Culture

This Week in Japan Nov. 13-19, 2017

Every week we post our picks for upcoming events in Japan.

By 6 min read

From a multimedia journey through Japan to expat jangle-rock to a mushroom festival, 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.

Sponsored: Fox tales

Fantasia

Imagine an event that’s part Cirque du Soleil, part "Sleep No More," part anime and part kabuki theater. Created by onetime Cirque in Japan director Ryo Oguri and starring Japanese singer May’n in the role of Princess Kaguya, "Fantasia" is an immersive experience celebrating all things traditionally Japanese. The vast show at Makuhari Messe is based on "Taketori Monogatari,” one of Japan’s oldest stories and guides visitors through 100 sub-stories unfolding in 20 rooms recreating Japanese tea settings, bamboo paths, a sake brewery and other themes. The likes of Basement Jaxx will be on hand to make sure things are jumping. All entrants must wear a fox mask to make sure the spell is maintained.

When & Where
Nov 18
1 p.m.
Makuhari Messe, Chiba - Map
¥12,000, ¥25,000 (VIP)
More Info

Monday: Blast yourself with Britrock

Temples

British midlands rock outfit Temples kick off a mini Japan tour with a gig in Osaka. Here to promote their latest disc "Volcano," the group was formed by the duo of frontman James Bagshaw and bassist Thomas Walmsley in 2012. After releasing some home recordings onto YouTube, they began a partnership with Heavenly Recordings to release the band’s debut single ‘Shelter Song’ and haven’t looked back. Now counting British rock royalty like Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher amongst their fans, Temples must be doing something right.

When & Where
Nov 13
7 p.m.
Osaka Big Cat - Map
¥6,000
More Info

Tuesday: Babes of giants

Mystery Kept in the Hatching of Dinosaurs

Japan is dino-mad with at least three dinosaur exhibitions concurrently on show nationwide. Focusing on the birth of dinosaurs from eggs, this exhibition hosted by Chukyo TV features around 100 items including fossilized dinosaur eggs and nests from around the world, with some material being presented in Japan for the first time. Drawing on the latest research on the stages from the laying of the egg through to hatching, explore the hidden mysteries of the birth of these creatures who thrived for some 100 million years.

When & Where
Nov 14-Feb 25
9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Nagoya City Science Museum - Map
¥1,400
More Info

Wednesday: Murder mysteries

Hitchcock/Truffaut

Waseda Shochiku cinema in Tokyo is presenting a series of thematic bills, the latest of which focuses on a series of famed 1960s conversations between two contrasting filmmakers: England's Alfred Hitchcock and France’s Francois Truffaut. Kent Jones's documentary "Hitchcock/Truffaut" is screened alongside three masterpieces from the giant of suspense: "Rear Window," "Dial M for Murder" and "Strangers on a Train."

When & Where
Nov 15-17
Various
Waseda Shochiku, Tokyo - Map
¥1,300
More Info

Thursday: Bathe in the glow

Namba Light Journey

About 700,000 LED lights illuminate the area around Osaka’s Namba district and invite visitors into a fantastic world entitled “Namba Hikari Tabi” or “Namba Light Journey.” The lights adorn a stretch beginning from the Nankai Building on the north side of Nankai Namba Station to the Midosuji Illumination area of central Osaka. Artful illuminations lasting past Valentine’s Day include a two-story waterfall in lights and a rooftop installation atop Takashimaya department store.

When & Where
Nov 13-Feb 25
5 p.m.-midnight
Namba Parks to Nankai Bldg. Osaka - Map
Free
More Info

Friday: Rock catharsis

The Watanabes 'Spoiled & Nostalgic' Release Party

Resident expat tunesmiths The Watanabes release their third full album on Friday Nov. 17. Join them in celebrating 'Spoiled & Nostalgic' at the venerable Shibuya Ruby Room. Guests Manami Nix, Robert Taira Wilson, Kate Beck will all get their guitars out for a sing-along, while DJ Timutaku, The Shadow Puppets and DJ Knobbly Knees (Ashley Davies of The Watanabes) will spin their favorite indie hits between sets.

When & Where
Nov 17
7:30 p.m.
Ruby Room, Tokyo - Map
¥1,500
More Info

Saturday: Sexy beats

DJ Harvey

Legendary house maestro DJ Harvey returns for his first proper tour of Japan in three years. Called "the Keith Richards of dance music" by "Rolling Stone" magazine as they named him one of 25 DJs that rule the earth, Harvey himself opined, “You can't understand the blues until you've had your heart broken and you can't understand my music till you've had group sex on ecstasy.” Harvey rocks house music temple Contact, the spiritual heir to Yellow, Eleven and Air.

When & Where
Nov 18
11 p.m.
Contact, Tokyo - Map
¥3,800
More Info

Sunday: Funky fungi

Fukuoka Mushroom Festival 2017

As any lover of Japanese cuisine quickly learns, "kinoko" or mushrooms, ranging from the humble enoki to the regal matsutake are integral to numerous dishes. Kinoko aren’t merely foodstuffs to be devoured. They're also objects to be gathered in the mountains and appreciated in art. Now in its third year, this festival offers kinoko fans the chance to survey 27 stalls of mushroom-themed food, arts and crafts and other exhibitions. Among the unique items on show will be rare glow-in-the-dark mushrooms, while visitors can also experience mushroom sake tasting and play a mushroom-themed game.

When & Where
Nov 19
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Gokoku Jinja Shrine, Fukuoka - Map
Free
More Info

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