This Week in Japan Apr. 3-9, 2017
By Dan Grunebaum
On April 3, 2017
From nighttime temple viewing to Marvel-ous insights and ritual peace dances, there’s something for everyone happening across the archipelago. If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed.
Monday: Movie musical madness
Singin’ in the Rain
Lithe Adam Cooper, who caused a sensation in Japan in Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake,” is back in a stage revival of the cinema classic "Singin’ in the Rain." The show has been packing houses in London since 2012, and the Japanese promoters of the Tokyo engagement have ambitiously scheduled a month-long run. It promises 12 tons of rain on stage for each and every performance.
- April 3-30
- 6:30 p.m.
- Tokyu Theatre Orb, Shibuya - Map
Tuesday: Nighttime temple magic
Kiyomizu-dera Spring Special Night Viewing
Few temples are as magnificent or offer as grand a view of Japan’s ancient capital as Kiyomizu-dera. With its grand vistas from a perch on a hill in the Higashiyama district, the temple is particularly sublime when framed by spring sakura blossoms. Each year at the beginning of spring, Kiyomizu-dera opens its doors to nighttime pilgrims.
- April 4-9
- 6-9 p.m.
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto - Map
Wednesday: Tap your feet and sing along
Raul Midon Trio
Singer-songwriter Raul Midon began his career as a session singer for Latin recording artists like Shakira and Julio Iglesias but soon broke out on his own, relocating to New York City to pursue a solo career. His latest is this year’s "Bad Ass and Blind," which pokes fun at Midon’s blindness — the result of being born prematurely and placed in an incubator without adequate eye protection.
- April 5
- 6:30 & 9pm
- Blue Note Tokyo - Map
Thursday: Hokkaido headbangers
The first Japanese metal band to be signed by a North American label, Loudness have been waving the banner for the domestic scene for 36 years. The current tour sees them celebrating 30 years since the release of "Lightning Strikes," an album that spent 15 weeks in the US charts and sent them on a trajectory of tours alongside the likes of Ozzie Osbourne.
- April 6
- 7 p.m.
- Zepp Sapporo - Map
Friday: Superheroes descend on Roppongi
Marvel: Age of Heroes
In advance of the screening of "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" and "Spider-Man: Homecoming," the Marvel comic book franchise offers the chance to get acquainted with the storied firm’s seven-decade history. Around 200 items provide insight into the mind of Stan Lee and the Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man and beyond.
- April 7-June 25
- 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Tokyo City View, Roppongi Hills - Map
Saturday: Shake a leg on the dance floor
Womb 17th Anniversary: Womb & Me
17 years is pretty damn long in dance music, so Shibuya’s Womb has gathered a gaggle of its longest-serving DJs and producers to help a night of celebrating longevity. Among them are some of Japan’s most successful club music composers and impresarios. Takkyu Ishino has been holding it down for Japan’s elepop scene since forming Denki Groove two decades ago, while Shinichi Osawa is equally legendary for his stylish productions with Mondo Grosso.
- April 8
- 10 p.m.
- Womb, Tokyo - Map
Sunday: Ritual dance for peace
Shirasagi-no Mai is a ceremonial dance in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration and the moving of the nation's capital from Kyoto to Tokyo. The origin is found in a scroll owned by Sensoji Temple that depicts a ritual parade to pray for peace. Three warriors, eight white "herons," 19 musicians and others dance in traditional costumes of the Heian period (8th-12th century).
- April 9
- Call for details
- Sensoji Temple, Tokyo - Map