Kansai Scene Magazine


Light up Promenade Nara 2008

Jul 1 - Oct 31

Kofukuji Temple, Nara National Museum, Ukimido, etc, Nara

Historical structures such as Todaiji temple and Kofuji temple will be illuminated from July 1. The night lights create an effect completely different from natural light and create atmosphere and romance. The illuminated spots are Sarusawa-ike (pond), Kasugataisha, Nara National Museum, Ukimi-do, Marumado-tei, Nara Prefecture New Public Hall, Heijyo-kyu Suzaku-mon, and Yakushiji temple. The extraordinary scene is like a fantasy world in which you can be healed of your workaday fatigue. On July 7 Monday, this will not he held because of the Light Down Campaign.

Time: 7pm–10pm (After Sep, 6pm–10pm)
Getting there: Kintetsu Nara line, Nara stn
Admission: free

River Dance

Jul 8 - 13

Festival Hall, Osaka

It's all in the legs: these Irish dancers keep their torsos still while putting their legs and feet through complex and fast dance moves. The origin of the this characteristic dance is said to be back in the time of English colonization of Ireland. The Irish people developed this below the waist dancing style so that they could keep their culture and unique steps alive without letting the occupiers know what they were doing. This kind of history might be a cause for melancholy, but the dance is spirited and vital and provides a stirring spectacle that has become popular the world over.

Time: 8th–11th, 7pm • 12th, 1pm & 6pm • 13th, 12pm & 5pm
Getting there: Subway Yotsubashi line, Higobashi stn, exit 4
Admission: ¥9,000/¥11,000/¥13,000

Summer Festival 2008

Jul 19

Pierott Harbour, Osaka

The famous Australian belly dancer, Belynda Azhaar comes to Japan. On July 20, there is a workshop about the rhythms Middle Eastern music and belly dance finger cymbals from 10am to 2pm (11:30– 12:30 lunch time) at Lisa Culture Salon. Those who join the morning lesson can take the afternoon lesson of dance with finger cymbals from 3pm to 6pm. On July 21, there is an Egyptian dance workshop from 10am to 1pm. For more information about workshop bookings, tickets/fees, group discounts and cancellations, call at Lisa School. You should bring finger cymbals, veils, and dresses for a dance. No skirts; sweats are best.

Time: 3pm–5:30pm
Getting there: Hankyu/Subway Midosuji line, Nakatsu stn
Admission: Adults ¥2,500/Older than and including junior high school students ¥1,250/Younger than junior high school students free

Blast II: MIX

Jul 30 - Aug 3

Hyogo Performing Arts Center, Hyogo

Blast is a completely new entertainment that unites American traditional drums, marching band, and a brass band. Blast I is a marvelous performance by brass instruments, percussions, and dancers. Woodwind instruments, keyboards, and electronic percussion were added into Blast II: MIX. This show first started in Japan in 2006. About 170,000 people were spellbound. The size of the audience has amazingly increased year after year since 2003. The popularity of this show is incalculable. They play a variety of music - swing, jazz, rock, classical music, movie music, etc. It's really worth experiencing not only for the music but also for the athletic moves.

Time: 7/30, 2pm & 7pm • 7/31 & 8/1, 7pm • 8/2, 1pm & 6pm • 8/3, 12pm & 5pm
Getting there: Hankyu line, Nishinomiya Kitaguchi stn
Admission: Sat & Sun & Holidays: ¥11,500, ¥9,500, ¥7,500, ¥5,500, ¥3,500 (Weekdays minus ¥500 each)

Kansai Event Listings July

Ukai (Cormorant fishing)

Arashiyama, Kyoto
Jul 1–Sep 15

Traditionally, cormorants were used to catch river fish. This ancient method of catching fish is still performed at Arashiyama in summer. This remarkable traditional technique viewed from boats departing from the river's north bank upstream from the Togetsukyo Bridge is a must-see! Please get there at least 10 minutes before boarding.

Time: 7pm, 8pm (in September 6:30pm, 7:30pm)
Getting there: JR Sagano line, Saga Arashiyama stn/Keifuku Railway, Arashiyama stn, city bus 11, 93 to Arashiyama, city bus 28 to Arashiyama Koen
Admission: Adults ¥1,700/4–12 years old children ¥850

The Voice Theatre Group: Summer's Greatest Hits

Theatre Pochette, Kitano-cho, Kobe
Jul 5, 6

The Voice Theatre Group presents an evening of one-act plays and a musical walk down memory lane. All proceeds will go to charity including victims of the Szechuan earthquake.

Time: 5th (Sat), 7pm • 6th (Sun) 1pm, and 5:30pm
Getting there: Hankyu, Hanshin or JR to Sannomiya. See URL for map.
Admission: ¥2,000, students ¥1,500
Tel:Gerald, 090-9984-1882

July Okabuki

Shochikiza, Osaka
Jul 5–29

When this performance starts, people know it is midsummer in Osaka.

Time: 11am, 4:30pm
Getting there: Subway Midosuji line, Namba stn, exit 14
Admission: ¥15,750/¥8,400/¥4,200

Universal Water Parade

Universal Studio Japan, Osaka
Jul 10–Aug 31

Water parade with popular characters. The park is drowned! Let's have fun even in the summer heat. The USJ theme is ‘Cool and Fun'!

Time: 1st–4th, 7th–11th, 14th–17th 10am–7pm • 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 18th 9am–8pm • 19th–31st 9am–9pm
Getting there: JR Yumesaki line, Universal City stn
Admission: Studio Pass (1 day ticket) ¥5,800 (Over 12 years old), ¥3,900 (4–11 years old), ¥5,100 (Over 65 years old)

SWET Kansai Workshop: Fiction Writing in Japan

Kobe San-Center Plaza 6F, Kobe
Jul 13

Writing fiction with Japan as the theme, or Japan as the setting? Bring your insights and/or dilemmas for a discussion on how to write successful fiction about Japan. Moderators: Peter Mallett and Henrik Pettersson.

Time: 2pm
Getting there: Hanshin, JR or Hankyu lines, Sannomiya (7 mins from Sannomiya Stn). See URL for map.
Admission: SWET members ¥500; non-members ¥1,000.
Reservations: [email protected] www.swet.jp.

Nanki Shirahama Message Fireworks

Shirahama, Wakayama
Jul 19–Aug 29

(Except Jul 30, Aug 1 and 10) To girlfriends, boyfriends, your best friend, your parents: sending a message by fireworks is unusual and likely to stick in the memory. After a loudspea- ker and FM radio broadcasts your message, your own firework zooms into the sky to finish the message. Fill your preferred date and message in the form downloaded from the follo- wing site, fax and transfer the fee. Cancellation a day ago is acceptable. In case of rain, the fee is refunded. As on July 30, Shirahama Firework Festi- val takes place, this event is not held.

Time: 8:30pm
Getting there: JR Kinokuni line, Shirahama stn, bus, Shirahama
Admission: free (Sightseeing), (¥5,000 the cheapest kind of firework)
(only Japanese)

Shojo Manga! - Girl Comics - Girl Power!

Kyoto International Manga Museum 2F, Main Gallery, Kyoto
Jul 19–Aug 31

Nowadays Japanese comics become popular around the world. Especially girl comics are rising to prominence. Precious original pictures, favorite goods of comic writers, news articles in North America after showing this event there and more are on display.

Time: 10am–8pm
Getting there: Subway Karasuma line/Tozai line, Karasuma-oike stn, exit 2
Admission: Adults ¥1,000/junior & high school students ¥500/ elementary ¥200

Osaka Setomono Matsuri

Ikasuri Shrine, Osaka
Jul 21–23

Every year many people look forward to this event. A big cheerful ceramic cat that is two meters high, ceramic signboards etc. are on display. You can buy three items for ¥1,000. Let's get together for ceramic fun!

Time: 10am–8pm
Getting there: Subway Midosuji line, Honmachi stn
Admission: free

Kyoto Pottery Fair

Kiyomizu Danchi, Kyoto
Jul 25–27

About 100 stores offer pottery at excitingly discounted prices. Show- casing some of the finest work from different parts of Japan -includes different style and techniques. A rare fair not to be missed!

Time: 10am–9pm
Getting there: JR Tokaido line, Yamashina stn/Keihan bus no. 29, Kiyomizuyaki Danchi
Admission: free

American Ballet Theater - Pirates

Festival Hall, Osaka
Jul 27

Super ballet group plays masterpiece Pirates by Marius Petipa, the Father of classical ballet. The scene is Turkey. A variety of dance from ethnic dance to classical ballet.

Time: 3pm
Getting there: Subway Yotsubashi line, Higobashi stn, exit 4
Admission: ¥6,000, ¥10,000, ¥12,000, ¥14,000, ¥17,000, ¥20,000

Sun Flower Beer Cruise

Tenmabashi Bridge, Osaka
Jul 28–Aug 22

Cool beer and food - all you can drink. Yay! The appetizer is made by first-class hotel, Teikoku hotel. Rich and luxurious cruising plan. You can enjoy lunch on the lunch cruise, tea and cakes on the afternoon cruise, or dinner and as much as beer as you want on the dinner cruise. Live music gives an added boost.

Time: lunch 11:30am–12:50pm, afternoon cruise 3:30pm–4:20pm, dinner 7pm–8:30pm (Only weekdays)
Getting there: JR loop line, Sakuranomiya stn, 8-minute walk/
JR Tozai line, Osaka Tenmangu stn, 10-minute walk/Subway Tanimachi Sakaisuji line, Minamimori stn, 10-minute walk
Admission: Lunch ¥4,725, Afternoon ¥2,625, Dinner ¥6,300
Tel:06-6942-6699 (Reservation center)

Kitayama River Sightseeing Rafting

Kitayama Village, Wakayama
Raft floating in Kitayama River has a 600-year history during which towns- fold delivered wood to neighbouring settlements by raft. To join a raft trip you have to make a reservation by phone, detailing date, time, and number of people. The cost is ¥2,000 for each adult, ¥1,000 for each child and payment should be made in advance through money transfers including your your address, name, telephone number. If you cancel more than one week before your boarding, you can get a refund. After that, there will be a cancellation charge. Those who are between 10 years old and 70 years old can join every day except for Thursday and holidays in July and August, and join every weekend and holiday in September.

Time: 10:20am, 12:40pm
Getting there: JR Kisei main line, Kumano-shi stn, bus (60 minutes) Kitayama-mura
Admission: ¥6,000 (Elementary school students ¥3,000)

EVENT section compiled by Toshie Kashihara

:: Online Articles


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Yatsubuchi-no-taki, Shiga


Small is beautiful
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A yen for Kyushu
Budget traveling in Kyushu


The orange people of the forest
Sumatra, Indonesia


Lifting off
Goreme and Cappadocia, Turkey

:: update

A room at the inn
A round up of budget accommodation in Kansai

:: culture

Noodles in the night
Traditional mobile munchies

:: Kansai Listings


Up to date cinema listings guide so you always know what's on, where and when!

:: ART

Best exhibitions & listings


Best events & listings


Best gigs & listings


All the hot picks

:: Also in this month's mag

:: dRink

Hobgoblin, Sannomiya


Sam&Dave 5, Nagahoribashi


Best festivals & listings


New releases


Best films & cinema listings


Budget kipping


Up and away
Mt. Daisen, Tottori


More bangs for your baht
Bangkok on $2 a day


Hole lot of twee?
Bruges, Belgium


Blu-ray is here to stay
What Blu-ray means to you


Rock and roll artist
Walderedo DeOliviera