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EVENTS

Count The Stars

Tokyo Tower’s Milky Way Illumination

Have you ever dreamed of watching the Milky Way unveil before your eyes across the night sky? Well, this summer, although not exactly the actual thing, you can see this in the heart of Tokyo. This weekend, follow the 600-step, star-studded outer staircase up to Tokyo Tower’s main observatory for a 360°-Milky Way illumination. Inspired by the Tanabata love story legend, this is the perfect place to take that special someone out this summer.

TELL Step Up Challenge 2021

21,081 Steps For Mental Health

TELL Step Up Challenge 2021

Following massive success in their past Tokyo Tower Climb events, TELL is back with a new step up walking challenge, and yes, you are all encouraged to jump in and help support the organization’s cause: prevent suicide and provide mental health support to Japan’s international community. See their website for more info about participation.

Date
NOW THROUGH FRI, OCT. 10, 2021
Time
ANY TIME
Location
ANYWHERE IN JAPAN
Fee
TEAM: ¥6,000 ADULT: ¥1,500 (UNDER 12 IS FREE)
Info
RECOMMENDED FOR: EVERYONE, FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, STUDENTS

to get it listed!

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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Global Goals Jam Tokyo 2021

Think Big

Online Event: Global Goals Jam Tokyo 2021

The Global Goals Jam is a two day english designathon where creative teams work together on local challenges related to the Sustainable Development Goals. The price includes a GGJ Tokyo Good Care Package that can be mailed to your home or picked up at FabCafe Tokyo.

Yoga Fest

The Yoga Summit

Online Event: Yogafest

This largest yoga event in Asia brings over 50 thousand yogis annually. This year you can be a part of it from home! Top professional yoga instructors from around the world will be hosting classes online in which you can participate with your family, partner, or kids. Partcipate for just a day or join in for the full three days over the long weekend!

Date
SAT, SEP. 18-MON, SEP. 20, 2021
Time
8:30 A.M.-11:30 P.M. (SAT), 7:30 A.M.-11:30 P.M. (SUN), 8 A.M.-4 P.M. (MON)
Location
ONLINE (SEE “MORE INFO” LINK) – to get it listed!

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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Exhibition: Kaws Tokyo First

From Brooklyn, New York

Exhibition: Kaws Tokyo First

At the long-awaited large-scale exhibition for Kaws, more than 150 works will be exhibited. Kaws’ visual will approach covering both the areas of commercial art and fine art. Through art, statues, products, etc., they will trace the unique trajectory of art production and its significance in art history.

Last Summer Blues

Eco Edo Nihonbashi Festival

Head over to Nihonbashi this week for some summer feels. Savor the cool flavor of summer by tasting goldfish sweets or admire the elegantly decorated art aquarium created by Hidetomo Kimura. You can also take the night cruise decorated with Japanese goldfish lanterns to watch the beautiful city skyline at night. Last chance to feel the summer before the season changes!

Date
FRI, JUL. 16 – SUN, SEP. 12, 2021
Time
ALL DAY LONG
Location
AROUND JR NIHONBASHI STATION AND OTHER – to get it listed!

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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mt takao beer garden

Worth The Climb

Takao Beer Mount

Just a short walk from the end of the Mount Takao cable car station, the Mount Takao Beer Mount will open again this year at an observation facility with an altitude of 488 meters. There will be all-you-can-drink beer, wine and cocktails available for up to 90 minutes and an all-you-can-eat buffet, too! To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, all guests are asked to wear masks, disinfect their hands and follow social distancing protocols. All workers will be equipped with masks and face shields.

Pavilion Tokyo 2021: A Glimpse of Tokyo's Changing Cityscape© Photo by Keizo Kioku

Changing Metropolitan Cityscape

Pavilion Tokyo 2021

Installations designed by six Japanese architects and three artists, are exhibits of the Pavilion Tokyo 2021. Planned by the Watari-um Museum of Contemporary Art, the project was organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) and the executive committee of Pavilion Tokyo 2021 and is part of Tokyo Tokyo Festival Special 13.

Date
Now through Sep. 5, 2021
Time
VARIOUS (SEE WEBSITE)
Location
VARIOUS (SEE WEBSITE)
Fee
Some online reservations and entrance fees required
Info
RECOMMENDED FOR: ART FANS, FRIENDS

to get it listed!

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This Week(End) At Home And Around Tokyo For August 29-30

Let’s Dance!

Online Event: Nippon Domannaka Festival

The annual Nippon Domannaka Festival which usually takes place at Nagoya’s Hisaya Odori Park will be available for everyone this year online. The festival is all about dancing and dance teams performing their moves with a Japanese instrument called Naruko in special costumes that represent their local region. This year all submissions took place online and will be streamed on Youtube and NicoNico.

Date
THU, AUG. 26 – SUN, AUG. 29, 2021
Time
VARIOUS (SEE WEBSITE)
Location
YOUTUBE AND NICONICO – to get it listed!

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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Midtown Art Palette

City Breeze

Midtown Art Palette

Tokyo Midtown once again shows us what it’s like to be the coolest event organizer in a city that already has it all. This summer, stop by at Midtown in Roppongi for an experience of diverse art scenes right in the heart of Tokyo: From a digital art space surrounded by mist at night to foot bathing in a brook to windchime-filled walls and cafes. A great place to bring friends to if they’re visiting you in town.

Earth Celebration 2021

Welcome To Sado Island

Online Event: Earth Celebration 2021

Every year since 1988, the rich natural splendour of Sado has set the stage for arts and culture festival Earth Celebration (EC). Hosted by world-renowned taiko ensemble Kodo and its home, Sado Island, EC seeks an alternative global culture through musical and cultural collaborations with artists and festivalgoers from around the world. In light of the spread of COVID-19 in Japan, the EC 2021 Harbour Concerts will be held online only. See website for more details.

Date
SAT, AUG. 21 – SUN, AUG. 22, 2021
Time
9 A.M. – 10 P.M.
Location
ONLINE (SEE “MORE INFO” LINK)
Fee
¥2,500–4,000
Info
RECOMMENDED FOR: MUSIC LOVERS, FAMILIES, FRIENDS, COUPLES

to get it listed!

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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It is this time of the year when Japan suddenly turns tranquil, trains get empty and cemeteries start blooming with flowers. It’s Obon (お盆) — the Japanese summer festival of welcoming back ancestors’ spirits and returning to one’s family roots.

What is Obon?

Obon is an annual Buddhist event for commemorating one’s ancestors. It is believed that each year during obon, the ancestors’ spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives.

The Obon week in mid August is one of Japan’s three major holiday seasons, accompanied by intensive domestic and international travel activities and increased accommodation rates. In recent years, travel activity in mid August has become somewhat more spread out and less concentrated, but it is still considerable on certain days.

Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of houses to guide the ancestors’ spirits, obon dances (bon odori 盆踊り) are performed, graves are visited and food offerings are made at house altars and temples.

At the end of Obon, floating lanterns are put into rivers, lakes and seas in order to guide the spirits back into their world. The customs followed vary strongly from region to region.

Let us learn more about this important summer holiday in Japan!

1. Welcoming Fires/ Mukaebi (迎え火)

Obon begins with the so-called mukaebi practice (welcoming fires), during which people make a small bonfire in front of their houses to guide spirits upon their return back home. Decorating the deceased’s altar with small memorial tablets, fruits, flowers and Japanese sweets is also part of the early preparation stage — a practice used to offer late loved ones objects they enjoyed in their lifetime.

While practiced mostly in countryside areas recently, some regions will also prepare horses made of cucumbersand cows made of eggplants with wooden sticks for legs. The symbolism behind it is that the horse will …continue reading

    

Source: Gaijin Pot

Walking past the 1,800-year-old Sumiyoshi Jinja the other day, I noticed preparations underway for the Nagoshi Taisai (grand festival). Lanterns were being set up, and a chinowa, or large hoop made of straw, had been placed before the shrine’s main structure.

It was a relief to see a semblance of normalcy returning to life in Japan after more than a year of Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions—normalcy that included the natsu matsuri, or the summer festivals, that were canceled last year. It just didn’t feel like summer without them.

Why summer?

Photo: iStock: Satoshi-K.
Summer in Japan just isn’t the same without yukata and festivals.

In an ordinary year here in Fukuoka, there is a whole slew of natsu matsuri—from Hakata Gion Yamakasa in early July, Nagoshi and Tenjinsai in late July, the Mitama Matsuri in August to Hojoya in mid-September; not to mention a host of fireworks displays and outdoor music festivals. And, of course, there’s Obon.

There is also a generic natsu matsuri held at a small shrine in my neighborhood, another one at my boys’ elementary school. Hakata is by no means unique when it comes to the abundance of these festivals. It begs the question, then, of why there are so many in this hot and muggy season.

The reason for natsu matsuri has deep, superstitious roots divided into three overlapping aims: protecting the harvest, pacifying spirits and preventing or curing disease.

Protecting the harvest

Photo: iStock: tdub303
The rice must flow.

Although fewer than 4% of Japanese today are employed in agriculture, in feudal Japan, 85% of the population was engaged in farming; what’s more, 40% of their rice yield in …continue reading

    

Olympic Agora

Sport Meets Arts & Culture

Olympic Agora

The Olympic Agora at Tokyo 2020 is diverse and engaging, yet compact and adapted to the current environment to ensure a safe visitor experience. From iconic Olympic symbols and treasures displayed at an exhibition to artworks inspired by Olympism commissioned specially for the Olympic Agora, the program invites Tokyo residents and digital audiences alike to embrace Olympic culture and values.

Learn Through Play

Kids Workshops in Roppongi Hills

Hosting various types of kids workshops, Roppongi Hills sure knows how to win the hearts of children. From making parfaits to arranging unique terrariums to taking part in a lego space challenge and learning all about iPS cells, these workshops will surely help foster creativity and imagination in the young. This year over 30 of the workshops will also be available online where kids can participate from home.

Date
TUE, AUG. 10-MON, AUG. 23, 2021
Time
VARIOUS (SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS OF EACH WORKSHOP)
Location
ROPPONGI HILLS, 6-10-1 ROPPONGI, MINATO-KU, TOKYO – to get it listed!

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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Olympic Agora

Sport Meets Arts & Culture

Olympic Agora

The Olympic Agora at Tokyo 2020 is diverse and engaging, yet compact and adapted to the current environment to ensure a safe visitor experience. From iconic Olympic symbols and treasures displayed at an exhibition to artworks inspired by Olympism commissioned specially for the Olympic Agora, the program invites Tokyo residents and digital audiences alike to embrace Olympic culture and values.

Date
NOW THROUGH SUN, AUG. 15, 2021
Time
10 A.M.-8 P.M.
Location
Coredo Muromachi, 2-2-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo, Tokyo – to get it listed!

Attending any of these events? Send us photos through Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be published on the site. #SavvyTokyo

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