The annual Nihonbashi summer event is back and better than ever. With past events renewed, including the famous ART AQUARIUM, and new events introduced, there’s so much to do in the Nihonbashi neighborhood this summer.
Starting July 6 and going all the way until September 24, ECO EDO is providing tried-and-tested Edo cooling approaches with a modern twist, so if you need to escape the heat, why not head to this center of history, culture and commerce?
Goldfish Lanterns and Minamo Fireworks
Nothing says summer in Japan more than goldfish and fireworks.
Naka-dori, the street between COREDO Muromachi 1 and 2 will be the first stop on your stroll. When you look up, you’ll be greeted by giant chochin, or paper lanterns, with goldfish motifs. When you look down, you’ll see fireworks glisten in a shimmering blue light projected onto the pavement, imitating the surface of water, minamo. Accompanied with the sounds of bubbling streams and fireworks, you’ll be instantly transported to a cool riverbank, watching colorful fireworks shoot up in the sky.
Goldfish-themed Bites and Dishes
Since goldfish-themed food went swimmingly last year, the photogenic sweets, dishes and drinks are back to be offered at over 100 participating shops around the Nihonbashi district. From soft azuki red bean jelly in a fish bowl to braised wagyu beef in the shape of goldfish, there’s something for everyone.
This year there will be also be limited edition September menus to say goodbye to the summer and hello to the fall. Consider a colorful take on eel over rice or the perfect parfait to get you through the unceasingly warm month.
Yukata and ART AQUARIUM benefits
As if all this wasn’t already exciting enough, you can also get special benefits at over 170 participating stores if you are wearing a yukata or present your ART AQUARIUM tickets. Original wind chimes will be placed in front of participating stores to guide the way so keep your eyes and ears open. If you needed an excuse to buy a new yukata or go to the ART AQUARIUM, then here it is…
ART AQUARIUM 2018
…although you probably don’t need an excuse to want to go to this beautiful display of kingyo goldfish and nishikigoi carp. ART AQUARIUM is an aquatic art exhibition established in 2006, bringing together art, design and entertainment within an aquarium. Following the theme of goldfish origins, the event will be held in Nihonbashi, where the culture of enjoying goldfish as art is said to have started; then Nagoya in Aichi, the prefecture that produces the most goldfish for art; and finally Shanghai, China, the country where domesticated goldfish originally came from. Even if you’ve been to a previous edition, ART AQUARIUM artist Hidetomo Kimura has been working on new exhibitions and there will always be things to marvel at here.
And don’t worry if you can’t get enough of goldfish; numerous stores have produced goldfish-themed goods from socks to plates.
Summer Boat Ride
Why not sail along the Sumida River to Tokyo Sky Tree on a boat adorned with goldfish-shaped lanterns from Yanai City, Yamaguchi? No better way to cool down this summer than an evening cruise along the river with all-you-can-eat shaved ice. Email to reserve a spot or get tickets on PassMarket. More details here (Japanese only).
Nihonbashi Photo Galleria
Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, Nikon Imaging Japan and Mitsui Fudosan are coming together to bring a photo gallery featuring photos by professional photographers and you!
If you want a chance for your photos to be featured around town, apply for the photo session on July 29. Applications end July 16 via the PHaT PHOTO website, though it is unfortunately only in Japanese. But if you understand the language, try to get a spot in one of the three themed courses: Food and Products, People or Landmarks. Following a lecture by a professional photographer, you’re off to snap some shots of your own.
These photos will then proceed to be exhibited from September 25 to October 21.
Don’t let the heat get to you, but don’t let summer fly by either, because there’s plenty to do in Nihonbashi.