FESTIVE FUN AVAILABLE ALL THROUGH THE FESTIVE SEASON
I've already splashed out on tickets for the big Christmas Wonderland show at Tokyu Theatre Orb - it sounds like a festive extravaganza and it's on 16th - 25th December. Or if your festive traditions include a bit of Broadway, Rent the Musical, in English, is running at Tokyo International Forum 16-31st December. There are lots of illuminations to visit around town, which sound amazing. I especially like the sound of the Caretta Shiodome lights (5-11pm) which I'm planning to combine with a visit to this cool Ghibli clock at nearby Nittele Tower (be there 5 mins before 6 or 8pm for the clock action) - and maybe finish off the evening with a little G&T in nearby lovely Land Bar Artisan. There are also Christmas markets aplenty - I am most looking forward to Hibiya's German Christmas market backed by the German Embassy (so much so that I mistakenly went there this week - I now know it's open 16-25th Dec). Also, we are a rather excited about ice rinks (or if you want to be quirkier on the ice, there's a rooftop curling rink in Shibuya!). So that's all fun. But what about events that are only on specific days, I hear you ask? Your wish is my command. I'll even include some extra-Christmassy options for you. Have fun, Tokyoites - and happy holidays!
INDIVIDUAL DAY PLANNER
Fri 16th Dec - Kick off the festivities with talks about food, elections and nanomaterials at Nerdnite tonight, or else head over to a Nakamekurositsu circus show (juggling/acrobatics/aerial things) at Setagaya Public Theatre's Theatre Tram at 7:30pm. Or go to Balls to the Wall Comedy in Roppongi. If you're feeling festive, the Tokyo Ballet is doing The Nutcracker. Finally, if you're a night owl and like Charlie Chaplin, head to Ginrei Hall in Iidabashi for a one-night-only, night-long Charlie Chaplin marathon. Starts at 11pm, finishes at 5:30am.
Sat 17th Dec - First head to the Christmas market at the UN Farmers Market. Then the Nakamekurositsu circus show is on at 2pm and 6pm (I'm going at 6) in Sangenjaya. Or see The Nutcracker.
Sun 18th Dec - The Nakamekurositsu circus show is on at 2pm only. And in the evening is the Gamuso comedy show in Asagaya. Or the last night of The Nutcracker.
Mon 19th Dec - Bunkamura has the Glory Gospel Singers if you are in the mood for some festive music tonight. Or on a rather different note, there's a free lecture at Temple University on zen Buddhism and sexual desire...
Tue 20th Dec - Tonight is the Tokyo launch of Space Cafe. Affiliated with the International Space University, this is a cool public event where you get to hear space leaders and prominent experts talk to you about awesome space things. I went to this regularly in Washington DC, got to hear from NASA people, and it was fantastic. Tonight, Elizabeth Tasker from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) will talk about JAXA's asteroid explorer mission, Hayabusa2, to find the origins of life. This should be very cool.
Wed 21st Dec - If you can manage to get tickets (I randomly did via Twitter), it's Time Out Tokyo's Love Tokyo awards this afternoon at 4. Then turn out for the final Good Heavens Comedy Show this year! There's also a Christmas Special Disney concert if you are in the mood for some festive Disney music.
Thu 22nd Dec - There's a shadow puppet and music show called Rendez-Li-Vous by 99 Roll tonight - while it's in Japanese, I'm assured that two of the three stories have no words at all, so you can appreciate the bulk of it without knowing Japanese. (Put the website into Google Chrome/translate for more info). The musician, Daremo Shiranai, won a Cannes festival award for her song for the film "Nobody Knows".
Fri 23rd Dec - There's a big Christmas concert of music by the Ukraine National Orchestra including quite a lot from The Nutcracker at the Tokyo International Forum if you are feeling festive.
Sat 24th Dec - The same Christmas concert of music by the Ukraine National Orchestra is on today; this time it's at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. From today all through to January, see the movie Sing Street at Ginrei Hall. And tonight for the next week, don't miss some top class British Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale starring Judy Dench is screening in English at Ikebukuro's Cine Libre tonight and for the next week.
Sun 25th Dec - Merry Christmas! This is my first Christmas in Japan. I am reliably told that today is about planning a Christmas date (because apparently Christmas is the holiday of romance in this city), eating KFC (because chicken has become the festive bird of choice in Japan), and devouring Christmas cake (which turns out to be sponge cake with strawberries and cream on it). I'll be visiting a Christmas market and going to the movies too. Hooray for holidays!
Mon 26th Dec - Tonight at 7pm Good Heavens is screening that festive classic It's A Wonderful Life, accompanied by various festive treats, free. They are putting it on by special request from us, it's the only place to see it on screen in Tokyo, and it's the perfect way to enjoy a traditional festive season. Don't miss it. We'll see you there.
Tue 27th Dec - It's new material at stand up comedy night tonight at Double Tall Cafe in Shibiya.
Wed 28th Dec - Tonight Apocrypha brings us a night of stories, discussion and beer. The theme of tonight's true stories being performed: 'blessings in disguise'.
Thu 29th Dec - Not much on today, so looks like it's time for you to check out Christmas Wonderland show at Tokyu Theatre Orb or Rent the Musical.
Fri 30th Dec - Finally we get to go to a Drunk Poets See God night, and we're excited. It promises music, poetry, stories and the like - and it's open mic if you feel like performing. Doors at 7pm at Bar Gari Gari. The theme: far away for the holidays.
Sat 31st Dec - HAPPY NEW YEAR! Want to go to some theatre pre-late-night-celebration? How about heading to Ikebukuro's Cine Libre to watch The Entertainer from the Garrick Theatre in London? Screening time not published yet... Also, look out for our Perfect Liars Club Best of Tokyo 2016 Awards which we'll be publishing today - exciting.
See you next year, Tokyoites.
PS Plan far in advance
Obviously you need Perfect Liars Club tickets for January 12th. Reserve here. (note: 1500 in advance, 2000 on the door, both include a drink!)
If you are into comedy by world famous superstar comedians, make sure you get tickets for Eddie Izzard's show on Saturday February 25th! Probably wise to book sooner rather than later.