Relentless August heat gives way to warm September days; autumn is just around the corner. As always, we’ve created a list of art, music, and community activities here for a limited time. Delve into our curated September events to make the most of autumn 2022.
July 30 – September 25
Animals in ukiyo-e exhibition
Pictures of the floating world — and the animals that inhabited it. From anthropomorphic to the supernatural, animals inhabit diverse roles across the ephemeral landscapes of Japan’s Edo-period ukiyo-e paintings. This exhibition at the Ota Memorial Museum of Art introduces approximately 160 works by 40 ukiyo-e artists. Be sure to catch the exhibition before it ends on September 25.
10:30AM – 5:30PM
ADULTS ¥1200, UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ¥800, JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND BELOW FREE
OTA MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF ART, 1-10-10 JINGU-MAE, SHIBUYA-KU
August 25 – September 6
‘SEND YOURSELF NOWHERE BUT TOKYO’ Joan Cornellà exhibition
Joan Cornellà skyrocketed to internet fame with absurd cartoons that capture the anxiety and disconnect of contemporary life. Cornellà’s bright, dystopian visuals are imbued with surreal and disturbing humor that muddies the line between dream and reality. Experience a fantasy trip of Cornellà’s imagination at StandBy, Shibuya, where his works will be displayed until September 6.
11AM – 7PM
STANDBY, 5-11-1, JINGUMAE, SHIBUYA-KU
September 16 -17
Movie Night at Rooftop Bar PLATFORM 9 Festival
Watch movies under the stars (for free!) on the stylish rooftop garden of PLATFORM 9 in Minato-ku. Indulge in expertly-crafted cocktails, feel the night breeze and sink into a sofa seat. Relax in front of the big screen and watch the latest installment in the 007 series on September 16, or head there on 17 for “First Man”, the story of the first human astronaut to land on the moon.
7PM – 11:30PM
PLATFORM 9, 3-1-21 Shibaura, Minato-ku
Oliver Sim: Hideous Short Film Screening
The short film Hideous, written by and starring Oliver Sim of The xx, will receive a special screening at Shibuya’s Human Trust Cinema on September 10. The film, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival, is directed by French independent filmmaker, Yann Gonzalez, and draws on Sim’s deep love of horror movies and queer cinema. Released in conjunction with Sim’s debut solo album, Hideous Bastard, the three-part film will feature tracks from the new album, produced by Sim’s bandmate Jamie xx. Purchase Oliver Sim’s new album or album and T-shirt bundle from the following outlets to receive a ticket to the screening (limited tickets available): Human Trust Cinema Shibuya, Tower Records Shibuya, Tower Records Shinjuku, Daikanyama Tsutaya.
6:45PM OPEN, 7:00PM START
HUMAN TRUST CINEMA, 8TH FLOOR COCOTI SHIBUYA BUILDING, 1-23-16 SHIBUYA, SHIBUYA-KU 150-0002
September 16 – December 4
Genreless kougei exhibition
Transcending traditional categorization. Craft reevaluated in a postmodern context.
The introduction of the Western concept of art to modern Japan pushed creations not recognized as paintings or sculpture into the category of kougei, or ‘craft’. In recent years, however, the paradigm of kougei has begun to be dismantled; an increasing number of artists are now pursuing genre-defying creation using craft materials and techniques.
This exhibition from the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, introduces outstanding domestic and overseas contemporary art and design work that evades and transcends the label ‘kougei’.
Head to the official website for more info on opening times and available discounts.
9:30AM – 5:30PM
ADULTS ¥300, STUDENTS ¥150, UNDER-18 AND SENIORS FREE
NATIONAL CRAFTS MUSEUM, 3-2 DEWAMACHI, KANAZAWA-SHI, ISHIKAWA
July 30 – September 25
Eisei Bunko exhibition for kids and families
Located in a verdant area of Bunkyo-ku, the Eisei Bunko Museum houses cultural artifacts, documents and works of art inherited from the Hosokawa samurai clan which ruled Kumamoto, Kyushu, over 300 years ago. The museum is currently exhibiting cultural artifacts related to the children of the Hosokawa clan; including portraits, books, small kimonos, Noh costumes and photographs. Geared towards families, this exhibition explores the life of a daimyo family during its golden age and can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
10AM – 4:30PM
ADULTS ¥1000, SENIORS (OVER 70) ¥800, UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ¥500, JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND BELOW FREE
EISEI BUNKO MUSEUM, 1-1-1 MEJIRODAI, BUNKYO-KU
Chk Chk Chk concert
New York dance-rock band !!! (Chk Chk Chk) are making a return to Japan following the release of their latest album, Let It Be Blue. Active since the late 90s, their frenetic live shows and constant reinvention of their sound have made them a favorite amongst Japanese audiences, keeping them coming back for the last decade or so. Catch them at Local Green Festival on Sunday, September 4, and Spotify O-East, Shibuya on September 5, to witness the chaotic musicality of !!!.
O-EAST, 2-14-8 DOGENZAKA, SHIBUYA-KU
September 10 – October 10
21,007 Step Up Challenge
The Step Up Challenge involves walking 21,007 steps in honor of the 21,007 lives lost to suicide last year in Japan. Participants choose a day between September 10 (World Suicide Prevention Day) and October 10 (World Mental Health Day) to complete the challenge. All proceeds from the event will support TELL and the expansion of their Crisis Support Service. TELL calls for participants to document the process on social media to make noise about this important issue. Alternatively, take part in the 2022 Tokyo Tower Climb on October 1 and 2.
September 11, September 25
Oedo Antique Market
If antique shopping is your thing, then Oedo Antique Market is a must. Arguably the most well-known in Japan, the market began in 2003 to celebrate 400 years since the start of the Tokugawa shogunate. The market now features 200 dealers and is a great place to find ¥1,000 kimono, yukata, and jinbei, as well as ornaments and other fabulous antiques. Head to the Tokyo International Forum to check it out. Note that the market will be canceled if it rains.
9AM – 4PM
TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FORUM, 3-5-1 MARUNOUCHI, CHIYODA-KU
Tokyo National Museum – free admission day
Visit the world’s largest collection of Japanese art for free on September 19.
Tokyo National Museum features a comprehensive collection of art and antiquities from japan and abroad, including ancient pottery, Buddhist sculptures, samurai swords, ukiyo-e, kimonos, and more. The museum’s regular exhibitions are free to the public on the third Monday of September (Respect for the Aged Day) — one of only two free admission days per year. Visit the museum’s website for more information on what is on display at any given time.
9:30AM – 5PM
TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM, 13-9 UENOKOEN, TAITO-KU
September 11 – September 25
Sumo September Grand Tournament
Don’t miss the chance to see the penultimate honbasho, or sumo tournament, of the year.
The world’s oldest continuously-played organized sport has existed in its modern incarnation since the seventeenth century but has inhabited various forms for over 2000 years. The best way to see this traditional sport is to head to Tokyo’s Ryogoku district — the center of the sumo world — and attend one of Japan’s six annual sumo tournaments. Though fights are broadcast on NHK, nothing can replicate the unmitigated intensity of witnessing sumo live.
Tickets are available online, with some released on the day.
¥3800 – ¥38,000
RYOGOKU KOKUGIKAN, 1-3-28 YOKOAMI, SUMIDA-KU
September 3 – September 4
Kitazawa Hachiman Shrine Festival
For two days in early September, the streets south of Shimokitazawa station are filled with people and palanquins. Kitazawa Hachiman’s gloriously vibrant annual festival features all the matsuri essentials — stalls lining the streets, omikoshi processions, and performances.
12PM – 8PM
KITAZAWA HACHIMAN SHRINE, 3-25-3 DAIZAWA, SETAGAYA-KU
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