This Week in Japan Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2017
By Dan Grunebaum
On November 27, 2017
This week, from ancient gardens to avant-garde arts to bangin’ beats, there’s something for everyone across the archipelago. If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed here.
Monday: Garden views (Nagoya)
Autumn Leaves at Tokugawaen
The Japanese garden Tokugawaen’s numerous paths are illuminated with traditional lanterns, presenting a perfect scene of autumn for the next two weeks. Tokugawaen follows the mainstream style of major "daimyo" (feudal ruler) gardens during the Edo period, featuring a clear stream flowing from a waterfall through a ravine to the pond representing an ocean, symbolically condensing the landscape of Japanese nature. The garden in Nagoya also boasts a restaurant with fine cuisine and breathtaking views, plus a gift shop based on samurai culture.
- Nov 27-Dec 10
- 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
- Tokugawaen, Nagoya - Map
Tuesday: Is seeing really believing? (Tokyo)
Leandro Erlich Art Installation
An Argentinian artist of global renown, Leandro Erlich is best known in Japan as creator of "The Swimming Pool," a permanent work at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. From massive installations to videos, Erlich’s pieces employ optical illusions and sound effects to shake up our common sense. Covering the entire 25 years of Erlich’s career to date, “Leandro Erlich: Seeing and Believing” is the largest-ever exhibition devoted to the work of this fascinating artist. Of 44 works on display, 80 percent will be making their Japanese debut. The program even features dance performances, the local sake and matcha of Kyoto, and traditional confections.
- Nov 28-April 1
- 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Mori Art Museum, Tokyo - Map
Wednesday: Swing out (Fukuoka)
The Glenn Miller Orchestra Japan Tour 2017
Jazz’s legendary Glenn Miller Orchestra is in the midst of a weeklong swing through Japan. The most sought after big band in the world today for both concert and swing dance engagements, the orchestra, named for deceased founder, trombonist and bandleader Glenn Miller, is considered to be one of the greatest bands of all time. The present Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world.
- Nov 29
- 6:30 p.m.
- Fukuoka Symphony Hall (Acros Fukuoka) - Map
Thursday: Get lit (Yokohama)
Smart Illumination Yokohama 2017
Held annually since 2011, Yokohama's Smart Illumination transforms the port city’s waterfront into a festival of lights and projection mapping. The latest in lighting technology has been employed in creations by over a dozen artists including Kyota Takahashi and international guests including Ukrainian-born visual artist Kateryna Snizhko and handmade animator Jaime Ibanez.
- Nov 30-Dec 31
- From sunset
- Zou-no-Hana Terrace, Yokohama - Map
Friday: Artistic interactions (Tokyo)
Van Gogh & Japan
Painter Vincent van Gogh continues to enjoy tremendous popularity even today, but the story of his interaction with Japanese art is less well known. Japonism was at its height in 19th century Paris as Japan became an ideal land and source of inspiration for artists fascinated by Japanese woodblock prints. Then, in the 1920s, Japanese artists and literati were drawn by the works of Vincent van Gogh and made pilgrimages to visit his resting place at Auvers-sur-Oise in France. This joint exhibition with the Van Gogh Museum presents oil paintings and sketches together with prints connected with the Auvers pilgrimage to convey the allure of Van Gogh through the medium of intersecting dreams.
- Dec 1-Jan 8
- 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum - Map
Saturday: Shake a leg (Osaka)
Osaka will be banging as Club Joule welcomes Madison Mars behind the decks. Starting off his career with releases like “Theme O” and “Milky Way,” the DJ/producer from Estonia is now easily recognized for his signature future house sound and immense success with Spotify releases. The debut year of 2016 ended up with over 50 million streams of his original tracks and in 2017, Madison Mars keeps bombing the dancefloors with both original tracks including Lucas & Steve collaboration “Stardust” and remixes for big names like Martin Garrix, Hardwell and Pink.
- Dec 2
- 10 p.m.
- Club Joule, Osaka - Map
Sunday: Go electronic (Kyoto)
Kyoto electronic music label Shrine is celebrating 20 years of existence with a festive evening at hallowed club Metro. Echo Kyoto pits special guest, founder of German techno label Mute, Daniel Miller, against Acryl, Hideo Nakasoko and other stablemates from Shrine. For those who don’t like staying up all night, the early hours of this event offer the chance to blow it out without destroying your Monday.
- Dec 3
- 6-11:30 p.m.
- Metro, Kyoto - Map