Senso-ji Setsubun Festival
The Setsubun Festival marks the end of winter in Japan. At temples across the country, people gather to celebrate this change of season, shouting “Long life and good fortune, come in!” as they throw beans across the crowds. At Senso-ji, the celebration is also marked by the wildly energetic “Seven Lucky Gods Fortune Dance”, which is a famous ritual of Senso-ji ritual. From New Year’s Day until Setsubun, you can receive a Setsubun amulet to ward off any threat of calamity in 2023, and grab some fukumame (lucky beans). This is the perfect chance for families and groups to enjoy the changing of the season, and to start the new year in cheery spirits.
2-3-11 Asakusa, Taito-ku
UNTIL FEBRUARY 14
Skytree Town Valentine’s Fair
Visit Skytree town this Valentine’s season to select your favorite chocolate from thirty brands at the Skytree Valentine’s Chocolate Fair. This special fair will be open until Valentine’s day, and feature chocolate brands from all over Japan, making the most delectable treats a romantic gift for a loved one, or for your friends. Skytree will also have a Valentine’s illumination event, where special events will be held in Skytree town. Enjoy Valentine’s pair discount on the ice rink for only ¥1,400, and make this the perfect date spot.
1-1-2, Oshiage, Sumida-ku
Illuminations from February 11 until 14
6:45 PM – 12AM
UNTIL FEBRUARY 2
Frederico Fellini Double Bill
Indulge in the Italian auteur’s finest work in a double bill at Waseda Shochiku. This small cinema is no stranger to the global classics, and the celebration of Fellini’s films, ‘8 1/2’ and ‘I Vitelloni’ will make you curious to watch more of Fellini’s films, or if you already know his work, sit back and relax while you visit an old favorite. There are different showings each day, and the gap between films gives you enough time to grab some snacks and a drink before heading back to mid-century Italy. The films will be screened in Italian with Japanese subtitles.
1-5-16, Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku
Until 2 February
Tickets from ¥1,100
FEBRUARY 7 – MARCH 7
Yushima Plum Festival
A regular spot for seeing the beautiful plum blossom trees in bloom, Yushima Shrine has been visited in Spring since the Edo-era. The lesser-known spring flower, plum blossoms are just as vibrant as sakura, and bloom earlier and for longer. At Yushima Shrine, there are also seasonal events to enjoy during the plum blossom viewings, such as live shamisen (Japanese flute) performances, and a mikoshi (portable shrine) procession on February 26. Visit this quiet corner of Tokyo to soak up the early spring beauty of plum blossoms.
Yushima Tenmangu Shrine
3-30-1, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku Yushima Tenmangu Shrine
Cigarettes After Sex
Returning to Japan for the first time since 2018, Cigarettes After Sex will be playing at Spotify O-East in Shibuya. Working with melancholic dream-pop sounds and soft, and eerie melodies, frontman Greg Gonzalez’s reverberating guitar, and dreamy lyrics should leave you feeling woozy and warm. Cigarettes After Sex released their latest single “Pistol” in 2022, following the same intensely romantic themes as their second and most recent 2019 album “Cry,” which lends itself to Gonzalez’s androgynous and silken sound.
2-14-18 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku
Modern Disco Anniversary: WOMB Tokyo
WOMB Tokyo is one of the most popular night venues in the city, and its events never fail to disappoint. This month, celebrate the sound of Modern Disco with two floors and a VIP lounge full of DJs and artists, and dance along to blasting disco all night. For their eighth anniversary, Modern Disco’s sound will transcend the international boundaries of disco and electronic music. The focus will be on Japanese musicians and frequent Modern Disco guests, but this will ensure that a carefully curated night of nonstop jamming will be the best way to spend an evening.
2-16, Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku
11:30 PM -4 AM
Tickets from ¥2,000
FROM FEBRUARY 14
Henri Matisse: Forms in Freedom
Originally scheduled for 2021, this exhibition is finally reaching Tokyo. Henri Matisse is a household name, and his art has transcended centuries of change and upheaval and persisted as one of the greatest artistic minds in history. Exploring his artwork from his time in Nice, the sculptures, paintings, textiles and drawings will be on display at the National Art Centre in Roppongi. This rare exhibit of Mattise’s paper cutouts will allow you to familiarise yourself with Matisse’s extraordinary technique and legendary work.
February 14 – May 27
The National Art Center Tokyo
7-22-2, Roppongi, Minato-ku
Mt Takao Setsbun
The traditional festival, Setsubun, takes place in early February. Although there are celebrations across Tokyo, the Setsubun festival held at Mt Takao is the perfect place to enjoy the nature of surrounding Tokyo and a traditional Japanese seasonal celebration. For a few days around February 3, visitors will be able to partake in bean-throwing and chanting along with the purification of evil spirits in a Goma ceremony. Where better to purify any evil spirits than in the sublime nature of Mt Takao?
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