Culture

This Week in Japan Dec. 25-31, 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 Christmas candles to sound installations to New Year’s events, 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: Last Christmas light-up (Fukuoka)

Uminaka Christmas Candle Night

Some 10,000 candles bring Christmas alight at Uminonakamichi Seaside Park on Hakata Bay in Fukuoka Prefecture. This year’s concept is “Christmas at Sea” and features candles arrayed in designs submitted and voted on by the greater public. At 7:30 p.m., the park will resound with 300 fireworks set off against the backdrop of the ocean. Last year, almost 30,000 people came to enjoy the festivities.

When & Where
Dec 25
5:30-9:30 p.m.
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park - Map
¥290
More Info

Tuesday: Sonic meditation (Tokyo)

Ryuichi Sakamoto with Shiro Takatani

Renowned composer Ryuichi Sakamoto steps outside the concert hall to present a museum exhibition. His first original album in eight years, “async” marked a new kind of experiment. After its release, the album was presented in the format of “installation music” in an exhibition space, combining 5.1 channel audio and imagery created by collaborating artists. “Is Your Time” is a new work created for this occasion by Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani, a member of artist group Dumb Type. After encountering a piano in a high school that was devastated by the 2011 tsunami, Sakamoto attempts to retrieve music from it by sensing music in other ways than physical sounds.

When & Where
Dec 26
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo - Map
¥500
More Info

Wednesday: Discover cinema (Tokyo)

Alejandro Jodorowsky Program

Surrealist director Alejandro Jodorowsky's new film "Endless Poetry" launched in Japanese cinemas in November, providing the impetus for Shibuya's Uplink to present a six-film program looking at the Chilean auteur’s career. Being screened are "Jodorowsky's Dune," a documentary about Jodorowsky's vain efforts to create a film version of sci-fi opus "Dune," as well as marquee works like "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain." Films are screened with Japanese subtitles only.

When & Where
Dec 27-29
Various
Uplink, Tokyo - Map
¥1,300
More Info

Thursday: Bring the earplugs (Kobe)

Boris

Just returned from another well-attended overseas tour are Boris, Japan’s perennially popular doom metal group. Now celebrating their 25th anniversary and release of their new album "Dear," Boris—Takeshi, Wata and Atsuo—have carved out a unique place in the Japanese music scene, remaining true to their cool yet heavy, psychedelic roots notwithstanding the J-pop scene’s relentlessly upbeat emotionality. None other than Iggy Pop wished them a happy "Dear" anniversary.

When & Where
Dec 28
7 p.m.
Unit, Tokyo - Map
¥4,000
More Info

Friday: Brassy evening (Nagoya)

Jazztronik Big Band Live

Pianist, producer and general music polymath Ryota Nozaki aka Jazztronik gears up for the holidays with a night of sets presenting sounds off his new album "BB1." BB refers to Nozaki’s “big band,” and he’s living up to the billing with a 12-member powerhouse. Debuting in 2003, Nozaki has tried his hand at everything from club music to classic to, most recently, traditional Japanese music blended with jazz.

When & Where
Dec 29
6:30 & 9:15 p.m.
Blue Note, Nagoya - Map
¥6,900
More Info

Saturday: Phat beats (Tokyo)

Prins Thomas

Bringing Balearic and disco to a new level, Prins Thomas returns to Shibuya’s Contact to test tracks from his new album "Prins Thomas 5" on Tokyo clubbers. Following last year’s "Principe Del Norte," "5" spins a contemporary take on timeless disco beats. Norwegian groove meister Thomas says the album was inspired by “Plaid, Teenage Fanclub, a bout of bronchitis, American jazz guitarist Pet Metheny and homesickness on the road.”

When & Where
Dec 30
10 p.m.-5 a.m.
Contact, Tokyo - Map
¥3,500
More Info

Sunday: Timeless house (Osaka)

Shelter Japan Tour 2017

With over 30 years behind the decks, Timmy Regisford, the impresario behind the influential Shelter parties and label, is back to host one of his legendary New Year’s Eve marathons — our pick out of this year’s slew of parties. The inception of his internationally acclaimed Club Shelter events in NYC in 1991 helped pioneer the soulful sound that has shaped the face of house music today. What better way to welcome the New Year than in the hands of a master?

When & Where
Dec 31
8 p.m.
Zakuro, Osaka - Map
¥3,500
More Info

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