10 Concerts To See In Japan This Year

The Hottest Music Shows In Tokyo For The Second Half Of 2017

In light of the recent attack in Manchester, it's a hard time to be a music fan no matter what city you call home. Though it would be easy to let that stop you from going out and enjoying big live music events, now more than ever it's critical to come together and continue to enjoy live entertainment. Here are 10 suggestions for your agenda.

It’s a little scary to think we’re already pushing towards the middle of year even though it feels like just weeks ago we were celebrating the arrival of 2017. Don’t fret — there’s still plenty to look forward to this year.

From the long-awaited arrival of the world’s biggest pop icons, to up-and-comers launching summer parties and indie rock legends stopping by for intimate performances, music stages across Tokyo will be burning up. Here’s a guide to some of the most exciting shows happening in and around the city during the second half of 2017.

1. Perfume

© Photo by Perfume Official Website

In 2017, one of J-Pop’s biggest and longest living creations, Perfume, are celebrating 17 years as a group, which in today’s incredibly fast paced pop cycle is an impressive feat. Since their formation in 2000, the Hiroshimaborn trio has produced five number one albums and a countless string of hit singles.

This June sees the local icons perform at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, following the release of their fifth LP and U.S. tour late last year. Given that their latest single “Flash” is as good as anything they’re worked on prior, the girls prove that you don’t have to compromise quality for longevity.

Tour: June 2 | Makuhari Messe | Chiba
Tickets: From ¥7,560. Purchase via Ticket Pia here or Lawson here.

2. Britney Spears

Oops, for a moment we almost thought that she’d forgotten about her Japan fans, but, baby, it’s time for Britney Spears to hit us one more time and Japan is welcoming her with open arms! Making her first Japan appearance in 15 years, Spears will tour in support of her ninth album Glory. The short tour will see her perform two shows in Tokyo at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium before heading over to Osaka Castle Hall for one night only.  

In a message to her Japanese fans she tweeted: “So excited to be back in Japan this summer for 3 days of shows.”The last time she was in town was during her “I’m a Slave 4 U” days.

Tour dates: June 3-June 4 | Yoyogi National 1st Gymnasium | Tokyo,  June 6 | Osaka-jo Hall | Osaka
Tickets: From ¥11,000. Buy at Eplus, Ticket Pia, Lawson Ticket. For more info, click here.

3. Robert Glasper

The best way to describe Glasper’s sound would be that it runs somewhere between classic jazz and modern day hip-hop. The Texas-based artist’s ability to find perfect harmony between both genres has won him accolades and a number of impressive collaborations with the likes of  Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Stevie Wonder.

The producer, Grammy winner and modern-day jazz legend is on a relentless world tour right now. He’ll be making a short stopover in Japan this June to play six shows across Tokyo and Osaka.

Tour dates: June 3 Shizuka Yoshida Park, Shizuoka | June 4-5 Billboard Live Asakusa, Tokyo | June 6-7 Billboard Live Osaka, Osaka | June 8, Stellar Ball, Tokyo
Tickets: ¥6,800-9,500. Purchase here.

4. Evan Dando

Probably best known as the frontman for U.S. alt-rock crew The Lemonheads, Evan Dando has managed to carve himself a coveted spot in indie rock history. Though he found success through the rise of The Lemonheads fame, in recent times the songwriter has re-established himself as a solo performer. This June, Dando will be bringing his live show to Daikanyama’s intimate live house and art hub Space Odd.

Tour: June 13 | Space Odd Daikanyama | Tokyo
Tickets: ¥6,000. Purchase here.

5. Banks 


American R&B/alt-pop singer Banks makes a brief stop in Tokyo before heading off to Korea and Australia on her latest world tour. Banks garnered both critical and mainstream acclaim following the release of her award-winning debut album Goddess, and released her sophomore effort, Altar, in late 2016. Blending R&B with minimal electronic production, the California-born artist is one of the most progressive and exciting names in contemporary pop today. She’ll be headlining an intimate night at Shibuya’s Liquid Room this July.

Tour: July 6 | LiquidRoom | Tokyo
Tickets: ¥6,800. Purchase at Ticket Pia and Lawson. For more info, click here.

6. Alison Wonderland

© Photo by Alison Wonderland Facebook

Australian DJ, producer and party powerhouse Alison Wonderland is set to headline AgeHa’s “World Class” event, one of the biggest summer celebrations in Tokyo this July. Thanks to her energetic take on dance, hip-hop and trap; Wonderland has blown up in recent years and scored numerous festival slots including a position on this year’s Lollapalooza line up. If you do one big night in 2017 — make it this one.

Tour: July 7 | AgeHa | Tokyo
Tickets: Early bird: ¥2,750. Purchase here.

7. Sigur Ros

© Photo by Creativeman

In town late July, Icelandic post-rock legends Sigur Ros will be playing two special shows at Tokyo’s International Forum. Over the course of 23 years touring and releasing epic records, the trio have a reputation for crafting spectacular live experiences featuring meticulously crafted light shows.

In order to road test some new material in its purest form, Japanese fans will have the opportunity to witness the band perform without a backing band or support act. Don’t miss it.

Tour dates: July 31-Aug 1 | Tokyo International Forum | Tokyo, August 3-4 | Zepp Namba| Osaka
Tickets: From ¥9,000. Purchase at Ticket Pia, Lawson and Eplus.

8. Ariana Grande

It would be much easier to leave this anticipated tour out of this list given the horrid events in Manchester last week. But when Grande released a statement following the attacks, she said she will continue her world tour and return to Manchester because “Music is meant to heal us, to bring us together, to make us happy.” Grande has a loyal fan base here in Tokyo and for her fans to heal and move forward it’s vital to stand — united and proudly unafraid. This August, she’ll be back to Tokyo to promote her third album Dangerous Woman.

Tour dates: August 12-13 | Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall | Chiba
Tickets: From ¥9,000. Sales start on June 11. For more info, click here.

9. Justin Bieber

© Photo by Justi Bieber Facebook

We already spoke about one of the biggest pop icons of all time — Britney Spears, but now it’s time to talk about the biggest pop icon of today: Justin Bieber. This September sees the Canadian megastar make his fourth arrival in Japan and his first since late August of last year.

It’s clear Bieber loves Japan, and there’s no doubt his Japanese fans love him right back. The tour’s promoters are estimating an attendance of over 100,000 people for the two Ajinomoto Stadium appearances.

Tour dates: Sept 23-24 | Ajinomoto Stadium | Tokyo
Tickets: From ¥13,000. Sales start on June 3. Purchase via Ticket Pia here.

10. Harry Styles

If there’s one pop heartthrob to rival Bieber’s popularity, it’s got to be British boy band pin up, Harry Styles. Following the recent release of his self-titled debut solo LP, the One Direction-er will be bringing his classic rock-tinged pop to EX Theater in Roppongi this December.  No stranger to Japan, Styles first visited the country with One Direction in 2013 on a promotional tour, but this will be the singer’s first ever solo endeavor here.

Tour dates: Dec 7-8 |  EX Theater Roppongi | Tokyo
Tickets: ¥9,000. Purchase at Eplus here.

Originally from Australia, in 2016 Lucy left her job as an editor of a culture and music magazine in Melbourne to live in Japan simply because it seemed like a fun idea — and it’s been her best life decision yet. Between freelance writing and traveling, she's been dabbling in film some very amateur film photography, which you can check out on her Instagram: @lucy.dayman. Check out her other writing work and photos at lucydayman.tumblr.com

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