What’s on in Tokyo from December 2020 to February 2021. 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 visiting.
Check this article for a complete list of must-see illuminations and holiday markets in the capital this winter.
Until December 25
The Christmas Garden at Shiba Park, returning for its fourth consecutive year, is a great chance to experience the magical atmosphere of a Christmas market. Decorated with more than 100 Christmas trees, the market offers hundreds of food and drink options from over ten countries. You can also sign up for a workshop, participate in a contest and attend live performances for free. Grab yourself some original Christmas goods and revel in the holiday spirit.
Jan 9 – Jan 11, 2021
Celebrate the beginning of 2021 with the National Ballet of Japan’s (NBJ) New Year Ballet performance. Featuring classical ballet, such as “Paquita,” and innovative modern ballet, such as D. Bintley’s “‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Cafe,” along with original pieces, the show offers an insight into the year to come at the NBJ. The performance simultaneously celebrates the future with original pieces by the “NBJ Choreographic Group,” and honors the past with the second act “Soirée de Ballet” in memory of the late dancer and choreographer Hideo Fukagawa.
Opera Palace, New National Theatre Tokyo
Until January 24
Presenting the highlights and representative works of Seto Masato’s photographic career, “Maps of Memory” at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum exhibits the photographer’s exploration of Asia. Half-Japanese, half-Vietnamese and born in Udon Thani, Thailand, Seto delves into the meaning of Asia, Japan and the self that inhabits both, with pieces from his debut work “Bangkok, Hanoi 1982-1987” to “Cesium,” produced after the Tohoku earthquake in 2011. Seto’s photographs explore concepts of “travel” and the “everyday,” encouraging the audience to acknowledge and appreciate their overlap.
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Prices TBD / student & senior discounts
Until February 4
Jun Oson presents his first major solo exhibition in Japan in four years at Tokyo’s DIESEL ART GALLERY. The artist, famous for his colorful pop art-inspired images, has illustrated for NHK ETV’s television show “Ahare! Meisaku-kun,” as well as for the Tokyo Metro Cultural Foundation. “D_I_S_T_A_N_C_E” is Oson’s reflection on the physical and mental distance between individuals as a result of social distancing measures imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It features over 20 new paintings in his characteristic playful style.
DIESEL ART GALLERY
British IDM icon Squarepusher (Tom Jenkinson) brings his cerebral electronic music to Tokyo for the sixth time, as he goes on tour for his 2020 release Be Up a Hello, his first in five years, where he demonstrates a return to form with tracks reminiscent of 90s video game soundtracks and retro sci-fi scores. This time, he brings his frenetic, manic beats to Shinkiba Studio Coast, a celebrated venue for music festivals and big-name acts from both Japan and abroad. As the only act scheduled at the venue thus far for February 2021, Squarepusher’s set is not one to miss.
Doors Open 6pm
Shinkiba Studio Coast
Adv. Tickets ¥7,000
Until February 23
This exhibit consists of 120 works that explore the theme of “sleep” across various mediums, from paintings to photography and three-dimensional objects, all of which urge viewers to reconsider their waking lives and everyday struggles. Featured artists include 17th century masters Peter Paul Rubens and Francisco de Goya, as well as contemporary performance and installation artist Shiota Chiharu.
The National Museum of Modern Art
¥1,200 / student & senior discounts
Until February 28
Bring in the winter spirit by celebrating in the Midtown Gardens. This year, the concept of “Another World” aims to express and showcase various different worlds. The illuminations will be ever-changing throughout the day, presenting themselves differently every time you look at them. Until Christmas Day, view the Santa Christmas tree, a tree made of about 1,800 mini Santa figurines. The ice rink will open from January to March 1, offering visitors a great chance to enjoy some outdoor winter fun.
Until February 28
Explore 20th century art through the collections of some 70 highly accomplished and diverse artists including Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. Appropriately named “TRIALOGUE,” this is a collaborative project between three public museums representing their respective regions. The exhibition examines Japan’s artistic inheritance of these pieces and will be the last event at the Yokohama Museum of Art before its two-year renovation.
Yokohama Museum of Art
¥1,500 / student & senior discounts
Until April 4
Born in Kanagawa, GUCCIMAZE started his career as a graphic designer. It didn’t take long for his work, which fuses his interests in hip-hop and graffiti, to be recognized abroad by artists such as Nicki Minaj and Flying Lotus. With works that invite the audience into a maze of bold typographical lines and sharp lettering, GUCCIMAZE has definitely caused a stir in the graphic design scene. Catch his exhibition “MAZE” at the Diesel Art Gallery or explore his work with a virtual tour via Diesel’s website.
¥1,800 / student & senior discounts
Go to metropolisjapan.com/events for more events in Tokyo.