Playable City Tokyo puts people and play at the heart of the Future City

Population estimate: 13.491 million  | City area: 2,191 square kilometers
(as of 1st October 2015)

About the City
Located roughly at the centre of the Japanese archipelago, Tokyo is a vibrant capital city encircled by miles of shoreline, mountains and volcanoes. Renowned for being a dazzling mix of old and new, the city gracefully contrasts a rich cultural history with a passion for everything new.

About Playable City Tokyo
Playable City Tokyo launched in 2015 to develop imaginative new ideas for urban spaces and to engage communities in thinking about the future of Tokyo (particularly in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic Games).

“When I first heard about Playable City, I was intrigued by using “play” as the core thinking behind how a city evolves, how people come together, and how a community can be built. I don’t think this “human scale approach” is currently applied to city development, since projects tend to put efficiency and economics first. So the idea of having “play” at the heart really resonated with me, and I felt it would be very interesting and meaningful to run Playable City in Tokyo, especially now.”
Seiichi Saito, Creative and Technical Director of Rhizomatiks

Playable City Tokyo activities are co-produced by Watershed, British Council Japan and award-winning Japanese creatives Rhizomatiks. 

Tokyo’s Activity Timeline


The Playable City Tokyo Residency was awarded to Sophie Sampson and Tom Metcalfe.

The Making the City Playable  International Conference took place on 28 September 2018 in Tokyo.



‘The Playful Welcome’ was Playable City Tokyo’s latest project. In December 2016 this Creative Lab brought together 11 practitioners from the UK and Japan, to design playful experiences for Tokyo’s tourists, in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Watershed also announced Tokyo as a partner in Creative Producers International.

Bruce Ikeda, an audio -visual content producer, is the chosen Japanese Producer.


Installation of Shadowing Tokyo by Chomko & Rosier


September – October

Building the Playable City Tokyo community – workshops and community-building events culminated in a two day Ideas Lab.


Panel event and ideas generation workshop – Tokyo based creatives and technologists exploring the future of Tokyo through play.

Installation of Hello Lamp Post Tokyo as part of Roppongi Art Night.