June officially marks the beginning of rainy season in the Kanto area. But don’t let the gloomy, humid forecast stop you enjoying Tokyo! From outdoor food and beer festivals to open-air markets and exhibitions, here is a top list of events to go to in Tokyo this June.
As always, please check on each event’s website for updates as events may be canceled or postponed and take care whenever visiting events. For more information on coronavirus in Tokyo, check out our up-to-date page. The event information below is correct as of May 27.
Hiroko Shimabukuro UTAUTAI 2021 [Postponed to June 30]
Ever since her debut as a member of the popular Japanese girl group Speed 25 years ago, Okinawan singer Hiroko Shimabukuro, best known as Hiro, has established a steady solo career as a jazz and R&B performer. In these two intimate solo shows at Tokyo’s renowned jazz club Cotton Club, Hiro performs a selection of Okinawan songs from her album Watashi no Okinawa, which won the Planning Award at the 55th Japan Record Awards, as well as hit songs from her solo career and jazz numbers by Coco d’Or.
Admission: Prices vary
June 5 – June 6
Beer Festival Tokyo 2021
Sample a wide variety of beers including winning ales from the International Beer Cup 2020 and the Japan Great Beer Awards 2021 in an all-you-can-drink event, all for an unbeatable admission price. There’ll be almost 100 different types of bottled beers available to taste and also get shipped back home — just remember it’s not like Pokemon; you don’t need to “drink them all.” Love craft beer? We also recommend you check out the scene in Kanda when it’s safe for bars to be open in the future.
Yebisu Garden Place
Admission: Prices vary
June 5 – June 13
Never been to a ballet before? This is a good one to start with. This award-winning classic ballet performance is set in medieval France, telling the story of a beautiful noblewoman waiting for the return of her lover, Jean de Brienne, who had joined the Crusades. Upon returning, Jean de Brienne is challenged by another man, the knight Abderkrakhman, who attempts to abduct the lady, and the two suitors must duel to win her hand. This was French ballet dancer and choreographer Marius Petipa’s last ever choreography production, with music by Russian composer Alexander Glazunov.
New National Theatre, Tokyo
Admission: Prices vary
Until June 6
KIOI ROSE WEEK 2021
Enjoy the last few days of the rose season in Japan in a picturesque, fragrant garden packed with around 600 roses in 90 different species. The exquisite mauve rose Rila (リラ) is a popular variety that recently became available in Japan as of 2020. Close to the gardens is KIOI Terrace, offering a relaxing spot to savor the limited-time, rose-themed menu with rose-pink drinks and delicate desserts.
Tokyo Garden Terrace
June 9 – September 6
Fashion in Japan 1945-2020
This is the first large-scale exhibition of its kind, unraveling the history of modern Japanese fashion from World War II until the present through a comprehensive look at the work of renowned designers and their avid, trend-setting consumers. Immerse yourself in the makings of modern Japanese fashion, from WWII’s kokumin-fuku (national attire) to the introduction of Western-style fashion in Japan and all the way to the rise of kawaii fashion culture and today’s latest avant-garde trends through rare and stylish garments and an extensive collection of media archives. We highly recommend.
The National Art Center, Tokyo
Admission: ¥1,700 (free for junior high schoolers and younger)
Until June 13
Hunters on Land
Giant crocodiles and snakes. Weird birds and insects. What more could you ask for? This is a special feature on the predators that have lived on Earth for the past 400 million years, highlighting their evolution, adaptation, hunting techniques and importance in our ecosystem. Learn what it takes to get to the top of the food chain at the National Museum of Nature and Science.
National Museum of Nature and Science
Admission: ¥2,000 (¥600 high schoolers and younger)
June 17 – June 20
Taiwan Festival Tokyo 2021 (台湾フェスティバル TOKYO2021)
As one of the biggest international festivals held in the capital in June, the Taiwan Festival Tokyo has much to offer, including dance and music performances, sweet and savory food stalls, workshops and a beer garden. The event was originally created in 2011 to celebrate 100 years since the formation of Taiwan, but was met with such enthusiasm that it has returned every year since.
Mottainai Flea Market
Mottainai, a campaign initiated by environmental and political activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, promotes sustainable living and environmental conservation through a variety of activities, including flea markets. A quick stroll around the stalls presents an endless number of second-hand items like clothes, toys, DVDs, CDs, books and other trinkets, all at a super affordable price. The market takes place in several parts of Tokyo, so make sure to check out each location’s schedule on the website. For a thorough guide to second-hand English books in Tokyo, check out here.
Until June 20
National Treasure: Frolicking Animals
Painted over 800 years ago and passed down at the Kosan-ji, a temple in the tranquil mountains of Kyoto, The Scrolls of Frolicking Animals is one of the most famous works in the history of Japanese painting and considered a National Treasure. All four handscroll volumes, which are believed to have inspired the creation of manga, will be displayed during the exhibition period alongside fragments from the main scrolls and copies of the lost originals.
There will also be a VR program screening the first of the four scrolls, providing detailed and easy-to-follow explanations of the fantastical world of animals unfolded by the meticulously painted scrolls.
Tokyo National Museum
Adults ¥2,000 (College students ¥1,200, high school students ¥900, free for junior high school students and under)
Until June 26
My Hero Academia Exhibition: DRAWING SMASH
Currently one of the most popular manga and anime around the world, having already sold more than 30 million copies, My Hero Academia Exhibition: DRAWING SMASH features for the first time the original sketches and drawings from the manga artist, Kohei Horikoshi, in addition to installation and video works. Original My Hero Academia merchandise will be exclusively available at the exhibition’s store.
Mori Arts Center Gallery
Admission: ¥2000 (¥1500 high schoolers and middle schoolers, ¥1000 elementary schoolers)
May 20 – July 10
SHIRIAGARI-san, HOKUSAI-san—SHOW TIME, with a Giggle!
Famous for his mischievous, humorous interpretations of Hokusai’s masterpieces, the works of Japanese manga artist Shiriagari Kotobuki are displayed side by side the ukiyo-e master’s prints in this playful exhibition, inviting the viewer to look at Hokusai’s work from a comical, new perspective. If you’re a Hokusai fan, you can also check out the Hokusai exhibition at the Hachioji Art Museum until June 6. It’s a rare chance to see some of his lesser-known paintings alongside the iconic “Great Wave off Kanagawa.”
The Sumida Hokusai Museum
Admission: ¥1000 (free for elementary schoolers and younger)
Other events to look out for in June:
rhizomatiks_multiplex (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo)
Nippon Connection Film Festival (online)
“traNslatioNs – Understanding Misunderstanding” (21_21 DESIGN SIGHT)
Kaburaki Kiyokata and Hirezaki Eiho – Illustrations bringing color to modern literature (Ota Memorial Museum of Art)
Another Energy: Power to Continue Challenging – 16 Women Artists from around the World (Mori Art Museum)