This Weekend: Tokyo Area Events for February 13–14
Valentine's Day is just a couple of days away, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate in Tokyo this weekend. Whether you love the holiday or hate it, there are opportunities for a romantic stroll under twinkling lights, inspiring art and design exhibitions, outdoor festivals, sake tasting, performing arts shows, learning about life as an astronaut (perfect for kids), and even a rousing concert by the Queen of Pop.
Craft Sake Week
Explore the depth of Japanese nihonshu during this special 10-day event produced by former soccer player and famed sake enthusiast Hidetoshi Nakata. At Craft Sake Week visitors can taste 100 carefully selected Japanese sake and shochu brands from across the country, presented in “teams” of ten daily specials, including “Master of Sake Competition” (February 13) and “Generation 14” (February 14). The event also brings some of Japan’s finest restaurants together, offering special bites from the serial Michelin star earner La Bombance, the famed oden sensation Kudan, and the yakitori specialist Torizen Seo. Kampai!
When: Now through Sun, Feb. 14, 2016, 12–9 p.m.
Where: Roppongi Hills Arena, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
How much: ¥3,500 (includes a glass, sake cup and six tickets worth ¥250 each, which can be exchanged for food and drinks)
Foster + Partners: Architecture, Urbanism, Innovation
This is the last weekend to visit Japan’s first comprehensive exhibition of the works by British architecture and design studio Foster + Partners, led by Norman Foster. In addition to some fascinating video and written descriptions that explain the philosophies and inspirations behind the firm’s many famous works, there are entire rooms full of some very impressive scale models of buildings ranging from London’s “Gherkin” and Berlin’s Reichstag to the never-completed Millennium Tower, which would have risen 840 meters out of Tokyo Bay.
When: Now through Sun, Feb. 14, 2016, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. (last admission 9:30 p.m.)
Where: Sky Gallery, Tokyo City View, 52F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
How much: ¥1,800 per adult; ¥1,200 per university or high school student; ¥600 yen for children aged four through junior high school students; ¥1,500 for seniors aged 65 and over
Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour
That’s right, the original material girl will be holding court in Tokyo (well, Saitama) this weekend as a part of her worldwide Rebel Heart Tour. If you don’t already have tickets but are desperate to go, you’re in luck. You can still get a spot on the lower level near the stage for Sunday if you book by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday. The tickets will cost you a pretty penny, but how often do you get the chance to be just meters away from the Queen of Pop herself?
When: Sat, Feb. 13 and Sun, Feb. 14, 2016, 7 p.m.
Where: Saitama Super Arena, 8 Shintoshin, Chuo-ku, Saitama, Saitama
How much: ¥50,000 each for SS tickets (closest to the stage)
Tickets: Book online here before 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 13 (or until tickets sell out)
World Valentine Festival 2016
In Japan it’s the giri-choco, cocoa frenzy and homemade honmei-choco for your one and only. In the U.S. and Europe it’s a romantic dinner out or a special surprise delivery of heart-shaped balloons and red roses. In South Korea men who went by unnoticed on February 14 lament their solo life in the company of noodles two months later on the so-called Black Day (April 14). But how much do we know about how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in other parts of the world? Join this Yoyogi Park event to find out, as you fulfill all your senses’ needs through good international food, crafts and special performances from across the world.
When: Sat, Feb. 13 and Sun, Feb. 14, 2016, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Where: Yoyogi Park Event Plaza, 2-1 Yoyogi Kamizonocho, Shibuya-ku
How much: Free!
Yoko Ono’s From My Window
This photo exhibition has been running since last November but will end this Sunday, February 14. Through materials documenting her early pieces, artworks she created in Tokyo in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and recent works and installations, the exhibition offers a nostalgic retrospective of post-war Japan and Ono’s personal encounter of her birth city. The exhibition is also a personal testimony of the links between Europe, Japan, and the United States; art, music and literature; avant-garde and popular culture; and society and the individual.
When: Now through Sun, Feb. 14, 2016, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, B2F Exhibition Gallery, 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
How much: ¥1,200 for adults; ¥900 for university students and seniors aged 65 and over; ¥700 for junior high and high school students; free for elementary students and younger
TPAM: Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2016
TPAM is Japan’s largest smorgasbord of international contemporary dance and theater. For fans of performance, TPAM’s highlight is its showcase, which offers a panoply of forward-thinking programs. Performances to look forward to include the South Korean Light of a Factory 2016: A Protest in Theatre, a creative retrospect of 1970s Korea, based on the true story of the struggle of female workers at a textile factory that took place in 1978, and two beautiful street shows by Himeno Takashima, a popular female ninja pole dancer.
When: Now through Sun, Feb. 14, 2016, times vary
Where: Kanagawa Arts Theatre, 281 Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama and other locations in Yokohama (depending on performance)
How much: ¥1,000–¥3,000 (prices vary depending on performance)
Tickets: Tickets can be booked online or through various agencies. Click here for a full list of performances, prices and ticket agencies.
Tokyo Dome Illuminations and a Romantic Dinner
Spend a romantic Valentine’s night surrounded by Tokyo Dome’s splendid illuminations and evening lights. Among the best at the event are the enormous Galaxy Dome, the 140-meter-long Milky Way tunnel of lights, and the Luminas Tunnel, accompanied by popular band Big Bang’s upbeat “Fantastic Baby” tunes. The beautiful lights run only through February 14, so don’t miss out this weekend! End your date with a delicious Valentine’s Day special dinner with your sweetheart (¥16,200 for a full-course meal for two) at The Artist Cafė on the 43rd floor of Tokyo Dome Hotel.
When: Tokyo Dome City Illuminations now through Sun, Feb.14, 2016; The Artist Cafe’s Valentine’s Day special dinner through Mon, Feb. 29, 2016
Where: Tokyo Dome City, 1-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
How much: Free! (Tokyo Dome City Illuminations only)
The Great Terracotta Army of China’s First Emperor
More than 2,000 years ago, Qin Shi Huang succeeded in unifying China and became its first emperor. But the world didn’t understand the extent of his power until the discovery of a vast terra cotta army in the 20th century. The buried soldiers continue to arouse wonder and are now the subject of an exhibition that brings together various artifacts connected to Qin Shi Huang, with the ambition of exploring the “everlasting world” of his terracotta army and its mysteries.
When: Now through Sun, Feb. 21, 2016, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. (last admission 4:30 p.m.)
Where: Tokyo National Museum, 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
How much: ¥1,600 for adults; ¥1,200 for university students; ¥900 for high school students; free for junior high school students and under
Work at Space: JAXA and Friends
If you’re a parent who has recently experienced pre-bedtime questions of the type, “Where do stars come from?” and “What does space look like?” or your little ones simply have aspirations to become astronauts, you should make a note to visit the Space Museum TenQ. Its current special exhibition explores what it’s like to work in space and even shows the influence space technology has on some of the products we use daily.
When: Now through Sun, Feb. 28, 2016, weekdays 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; weekends and national holidays 10 a.m.–9 p.m. (last admission 8 p.m.)
Where: Space Museum TeNQ, Tokyo Dome City, 1-3-61, Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
How much: ¥1,800 for adults; ¥1,500 for high school and university students; ¥1,200 for seniors over 65 and children aged four through junior high school students (there is a ¥200 discount for all tickets purchased in advance online or at 7-Eleven stores)