with the boys (and girls) at the beer gardens that have popped up all over Tokyo! What better way to combat the lingering summer heat and humidity, than with an ice cold pint in hand? Ikebukuro’s Parco and Lumine department stores will offer Hawaiian and Surf & Turf themed beer gardens respectively, where your beer will enhance the flavours of the smoky grilled meats. The Yoyogi Village Beer Terrace features a “Mexican Summer” theme, complete with tacos, mariachi music, and tequila. If you’re feeling more adventurous, check out the Matcha Beer Garden at the Green Tea Restaurant 1899 in Ochanomizu, where they serve a whole array of unique tea-flavoured beers, as well as tea flavoured bar snacks.
Throughout September | Moon Viewings around Tokyo
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Did you know that Moon Viewing Ceremonies (“Tsukimi” in Japanese) are held each year in autumn to celebrate the full moon and waxing moon in Japan? On the 6th and 28th of September, have a relaxed time lounging on the open public area below Tokyo Skytree, or pay for a ticket to the observatory 350m above ground where you can admire the moon at a closer distance . If you’re more interested in lunar-inspired eats, visit Tokyo Solamachi mall and sample some of the the restaurants’ special treats from the 28th of September.