The Moon World By Tenko Ima plus Kiraza
A Kyoto-based Japanese dance company, Kiraza is known for portraying archetypes of Japanese culture with a punk-kitsch spin. Their annual performance at Gojo Rakuen presents the avant-garde dance form in
a traditional Japanese theater: an experience taken in from tatami-mat seating in air heavy with history but ripe with radical expression. Their white-painted bodies, adorned with colorful costumes created from old Japanese fabrics and patterns, dance in front of classic painted backdrops and with live accompaniment by nagauta singing and shamisen. It is truly a magical experience not to be missed, especially since this year they will take you to the moon.
• Time: 7pm on 11th & 12th, 3pm on 12th & 13th • Admission: ¥2,500 adults (¥2,800 on door) • Access: Keihan Kiyomizu-gojo stn, 15 min walk/JR Kyoto stn bus to Kawaramachi Gojo, 5 min walk • Tel: 075-525-4467 • Email: [email protected]
Kyoto Grand Antique Fair
This is the biggest antique market in west Japan. More than 350 independent dealers will be selling their goods on these days. An extensive range of antiques such as kakemono (hanging scrolls), potteries and porcelains, ukiyo-e prints, armour and a lot of furniture will be sold. Not only Japanese period pieces but also old valuable artefacts from Europe and beautiful Asian cloth will be showcased and sold. Even if you have no intention of buying antiques, it will be very interesting to look around.
• Time: 10am–5pm (10am–4pm on 20th) • Admission: free • Access: Subway Karasuma line, Takeda stn bus to Pulse Plaza-mae • Tel: 077-522-2307
Maria Kong – Fling
Maria Kong is a contemporary dance company founded in 2008. It consists of four dancers from the Bat Sheva dance company, which is always at the centre of world attention. The foursome’s first work, Fling, is reputed to be a visual and sensorial experience. The prologue of Fling is the product of eight months of intensive teamwork and collaboration between all four dancers. The upcoming performance is a successful collabora-tion between artists of choreography, costume-design, lighting-design and music. Fling revolves about three characters that represent a wide range of emotions, and the plot goes slowly and dynamically through the forces and conflicts of these emotions.
• Time: 3pm (2:30pm door open) • Admission: ¥4,800 • Access: Hankyu Railway Nishinomiya Kitaguch stn • Tel: 0798-68-0255 (English/Japanese) • www1.gcenter-hyogo.jp/sysfile/center_e/e_top.html
Nipponbashi Street Festa 2011
A shopping district known for its electronics stores, Nipponbashi, colloquially named Den-Den town, will hold a large-scale gala
day again this year. The main street will be vehicle-free, and the festival programme features a wide range of events all specially created for this event on the theme of ‘Made in Nipponbashi’. The town is also known for its many shops that specialise in Japanese otaku subculture: animation, comic books, maid cafes and collectable computer items. You will see performances by robots, live music, demonstrations of computer graphic-art and all the fun of modern Japan.
There is also on the same day in the same location, a fun otaku-style ‘cosplay’ parade (people in cartoon-character costumes), and a brass band from the Osaka Prefectural Police. The crowds and the atmosphere will make Den Den Town a must-visit today.
• Time: 1pm–4pm • Admission: free • Access: Subway Sakaisuji line Ebisu-cho stn/Nankai Railway Namba stn • Tel: 06-6655-1717
Kansai Event Listings
Plum Blossoms and Camellias, Kyoto
Until Mar 21
This shrine boasts a large Japanese garden where people celebrate the coming of spring by admiring plum blossoms and camellias. Do not miss the blossoms of weeping plum trees (the branches bend low) and 300 camellias in full bloom.
• Time: 9am–4pm • Admission: ¥500 • Access: Subway Krasuma line Takeda stn bus to Jonangu Higashiguchi • Tel: 075-623-0846
Kobe Flowers’ Story 2011 Spring, Kobe
This is the ultimate flower show and is presented by Kobe City. It will offer horticultural information and a wide variety of attractions including a workshop for children, a fashion show, a flower auction and live music. Also flowers will be randomly presented to lucky visitors everyday.
• Time: 1:30pm–8pm on 4th, 10am–5pm on 5th and 6th • Admission: free • Where: Duo Kobe • Access: JR Kobe line Kobe stn • Tel: 078-671-0340
Yamada Nishiki Matsuri, Hyogo
Mar 12 & 13
Yamada Nishiki is said to be the best rice for sake brewing. A grand sake-tasting will take place in this region — the home of Yamada Nishiki. You can sample a huge variety of different sake. Also, there will be booths selling sake, local products and there will be activities for children.
• Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Yamada Nishiki no Yakata, Hyogo • Access: JR Takarazuka line Sanda stn bus to Yokawachosha-mae • Tel: 0794-82-2000
Marching Musha-Ningyo, Osaka
A group of samurai warriors in their suits of armour will take to the streets. They will parade through the toyshop district of Matsuya-machi. You can try on Japanese armour at Osaka Shoko Shinyo Kinko Bank from 4pm to 5pm. Some shops will display their armour and helmets for the day.
• Time: 2pm–5pm (start at Minami Oe Park) • Admission: free • Where: Matsuya-machi, Osaka • Access: Subway Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi line Matsuyamachi stn exit 1 • Email: [email protected]
The 3rd Event Café Tea Time Concert, Kyoto
Saxophonist Tsuyoshi Sasada has won a number of competitions and played at important public performances around the world. Masashi Nakai is one of the Kansai’s most accomplished pianists bridging the divide between jazz and classical music. For this event they will offer some tunes from jazz and classical music.
• Time: 3pm–4pm (2pm door open) • Admission: ¥1,000 (¥1,500 on door) Must buy one drink • Where: Etude Music Academy Kyotanabe, Kyoto • Access: Kintetsu Railway Koudo stn/JR Gakkentoshi line Doshisha-mae stn, 4min walk • Tel: 080-6117-9551 English/Japanese • Email: [email protected] (English/Japanese)
Ireland Festival 2011, Osaka
An International event that celebrates all things Irish, including music, dance and a colourful parade. There will also be an Irish dance workshop, booths selling Irish goods and a section providing information about travelling in Ireland.
• Time: 11am • Admission: free • Where: Nakanoshima Park, Osaka • Access: Subway Midosuji line Yodoyabashi stn/Sakaisuji line Kitahama stn • [email protected] • http://osakainj.blog.fc2.com
Shika Senbei Tobashi, Nara
This is a unique and funny competition. Throw a piece of shika senbei (a wafer-like food for deer) as you would a Frisbee. The person who throws the furthest is the champion and receives a trophy.
• Time: To be announced • Admission: ¥300 to enter, and free to observe • Where: Mt Wakakusa, Nara • Access: JR/Kintetsu Railway Nara stn bus to Daibutsuden Kasugataisha-mae, 20 min walk • Tel: 0742-22-3626
Kokusai Koryu Festa 2011, Osaka
This is a special event to learn about and appreciate people and culture from different countries. World music, exotic dance and ethnic food.
• Time: 10:30am–3:30pm • Admission: free • Where: Suehiro Park, Osaka • Access: Nankai Railway Hagurazaki stn, 15 min walk • Tel 072-462-2005
Kanku Tabihaku, Osaka
Mar 26 & 27
The travel trade show, the largest in western Japan will take place. There will be over 130 booths offering valuable information about travel. A large range of food from all over the world will be available to purchase and try. Also dazzling stage events and a market selling KIX’s (Kansai International Airport) goods.
• Time: 10am–5pm • Admission: free • Where: Kansai International Airport, Osaka • Access: JR/Nankai Railway Kansai-airport stn • Tel: 072-455-2370
The 7th Magoichi Matsuri, Wakayama
Magoichi Matsuri is a one-day spectacular celebrating historic hero, Magoichi Saika who was famous for arming his troops with harquebuses in the 16th century. There will be a parade of samurai warriors, a demonstration of guns, live rock music, a flea market and many other interesting events.
• Time: 10:30am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Saginomori Betsuin temple and around there • Access: Nankai Railway Wakayamashi stn, 5 min walk • Tel: 073-423-3136