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This Golden Week in Japan, May 1-7

Every Monday we serve top picks for this week’s events in Japan. To list your event, contact the editor of GaijinPot.

By 1 min read

From ancient archery to gay pride, there’s something for everyone across Japan this Golden Week.

If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed.

Monday: Nostalgic New York


Saul Leiter

The son of a rabbi, American photographer and painter Saul Leiter’s work in the 1940s and 1950s provided an important contribution to what came to be recognized as the New York school of photography. This retrospective is Japan’s first comprehensive look at the life and career of Leiter, who passed away in 2013.

When & Where
May 1-June 25
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Bunkamura, The Museum, Tokyo - Map
More Info

Tuesday: Slovenian beats


Get your Golden Week on as Slovenian superstar DJ Umek hosts a night of techno and oblivion at Osaka’s legendary Club Joule. Getting his start organizing illegal raves, Umek became one of Slovenia’s most wanted exports and number one music ambassador to the world. 100 times per year, he visits everywhere from dark underground clubs in Berlin to massive techno stages at the world’s most renowned festivals.

When & Where
May 2
10 p.m.
Club Joule, Osaka - Map
More Info

Wednesday: Aim and release


Yabusame Shinji

Around this time each year, folks in Kyoto begin to prep for the Aoi Matsuri (Hollyhock Festival), one of the city’s three biggest. Various rituals take place from the first week of May, drawing thousands. Among them is "Yabusame Shinji" (Mounted Archery Ritual), conducted to pray for a safe procession and to sanctify the parade route. Archers of the 850-year-old Ogasawara school gallop down a 500m lane firing arrows at targets along the way.

When & Where
May 3
1 p.m.
Shimogamo Jinja, Kyoto - Map
More Info

Thursday: Make some noise


From humble beginnings, San Diego producer Ookay (pronounced "Okay") has exploded onto the electronic dance music scene. With tracks like Congrorock's "Bless Di Nation ft. Sean Paul" (Ookay remix), Steve Aoki, Chris Lake & Tujamo's "Boneless" (Ookay remix), the young DJ is breaking down boundaries between hip-hop and EDM. He arrives to headline Vision’s Make Some Noise event.

When & Where
May 4
10 p.m.
Sound Museum Vision, Tokyo - Map
More Info

Friday: Go indie

Jam Fes 2017

Promising 600 bands over eight days, Jam Fes offers the chance to check out dozens of groups on a single day for the nice price of ¥2,000. Live-house-crawl your way through legendary Shinjuku haunts like Jam and Loft to catch rising indie bands such as Windowz, Gloptin and Teaparty Band. If you’ve wanted to delve into the domestic scene but weren’t sure where to start, this is the event.

When & Where
May 5
Shinjuku Jam and other venues - Map
More Info

Saturday: American culture extravaganza

Mojiko American Swap Meet

Japan has a mixed relationship with American cars: on one hand they’re viewed as unreliable, yet on the other they are the very encapsulation of romance on the road. Mojiko American Swap Meet doubles as a classic American car expo and a flea market of all things red, white and blue.

When & Where
May 6-7
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Minatomachi, Moji-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka - Map
More Info

Sunday: Loud and proud


Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2017 Week Festival and Parade

Tokyo Rainbow Week culminates in a festival in Yoyogi Park and parade on Sunday. Over 10,000 people are expected to join marching bands and festive floats in winding through Shibuya and Harajuku. At a time of change in Japan, “TOKYO RAINBOW PRIDE aims to foster a society in which each individual is free to be happy as themselves, regardless of where they fall on the SOGI (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity) spectrum.”

When & Where
May 7
10 a.m. -6 p.m.
Yoyogi Park, Tokyo - Map
More Info

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