Nights in Tokyo are surprisingly quiet. There is no “city that never sleeps”, no night market like in Southeast Asia, etc. We work until late, go home and then go to bed. Well, at least on ordinary days, but there is one special night once a year. That’s “Roppongi Art Night”!
Roppongi Art Night is an art project that started in 2009. At the event, young artists from around the world present their works which are dotted around the Roppongi neighborhood. Under the title “The City Dreams of Art” this year’s event took place starting Saturday, May 26th to Sunday, May 27th.
Although there are various events during the day, since it’s “Art Night”, it is only in the evening really interesting. It was already 4 pm when I met with my friends in Roppongi. Even that was pretty early.
Since there are no trains at night in Tokyo, you may be wondering how to get to your accommodation in the middle of the night, in case you get tired. Don’t worry! Free shuttle buses operate all night driving from Roppongi to Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and other major hubs in Tokyo.
When you arrive in Roppongi, it is best to get a brochure first. In it, there is a map, on which the venues and the respective art installation are marked. Choose what interests you, check the time (most art projects are not on display all the time) and off you go!
The biggest attraction of Roppongi Art Night is the variety of artworks as such. There are different genres, for example, art installations that use music, there are objects you are allowed to touch, performances and light installations.
Find your favorite art piece!
We sat down next to the transparent man with a total length of about 15 meters, walked around him, looked through his transparent head right through his body to the sole of his foot, climbed into his armpit … The art installation animated us to try all sorts of things.
If the huge guy had not been transparent but shaped like a real human being, it would have been a completely different, and certainly more sinister experience, I thought.
There were other interesting works as well. There was a taxi that was designed like a dragon, the glass facade of “The National Art Center, Tokyo” was coated with colorful coverings and glowed in many colors at night, and at the opening event, a 5 meter “light giant” from my native country Germany appeared.
This year’s “Roppongi Art Night” was a lot of fun! This festival is basically free, and it’s nice to be able to watch the artworks at your own pace. It is a pleasant, nocturnal walk. If your visit to Japan overlaps with Art Night, you’re really lucky! Visiting Art Night is a MUST! After all, it’s the only night Tokyo really doesn’t sleep!
Roppongi Art Night 2018
Time: May 26 10:00- May 27 18:00 ([Core time] May 26 (Sat) 18:00 – 27 (Sun) 6:00)
Venue: Roppongi Hills, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo Midtown, Suntory Museum of Art, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, The National Art Center, Tokyo, Roppongi Shopping District, other cooperating facilities and public spaces in Roppongi
Price: Free (For some programs and museums you have to pay admission)
Official Website: http://www.roppongiartnight.com/
(It hasn’t been announced yet when the event will take place in 2019 – but it will!^^)