Kansai Scene Magazine


Antique Men’s Kimono Exhibition

Dec 1-13

Tondaya, Kyoto

In the olden days of Japan, men’s kimonos were generally simple in design on the outside. Inside, they were lined with very beautiful and exquisite materials. The lining was a very important feature of the kimono, and not surprisingly, Japanese gentlemen competed with each other to boast the most stylish designs. In this event, a marvellous collection of antique kimono will be displayed at shop Tondaya housed in a large building in the architectural style of 19th century Kyoto. This is a great opportunity to observe artistically important kimono that rarely appear in public. English-speaking staff will be present.

Time: 10am-5pm Getting there: JR Kyoto stn, bus to Ichijo Modoribashi / Imadegawa Omiya Admission: ¥1,050 Tel: 075-432-6701

Osaka Hikari Renaissance

Dec 1-25

Nakanoshima Island, Osaka

This spectacle has been described as “the greatest free light show in Kansai.” This year, it is bigger than ever before, and the whole of Nakanoshima Island will be flooded in a sea of colour. Osaka City Hall will be decorated with tree-shaped illuminations, with images also projected on to the façade of the library. There will be a decorative illumination arcade; a mysterious sculpture of sand; and several “sparkling” live performances. Topped off with plenty of food vendors, this should make for a festive evening out. (Main performances take place Dec 12-25.)

Time: 5pm-10pm Getting there: Subway Midosuji line, Yodoyabashi stn Admission: free Tel: 06-6136-8484 www.hikari-renaissance.com/mt/en/index.html

Kodo December Concerts 2009

Dec 12-13

Koseinenkin Kaikan Wel City Osaka, Osaka

Internationally renowned Japanese taiko drumming troupe Kodo will display their rousing talents amongst other traditional Japanese instruments performances. The event is a special showcase of the works Kodo have performed on various stages around the world throughout 2009. The vigorous beats and sounds will allow audiences to feel their blood boil. An explosion of energy!

Time: Dec 12, 6:30pm; Dec 13, 3pm Getting there: Subway Yotsubashi line, Yotsubashi stn Admission: ¥5,500 (¥6,000 door) Tel: 06-6362-8122 www.kodo.or.jp/12/home_en.html

Kyo-Ryori Tenjitaikai

Dec 13-14

Miyako Messe, Kyoto

This exhibition is especially designed for food lovers. Kyoto cuisine is well known for its careful preparation and artistic presentation, and the dishes at this event are incredibly beautiful. Also served up will be a variety of attractions including a traditional ceremony of fish cutting; classical Japanese dance; and workshops by famous restaurants. There’ll be an opportunity to taste gourmet food and buy local foodstuffs, not to mention a dramatic performance of a giant tuna being cut into pieces by an expert.

Time: 10am-4pm (3:30pm last entry) Getting there: Subway Tozai line, Higashiyama stn Admission: ¥600 adults (¥800 door), ¥400 students (¥500 door) Tel: 075-221-5833

Kansai Event Listings

DNA of “Sunday” & “Magazine” 50 Years Of Weekly Shonen Manga

Kyoto International Manga Museum
Thru Dec 20

A showcase of 233 original exhibits from 100 different manga. These works have had a strong influence on today’s Japanese pop culture.
Time: 10am-6pm (closed Wed)
Getting there: Subway Karasuma line, Karasuma Oike stn
Admission: ¥1,000 ¥500 ¥200
Tel: 075-254-7414

Christmas at Musical Box Museum

Hall of Halls in Mount Rokkosan, Hyogo
Until Dec 25

An exquisite collection of musical boxes. If you are tired of too much tinsel, this may be the best place to visit. Enjoy the spellbinding sounds of Yuletide songs.
Time: 10am-5pm (4pm last entry; closed Thursdays)
Getting there: Rokko-sanjo stn, bus to Hall of Halls
Admission: ¥1,000 (adults), ¥500 (children)
Tel: 078-891-1284

German Christmas Market 2009

Umeda Sky Building, Osaka
Until Dec 26

A market bursting with seasonal produce from Germany. There’s also a romantic antique merry-go-round, a Gluhwein–and sausages! Get into the Christmas spirit while browsing twinkling chalets.
Time: Mon-Thu noon-9pm, Friday noon-10pm, Sat and Sun 11am-10pm
Getting there: JR Osaka stn, Umeda stn
Admission: free
Tel: 06-6440-3899

The Plants for Christmas

Sakuya Konohana Kan Botanical Garden, Osaka
Dec 1-25

Christmas plants including frankincense, myrrh, conifer and others will be put on display. There will be a concert performed by high school students on 19th, 20th and 23rd.
Time: 10am-5pm
Getting there: Subway Nagahori Tsurumiryokuchi line, Tsurumiryokuchi stn
Admission: ¥500
Tel: 06-6912-0055

Nankin-Machi Lantern Fair

Nankin-Machi (Chinatown Kobe), Hyogo
Dec 1-27

According to Chinese legend, a king of ancient times ordered lots of lanterns to be lit in all the cities across the land. The lanterns were to provide light for the pathways to the monasteries, encouraging people to convert to Buddhism. During this event, thousands of colorful lanterns are hung out for people to appreciate.
Time: 5pm-10pm
Getting there: JR Kobe line, Motomachi stn
Admission: free
Tel: 078-332-2896

Candle Night – Turn Off The Lights And Take It Slow

Chayamachi & Nishi-Umeda, Osaka
Dec 3 (Chayamachi), Dec 10 (Nishi-Umeda)

An energy-saving event with a focus on reduction of CO2 emissions is in its ninth anniversary. Shops and office buildings will turn off their lights and burn candles for two hours. Time: 6pm-10pm
Getting there: JR Osaka stn
Admission: free
Tel: 06-6446-1726

Kobe Luminarie

Kobe, Hyogo
Dec 3-14

This fantastic light festival is one of the largest in Japan. It is held to commemorate the Great Hanshin earthquake.
Time: Various times
Getting there: Motomachi stn/ Sannomiya stn
Admission: free
Tel: 078-303-0038

Free Counselling Day for Non-Japanese Residents

Kyoto International Community House, Kyoto
Dec 5

Counselling service for non-Japanese residents. Not only legal advice, the seminar will also cover social insurance, pensions, labour conditions and mental health issues, Interpretation in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai.
Time: 1pm-5pm. 075-752-3511 for applications.
Getting there: Subway Tozai line, Keage stn
Admission: free
Tel: 075-752-3511

Arashiyama Hanatoro 2009

Arashiyama, Kyoto
Dec 11-20

The wintry evenings of Kyoto will be illuminated with the warm and soft glow from lanterns and candles. Many temples and shrines will also be aglow, and open to visitors during these special evenings.
Time: 5pm-8:30pm
Getting there: Hankyu Railway Arashiyama line, Arashiyama stn/JR Sagano line, Saga Arashiyama stn
Admission: free
Tel: 075-212-8173

Mochitsuki (making rice cake)

The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
Dec 23

Mochitsuki is a typical year-end event in Japan, and it will be demonstrated in the museum’s exquisitely reproduced Edo period town. It’s fun to participate, but only the first 20 people will be able to take part.
Time: 1:30pm and 3pm
Getting there: Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome stn
Admission: ¥600 (adults), ¥300 (students)
Tel: 06-6242-1170

EVENT section compiled by Yuki Uchibori

:: Online Articles


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Rejoce the winter months

:: style

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Restore your crowning glory

:: news

Trial by media

:: travel

City with energy and smelly tofu

:: environment

Attack of the 4-legged structures

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The weird & the wonderful from japan's gadget gurus

:: Kansai Listings

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Current cinema listings so you always know what's on, where and when!

:: ART

Best exhibitions & listings


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All the hot picks


Best festivals & listings

:: Also in this month's mag

:: dRink



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:: Food


:: Music

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Orchestral unit meets house for one funky christmas eve

:: culture

Seafood Central
Something fishy going on in Osaka

:: Getaway

Castle Quest
Where is Fushimi castle, anyway?