Japanese dream pop outfit Luby Sparks haven’t been around for long but have managed to make a sizeable dent in the Japanese indie scene. Their eponymous album, released earlier this year, was a welcome return to early 1990s British shoegaze sounds with definite Slowdive and Chapterhouse influences coming through. “Life of Misery,” one of the album’s stand out tracks, is one of the best indie tunes to come out this year — so the band’s show in Shibuya is a must for all indie rock musos.
Open 6:30pm, start 7:30pm. Adv ¥3,000, Door ¥4,000. WWW, Rise Bldg,13-17 Udagawa, Shibuya-ku
No Pants Day 2019
There is something especially wonderful about the emergence of No Pants Day. No one is quite sure where it began, or when. It was once celebrated in May, but has recently been heralded in January in various countries all around the world. There is only one rule: wear no pants (trousers). This is potentially a very freeing act, as it is carried out in one of the busiest districts in Tokyo. It may be brief, given it’s the middle of winter, but it’s bound to be fun.
All day. Free. Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
Details are subject to change, stay updated on facebook at:
Acerbic Australian comedian Jim Jefferies comes to Tokyo on his Asian tour which takes in other Asian cities including Taiwan, Seoul and Singapore. Known for his razor sharp political commentary and Aussie wit, this show is sure to sell out, so snap up your tickets as soon as you can. It’s been a bumper year for comedy fans in Tokyo – Doug Stanhope and Phil Wang have already graced us with their presence so hopefully Jefferies will start 2019 with a bang.
7pm-10pm. ¥8,000. Nisho Hall, 2-9-16 Toranomon, Minato-ku
Buy tickets here: metropolisjapan.com/event/jim-
January 7 – March 3
Midtown Ice Rink in Roppongi
It’s time to pull out your glittery ice-skating outfits. Tokyo Midtown will be opening its ice rink in early January giving participants the chance to make a fool of themselves in public. Fortunately, the rink stays open long enough that you might have the chance to catch the rhythm once again. Watch The Cutting Edge, Blades of Glory and I, Tonya for inspiration (or as an excuse to not go at all).
11am-11pm. Adults: ¥2,000. Children: ¥1,500. Additional ¥300 on weekends. Tokyo Midtown, 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Station: Nogizaka or Roppongi.
January 25 – 27
Japan Brewers Cup
Your outrageous New Year hangover will hopefully have subsided by the end of January. What better way to celebrate this and the welcoming of a new year by getting back on the sauce again. Not any old booze, however, but a celebration of the Japanese craft beer industry held on the banks of Tokyo Bay in Yokohama. 35 Japanese breweries (and a few international ones) with 250 varieties of beer on offer for a bargain price of ¥500 a cup. Don’t make any plans for the following day.
Jan 25. 4pm-10. Jan 26. 11am-9pm. Jan 27. 11am-7pm. Osanbashi Hall 1-Kaigandori, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Until January 20
In the Country of Fans
Japan is known the world over for its beautifully decorative handheld accordion-like fans. These fans have deep connections with the DNA of Japanese life from religious festivals and daily life to performances and games. The Suntory Museum of Art is currently hosting a quirky exhibition about Japanese fans which represent the concept of “art in life.” “In the Country of Fans,” then, is a great chance to see, first hand, some of these beautiful fans and design up close.
Daily 10am-6pm. Friday and Saturday 10am-8pm. Closed Tuesdays. Adult Adv ¥1,100, General ¥1,300. College and High School Student Advance ¥800, General ¥1,000. Suntory Museum of Art, 3F Tokyo Midtown Galleria, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Until February 3
The agnès b. Galerie Boutique, which has locations in New York and Hong Kong as well as its home in Paris, is finally opening in Tokyo. For its inauguration, the gallery is exhibiting the work of Brooklyn-based artist Rostarr and his work (mainly drawings) from the decades between 1998 and 2008. The cool new space will also feature a second floor with vintage records and books for sale.
Mon-Sat. 1:30-6:30pm. agnès b. Galerie Boutique, 2F La Fleur, 5-7-25 Minami Aoyama Minato-ku
Until January 31
Wizarding World Cafe
Dust your brooms off and fly to Shinjuku’s Mylord, where a mysterious and magical cafe awaits. With the recent release of the second Fantastic Beasts comes the inspired fandom. Choose your potions and poisons from the creative menu and have your phone ready for the very Instagrammable set and service in the cafe. Make sure you’ve also got a good-sized bag on you — some of this merchandise cannot be missed.
Daily 11am-11pm. 5F Shinjuku Mylord, 1-1-13 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
January 6 and 20
Oedo Antique Market
Oedo Antique Market, which has been running for more than 15 years, takes place every first and third Sunday of the month. This is an opportunity to explore the beauty of the past and appreciate traditional Japanese culture. In case you can’t make it the first date, don’t worry about it. Luckily there’s an extra market in Yoyogi Park mid-month (Jan 13), to mark on your shopping calendar.
9am-4pm. Free entry. Tokyo International Forum, 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Spring Chanson Show
The annual Spring Chanson Show is back this year for its 12th edition. Guests will be performing their own take on French chanson music, featuring performers such as sister duo circus entertainers Charan-Po-Rantan and famed, eccentric vocalist and actor ROLLY. Don’t miss this chance to see top-notch performances at what may be Tokyo’s only chanson show on January 29 (Tues) 2019, at TSUTAYA O-EAST.
Tickets are available from ¥5,000 onwards.
Open 6pm, start 7pm. GA ¥5,000 (+¥600 drink charge), 1F VIP ¥7,500 (+¥600 drink charge & souvenirs), 2F VIP ¥9,000 (including drink, meal and special gift).
TSUTAYA O-EAST, 2-14-8 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku
The Yoshida siblings have been playing the shamisen live for about 20 years now and have made a name for themselves throughout the world with their Tsugaru-jamisen style of music. Upbeat and engaging, the brothers have released a plethora of albums and appear regularly on Japanese television as well as their music being used for commercials. They play Billboard Live in what promises to be a great night out.
Open 3:30pm, start 4:30pm. ¥6,900 & ¥7,900. Billboard Live, 4F Tokyo Midtown Garden Terrace, 9-7-4, Akasaka, Minato-ku