Metropolis Recommends –August 2018 edition is our guide to the best gigs, festivals, exhibitions and other events going on in the capital this month.

Events/Festivals 

Musashimurayama Sunflower Garden

No other plant says “summer” like the sunflower. Take a trip to Musashi-Murayama’s sunflower garden with its 500,000 bright yellow blossoms planted by local volunteers so you can check another thing off your summer to-do list. With plenty of events happening throughout the weeks, such as a maze, stamp rallies and a local farmers market, it’s fit for friends, families or a solo getaway out of the city. Though getting there is a bit of a journey, the beautiful field is worth the hassle.

9am – 5pm (Last entry: 4:50pm). Opening ceremony on Jul 22. Free. 1460 Midorigaoka, Musashimurayama-shi.
Kamikitadai, Tachikawa. www.city.musashimurayama.lg.jp/kankou/spots/himawari/1001598.html

Jurassic World Pop-up Cafe

A complete menu inspired by the Jurassic Park film franchise is still available for just a little bit longer in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro Parco before it moves on to Osaka. The menu includes ridiculously incredible food art dishes titled “Volcano Curry” and “Mososaurus Soda” that, at the very least, will make a great Instagram post in time for the Japan premiere of the newest film installment, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Keep an eye out for the “Dinosaur Egg Cake” — it might just be too cute to eat.

Jurassic World Popup Cafe Volcano Curry

10am – 10pm. Ikebukuro Parco, 1-28-2 Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku. the-guest.com/jurassic_ikebukuro/

Bakemono-ten: Sunshine Aquarium Exhibition

Sunshine Aquarium is currently hosting a special exhibition that features creatures with the specific expertise of hiding and camouflage. About 30 different types of animals that can either change their forms or their colors will be in enclosures on display doing exactly what they were made to do: hide from plain sight. Your children will love the search, and you’ll find yourself getting drawn into the game too, on the hunt to find creatures that elude you.

Until Sept 24: 10am – 9pm. From Sept 25: 10am – 6pm. Sunshine Aquarium, Rooftop of Sunshine City 3-1, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku.  Ikebukuro, Higashiikebukuro.  www.sunshinecity.co.jp/event/e2031.html?from=aqua

Pippi Longstocking and the World of Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking is a long-standing classic in children’s literature, first published in 1945 by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. The story of this free-spirited redhead girl has been translated into over 100 languages and is beloved by many around the globe. The world of Astrid Lindgren comes to life through original drawings, manuscripts, personal relics, special footage, a large-sized model of Pippi’s house and more at an exhibition by the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum. Relive your childhood and share the nostalgia with your family and friends.

10am – 5pm (Last Entry: 4:30pm). Adults: ¥1,300, Seniors (65+): ¥1,000, University and High School Students: ¥800, Junior High and Elementary Students: ¥400 (Free on Saturdays), Below Elementary: Free. Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, 492-1 Yano-machi, Hachioji-shi.  Hachioji. www.pippi-ten.comwww.fujibi.or.jp/en

Kings of Tokyo Drag Review August Metropolis Recommends Events

Kings of Tokyo

You’ve probably seen a drag queen performance but the lesser-known drag king scene is just as fabulous. Kings of Tokyo presents the first all-king revue since the Edo period. A bilingual show with performers from all over the world, the Kings of Tokyo are here to thrill you, chill you and make you question the gender binary. Expect acts such as a striptease, rope tricks and an Arashi drag cover band called Arashirashii.

Open 7:30pm. Start 8pm. ¥2,000, plus 1 drink. Shinjuku Gyoen Sound, B1F Kowa Building, 2-3-12 Shinjuku-ku.  Shinjuku-Gyoenmae. facebook.com/kingsoftokyojp

Music

My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine don’t really need much of an introduction. Their album Loveless is probably one of the most influential albums of all time and, after a hefty hiatus, the band is back, touring and making new music once again. Rumors abound that new EPs from the band are about to be released this summer. Shoegaze, noise, rock — it doesn’t really matter what label you give them. All you need to know is that their gigs are incredibly loud. You have been warned.

Open 6:30pm. Start 7:30pm. ¥8,500. PIT, 6-1-23 Toyosu, Koto-ku.  Toyosu www.creativeman.co.jp/event/mbv/

Sparks

Sparks is the band to listen to if you’re looking for an all-in-one auditory experience: pop, rock and alternative. The Mael brothers from LA have stayed strong since starting out in the 70s, producing top hits such as “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us” and “Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth.” In 2015, Sparks collaborated with Franz Ferdinand, creating a new supergroup called FFS. Their latest album, and first in nearly a decade, Hippopotamus, is catchy and bouncier than ever, maintaining their legacy after decades of great music.

Open 6:30pm. Start 7:30pm. Adv: ¥6,500. Club Quattro, 32-13 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku. www.club-quattro.com

More Than Music Presents: Chris Baluyut CD Release

You should allow Chris Baluyut to expand your understanding of alternative and post rock. The New York-raised, Tokyo-based musician recently released his first single “Different Days,” which Jammerzine described as a “masterstroke of brilliance and a canvas of sonic colors splashed upon the canvas of your mind like a true artist.” Baluyut will be releasing his first CD on the 25th, supported by three local bands and easy-listening Australian band Good Morning. You shouldn’t miss this night if you’re curious about the lesser-known side of the Tokyo music scene.

6:30pm – 10:30pm. Door: ¥2,800. Free for August birthdays. 7TH FLOOR, 7F O-West Bldg, 2-3 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku www.facebook.com/events/256881518393346/

Art & Exhibitions 

Keith Haring Exhibit art exhibition pop Tokyo museum

Pop, Music & Street: Omotesando, the Street Keith Haring Loved

An iconic pop artist that changed the art world through his graffiti and pop art drawings, Keith Haring consistently captivated and questioned through his daring aesthetics. 2018 celebrates the 60th anniversary of his birth with an exhibition, “Pop, Music & Street: Omotesando, the Street Keith Haring Loved.” It will showcase about 70 of his original works alongside the world release of photography from the figures he drew on the streets of Omotesando.

11am – 9pm, Aug 12 – 19. Aug 12 until 8pm, Aug 19 until 6pm. Free. Omotesando Hills, Main Building B3F, Space O. Omotesando. www.omotesandohills.com/events/event/2018/004564.html

A Gaze Into Architecture — Phases of Contemporary Photography and Architecture

Have you ever seen architecture through a viewfinder? The Archi-Depot Museum has dedicated its next exhibition to the ambiguous and complicated relationship between modern photography and architecture. It will display 37 photos, six models and one video of 13 famous architectural works around the world by 13 contemporary artists and photographers. The venue design was specifically inspired by the themes of the exhibition. Though each of the artists and photographers have different styles, you may very well find themes in common.

11am – 7pm (Last entry: 6pm). General: ¥3,000, University students: ¥2,000, High school students or below: ¥1,000. Archi-Depot Museum, 2-6-10, Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku.  Tennozu Isle, Shinagawaarchi-depot.com/exhibition/a-gaze-into-architecture

Japan Heritage & Live Art (Sponsored)

Guided hikes during the day, traditional performing arts, local food and sake during the evening! Join a local festival or even stay overnight at a shukubo, a pilgrims’ lodging. Nippon Takaramono Project offers great opportunities to rediscover Japan, this time at Mt. Oyama in Isehara, Kanagawa. Watch kyogen comedy in Japanese and bilingual live performances of traditional kabuki dance and music for a full Japanese cultural experience, all while enjoying a meal and socializing with locals at Oyama Afuri Shrine. Don’t miss out; reserve your seats in advance online!

Aug 28. Live performances from 6pm – 7:30pm. Free. Oyama Afuri Shrine, 355 Oyama, Isehara, Kanagawa. Isehara. Local Bus Service. takaramono-pj.jp