6 Japanese Music Festivals to Visit During Golden Week

29.April.2019 | FEATURES / FES / MUSIC

Hi, readers. I’m Heir from the MMN editorial department.

 

Japan’s week of holidays known as Golden Week is about to begin. This year there are a whopping 10 holidays in a row, and during that time, lots of festivals are set to take place up and down the country.

 

Have you ever experienced a Japanese festival yourself? In this article I’m going to recommend 6 music festivals taking place during Golden Week that won’t fail to excite music lovers.

 

1. ARABAKI 2019 (Miyagi)

ARABAKI ROCK FEST is one of the main rock festivals in Japan that takes place in the Tohoku region. The event came to be as a way to promote Japan’s native culture up and down the country through a fusion of history, culture and rock music.

 

A total of 52 artists are set to perform this year including Aimyon, Wednesday Campanella and QUEEN BEE. Enjoy two days of music while getting up close and personal with Tohoku culture.

 

▶︎INFO

ARABAKI ROCK FES.2019

Date: April 27, 2019 – April 28, 2019

Location: Michinoku Park, Kawasaki, Miyagi Prefecture

Official Website: https://arabaki.com

 

2. FM802 REQUESTAGE (Osaka)

This live event will take place at Osaka-jo Hall on April 29. Six huge names in the Japanese music industry will take to the stage for this one-night show: ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, [ALEXANDROS], UVERworld, King Gnu, THE ORAL CIGARETTES, and Motohiro Hata.

 

▶︎INFO

FM802 30PARTY SPECIAL LIVE Kiyo Bank presents REQUESTAGE 2019

Date: April 29, 2019

Time: Open 15:00 / Start 16:00

Venue: Osaka-jo Hall

Official Website: https://funky802.com/requestage/

 

3. Kyoto Mirai Matsuri (Kyoto)

Kyoto Mirai Matsuri 2019 will take place at Minami-za, Kyoto’s oldest kabuki theatre, where the latest cutting-edge technology will clash with contemporary culture. The event will take place both in the day and at night offering their own unique experiences.

 

The line-up includes artists such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, BiSH, m-flo, CAPSULE and more. This is a chance to witness traditional Japanese culture combine with modern art, so if you’re in Kyoto this Golden Week be sure to check it out.

 

▶︎INFO

OTOMATSURI–

Date: April 30, 2019 – May 5, 2019

Venue: Minami-za (198 Shijo Dori, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)

Official Website: https://www.miraimatsuri.com

 

4. VIVA LA ROCK 2019 (Saitama)

VIVA LA ROCK, or VIVA LA for short as it’s known, is a rock festival that has taken place every May since 2014. The event invites a line-up of next generation artists that represent the “now” of the Japanese music scene.

 

An incredible 97 artists will be at this year’s festival including ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, UVERworld and KEYTALK. As well as music, concertgoers can look forward to food, outdoor BBQs, DJ performances and much more.

 

▶︎INFO

VIVA LA ROCK 2019

Date: May 3, 2019 – May 6, 2019

Venue: Saitama Super Arena

Official Website: https://vivalarock.jp/2019/

 

5. JAPAN JAM 2019 (Chiba)

JAPAN JAM is a huge music festival that has taken place every Golden Week since 2010. This outdoor event will take place at Soga Sports Park where attendees can look forward to a line-up of 54 artists and musicians such as Aimer, Fujifabric, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Gesu no Kiwami Otome, miwa―the list goes on.

 

▶︎INFO

JAPAN JAM 2019

Date: May 4, 2019 – May 6, 2019
Venue: Soga Sports Park, Chiba

Official Website: http://japanjam.jp

 

6. TOKYO M.A.P.S (Tokyo)

Another annual Golden Week event―this one since 2008―TOKYO M.A.P.S is a celebration of music, art and performance. The line-up this year features Trio Ohashi, Kitri, Ukigumo and more.

 

What’s great about this event is that it’s free to attend! Kick back and enjoy the live performances of a line-up of incredible artists in a relaxed environment.

 

▶︎INFO

J-WAVE & Roppongi Hills present TOKYO M.A.P.S ohashi Trio EDITION

Date: May 5, 2019 – May 6, 2019

Venue: Roppongi Hills Arena

Official Website: http://www.tokyomaps.jp

 

Golden Week is a time for fun and games, so if you’re in Japan, be sure you get to experience one of its many music festivals!

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    “P.O.P” Festival Breakdown

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    “P.O.P” Fes Food Court

    Food is an indispensable part of music festivals, so the event will have its own interactive “P.O.P” Fes Food Court which encourages fans to submit the recipes that they want Perfume to eat. The chosen recipe will be displayed on the food court page of the event’s website and Perfume will actually make and eat it in a video. Fans can prepare their own food at the same time so they can sit down and eat with Perfume. Details on submitting can be found on the official website in Japanese.

     

    Perfume | Comment

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    Pokémon Virtual Fest | Promotional Video

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    ©2020 Pokémon. ©1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.
    Pokémon, ポケットモンスター, and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and GAME FREAK inc.
    © 2017 Cluster, Inc.

  • Pokémon Virtual Fest Virtual Theme Park to Open in Japan

    05.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The Pokémon Company has announced the opening of a virtual theme park―Pokémon Virtual Fest―in Japan which will open from August 12 to 31 this year.

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    Entrance

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    Avatars

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    Mission

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    Theme Park

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    Attractions

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    Store Area

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    Beach Area

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    Event Stage

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    Pokémon Virtual Fest will open from August 12 to 31 in Japan.

     

    ©2020 Pokémon. ©1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.
    Pokémon, ポケットモンスター, and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and GAME FREAK inc.
    © 2017 Cluster, Inc.
    *Photos are of a product still in development

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    OMOTENASHI MATSURI / Official Trailer 

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  • A Date With Yutaro: Soaking Up the Japanese Summer Sun & Visiting the Art Aquarium | Tokyo Stroll

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    It’s been a while since our last date with Yutaro. He’s been very busy with film shoots. He had some spare time today so we paid a visit to Nihonbashi for our next date. “ECO EDO Nihonbashi: Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses” is an event held every year in the Nihonbashi area which takes the Edo period cultural idea of “coolness”―an in, to enjoy being cool during the summer-and puts a modern spin on it. There are many exciting things to look forward to, including the art aquarium which proves massively popular every year.

     

    We gave ourselves more time to arrive at the meeting place to be in the safe side, but it seems Yutaro-kun was already there waiting for us!

    Nihonbashi Information Center | IPPIN CAFÉ “Sparkling Herb Tea” – ¥518 (Tax Included)

    “Here, you must be boiling.” Yutaro-kun kindly offers a cup of IPPIN CAFE’s limited-edition sparkling herb tea. It’s a delicious mix of fizzy soda and lemon, a perfect refreshment for the summer. Since he ordered takeout the drink came with a goldfish straw. Goldfish are a staple sight during Japanese summer festivals so it’s very fitting for the occasion! 

     

    With our drinks in hand, it’s time to head to Nihonbashi for our Edo summer date!

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

    Lining the path between Fukutoku Shrine and Fukutoku Garden is the Wind-Chime Forest Path where around 200 Edo-style wind chimes dangled. This year, during the evenings, the path is illuminated with beautiful lighting. 

    When the breeze rolls past the wind chimes ring one by one-a cool and refreshing sound.

    “I hear each one of these Edo wind chimes are individually handmade by craftsmen.”

    When you hear the sound of the wind chimes it makes you feel cool like a gentle breeze of the wind.

     

    After strolling along the Wind-Chime Forest Path we make our way towards this year’s ECO EDO Art Aquarium event.

    The moment we step instead Yutaro is already dazzled by all the goldfish: “Wow! I knew about this place from what I’d seen online, but this my first time here! This art aquarium really is something!”

     

    The full title of the event is “ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium.”  Goldfish were a huge part of the common culture in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. This event recreates that and brings that “coolness” aspect while combining it with contemporary art by having people observe the fish in lots of different artistic environments.

    Super Oiran

    “This is the biggest fish tank, apparently it has 3,000 fish swimming inside!”

    “Seeing the light reflect on the water from the illuminations lets you see the fish in a different light, doesn’t it?”

    Looks like Yutaro-kun is having a lot of fun taking photos.

    He’s equally interested in just about every fish tank!

    These other fish tanks have a different aesthetic to them. Their Japanese-style designs make for great photos.

    Kaleidorium 3D

    “This one’s beautiful, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

    It really does look like one. When you take a peek instead you can glimpse all kinds of colourful fish gently swimming around.

    Ceiling Kingyo

    “There’re goldfish swimming on the ceiling too. So cool! This aquarium is incredible. It brings together the great culture of Edo and contemporary art.”

     

    The Art Aquarium bustles every single year with visitors, but this year will mark its last run. It’s being held at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, so if you have the chance to go then please do.

    We of course checked out some local Nihonbashi treats too! We stopped by morozoff for some cheesecake after the aquarium.

    morozoff Kamadashi Cheesecake (Goldfish) – ¥270 Each (Tax Included)

    These cute cheesecakes with their goldfish designs are available for a limited time only. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste. They perfect with iced tea.

    “Got some! Let’s eat them while we head back.”

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

    Our first date in Nihonbashi was so much fun. While on the date Yutaro-kun spoke about the new live-action film he’s in, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.

     

    “It’s a romance film with mind games to try and make the other person confess their love. I play the character Tsubasa. His number one highlight scene is the kabedon scene. That was my first day shooting, so I was super nervous, but I got along well with the other actors, and the atmosphere on set was harmonious, so I was able to relax for the shoots. Tsubasa is a genuine guy who will believe things that have been said to him in earnest. You’ve definitely gotta check out all his scenes throughout the film!”

     

    “A lot of the cast are the same age as me, so we were all energetic together in the waiting room. There’s a scene at the end where all the cast get together. It took 3 days to shoot so we ended up getting along really well.”

     

    “This film has made me realise that love comes in many shapes, and that mind games happen in a variety of ways between guys and girls. There’s cute scenes that express that small bit of pride that teenagers have, the embarassment they feel, when they get butterflies, scenes that will warm your heart. The film has various elements to it so I thoroughly enjoyed watching it myself. I hope that couples in love in their teens and twenties watch it, and I also hope that married couples watch it and crack up laughing too.”

     

    “In the film it’s summer break, and they go and see fireworks and stuff. It’s definitely one to watch durnig the summer. You’re gonna come watch it too, right? Shall we go?”

     

    An offer we cannot refuse! We’ll definitely go and see it with you, Yutaro-kun! 

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

  • Awa Odori Festival 2019 Kicks Off in Tokushima With Spectacular Traditional Dance

    14.August.2019 | SPOT

    The Awa Odori Festival is the largest dance festival in Japan and is held every year in Tokushima Prefecture from August 12 to 15 as part of the Obon festival. This year, the first day welcomed over 380,000 spectators who gathered to witness the groups of traditional dancers.

     

    This year marked the first Awa Odori Festival of the current Reiwa era which began on May 1, and so to commemorate the occasion, new elements were introduced. The biggest of these were four areas that showcases performances of Souodori which saw over 1,000 people dance along the 100 meter long dance floor.

    The first day of the festival was held at the Konyamachi Theater along the bustling shopping streets of Tokushima. This spacious location made for easy access and guaranteed you could watch the procession. While the people in packed-out outdoor theatre were looking left and right to see when the show was about to start, the clock struck 10pm, at which musicians began playing their instruments. The orchestra was made up of over 400 people who played enchantingly in perfect order. As they split into groups on the left and right side of the theatre, the crowd caught the first glimpses of the dancers. Out they came in different groups, starting with female dancers, then male dancers, and then more female dancers, this time dressed in happi coats. The crowd cheered them on, especially when they spotted somebody they knew.

     

    The dancers made up in the free areas included groups of workers, students and various others. But in the paid premium area spectators were able to watch the “famous” group.

    The premium area was located in front of the town hall and packed full of people. The famous group are made up of dancers with incredible skill.
    There was also a group for people in the crowd or onlookers to join in if they wanted to as well. Many celebrities also took part including comedians Hayashiya Sanpei II and Kazuya Kojima, actresses Sachiko Kokubu, Tomoko Fujita and Wakako Shimazaki, and more.

  • Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 to Take Place at Togo Shrine

    14.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    GLOBAL PRODUCE, a Japanese event organiser, is set to sponsor Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 which will be held at Togo Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo on August 23. Bringing together professional event producers, the festival will combine elements of traditional Japanese culture with the latest trends.

    Food trucks and stalls will open in the dozens, including appearances from the shaved ice shop Kooriya bebe which makes its fluffy shaved ice from the natural spring waters of Mount Fuji―perfect for the hot weather―as well as Ichika, a cafe known for its tapioca Japanese tea lattes made with high quality tea leaves from Kagoshima. Current popular restaurants will also serve up delicious summertime food. There will even be the Harajuku Bon Odori 2019 dance event, and the marchers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will also be present.

    Tokyo Bijin Project will make their first ever live appearance, a group of shining Japanese women with “wisdom, dignity and compassion” who are set to speak out for other strong women. They will talk leadership, interpretation, attending to people, the spread of Japanese culture, and more.

     

    If you are in Japan for the summer then make sure you attend all of the different summer festivals you can.

  • See Hundreds of Japanese Wind Chimes at Nyoirin-ji Temple Festival in Fukuoka

    13.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Fukuoka is a tourist hot spot of Japan, bustling with tourists and travellers both from the island nation and those from overseas, especially from China, Taiwan and South Korea.

     

    Situated on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island, Fukuoka offers amazing shopping experiences and serves up some of the most delicious gourmet cuisine at its rows of restaurants. But nothing compares to its bountiful sightseeing splendours.

     

    Rie is an Instagrammer who travels to all the different sightseeing spots Kyushu has to offer which she documents on her Instagram page. Today, she gives us a special look at one her most recommended places to visit in Fukuoka: Nyoirin-ji Temple.

     

    Nyoirin-ji Temple is often nicknamed “Frog Temple” due to the many frogs you can see at the temple grounds, a rare sight at a Japanese temple. It’s located in Fukuoka Prefecture’s city of Ogori which can be reached by catching a Nishitetsu Tenjin Ōmuta Line train from Tenjin in the heart of Fukuoka and getting off at Mitsusawa Station. From there the temple is just a 15-minute walk.

    Nyoirin-ji Temple is the home of thousands of frogs. A lot of the frog ornaments and items at the temple were collected by the temple’s chief priest.

     

    There’s one ornament which you can take a photo through as seen above, so you should definitely try taking one yourself in your own way. You can even get a goshuin stamp with a frog illustration too if you take your goshuincho stamp book.

    The frogs are a given at the Frog Temple, but a must-see is the Wind Chime Festival which is currently running until September. The temple entrance onward is decorated with lots of cute and colourful wind chimes.

    Up the stairs you can walk through a wind chime tunnel which gives you a cool, refreshed feeling even in the hot summer.

    It costs ¥500 for one wind chime which you can write your wish on before hanging up. You can’t take them home however so be cautious of that!

    Nyoirin-ji Temple was built in 729. It is home to a Cintāmaṇicakra statue which is a rare sight in Japan. It is also a registered cultural property of Fukuoka Prefecture. It’s not just a location for kawaii adoration―it has been long been loved by locals since ancient times and has a long history.

    The wind chimes will be strung up until the end of September. Their gentle ring is sure to make you feel at peace, so why not try dressing up in a yukata like Rie and experiencing the festival for yourself?

     

    Rie has many other examples of popular tourist destinations from around Kyushu on her Instagram page. Be sure to give her a follow if you’re planning a trip to Kyushu yourself!

     

    Photos by Rie

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