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This Week in Japan Jan. 8-14, 2018

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

By 5 min read

From Shinto rites to modern art to indie rock, 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: Cement the year’s luck (Fukuoka)

Toka Ebisu Festival

Held annually at Toka Ebisu Shrine in Fukuoka (and Ebisu shrines nationwide) this festival is dedicated to Ebisu, the god of fishermen and luck. The Toka Ebisu Festival runs from Jan. 8 to 11 and attracts visitors to the shrine for highlights including the “Kachi-mairi” or “walking visit” of geisha from 3 p.m. on the Jan. 9. Crowds gather with their cameras, jostling for space amid the various food stalls to get a glimpse of the girls.

When & Where
Jan 8-11
10 a.m.
Toka Ebisu Jinja Shrine, Fukuoka - Map
Free
More Info

Tuesday: Go wild on dots (Tokyo)

Yayoi Kusama: Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art

There’s still time to catch the inaugural exhibition at the new Yayoi Kusama Museum. The show centers on the artist’s newest painting series, “My Eternal Soul.” Other new works by the doyenne of Japanese modern art will be on display including works from the series “Love Forever,” which forms the precursor to “My Eternal Soul” and consists of a collection of monochrome drawings. An installation created by Kusama specially for the museum’s opening is also showcased, along with a new pumpkin.

When & Where
Jan 9-Feb 25
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Yayoi Kusama Museum, Tokyo - Map
¥1,000
More Info

Wednesday: Artistic New Year (Tokyo)

Happy Hokusai: Good Fortune from A to Z

In Hokusai’s day, it was customary to welcome the gods at New Year’s and other turning points in the year, to give thanks and to pray for good health, tranquility and bountiful harvests. Edo-period people with literary inclinations enjoyed privately commissioning prints, known as “surimono” to distinguish them from commercially published prints, and gave them to each other. Hokusai and his pupils produced a great number of surimono with the gods and other auspicious icons, as well as scenes of New Year’s customs as their subjects.

When & Where
Jan 10-21
9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sumida Hokusai Museum, Tokyo - Map
¥1,000
More Info

Thursday: Indie rock outing (Nagoya)

Foster the People

Foster The People came together in 2009 when Mark Foster met mates Cubbie Fink and Mark Ponitus through friends in the Los Angeles music scene. Foster, hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, had been writing and recording music since his youth but it wasn’t until the three members came together that Foster’s music for the band’s upcoming debut release, “Torches,” was ready for friends to hear. In early 2010, Foster The People posted their first song “Pumped Up Kicks” on the internet. Days later, it was used to score a friend’s fashion video, days after that it showed up on Hype Machine and a year later it had made its way into the ears of millions of listeners around the world.

When & Where
Jan 11
7 p.m.
Diamond Hall, Nagoya - Map
¥8,000
More Info

Friday: Hang with the hipperati (Tokyo)

Plancha 10th Anniversary New Year Party 2018

Key indie imprint Plancha releases some of the most cutting-edge chillwave, ambient and left-field music out there. The crew is celebrating ten years in the biz with a trio of artists flown in from overseas. British Columbia-based Teen Daze self-releases his unique take on dream pop, while Nightmoves is the alternate name for DC-based Rory O'connor, who also drums for Tycho. Young Magic is the handle for the Brooklyn-resident duo of Melati Malay from Indonesia and Isaac Emmanuel from Sydney, Australia.

When & Where
Jan 12
7 p.m.
Ka Ta + Time Out Café & Diner, Tokyo - Map
¥1,500
More Info

Saturday: Hands in the air (Tokyo)

Patrick Topping

In a short space of time, Patrick Topping has joined the top tier of dance music. Part of the new wave of electronic music producers from the north of England, his career began when he founded club night “Motion” at respected venue Digital Newcastle. Now 28, Topping has gone on to make his name as a prolific producer, with a long list of stellar releases and seven Beatport No. 1s, with the likes of “Get Beasty” and prominent collaborations with Green Velvet on “Voicemail” and “When Is Now.” With his productions championed heavily by Pete Tong and Annie Mac on their legendary BBC Radio 1 shows, Topping has the world at his feet in 2018.

When & Where
Jan 13
10 p.m.
Contact, Tokyo - Map
¥3,000
More Info

Sunday: Good luck crush (Osaka)

Doyadoya Buddhist Good Luck Ceremony

In another of Japan’s unusual New Year festivals, hundreds of barely-clad lads rush to get their hands on religious items said to bring good luck. The Buddhist event called “doyadoya,” from the sound made by hundreds of stamping feet, serves as the closing ceremony of a ritual held to bring in the New Year. The true action begins at about 2:30 p.m. when charms are tossed from the rafters in the Rokujido Hall. This triggers young men in nothing but loincloths to fight for the chance to claim a lucky talisman.

When & Where
Jan 14
2:30–3:30 p.m.
Shitennoji Temple, Osaka - Map
Free
More Info

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