Let’s Get Lindy-Hopping in Tokyo

There are some great opportunities to dance lindy hop this season in Tokyo.

Necola Wednesday Night Hop will occur every Wednesday usually. Booking is required.

June 16th: The Necola Jazz Jam Session will be held. While swing dancers will have the opportunity to dance Lindy Hop and Blues at this event, the spotlight will be on the jazz musicians themselves. Tokyo’s swing jazz masters will gather at the Studio Necola to engage in jam sessions and explore their new musical directions. Please remember that swing jazz legends like Count Basie have honed their craft through many such sessions in Kansas City, creating that wonderful swing sound.

Necola Jazz Jam Session Night

TSDS’s new event, the Necola Jazz Jam Session, will be held on June 16th.

In the process of producing a music album, this jazz band has decided to hold a jam session at the acoustically-equipped Studio Necola. Therefore, the main focus of this event will be on the songs, arrangements, and compositions they plan to record. However, since the band consists of Tokyo’s top musicians in swing jazz and New Orleans jazz, we can expect them to perform many songs that we swing dancers can dance Lindy Hop and Blues to at this jam session. Let’s enjoy their serious session together, drinking and dancing.

On the day of the event, attendees are welcome to bring their own drinks and food. The participation fee is very affordable compared to regular jazz lives with dancing. Advance reservation is required. Once capacity is reached, registration will be closed, so early registration is recommended.

Jazz musicians:

Makiko Tamura on clarinet and vocals
Hirofumi Asaba on guitar
Kentaro Arai on double bass

Date: Sunday, June 16th
The door will open at 19:00.
Time: 19:30-22:00 approximately
Price: 2,500 Yen including tax
Please pay in cash at the door. Credit cards are not accepted.
Venue: Studio Necola
Here is the booking site.


Ikebukuro Jazz Festival

The Ikebukuro Jazz Festival will take place on May 18th and 19th. Over 200 jazz bands will perform around the Global Ring Theatre near the west and south exits of Ikebukuro station.

The following information is based on TSDS’s independent analysis derived from our past experiences, with the goal of determining whether lindyhoppers can enjoy dancing at this event.

This event is free to enjoy, and no advance booking is required. The venue consists of nine areas, labeled 1-A, 1-B, 2, through 8, all of which are outdoor or rooftop decks of department stores.

Generally, most band performances last for 30 minutes, scheduled in easily understandable time slots such as 13:30-14:00 or 16:00-16:30. However, there are some exceptions, like 18:45-19:30 or 15:40-16:10. While it’s advisable to read the Japanese schedule provided by the organizers for precise information, it can be overwhelming due to its extensive nature. The English schedule provided here by TSDS simplifies this aspect slightly while prioritizing readability. Overall, you should be able to obtain compass-like information on where to go during these time slots.

The organizers of this event are the Toshima Ward in Tokyo, along with various shops and public facilities around Ikebukuro station. TSDS is not affiliated with the organizers. Amateur and semi-professional jazz bands will perform there. Especially at Venue 1-A, 1-B and 3, approximately 40 big bands will gather over the two days. The jazz genres vary, including Swing jazz, Blues, Latin, Fusion, Soul, Funk, R&B, Gospel, J-Pops and Contemporary jazz. As Lindy Hoppers, we are coming here to dance, so we need to find bands that are likely to play Swing, Blues and R&B among the many. Since the organizer’s website is all in Japanese, we base our search on that and list only the those jazz bands here in English.

Most of the bands performing from Venue 4 to 8 are jazz combos. While there may be bands playing swing among them, there are simply too many bands to discern accurately. Therefore, they have been omitted in the TSDS version of the schedule below.

This event will start in the late morning and continue until night. Furthermore, the venue is spacious, and a large number of spectators gather. Therefore, where the dancers meet becomes important. We plan to post information about rendezvous on the discussion section of the next Facebook Event. However, even then, whether we can actually rendezvous in a crowded venue might require some luck.

Finally, this post will be updated regularly, so we strongly recommend refreshing it periodically.

I’ve just returned from Ikebukuro after wrapping up the first day of the event. Since it’s held simultaneously across eight venues, it’s impossible to check out all the bands even if I wanted to. Venues 1-A, 1-B, and 3 usually feature good bands and have excellent sound systems, so they’re recommended for swing dancing. Venue 2, on the other hand, offers a different music genre from swing. Venues 4 to 8 often host smaller bands, and their outdoor performances may not be as strong, so it might be okay to skip them.

The first three venues primarily showcase big bands, and many of these bands consist of members in their 30s who have experience with university big bands. As a general trend, amateur bands from this generation tend to lean towards playing modern jazz, funk, or anime songs, which often results in a weaker clean four-beat rhythm that swing dancers desire, making it difficult to dance. On the other hand, bands with members around their 50s, who are more familiar with swing jazz, tend to offer more danceable performances. Of course, there are exceptions.

Let me introduce the bands from the first day that I had the chance to dance to:
Venue#1-A, 12:30- Minato Jazz Club
Venue#1-A, 16:30- Pinot Gris
Venue#1-A, 17:30- Pepoyo Band

Venue#3, 15:00- Tokyo Galaxy Jazz Orchestra

I won’t be able to attend the second day tomorrow, but as I mentioned earlier, focusing on Venues 1 and 3 should provide enough enjoyment for dancing. Please note that I’ve revised the band schedule for the second day in the TSDS version, so please reload to check the latest version. Additionally, there’s dancing space available everywhere. This aspect was more convenient than the Shinjuku Jazz Festival.

That’s all for now.

Necola Premium Hop featuring Hammond Organ

Organ Swing Jazz Live and Lindyhop

Sunday May 12th, 2024
The door will open at 13:00 PM.  Time table
Venue: Studio Necola

Super organ swing jazz band featuring Hajime Kobayashi on Hammond organ and acoustic piano, Oji Kimura on drums and Yuka Deguchi on vocals.

Advance reservation is required. Please note that once the capacity is reached, reservation acceptance will end, so please make your reservation as soon as possible. Booking website

Ticket price: 5,000 yen including snacks and wine. Additionally, bringing your own food and drinks is allowed. Please pay in cash in Japanese Yen on the door.


Luup’s port is available at Studio Necola

Luup, a bike-sharing service, is now available at Studio Necola. There are two types, an electric-assisted bike and an electric scooter. You should download the app onto your smartphone, create an account, and use it to borrow or return.

水色の電動アシスト自転車や電動キックボードをシェアできる Luup の駐機場(ポート)が、Studio Necola にできました。これで最寄駅のポートからNecolaまで来るのにとても便利になりました。どうぞご利用ください。Luup の App をダウンロードして登録すれば利用できます。とても安価です。

Shinjuku Trad Jazz Festival Where We Can Hop

Short notice, but good notice. Save November 11th and 12th for fantastic Shinjuku Trad Jazz Festival where we can lindyhop on the street. Free outdoor event and no signing-up is required.  Never miss them.

  • From 11:40am till 16:30pm on Saturday November 11th
  • Suggested main dancing time on the 11th will be 12:30-14:50pm
  • From 11:40am till 16:30pm on Sunday November 12th
  • Suggested main dancing time on the 12th will be 13:20-14:50pm
  • Four venues: three spots on the street and one music club
  • We can dance on the streets freely, but maybe not at the club.
  • Google My-Maps: Here
  • Band Schedule: Here on Google drive. Reload it to get the latest one,
  • No signup needed and free of charge on the street
  • Maybe one drink should be ordered inside the club.
  • Stay tuned here for more information regarding the festival.
  • Check out Facebook page and group of the Tokyo Swing Dance Society too.
  • Photos: Day-1 & Day-2
  • Photos on the facebook event. Visit DISCUSSION to see the pohtos.

Naatu, Swing and Indian Independence Movement

Have you already enjoyed RRR?  RRR’s “Naatu Naatu” won the Academy Award 2023 for best original song.

この映画、1920年代のイギリス植民地支配に対するインド独立闘争が時代背景で、その実、インド映画ならではのダンスファイトを中心に持ってきたエンターテインメント映画。ハイライトは Naatu Naatu という歌詞の歌に合わせて Naatu dance で対決するシーンでした。2023年のアカデミー賞のベストオリジナルソング部門を取りました。

For the full story, see here.