Events & Festivals
Autumn Illuminations at Rikugien Park
November 18 – December 6
In mid-November Rikugien Park will begin its popular annual evening autumn tree illuminations. The stunning park, one of a small number that has stood almost exactly as it was since the Edo period, is known specifically for its autumn tree foliage. Spend a slow afternoon in the cool air and watch the sun’s rays play tricks with the autumn colors before the lights go on. If you can’t spend the afternoon, don’t fear: the park will be open until 9pm during the duration of the illuminations.
Sunset – 9pm.
General ¥300, Seniors ¥150.
6-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku.
Nearest Station: Komagome.
Bangarra Dance Theatre
November 9 – 10
Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company is coming back to Japan to present two different shows: Spirit and I.B.I.S. Spirit uses dance to tell stories about the spirit of the dingo, ephemeral life of the moth and indigenous people’s unbroken connection to the land, while I.B.I.S explores life on an island and the story of Murray Island on the Torres Strait. The Bangarra Dance Theatre uses the ancient art of movement to tell tales with a contemporary twist.
Nov 9, 7pm. Nov 10, 3pm.
Advance: S ¥6,000/A ¥4,000. U25: S ¥3,500/A ¥2,000. Additional ¥500 at the door.
Saitama Arts Theater, 3-15-1 Uemine, Chuo-ku, Saitama.
Nearest Station: Yonohonmachi.
Monthly Pub Quiz Trivia Night at Brew La La
Craft beer bar Brew La La, situated a few minutes from salarymen haven Shimbashi, holds the next installment of its hugely popular monthly pub quiz. The trivia quiz tests participants’ general knowledge, is free to enter and has the added bonus of prizes for the winning team. There are four rounds of questions including a photo round and the event accepts teams of between two to six members. Brew La La has some great beers on tap as well as an array of smashing pub grub, so stumble on over to Shimbashi for some knowledge-based drinking.
7:30pm – 9:30pm.
Brew La La: 2F 3-2-2 Shimbashi, Minato-ku.
Nearest Station: Shimbashi.
Nov 17 – 18
Yoyogi Park plays host to this year’s Festiva España, a two-day gastronomic party with nearly 40 food and drink booths selling a veritable treasure chest of Spanish cuisine. Who doesn’t enjoy some hearty paella, jamon iberico and copious amounts of cava while sitting outside in the sun? The festival will also include dance, music and Spanish arts and crafts. So get your sunglasses at the ready and make sure to go on an empty stomach so you can delve into some of Spain’s most delicious offerings.
Nov 17, 10am – 8pm. Nov 18, 10am – 7pm.
Free entry, Yoyogi Park.
Nearest Station: Harajuku.
11th Washu Fes in Nakameguro
November 3 – 4
Nakameguro may be better known for its springtime cherry blossoms, but the neighborhood and river are just as beautiful in the autumn. This is why the organizers of the Washu Fes have chosen this season to showcase the popular sake breweries that have come from all over the nation in a plaza conveniently located by Nakameguro Station but tucked away from the main drag. Drink or buy all the sake you want as you sway to ambient live music and the steady autumn breeze along Meguro River.
12pm – 5:15pm. Price: ¥3,000.
Nakameguro GT Tower Mae Hiroba, 2-1-1 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku.
Nearest Station: Nakameguro.
Fukutoku no Mori, a garden square in Nihonbashimuromachi, is hosting a sake gathering.Brewers from all around Japan will serve up their best sake for one afternoon, giving you the chance to drink and compare sake while learning what it is that makes the sake you like so special. Various brewers will present their sake and discuss the trade from 1pm-5pm, at which point live music takes over. This is your opportunity to talk directly with the creators of the Japanese elixir of life.
1pm – 9pm. Advance ¥2,500. On the day ¥3,000.
Fukutoku no Mori, 2-5-10 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo-ku
Pierre Bonnard, The Never-Ending Summer
September 26 – December 17
Head to The National Art Center, Tokyo this month to see works by French artist Pierre Bonnard (part of the Les Nabis group) who, due to being influenced by ukiyo-e, is also referred to as “le nabi très japonard.” Bonnard’s works are bittersweet depictions of fleeting moments in the artist’s own life with accents of both Cubist and Surrealist styles. This retrospective is a rare chance to see work from the Musee d’Orsay’s collection as well as work from both inside and outside Japan.
Sun–Thur 10am – 6pm, Fri–Sat 10am – 8pm, Closed Tues
Adults: ¥1,600, High School Students: ¥800, Junior High & Younger, Disabled: Free
The National Art Center, 7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Nearest Station: Roppongi or Nogizaka
Dancing Mind: Ryukyuan Dance at Ginza Six
Ginza Six is the location for a performance of Ryukyuan dance on Nov 9 and there are 5 free tickets on offer to lucky Metropolis readers. This is a rare chance to see Ryukyuan dance, a traditional performing art originating in Okinawa that has been passed down from generation to generation since the Ryukyu Kingdom era. Ginza Six, in addition to its reputation as a premier retail hotspot, is also growing as a cultural hub so this is a chance to get a glimpse of authentic Japanese dance in a stunning location.
7pm. Allocated Seating: ¥5,000 Unallocated seating: ¥4,000.
Ginza Six 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku,
Nearest Station: Ginza, Higashi Ginza or Ginza-itchome Station.
Tekkojima “Iron Island” Festival is a music and art festival held on Keihinjima, an island known as a hub of manufacturing. The aim of Tekkojima is to rediscover the rich technology and history of the Keihin industrial area by creating a space that facilitates collaboration between the environment and people. The festival features performances by steel music group PBC and Noshigaya Wada with his project “Elektronikos · Fantasticos!” a performance that involves repurposing old electric appliances as electronic musical instruments.
11am – 8pm
Advance: ¥5,400. On the day: ¥5,900. Elementary school students and under are free (must be accompanied).
Keihinjima, Ota-ku. Venues vary, see website.
Bus: 24 for Omori Eki, Keihinjimajushibanchi Bus Stop.
Canadian indie pop fans and music lovers alike, rejoice as Polaris Music Prize-shortlisted band Alvvays (pronounced Always) has added another date to their sold out Tokyo debut show and will now also be performing at WWW X. They describe their style as “jangle pop” and liken their music to The Cranberries. Front woman Molly Rankin has gone on record to note that her personal songwriting style is influenced by British bands such as Teenage Fanclub and Oasis.
Open 6pm, start 7pm
WWW X, RISE Bldg. 2F,13-17 Udagawa, Shibuya-ku
Nearest Station: Shibuya
Latin Beat Film Festival 2018
November 1 – 4, 9 – 11
This autumn marks the 15th anniversary of the annual Latin Beat Film Festival that’s held in Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama. This year’s lineup features titles such as I Hate New York, an LGBT docu-film by Spanish director Gustavo Sanchez that tells the story of the transgender community in the Big Apple. Other offerings include the latest animations and popular movies from Spain and Latin America. For full details of films check out the listings at Shinjuku Baltic 9.
Price and times vary, see website.
Shinjuku Baltic 9, Shinjuku Sanchoume East Building. 3-1-26, Shinjuku
Nearest Station: Shinjuku or Shinjuku Sanchome
Win free tickets! Submit to our online ticket lottery: metropolisjapan.com/ticket-lottery-latin-beat