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Culture

This Week In Japan: March 12-18

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

By 5 min read

From a samurai close encounter to sample-delic nightlife, there’s something for everyone this week in Japan. If you’re planning or organizing something cool, send us an email to have your event listed here.

Monday: Night magic (Kyoto)

Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro 2018 Light and Blossoms Pathway

Numerous lanterns and ikebana flower arrangements create a magical "Light and Blossoms Pathway" that visitors are invited to stroll each evening in ancient Kyoto. The lanterns decorate the 5 km walking path that leads to the foothills of Higashiyama Mountain. From the north, the path goes through Shoren-in Temple and Maruyama Park, and then through Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu-dera Temple to the south. Delicate lighting illuminates the striking charms of Kyoto streets, beautifying the store fronts of Monzen-machi, while the Kyoto Ikebana Association has provided large flower arrangements to enhance the effect.

When & Where
March 12-18
6-9:30 p.m.
Foothills of Higashiyama Mountain, Kyoto - Map
Free
More Info

Tuesday:  Kings come alive (Nagoya)

Nagoya Samurai Kings

Those in Nagoya can get up close and personal with the samurai who essentially founded modern Japan. Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, three men sometimes called Japan’s “Napoleons,” all hail from there. A few years ago someone had the idea to reinvent them as a welcome committee at the Nagoya Castle. Today they've have become a tourist attraction. Visitors can meet and even chat with the Nagoya Samurai Kings, or “The Nagoya Omotenashi Busho-Tai.” On weekends and holidays at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. they stage sword battles, dancing and taiko performances.

When & Where
March 13
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Nagoya Castle - Map
¥500
More Info

Wednesday: Japanese modernism (Saitama)

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A View of Prints: The Trajectory of the Gendai Hanga Center

With such a rich history, it’s no surprise that contemporary Japanese printmaking (gendai hanga) has produced a fertile array of talents. Established in 1974, the Gendai Hanga Center introduced more than 700 artworks in collaboration with 80 artists before it closed in 1985. This exhibition examines its impact and delves into the possibilities of Japanese woodblock printing from a modern and contemporary point of view.

When & Where
March 14-25
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
The Museum Of Modern Art, Saitama - Map
¥500
More Info

Thursday: Clash of titans (Osaka)

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Sumo Grand Tournament

The city said to be the birthplace of sumo is busy with the spring tournament now under way at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. The Osaka Haru Basho even has a nickname: ‘Areru Haru Basho’ or ‘Turbulent Spring Tournament,’ so-called for its habit of producing surprises. This time around the focus is on Kisenosato’s health and whether he’ll be able to stay a top-ranked yokozuna. The sumo association will certainly be hoping the tournament delivers some drama-filled action to take people’s minds of recent scandals tarnishing the national sport’s image.

When & Where
March 15-26
8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium - Map
¥3,800-¥38,000
More Info

Friday: Sampling wunderkinds (Tokyo)

The Avalanches DJ Japan Tour

Aussie sampling wunderkinds Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi, better known as The Avalanches, spent the best part of two decades making the follow up to their debut "Since I Left You." Now – having lived through "seven shades of shit" – they’re back with its Technicolor follow-up, "Wildflower." Already tearing up critics best-of lists, the album and backing tour are sure to be welcome fervently in Japan, where they’ve long had a loyal following.

When & Where
March 16
10 p.m.
Sound Museum Vision, Tokyo - Map
¥3,500
More Info

Saturday: Artisanal clothing (Fukuoka)

21st Kurume Kasuri Ai, Ai, Deai Festival

Kurume kasuri, a type of traditional double-woven textile, is celebrated in a festival in its hometown of Kurume in Kyushu. The event sees dozens of manufacturers and wholesalers offering visitors the chance to purchase a wide collection of Kurume kasuri products, including clothes and accessories as well as raw fabric. Entertainment comes in the form of a fashion show and workshop; while English, Chinese and Korean interpreters are provided to ensure that even people unfamiliar with the production process can get involved.

When & Where
March 17-18
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Jibasan, Kurume, Fukuoka - Map
Free
More Info

Sunday:  European canvas (Tokyo)

Impressionist Masterpieces from the E.G. Buehrle Collection, Zurich

From the late 1930s until his passing, industrialist and collector Emil George Buehrle amassed a trove of 167 paintings and pastels and 31 sculptures, primarily works by European Impressionist masters. Since the creation of the Foundation E.G. Buehrle Collection in 1960, these acquisitions have been made available for public viewing at the foundation's museum in Zurich and, more recently, overseas. This show of Impressionist masterpieces presents many paintings in Japan for the first time, such as "Water Lilies, Green Reflection" (1926) from Claude Monet's acclaimed "Water Lilies" series.

When & Where
March 18-May 17
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
The National Art Center, Tokyo - Map
¥1,600
More Info

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