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This Week in Japan Aug 7-13, 2017

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 luminous lanterns to steampunk shows to New Orleans jazz, there’s something for everyone across the archipelago. If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed.

Monday:  Luminous lanterns

Aomori Nebuta Festival

Aomori’s famed Nebuta Festival reaches its climax Aug. 7. Every year, more than 3 million visitors gather to view the fire festival held annually in Aomori city. Over 20 "nebuta" — massive lantern floats based on kabuki or mythical stories — parade through town as colorfully dressed "haneto" (nebuta dancers), flutists and drummers convey the nebuta through the city. On the night of the 7th, the nebuta are placed in boats and ferried around the Aomori Bay as fireworks light up the night sky to conclude the event.

When & Where
Aug 7
1-3 p.m. (parade) & 7:15-9 p.m. (ocean parade & fireworks)
Aomori City, Aomori - Map
More Info

Tuesday: Vertical circus

Wa! Wonder Japan Experience

Argentinian performance group Fuerza Bruta returns to Japan with a specifically Nippon-themed show. "Wa! Wonder Japan Experience" sets the troupe’s vertical circus razzle-dazzle (the action takes place above a standing audience) amid a pack of Japanese tropes. The group has charmed audiences in over 30 countries across the planet.

When & Where
Aug 8-Sep 12
Stellar Ball, Tokyo - Map
More Info

Wednesday: Summer spirit

Camp Shimoshizu Bon Odori

This bon dance festival takes place at Camp Shimoshizu, a base of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. There is not only a big bon dance, but also other highlights including a performance by the music corps and a variety of outdoor stalls on the premises. The night climaxes with beautiful fireworks, painting the night sky in a hundred different colors.

When & Where
Aug 9
4:30–9 p.m.
Camp Shimoshizu - Map
More Info

Thursday: Shake a leg

SMBD Asia Tour 2017 × Rollin’

U.K. producer Simbad aka SMBD makes his debut performance in Fukuoka to round off his Asian tour. Simbad boasts global acclaim, with both mainstream and underground DJs and tastemakers supporting his blend of techno, house, and bass music. Local residents including Fukuoka producer Brisa offer support behind the figurative wheels of steel.

When & Where
Aug 10
9 p.m.
Kieth Flack, Fukuoka - Map
More Info

Friday: Steampunk… Japan style


The first of its kind in Japan, "Gear" is a unique non-verbal performance set in the future. Accompanied by impressive stage effects using techniques ranging from kabuki to the latest technologies, "Gear" follows the story of personified robots (roboroids) including the heroine “Doll” that work in a former toy factory. Sometimes likened to "Blue Man" or "Nanta," the show is a favorite of steampunk fans, featuring mime, dancing, magic and circus tricks.

When & Where
Aug 11
Noon & 5 p.m.
Art Complex 1928, Kyoto - Map
More Info

Saturday: Snap your fingers  

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band has held the torch of New Orleans music — with its inimitable spirit — aloft for more than 50 years. The septet marches that tradition forward at Billboard, fresh off the heels of the release of "So It Is," their second release featuring all-new original music. The album redefines New Orleans music in 2017, tapping into the city’s Afro-Cuban roots, through common ancestry with the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti and the Fire Music of Pharoah Sanders and John Coltrane, and forward to cutting-edge artists like My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire and the Black Keys, with whom the ensemble has shared the stage.

When & Where
Aug 12
4:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Billboard Live, Tokyo - Map
More Info

Sunday: Step back in time

Revisiting Siebold’s Japan Museum

German physician and natural historian Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold visited Japan during the 19th century, gathering a vast collection of resources related to the natural environment and everyday life in Japan, and brought these back to Europe. This exhibition marks the 150th anniversary of Siebold's death, providing a panorama of the collection left in Munich, his final resting place, and a reconstruction of this valuable collection from a new perspective: Siebold’s Japan Museum.

When & Where
Aug 13
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka - Map
More Info

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