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Culture

This Week in Japan Mar. 13-19, 2017

Every Monday we serve up our top picks for this week’s events happening in Japan. To list your event, contact the editor of GaijinPot.

By 1 min read

From sumo wrestling to jazz to ritual fire burnings, there’s something for everyone across the archipelago this week. If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed.

Monday: Behemoths clash

Sumo Grand Tournament

The era of four yokozuna grand champions, including Kisenato — the just-promoted and first Japan-born yokozuna in two decades — officially got underway yesterday as the spring tournament opened in Osaka. But there’s still two weeks to see whether the native son can prevail against his three Mongolian rivals.

When & Where
March 13-26
8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Edion Arena, Osaka (Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium) - Map
¥4,600-¥13,400
More Info

Tuesday: Immerse yourself in the Edo era

Nihonbashi-Kayabacho Super Ukiyo-e Exhibition

Japan’s renowned ukiyo-e prints of the Edo era weren’t merely artworks, but the TMZ.com of the age. By animating digitized images from the Spaulding Collection — dubbed the most magnificent ukiyo-e collection in the world — at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, this exhibition creates an immersive experience in which viewers step back in time to the age of samurai and geisha.

When & Where
March 14-May 21
10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Kayabacho-Itchome Heiwa Bldg, Tokyo - Map
¥1.600
More Info

Wednesday: Get your folk on

James Vincent McMorrow

The Irish singer-songwriter debuts in Japan riding high on a number one album in his native country. "We Move" saw McMorrow edging in a more electrified, R&B direction. Outside his homeland, he’s best known for his cover of the Chris Isaak song "Wicked Game,” used in the first full-length trailer for the sixth season of HBO’s hit series "Game of Thrones."

When & Where
Mar. 15
7:30 p.m.
Shibuya WWW - Map
¥5,500
More Info

Thursday: Slurp a bowl with the gals

Ramen Girls Festival '17

Spring means it’s, umm, ramen time? Anyway, the idea of this festival is to celebrate the noodle’s newest demographic — women. Over four days Yokohama’s pleasingly atmospheric Red Brick Warehouse comes alive with offerings from some of the nation’s most renowned ramen slingers including Fukuoka’s Kurumera and Kyoto’s Seaburanokami

When & Where
Mar. 16-20
11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse - Map
Free
More Info

Friday: Jazz out

The Chick Corea Elektric Band

Fusion keyboardist Chick Corea convenes his 1980s Elektric Band to revisit some of their pioneering work, which along with that of his '70s group Return to Forever comprises some of the defining moments of jazz-rock. The tour kicks off in Tokyo with Corea accompanied by the incomparable John Patitucci (bass), Dave Weckl (drums), Eric Marienthal (saxes) and Frank Gambale (guitar).

When & Where
Mar. 17
6:30 & 9 p.m.
Blue Note Tokyo, 5-32-5 Daizawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo - Map
¥13,800
More Info

Saturday: Unleash your inner pyromaniac

Aso Fire Festival

Kyushu’s Mt. Aso region celebrates the return of spring with a series of fire festivals. Among these are the "daihimonjiyaki," or giant letter burning, which happened last Saturday, and the "hifuri shinji" fire-swinging festival, which takes place at Aso Shrine on the third Saturday in March. Straw is set ablaze and whipped in circles in prayers for a bountiful harvest. Viewers are welcome to participate!

When & Where
Mar. 18
After dusk
Wide area of Aso-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu - Map
Free
More Info

Sunday: Prep for hanami

Cherry Blossom Viewing at the Tokyo National Museum

Cherry Blossom Viewing at the Tokyo National Museum is an annual event that coincides with the spring time opening of the Museum Garden. Numerous artworks featuring cherry blossoms are on display in the Japanese Gallery (Honkan). A host of events take up hanami including gallery talks, haiku poetry gatherings and concerts.

When & Where
Mar. 19-May 7
9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tokyo National Museum - Map
¥620
More Info

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