August is the month for outdoor events — including the welcomed return of Fuji Rock Festival, as well as Nogi Shrine Summer Festival, Kyoto’s Gozan no Okuribi and the Yugawara Onsen Sea Fireworks display. If you’d prefer to stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning, don’t worry because Fujisawa Art Space has you covered. Check out our favorite events happening this August and remember to stay hydrated.
Nogi Shrine Summer Festival
Recall your youth at the traditional summer festival held in Akasaka. What is summer without the smell of yakisoba (Japanese fried noodles) sizzling at the food stalls, colorful yukata and kids scooping goldfish? This August, come learn about the history of the Nogi shrine while simultaneously experiencing the Japanese summer staple event without stepping foot out of Tokyo.
8-11-27 Akasaka, Minato-Ku
St Vincent Live Stream
If you’re looking for something to enjoy from the comfort of your own couch, indie goddess St. Vincent is making her live stream concert debut with “Down and Out Downtown” on August 5. Described as “a sepia toned tour de force of gritty grooves, hungover glamour and spellbinding musicality” this full-length concert features premiers of new material as well as remixes of older classics and deep buts from her award-winning back catalog. Grab your tickets here, kick your feet up and enjoy.
Online Live Stream
Tickets from ¥1,700
Gozan no Okuribi
If you are in Kyoto during O-bon season, be sure to celebrate the return of the spirits and ancestors of the other world with the Japanese locals. Every year, five bonfires are lit up in the city’s surrounding mountains. The bonfires are meant to lead the spirits and deceased family members back to their families for the day. Witness the reunion of families from the other world and sit back to enjoy the fire spectacle for the evening.
Various locations, Kyoto
August 20 – 22
Fuji Rock Festival
Just when you thought August in Japan could not get any hotter, spill some sweat at the frontlines of Fuji Rock Festival ‘21. Are you a hard-core J-Rocker or just easing your way into the Japanese music industry? Either way, this year’s line-up includes big names like King Gnu and RADWIMPS but it’s also spot-lighting some up-and-coming indie musicians like Vaundy. Across the array of various bands and artists, there are bound to be some summer tunes to suit your taste.
Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata-Ken
Tickets: 1 day (¥21,000), 2 days (¥38,000), 3 days (¥49,000)
Yugawara Onsen Sea Fireworks
The coronavirus has taken a toll on the summer holidays this year, with many of the summer festivals and firework events being canceled. However, Yugawara, a short drive from Tokyo, offers a taste of the classic Japanese summer vacation with the promised fireworks shooting up from the coast on the evening of the 21st.
Offshore Yugawara beach, Kanagawa-Ken
Until August 27
Located in the Shibuya Hikarie building, Naked’s new exhibition Naked Uranai (Naked Fortune Telling) takes you on an exquisitely curated voyage of self-discovery. Visitors are taken through a series of interactive and visually stunning fortune-telling experiences such as tarot card reading, dream reading and numerology in the ultimate quest to better understand themselves. Running until the end of August, this event is a great way to beat the summer heat and learn what makes you tick.
Shibuya Hikarie Building
2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-Ku
Admission: around ¥2,000, advance and student discounts available
Yowamushi Pedal x Tobu Zoo Collab Event
If you are an animal lover, a Yowamushi Pedal fan, or you just want the kids out of the house, this event is for you. Tobu Zoo has collaborated with popular sports anime, Yowamushi Pedal this summer where you can engage in a stamp rally to receive an original postcard with the Yowamushi characters. At the gift shop, thumb through the collaborative souvenirs ranging from original t-shirts, charms and more.
110 Suka, Miyashiro, Minamisaitama, Saitama-ken
Admission: Adults 18+ (¥2,300), Middle-Highschool (¥2,000), Elementary school (¥1,300), Seniors 60+ (¥1,600)
Summer Cat Days: The Maneki Neko-Tei Collection
Cat lovers assemble… at the Fujisawa City Art Space this August. A collection displayed by Maneki Neko-Tei, this exhibition is dedicated to and solely to cats. The collection is centered upon how cats engage with the themes of “refresh”, “summer travel” and “ghost stories.” As the summer heat broils our backs and we long for autumn, come cool down with the cats in a chilled gallery at Fujisawa.
Fujisawa City Art Space
2-2-2 Tsujidokandai, Fujisawa, Kanagawa-Ken
Admission: Adults (¥200), High school/College Students (¥100), Junior high school and below (Free), Handicapped Persons (Free)
Park Hyatt Tokyo Peak Lounge: Zen Garden Afternoon Tea
Unwind and enjoy a specially curated afternoon tea at the Park Hyatt Hotel this summer. Located on the picturesque 41st floor, the Peak Lounge is presenting a collection of French delicacies with a Japanese twist as part of their Zen Garden afternoon tea menu throughout July and August. Hand-selected ingredients will feature in Pastry Chef Julien Perrinet’s creations which aim to induce a sense of peace and calm during the hot season.
The Peak Lounge and Bar at Park Hyatt Tokyo
Five Great Painters
If sweating outdoors in the heat isn’t your thing, Five Great Painters at Otemachi Mitsui Hall is your chance to experience classic Edo Period works in air-conditioned comfort. Projected throughout the hall, works from five classic Edo Period artists, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Sotatsu, Korin and Jakuchu are presented in grand-scale, highlighting the incredible detail and individual styles of each artist. From woodblock paintings and prints to decorated folding screens and fusuma doors of the area this exhibition fuses traditional Japanese art with contemporary digital production.
Otemachi Mitsui Hall
Otemachi ONE Bldg. 3F, 1-2-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku
Admission: Adults ¥2,000 (student discounts available)
Superhuman “This is My Body”
Ever wondered what it takes to be an elite athlete? This exhibition delves deep into what makes the bodies of record-breaking athletes such as Usain Bolt, Tatiana McFadden and Kerev Dresel tick. Using state-of-the-art technology the muscles and brains of these elite athletes are analyzed in order to give visitors a glimpse into how modern-day athletes achieve the seemingly impossible. In addition to marveling at these physical wonders, you can participate in a variety of strength, athleticism and endurance tests throughout the exhibition. Ready, set, go!