What’s on this spring in Tokyo? From Fumi Ishino’s thought-provoking photographs to MUJI’s folk craft exhibition and more, here are the top must-visit April events in Tokyo for anyone looking to explore the full breadth of the city.
Keep in mind that due to the ongoing situation with the coronavirus, events are subject to change. Be sure to check online for up-to-date information before attending. For more information on coronavirus in Tokyo, check out our up-to-date page.
April 10 – 11
The Wanwan Carnival is a weekend-long haven for every dog lover living in Tokyo. From canine fashion pop-up shops to on-the-spot dog grooming, the Wanwan Carnival is an event that attracts the most stylish of our four-legged best friends and their owners. There are also training demonstrations, exhibitions, on-site vets and photographers. For anyone who yearns to have a dog but can’t commit to owning one, the Wanwan Carnival is an ideal place for you to get your fix of wan-chan cuteness.
Until April 18
Fumi Ishino “Tinted Lines”
Los Angeles-based photographer Fumi Ishino uses various techniques to manipulate light and space sequences in black-and-white photography, delivering an experimental visual dialogue that dares the viewer to look at the social contours of this American megacity. Various scenes of the high-end residential areas, museums, public facilities and suburbs gesture towards issues of social class, urban development, immigration and more. These thought-provoking photographs will be available to view in his exhibition “Tinted Lines” until April 18.
Post / Limart
Until April 24
Yuji Kimura “Gleaning”
Art director Yuji Kimura’s outstanding accomplishments are traces of smaller works accumulated throughout his professional and personal life, rather than a solitary breakthrough. This is why his first solo exhibition, “Gleaning,” resonates closely with the word itself. A celebrated figure with multiple portfolio designs in magazines, newspapers and books, Kimura’s magazine-making style pulls viewers back to the shell of late-century graphic design — salient to its era, but not fleeting — with his bold compositions of photos, illustrations and layouts.
Creation Gallery G8
Looking for more inspiration on what to do in Tokyo this spring? Also check these out on Metropolis:
- 8 Art Events in Tokyo to Visit this Spring
- A Beginner’s Guide to Cycling in Tokyo
- Tokyo Spring Cycling Route: “Yoyo-Go”
April 17 – 25
Earth Day Tokyo 2021
First held in 2001 as part of the global Earth Day movement, Earth Day Tokyo kicks off once again this year to raise awareness about sustainability, inclusivity and the city’s environmental protection. Groove your way to green living by exploring eco-friendly stalls and sampling organic foods, or vibe with the free art and music in the open-air market in Yoyogi Park. NGOs, NPOs and environmental charities based in Tokyo will also be at the all-weekend event, allowing visitors to become even more involved with the eco-friendly movement. The online section of the event offers viewers a real-life feel through live Youtube performances and talks.
April 24 – April 25
Tokyo Rainbow Pride
Everyone knows the annual Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade never disappoints, and the energetic weekend-long celebration finally returns after its hiatus last year. Supporters prepare for the march in — true to its name — floats and costumes as colorful as the community itself. Bring your rainbow flag and join the celebration of equality, queer acknowledgment and LGBTQ pride. Regardless of your gender or sexuality, Tokyo Rainbow Pride uplifts the whole Tokyo community with its concerts, art and culture.
April 30 – May 6
Centered in Fuchu, the Okunitama Shrine is one of the oldest of its kind in Tokyo. Every year, portable shrines known as mikoshi are carried around, but only in darkness to allow the gods’ divine spirit to remain unseen—hence the name Kurayami (darkness). While the main event is set for the evening of May 5, when the mikoshi are brought to the beat of taiko drums, the festival starts on April 30 when the priests purify themselves with the water from the Shinagawa river. With a history that leads back to the 11th century, the Kurayami Matsuri remains to be a dynamic spectacle rich in culture.
Late April – Early May
Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival
From late April to early May, the weeping wisteria appears in full bloom across Tokyo, and visitors flock over the lavender-colored flowers from the best spot in the city — the Kameido Tenjin Shrine. The beautiful wisteria vines were planted along the trellises during the Edo period, and have been subject of many works of art ever since. The pond below reflects the purple flowers, and the red arched bridge lends to a tranquil scenery. Visitors can also enjoy the serene atmosphere of the Tokyo neighborhood around the shrine and also see Tokyo Skytree from the site.
Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Until May 9
Mingei – The Shape of Beautiful Living
Exhibition “Mingei: The Shape of Beautiful Living” uplifts the spirit of MUJI while bringing tribute to the Mingei (folk craft) Movement. With a brand name that loosely translates to “no-brand quality goods,” MUJI strives to modestly transform people’s lifestyle and question consumerism—a subject that folk craft philosophy continues to ponder as well. The traveling exhibition is held in cooperation with The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, providing visitors the opportunity to look at the crafts that sculpt MUJI’s artisanship and appreciate the beauty of mingei, one craft at a time.
ATELIER MUJI Ginza
Until June 6
Mondrian: In Search of Pure Pictures
Known as one of the pioneers in the abstract movement, Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s artistic vocabulary was reduced to simple geometric elements in his later life. As such, his works are diverse, ranging from landscape painting and cubism-influenced pieces to geometrical compositions of only primary colors. His final footprints continue to be a totem for today’s Modernism, and he has become a huge influence among numerous major art styles, design and fashion. Sompo Museum of Art will display works by Dutch painter Mondrian this spring to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth.