Summer in Tokyo is in full swing. Check out these six Tokyo Midtown events to stay breezy in the upcoming months, featuring a cold foot bath and a new 21_21 Design Sight exhibition.
Summertime in the City
Cool down with Tokyo Midtown this summer at the urban development’s Ashimizu event. At the event, you’ll be able to soak your feet in a gently flowing stream set up in Midtown Garden. The partially covered stream area, which will also feature a cooling mist, is the perfect spot to escape the summer heat and bustling city. Enjoy the sight of sunlight filtering through the leaves of the garden’s trees and glistening on the water’s surface or sit back with a book or a drink for a relaxing break. In the evening, the area is illuminated with soft-colored lights, creating a mystical atmosphere where you can savor the cool evening breeze. As afternoon and evening offer completely different experiences, be sure to visit the event, which can accommodate around 70 people at a time, both during the day and after dark. Ashimizu, which is open from 3pm to 9pm, runs from July 14 to August 27. Note that the event will not run on Tuesdays and will not be held in case of adverse weather.
If you’re on the hunt for an upscale alfresco dining opportunity in the heart of the city, you’ll want to check out Tokyo Midtown’s limited-time Midpark Lounge event. Midpark Lounge sees Midtown Garden transform into an outdoor dining area beneath the trees that can seat approximately 150 guests. Relish the changing dappled light as the sun moves across the sky and the cool evening breeze as night falls. The twilight hours are softly illuminated for an enchanting atmosphere after dark. Look forward to a selection of refreshing drinks and meals made using herbs and spices perfectly suited for summer. Midpark Lounge serves dinner on weekdays from 5pm to 10pm. On weekends and holidays, including the Obon period (August 13 to 16), lunch is also served, with the event starting at noon. Midpark Lounge runs from July 14 to August 27. Note that the event will not be held in case of adverse weather.
‘DinoScience [email protected] Midtown’
Dinosaurs are back by popular demand and will roam the Tokyo Midtown Hall from July 21 to September 12 as part of the dinosaur science expo “DinoScience [email protected] Midtown.” This summer’s expo combines content from the 2021 event held in Yokohama with an original concept created specifically for Tokyo Midtown that incorporates exhibits based on the latest science. Dinosaur fans can look forward to seeing a complete triceratops and other life-like skeletons, many of which are posed to suggest motion. Story-based exhibitions use sound and lighting to expertly invite visitors into the world of dinosaurs while carefully produced CG videos bring scientific knowledge to life. The expo includes never-before-seen specimens as well as popular specimens from past events. After 6pm, the lights dim, and certain displays are illuminated to stunning effect. The atmosphere of the night museum is completely different from that of the daytime, adding an extra depth of interest to the experience. The well-designed expo, which also features a cafe, workshops and a gift shop, is sure to thrill dinophiles of all ages.
Art and Design Unveiled
‘Mushi (Insects and Other Creatures) Lovers in Japan’ at Suntory Museum of Art
Anyone who’s spent a summer in Tokyo knows that insects become a big part of life in the hotter months. Since time immemorial, insects have played a major role in the lives of the Japanese, and as such, have found their way into the arts. Insects have also been used as literary and artistic devices to symbolize emotional states and the changing seasons.
Insects take center stage in “Mushi (Insects and Other Creatures) Lovers in Japan,” which runs from July 22 to September 18 at Suntory Museum of Art, one of Tokyo’s leading museums of Japanese art. The exhibition provides a visual history of insects and includes works from the flower- and insect-focused sochuzu genre of painting. Sochuzu, which originated in China before taking hold in Japan, became particularly popular during the Edo period (1603–1867).
“Mushi (Insects and Other Creatures) Lovers in Japan” focuses mainly on this period of time and provides a comprehensive look at how Japan’s love of insects was nurtured by art.
The Suntory Museum of Art is known for its impressive collection that includes a National Treasure and 15 Important Cultural Properties. Its sleek modern building, designed by architect Kengo Kuma, harmoniously blends traditional art with contemporary design, reflecting its guiding principles of “Art in Life” and “Art revisited, beauty revealed.”
‘Material, or ‘ at 21_21 Design Sight
When you look at the objects around you, what do you see? You may identify a material, such as wood, but do you look beyond that basic recognition to consider the pre-processed raw material — the living tree, for example — that existed before? The upcoming “Material, or ” exhibition, brought to life by director Satoshi Yoshiizumi of the design think-and-do tank Takt Project, encourages you to think more deeply about the objects that surround you.
Interwoven with the themes of natural and social sustainability, “Material, or ,” in collaboration with art anthropologist Toshiaki Ishikura and biomimetics designer Jun Kamei, explores and unravels the divergent ways in which humanity has exploited nature through a cultural-anthropological lens. Taking a broad perspective, the exhibition tracks the relationship between humans and raw materials across time and place.
“Material, or ” runs from July 14 to November 5 at 21_21 Design Sight, a fascinating space focused on bringing quotidian objects and events to our attention through design-themed exhibitions. This gallery is the perfect venue for an exhibition that suggests the meaning behind objects designed for human use should involve an open dialogue with those materials.
21_21 Design Sight stands out with its distinctive roof shaped like a folded steel sheet, a construction inspired by Issey Miyake’s “A Piece of Cloth.” The facility consists of two buildings, Gallery 1 & 2 and Gallery 3, and features a souvenir shop offering original goods by renowned architect Tadao Ando and graphic designer Taku Satoh.
Learn more about Tokyo Midtown.