Culture

This Week in Japan, May 29-June 3

By 4 min read

From waterborne kabuki to noh by firelight to mountaintop raving, there’s something for everyone this week in Japan to get you excited! If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed.

Monday: Waterborne kabuki

June Kabuki Canal Procession

The June performances of kabuki are about to begin in Fukuoka, which means its time for the lively annual advance procession of actors and musicians along the city’s canals. The waterborne parade sees actors boarding boats on the Naka River to give short previews of upcoming performances at the nearby theater. The procession starts at Seiryu Park and ends at Hakata Riverain.

When & Where
May 29
1-2:40 p.m.
Seiryu Park, Fukuoka City - Map
Free

Tuesday: Belgian daydreams

Fantastic Art in Belgium

A rare chance exists to view in Japan the works of Hieronymus Bosch, the early Dutch/Netherlandish painter renowned for fantastic works that feature many strange creatures. Bosch’s influence carried down the centuries, leading to unique expressions by Bruegel, Magritte and Jan Fabre. This exhibition introduces approximately 120 pieces of Belgian fantastical art produced from the 15th century to now, in forms including painting, prints and sculpture.

When & Where
May 30-July 9
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe - Map
¥1,500

Wednesday: Design decisions

Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network and show their works in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world and inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of "chit chat,” it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. Check the Facebook page for presenters at the upcoming edition.

When & Where
May 31
7 p.m.
SuperDeluxe, Tokyo - Map
¥1,000

Thursday: Noh by firelight

Kyoto Takigi Noh

The ancient theater form Noh looks even more magical and mysterious when performed by firelight in the annual staging called "Takigi Noh." Actors don masks — some beneficent, some malevolent — and take the stage at the Grand Heian Shrine for two days each year. Be aware that photography is not permitted during the performances, and in the case of rain, the shows will be postponed until the next clear evening.

When & Where
June 1 & 2
6 p.m.
Heian Shrine, Kyoto - Map
¥5,000

Friday: Mountain beats

Global Ark

Techno tribes of Japan gather in the mountains of Yamanashi for the 2017 edition of Global Ark. The weekend event is situated on a mountain ridge 1,500 meters up in the foothills of Mt. Yatsugatake and features international luminaries Akufen and DJ Reeko along with a slew of domestic beat makers from Kaoru Inoue to Bryan-Burton Lewis. Party under the stars and wash off the sweat with a dip in a hot spring the next morning.

When & Where
June 2-4
3 p.m.~
Yatsugatake-Utsukushi Mori Ridge, Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture - Map
¥7,000

Saturday: Noisemakers unite

OOO! Vol. 6

A gaggle of Japan’s most progressive and challenging bands join together for a 16-hour noise-fest at Tokyo livehouse Jam. Among the acts to appear are the Krautrock-influenced, assaultive Kuruucrew and T. Mikawa from the legendary Incapacitants. Also on the bill are experimental turntablist, DJ Memai, and American multimedia artist Victoria Shen. The event begins Saturday afternoon and goes on through Sunday morning.

When & Where
June 3
2 p.m.
Shinjuku Jam, Tokyo - Map
¥3,000

Sunday: It’s toy time

International Tokyo Toy Show

Japan’s inventive toy makers show off their wares as the four-day International Tokyo Toy Show winds up at Tokyo Big Sight. Look for loads of high-tech gadgets from companies like Tomy and Sony, as well as international exhibitors such as Belgium’s Belbal and Taiwan’s Bliss Electronic. The nation’s foremost toy trade show drew 160 exhibitors and about 35,000 toys to its 2016 edition.

When & Where
June 4
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tokyo Big Sight - Map
Free
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