Would you like to come to... No, you're busy. I see
May 12, 2012 7:06 PM   Subscribe

How do you find out about events in Tokyo, before they're just about to happen?

I love Timeout's 30 things to do this weekend amongst others, but I find these appear too late to ask friends if they want to come.
They're either busy with some other plans, so I either end up doing what they want to do when they want to do them (which is fine, but I'd like to do something I want to do sometimes), or doing things on my own (which is OK sometimes, but also quite depressing at others).

Some things I like to do are

Gigs - especially alternative and electronic music
Cultural events - Such as this weekend's Thai Festival in Yoyogi park.
Art/museum exhibits

These events don't just suddenly happen, so they must be listed somewhere else. I know some are on Timeout beforehand, but browsing through them now it looks pretty thin on the ground for the next few weeks. There's all of one museum event listed, and two pages of music events. I know there's more going on in this amazing city. So how do you find out what's going on, in advance? Or am I doomed to trawl reams of random websites with scarce listings to find one little nugget of an event?
posted by iamcrispy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Club nights
posted by dydecker at 9:26 PM on May 12, 2012

If I was in Tokyo at the moment, it would be http://metropolis.co.jp/ (see arts and entertainment)


http://www.hellodamage.com/top/ (different types of events)


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/entertainment.html and look around
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 1:32 AM on May 13, 2012

I second the Gig Guide. They've been around for years and have never really let me down.

How's your Japanese? Mine was never great when I lived in Tokyo, but I got a lot from Ticket Pia: music, events (including art and festivals). You really just need enough to be able to identify the kanji in Japanese artists' names or to read the katakana in foreign artists' names. If that's too much, you could also pick up the Pia magazine, identify events from the pictures and get a Japanese-speaking friend to help you buy your tickets.

I used to write an English blog of things to do in Tokyo and got ideas from following specific artists, musicians, etc. that I liked, frequently visiting the websites of businesses that held the sorts of events I liked (e.g., Uplink Factory, Image Forum), and paying attention to the stacks of postcards and flyers at music stores, museums, theaters, cafes, live houses, etc.

Like in any city, "pursue" is the key word in "pursuing one's interest." So trawling sites for those nuggets is not really a challenge specific to gaikokujin in Japan. Good luck.
posted by zerbinetta at 10:42 AM on May 13, 2012

I have a friend with not-so-great Japanese who goes to several live shows a week. His system is he started with one or two places and looked up the band's homepage. Using the homepage, he'd check people they performed with at past shows or go to their next show and find more bands, and then check their homepages. By building a list of homepages - even without using RSS or anything fancy - he sits down once a week and in an hour has more events than he can go to.

Most bands have pretty minimal and poorly maintained homepages, but there's YouTube videos of even the obscure stuff.

Between this and talking to people at shows you can pretty rapidly expand your list of weekend stuff to do.
posted by 23 at 2:54 AM on August 24, 2012

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