Summer Events in TokyoCulture
Tokyo summers can be downright hot and sticky, and recent years have been topping the charts. Focusing on indoor events and going out at night can be a welcome respite from the heat, and you can still experience traditional culture in the city, albeit with a modern twist.
The New Otani Pools
While Japanese summers are hot and sticky there’s still a baffling lack of nice outdoor pool to cool down, sunbathe, and socialize. Public pools do exist, but are rather restrictive and are more about family time and exercise than hanging out.
If you’re looking for something a bit closer to the international standard of pool life, the New Otani Hotel has started both Day Pool and Night Pool sessions at their recently renovated rooftop deck featuring music, food and drinks, and an atmosphere much closer to the vibe of an international hotel abroad than what you’ll find at most Tokyo hotels. It’s open during the summer to both guests and the public, though non-guests will have to pay a fairly hefty charge from 10,000 yen and up depending on the day to secure a spot. Still, if you’re looking to cool down and do something different in Tokyo, this might be just what you need.
Art Aquarium in Nihonbashi
Japan has long had a love of goldfish, both big and small, and as the Art Aquarium exhibition in Nihonbashi has reached its eighth year we’ve been able to see how far you can go with goldfish as a medium. What started out in 2001 as a bit of a novelty by producer Hidetomo Kimura has evolved into a large scale nighttime event spanning multiple locations and integrating other aspects of Japanese culture and performance. Goldfish had never been a spectacle until now.
Art Aquarium is exactly what it sounds like, but still difficult to fully describe until you’re standing in front of a massive LED-lit dome filled with fish while you drink champagne, watch geisha perform under neon, and mix with the crowd under a DJ’s background beats. This is not your normal trip to the aquarium, but definitely worth it as a nighttime spot although it can get a bit crowded.
Tokyo Goldfish Wonderland
If you need something a bit more family friendly, but still want to see a modern take on golfish, the Tokyo Goldfish Wonderland exhibition at Solamnachi (by Tokyo Sky Tree) happens every year at Sumida Aquarium, and features a wide variety of goldfish under an Edo Period theme, including paper lanterns and creatively decorated tanks. There are more kid-centric activities, but also plenty for adults including creative alcoholic drinks and craft beers.
100 Step Staircase Exhibition
If you’ve never been to Meguro Gajoen in any season, we definitely recommend popping in to see the sheer opulence of the place, but also to check out the various events at the 100 Step Staircase (Hyakudan Kaidan) exhibition space. Summertime brings more summer-themed art including nicely-lit and presented works from around Japan, including famed nebuta float pieces from Aomori.
Top image: Summer Events in Tokyo