Culture

This Week In Japan, Feb. 19-25, 2018

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 that circus to a lantern festival to an indie-rock concert, 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: Circus juggernaut (Tokyo)

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Cirque du Soleil Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities

Cirque de Soleil’s 35th production since 1984, Kurios was created for the 30th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil. Cabinets of curiosities are the ancestors of museums, also known as cabinets of wonder in Renaissance Europe. Aristocrats, merchants and early scientists formed collections of historical relics, works of art or mysterious travel souvenirs. Kurios is set in the time of the industrial revolution during the 19th Century. The Seeker is convinced that there exists a hidden world — a place where the craziest ideas await. A collection of otherworldly characters suddenly steps into his makeshift mechanical world and his curios jump to life before his very eyes.

When & Where
Feb 19-July 8
Various
Odaiba Big Top, Tokyo - Map
¥4,500-¥13,500
More Info

Tuesday: Illuminated heritage (Nagasaki)

Nagasaki Lantern Festival

First started by Chinese residents of Nagasaki to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Nagasaki Lantern Festival is a major seasonal tradition illuminating the Kyushu city’s winter. The event spans 15 days of activities, centered on over 15,000 Chinese lanterns in Shinchi Chinatown, Hama-ichi, Kankodori Arcade as well as other parts of the city. Highlights include a procession reenacting the arrival of Chinese crews, an emperor’s parade, dragon dance and lion dances plus acrobatics and music performances.

When & Where
Feb 20-March 4
5-10 p.m.
Nagasaki - Map
Free
More Info

Wednesday: Here’s your plan (Tokyo)

Makoto Aida “Ground No Plan”

“Visions of the City — Obayashi Foundation Research Program” gives artists the opportunity to make proposals for innovative or ideal cities. As the first grant recipient, Makoto Aida, a Japanese artist who deals with everything from nymphets, the erotic and grotesque to war, violence and politics, and who has been scathingly critical of contemporary Japanese society, was selected. Aida makes use of various media, including conceptual drawings, scale models, paintings, installations, film and texts to depict the future city and landscapes that he envisions.

When & Where
Feb 21-24
10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Aoyama Crystal Bldg., Tokyo - Map
Free
More Info

Thursday: Indie-rock eminence (Tokyo)

Father John Misty

Onetime Fleet Foxes drummer and indie megastar Father John Misty returns to Japan for a two-date tour. The artist formerly known as J. Tillman has blossomed into one of the world's most prominent singer-songwriters since leaving Fleet Foxes, with his 2017 release "Pure Comedy" winning rave reviews and hoisting its creator to festival main stages, including last summer’s Fuji Rock Festival.

When & Where
Feb 22
8 p.m.
Tsutaya O-East, Tokyo - Map
¥7,000
More Info

Friday: Hoist a leg (Osaka)

Lark with guest DJ Andy Kolwes

House and techno producer Andy Kolwes is a passionate vinyl player and collector and loves playing on a gut level, hunting for that special moment, always juggling between the deepest shades of electronic music. The Englishman has won plays from the likes of Ricardo Villalobos and Sammy Dee, and arrives to helm the Friday night wheels of steel at ever-dependable Osaka nightclub Circus.

When & Where
Feb 22
11 p.m.-5 a.m.
Circus Osaka - Map
¥2,500
More Info

Saturday: Saturday: Get springy (Fukuoka)

Spring Festival in Fukuoka

Chinese New Year celebrations are in full swing in Hakata, where Canal City Hakata will be decorated in Chinese colors as part of festivities that include tasty cuisine samplings and various attractions and events. Among the latter are a Mongolian song and dance show and a popular karaoke competition where non-Japanese people can test out their singing voices.

When & Where
Feb 24-25
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
B1F Sun Plaza Stage, Canal City Hakata - Map
Free
More Info

Sunday: VR space odyssey (Tokyo)

Megastar Journey

Tokyo Tower is reinventing itself to take on Tokyo Skytree, and among its new attractions is a VR-powered space journey. The experience is the brainchild of planetarium genius Takayuki Ohira, whose ABAL system allows the audience to not only walk around in the VR content freely but also touch real objects and high-five with multiple people during the performance. The show revolves around a mysterious “Time Space Elevator” made secretly by a genius scientist, Dr. Ohirada, 60 years ago and found deep beneath Tokyo Tower.

When & Where
Feb 25-April 9
10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tokyo Tower - Map
¥1,800
More Info

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