Culture

This Week in Tokyo September 28 – October 4, 2015

Every Monday we post our picks of upcoming events in Tokyo. If you would like your event listed here, contact the editor of GaijinPot.

By 9 min read

Sadly Silver Week is over and it’s a long stretch until the next set of holidays. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of fun stuff to do This Week in Tokyo. If you’re doing something fun or interesting, be sure to leave us a comment or email us to have your event listed.

International City Ota Festival at Haneda

Ota City is pleased to welcome everyone to their International Festival at Haneda International Airport. Experience traditional Japanese tea ceremony, ice sculptures, tatami coaster making and traditional stage performances. Join our multilingual tour to learn about the history of Haneda and get a closer look at everyday life in Japan.

When & Where
Saturday, Oct. 3rd
10:00 - 16:00
Area next to Tenkubashi station, Ota-ku
Free

Pecha Kucha Night Vol. 128

“Pecha Kucha” is a fast-paced presentation style that originated in Tokyo but has spread to over 700 cities worldwide. Each speaker only has time to show 20 slides for 20 seconds each, allowing for an array of different ideas to be shared in one night. Featured during this Wednesday’s Pecha Kucha will be artist Tanya Tanaka, director Mark McFarlane, and particle physicist Euan Richard.

When & Where
Wednesday, Sept. 30th
20:20 - 11:20
Super Deluxe, B1F , 3-1-25 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku
¥1000

Tokyo Citizen’s Day

In celebration of Tokyo Citizen’s Day numerous Tokyo facilities will be offering free admission. You can explore by Ueno Zoo, Tokyo Sea Life Park, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, other great Tokyo spots without spending a dime this Thursday.

When & Where
Thursday, Oct. 1st
Various
Various
Free

Vegan Halloween Buffet

Enjoy a smorgasbord of healthy eats, and meet Tokyo’s vegan community. Ghouly Goulosh and Tofu Eyeballs are just a couple of the spooky treats that will be available at The Pink Cow this Thursday. Please RSVP!

When & Where
Thursday, Oct. 1st
19:30 - 22:30
The Pink Cow, Roi Building B1F, 5-5-1 Roppongi, Minato
¥2800

Hokkaido Fair

Celebrate Japan’s great north with this 3 day Yoyogi Park event. Hokkaido’s famous meats, cheeses, and beers will all be on sale. There will also be a special 390 yen menu where you can get top quality food for izakaya prices.

When & Where
Friday, Oct. 2nd to Sunday, Oct. 4th
10:00 - 18:00
Yoyogi Park
Free

The Yours and David Boring Japan Tour

Rock fans are in for a special treat this weekend. Beautiful shoegaze and radical post-punk are coming to you straight from Hong Kong this Friday on the 7th Floor of Shibuya O-West. The Yours and David Boring are some of HK’s finest acts, and they’ll be joined by Japan’s own broken little sister and cattle.

When & Where
Friday, Oct. 10th
18:30 open 19:00 start
7th Floor, O-West Bldg 7F 2-3 Maruyama-Cho, Shibuya-Ku
¥3000

Discussion: Is my personality type suited for Japan?

“Why are some Japanese more open to foreigners? Why do some foreigners stick out like a sore thumb in Japan while others seem to fit right in?” These and other questions will be explored with Harumi Gondo, a certified personality test administrator at an event sponsored by The International Center In Tokyo. Find out your personality type and discuss how it affects your life in Japan.

When & Where
Friday, Oct. 2nd
19:30 - 21:30
Times Cafe, 2-12 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku
¥1000

Katsunuma Grape and Wine Festival

Yamanashi is famous for its beautiful mountains, delicious fruit, and excellent wine. Take a trip to the Napa Valley of Japan and taste wine from 24 different wineries for ¥1000. There will be over 40 food stalls as wells as numerous musical performances.

When & Where
Saturday, Oct. 3rd
10:00
Katsunuma Chuokoen Square, Koshu City 1310, Katsunuma, Katsunuma-cho
¥1000

Craft Beer and Comedy

This Saturday enjoy some great comedy and great beer at the Two Dogs Taproom. For just 1000 yen you’ll see Tokyo’s best stand-up comics, and enjoy one house drink.

When & Where
Saturday, Oct. 3rd
18:00 open 19:00 start
Two Dogs Taproom, Aries Bld. 2F, 3-15-24 Roppongi, Minato-ku
¥1000

Kickball under the sun!

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a good, old-fashioned game of kickball. The baseball/soccer hybrid is a schoolyard favorite that everyone can play. Join in for just 100 yen at Nishi-Ochai park this Sunday.

When & Where
Sunday, Oct. 4th
14:00 - 16:00
Araiyakushimae station, 5-43-20, Kamitakada, Nakano-ku
¥100

Group Guitar Lesson

Tired of always being in the crowd at concerts? It’s ever wanted to become a real guitar hero? You can start living out your dream by visiting Alexander in Yokohama this Saturday. He’s offering group guitar lessons for beginners, in English!

When & Where
Saturday, Oct. 3rd
19:30 - 21:00
Kaminok­i Ward Centre Music Room, Kaminokichō, 7−1, Yokohama
¥2000

Niki de Saint Phalle

Niki De Saint Phalle was a French artist whose iconoclastic work spanned from painting, to sculpture, to film. Some of the explosiveness in her work was quite literal: she would often “paint” by shooting a gun at a paint bag on her canvas. “This exhibition, coming 85 years after Saint Phalle's birth, will be the largest retrospective exhibition of her art ever to be held in Japan, including valuable works that will be shown for the first time here.”

When & Where
Until Monday, Dec. 14th
10:00 - 18:00
The National Art Center, Tokyo 1E, 7-22-2 Roppongi
¥1,600, student discounts available

Vaiwatt Record Release Party

Vaiwatt is possibly the hottest band in Tokyo, and they will be playing their first solo headlining gig on October 10th in Ogikubo. It will be a record release party for their 2nd mini-album “Oriental Bomb!” We talked to Kent, Tama, dj-KAZ-punk about their music, Japan’s music scene, and being punk rock in a world of mainstream. Enjoy!

When & Where
Saturday, Oct. 10th
19:00
Ogikubo club Doctor, Roleru Building B1, 1-16-10 Kamiogi, Suginami
¥1,800 advance, ¥2,300 door

On how the band formed:

Kent: I started the band when I was 19 in 2001 but by 2002 we broke up. Tama was one of our biggest fans and she was so sad that we broke up that she started playing base. She was 30 at time which is hard to pick up an instrument, so she practiced for years before we finally reformed.

Tama: Listening to Vaiwatt made my heart beat fast. It made me want to join the band. I felt it was my place.

On their musical influences:

Kent: My biggest influence is Kurt Cobain. I listened to music before him, I really liked Guns and Roses for example, but I never really felt music until I heard him. I saw the video for “Come as You Are,” at midnight on TV and was like a shot to my heart. Even though I didn’t understand English, I still understood the music.

On how the music scene has changed:

Kent: There’s less money for bands now, less venues, less chances to perform. Before, more people wanted to be rock singers and musicians in Japan. Now people are more interested in their cell phones.

On having a DJ instead of a drummer:

Kent: We couldn’t find a drummer and I was using programmed drums. I thought programmed drums were a bit flat and not that interesting. But when dj-KAZ-punk joined us just for a jam session, I felt his passion and groove. I got so excited we asked him to join.

dj-KAZ-punk: My original plan was actually wanted to be in a punk band, but couldn’t find any members so I became a DJ. Kent inspired me to join him.

On their lyrical themes:

Kent: The main theme of our music is, “Let’s play like kids,” and also to agitate the government, that’s our punk side. It’s important for us to not forget the passion we had as children, and I think Abe needs to remember what it’s like to the heart of a child. No war.

On their fashion sense:

Kent: We had a grunge style at first, but people didn’t like it so we cleaned it up a bit. We’re a bit more punk, but a bit cleaner.

On the state of music in Japan:

Kent: Young people would rather watch YouTube than go to a live show. They have no money, no spirit, and the government is not good. The major bands are from their parent’s generation. There’s more energy with indie bands, so hopefully we can share that energy with them. We hope that we can change music like the 90’s grunge revolution, that’s our goal and the goal of a lot of bands. We want mainstream music to change.

On October 10th’s show:

This is our first one man live. It’s a big chance for our band. Many people in the record industry will be there. So please support us! Our music will make you “genki.”

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