The fresh, sweet-sour bite of a Japanese plum at the Sumomo Festival and the calming sound of 500 wind chimes blowing in the wind at Ikegami Honmonji are perfect ways to cool down this July. If you prefer to shield yourself from the heat by staying indoors, chill in air-conditioned goodness watching European movies during EU Film Days 2021 or explore the cool, dark depths of the sea at the Sunshine Aquarium’s special event showcasing the weirdest and most wonderful bioluminescent life. Indoors or outdoors, we bring you a list of Tokyo events this July that will keep you cool — or at least distract you from how much you’re sweating.
What better way to end the day than biting into a cool, juicy sumomo (Japanese plum) in the summer? Take home as many plums as you desire at the Sumomo Festival, (one bag will set you back about ¥1,000) where batches of sumomo are hung beside its long pathway. Discover the local legend behind this day here.
3-1 MIYAMACHI, FUCHU-SHI
METROPOLIS COVERED: METROPOLISJAPAN.COM
July 1-July 31
Detective Conan Cafe “Shunichi Akai Menu Season 1”
Go visit this retro diner take on the hit Japanese TV show “Case Closed a.k.a. Detective Conan.” In celebration of the new upcoming movie, the Conan Cafe will open for a limited amount of time in four cities, including two locations in Tokyo. Our favorite item on the menu is the “Strawberry au Lait ” that – once mixed – is supposed to look like a crime scene (though we thought it looked suspiciously similar to strawberry milk).
DETECTIVE CONAN CAFE
VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN TOKYO
ADMISSION FEE ¥550
Early – mid July
Ikegami Honmonji wind chime festival
It’s said that long ago, before air conditioners or iced drinks blessed this Earth, the soft sound of wind chimes tinkling in the wind was used to soothe the overheating bodies and minds of sweating Edo-period citizens. In 2021, from late-June to mid-July, you can go find out if it has the same soothing effect on you — or at least take some pretty pictures for your Instagram — as 500 wind chimes adorned with the written wishes of locals and visitors hang in rows at Ikegami-Honmonji Temple. Write your own wish to add to a chime or, on Sundays from 10am to 3pm, join a free tour in English, French or Chinese in which local volunteers will share the story of the temple’s history and construction.
1-1-1, IKEGAMI, OTA-KU
Here’s your chance to see processions of mikoshi (portable shrines), along with other traditional Japanese festival performances such as bon-odori dances taking place at Tokyo’s famous Yasukuni shrine. Have a taste of a nostalgic Japanese summer between the walls of the glowing votive lanterns.
3-1-1 KUDANKITA, SETAGAYA-KU
July 13 – September 6
Man Ray and the Women (マン・レイと女性たち)
Many women surrounded the life of Man Ray (1890-1976), one of the most versatile artists of the 20th century. In this exhibition, a timeline is displayed of the women who, between intellectual discoveries and love adventures, became Ray’s muses for his poetic and witty work.
2-24-1 DOGENZAKA, SHIBUYA-KU
GENERAL ADMISSION FEE ¥1,700 (ADVANCE TICKETS AND CHILD DISCOUNTS ALSO AVAILABLE)
Until August 1
Yakult Ice Cream (ヤクルトのアイス屋さん)
If you enjoyed our article introducing and reviewing the weirdest ice creams in Tokyo, you’ll probably be down for this event too. One step below sake and green tea, Yakult is a drink synonymous with Japan. This ice cream is weird, but in an appealing way. Kid yourself that the health benefits of this probiotic drink outweigh the fact this is an unhealthy dessert with this limited time offer at IMADA KITCHEN.
SHIBUYA 109 BUILDING 2-29-1 DOGENZAKA, SHIBUYA-KU
STARTING PRICE: ¥450
Until July 18
EU Film Days 2021
Film fanatics and those of you yearning to travel to Europe but who are stuck at home in Tokyo this summer, “EU Film Days 2021” has kindly brought European cinema to Japan for you. From animated films to spine-chilling thrillers, this film festival showcases a variety of European movies both in Tokyo and Kyoto. A last piece of good news for the laziest of you all: a selection of films are also streamed online to watch in bed.
NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE OF JAPAN
3-7-6 KYOBASHI, CHUO-KU
GENERAL ADMISSION FEE ¥520 (ADULT) PER SINGLE VIEWING
June 23-July 29
Disney Princess Exhibition “What is love?”
Everyone has grown up swooning over the fairytale love stories of Disney princesses. (Non-Disney fans, we will forgive you if you skip ahead to the next event…) “What is Love?” calls upon 12 of our beloved Disney sweethearts to teach us what love means through an interactive exhibition that uses the latest digital technologies with music and scents. Use your five senses to relive the modern take on Disney’s happily ever after.
1-22-6 JINNAN, SHIBUYA-KU
GENERAL ADMISSION FEE ¥1500 (STUDENT DISCOUNTS AND FREE ADMISSION ALSO AVAILABLE)
June 11-Aug 29
Night Sunshine Aquarium Night Kosei Love
For a limited time, Sunshine Aquarium will hold a special night-themed event featuring nocturnal sea creatures, where you’ll get the chance not only to observe their distinct nighttime behavior, but also get to see species that emit fluorescent light, like the splitfin flashlight fish and the owan jellyfish. This event is in collaboration with singer Ado, whose songs will set the atmosphere for the brilliantly illuminated aquarium venue.