Fri 20 Jan - Ready for a quirky way to spend your Friday night? Why not go to a lecture: The Royal Academy of Science in Paris and the Taboo of ‘Economic Issues’ in the Late Eighteenth Century. It's in English and is at 6:30pm in Seminar Room 3, Level 2, Kojima Hall, Hongo Campus, University of Tokyo. I recognise that this might be quite a niche date night activity... Or if you're American and a Democrat, it's inauguration day in the US and you might like to join this event in Hibiya Park. Haven't seen any Republican-themed events.
Sat 21 Jan - Fancy an art talk at the Museum of Modern Art? It's at 2pm and the title is: During the post-museum era, how does transformation of the media change the art world? It's in English, despite the website being not in English. Also, today's the final day to get over to the Hikarie in Shibuya to see Tokyo Art City - I thought this cool light projection installation was really great. It closes at 8pm I believe. And this is the final weekend to see an art exhibition of British automata which sounds completely intriguing, though it's way out in Hachioji. Here's the museum info for that.
Sun 22 Jan - There's not much specific on today. So this might be the moment to check out the Tokyo-themed photography exhibition at the TOP Museum which I really want to see. Or head out to Hachioji for that art exhibition of British automata. Also, this week I wrote an article this week about Studio Ghibli-themed sightseeing in Tokyo so feel free to take inspiration.
Mon 23 Jan - Tonight attend a free public lecture in English at Sophia University about street food in the 21st century city (with a focus on Shanghai).
Tue 24 Jan - There's literally nothing cool on tonight. Well, there must be something but I can't find it. But instead of watching Netflix, why not stream a Broadway musical into your home?
Wed 25 Jan - International comedy headliners Phil Nichol (Canada) and Yuriko Kotani (Japan) come over from the UK for two nights only. They were great last year, so don't miss them at Good Heavens in Shimokitazawa! Also tonight, the first Pechakucha night of 2017 - arty talks in English and Japanese, this show gets one of the buzziest audiences in Tokyo.
Thu 26 Jan - If you missed them last night, go see Phil Nichol (Canada) and Yuriko Kotani (Japan) being funny at Good Heavens. Also tonight is F*ck-up Nights at Hub Tokyo in Meguro (a venue that now sports an intensely hipster coffeeshop) - go and hear from people who tried to do something in their business and, well, failed. Or if you are feeling quite a lot more serious, go to a talk at UN University on Asia's Economic Rise. You need to register, but it's free.
Fri 27 Jan - The usual riches of the last-Friday-of-the-month await you - and more. First, it's one of our favourite shows of the month: Improvazilla. This is a super and professional-feeling improv show at a cool Shibuya venue. Drinks and food are available while you watch a show that delivers sketches and games in the first half, and a full improvised musical in the second half. Other well-established last-Friday-of-the-month shows are Drunk Poets See God, an open-mic slam poetry night, and Dr Sketchy's burlesque art class. Also tonight is Nerd Nite with talks on citizen science and space gravity, cognitive behavioural therapy, and urban exploration in Japan. We begged: 'Not the last Friday! Don't do it on the same night as all these other shows!' But they did. Sorry. Also, there's a totally charming-sounding gramophone concert. Finally, there's a talk at UN University about the Arab Spring. Decisions will have to be made.
Things you're going to want to book in advance: hurry up!
9 Feb - It's Perfect Liars Club. Four people tell a story but only three are true. Can you spot the liar?
25 Feb - I told you to reserve your tickets for Eddie Izzard so it's not my fault the now show's sold out. But you can add your name to a waiting list here. And if you go to Tokyo Comedy Store shows Improvazilla or Gamuso, you can put your business card (or piece of paper with name and email scribbled on it) into a pot and be entered into the draw for free ticket.
26 Feb - The first thousand people to register can enjoy a full, glorious Sunday of science talks by Nobel prizewinners and other top researchers. And what's more, it's free entry! Just be sure to register in time.
27 Feb - Make sure you get your tickets for another famous British comedian, Jimmy Carr.
Finally: this week we set up a little Facebook group specifically for people interested in attending book events. The plan is that (a) people who like book events will hear about them, and (b) authors, bookshops and publishers will use the group to advertise their events to book event enthusiasts. And feel free to do (c) put on a book event and advertise it. So if you're interested, join here. (and if you're someone who knows how to make a cool Facebook banner for the group and have a few spare moments to do so, please do!).