Culture

This Week in Japan Dec. 18-24, 2017

Every week we post our picks for upcoming events in Japan. If you would like your event listed here, contact the editor of GaijinPot.

By 5 min read

From a charity rock out to holiday illuminations to everyone’s favorite noodle, there’s something for everyone this week in Japan. If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed here.

Monday: Rock for a cause (Tokyo)

No Hunger for the Holidays: Benefit for Second Harvest Tokyo

Instant Karma, Jonny Barefoot and the Shoehorns, and the Moonshots are hosting an event at What the Dickens to raise money and awareness for the Second Harvest food bank in Tokyo. Second Harvest does tremendous work feeding the hungry in the Kanto region. We might not realize it, but hunger and poverty are problems in Japan; according to government and OECD statistics, about 20 million people here live below the poverty line.

When & Where
Dec 18
8-11 p.m.
What The Dickens! Tokyo - Map
By donation
More Info

Tuesday: Japan debut (Tokyo)

Future Islands

Channeling elements of the finer synth-pop of the 1980s, Future Islands make their long-awaited debut in Japan with a one-off in Shibuya. Reminiscent of Fine Young Cannibals, The Cure, and Echo and the Bunnymen, they’re led by protean singer Samuel T. Herring. Based out of Baltimore, Future Islands are currently touring their fifth album "The Far Field," out on prestigious indie imprint 4AD.

When & Where
Dec 19
7:30 p.m.
Shibuya WWWx - Map
¥6,300
More Info

Wednesday: Fantastical images (Fukuoka)

Team Lab Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins

Cutting-edge visual installation group Team Lab has turned its restless imagination to the landmarks of Fukuoka. Employing the latest projection mapping technology, the group is using the Fukuoka Castle Ruins as a canvas for its interactive display “Animals of Flowers, Symbiotic Lives in the Stone Wall.” The display projects images of animals created from colorful flowers onto the ruins’ walls. Another installation,“Resisting and Resonating Ovoids and Trees,” has egg-shaped objects placed among trees near the ruins. Visitors are invited to approach and interact with the displays.

When & Where
Dec 28-Jan 20
6-10 p.m.
Fukuoka Castle, Maizuru Park - Map
Free
More Info

Thursday: Eastern illumination (Kobe)

Nankin-machi Lantern Fair

Each year Kobe’s Chinatown pulls out the stops for its own kind of holiday illumination. The Nankin-machi Lantern Fair apparently started because local businesses wanted to rival the Western-style Christmas decorations at Kobe Luminarie. Hundreds of traditional red lanterns provide an Asian contrast to the Occidental illuminations on view just down the road.

When & Where
Dec 21-25
4-10 p.m.
Kobe Chinatown - Map
Free
More Info

Friday: Lift a leg (Osaka)

Alzar Fridays feat. Kaiserdisco

Frederic Berger and Patrick Buck have rocked the right clubs, remixed the acts that matter, put their names in bold across festival marquees. That makes them the right act to head up a night of beats and decadence at Osaka’s Alzar. With the confidence of the title running through every dropped needle and pushed play button, the Hamburg duo have enveloped the dance floor in their own resilient way since joining forces in 2008. Locals Dhadha, Nao Nakamura and more are on hand to provide support.

When & Where
Dec 22
11 p.m.-5 a.m.
Alzar, Osaka - Map
¥3,000
More Info

Saturday: Get in the spirit (Tokyo)

World Latin Christmas Festival

The world’s Christmas traditions and a hefty dash of Latin brio is the theme of this weekend festival at Tokyo’s venerable Yoyogi Park band shell. Enjoy a Christmas market and music and dance not just from Latin America, but apparently from as far away as Indonesia — a belly-dancing Santa Claus is even scheduled to appear. The event is produced by BMI, a group behind many festivals that take place in Yoyogi throughout the year.

When & Where
Dec 23-24
10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Yoyogi Park Outdoor Stage, Tokyo - Map
Free
More Info

Sunday: Stuff yourself (Osaka)

Ramen Expo 2017

Forty of the nation’s tastiest ramen shops are pitting their noodles against each other in the ongoing Ramen Expo 2017. Ten restaurants participate on four successive weekends. For this last weekend, shops are coming together from as far away as Oita and Hokkaido. The offerings range from the lightest of chicken broths to the heaviest "tonkotsu"-style ramen. Over 100,000 people are expected over the duration of the event.

When & Where
Dec 24
10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Banpakukoen, Osaka - Map
Free
More Info

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