Witness Beautiful Japanese Art at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo’s 100 Step Staircase
Those interested in Japanese art should most definitely visit the hotel and museum Hotel Gajoen Tokyo which is now holding the 5th Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan art exhibition until September 1.
It is taking place at its Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Steps Staircase’―which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty. This year’s event has been made bigger and better with brand new exhibits.
Visitors will ride the exquisitely decorated elevator and first come to an Aomori Nebuta Festival-style float as pictured above with its bright colours and angry gaze. This piece was created specially for the event. It also gives off an original summery smell too.
As you follow the path deeper into the exhibition―having first taken off your shoes―you will come a line of cloth crafts. You can switch on the lights inside to light up each piece which radiate the natural colours of the material. There are many cloth work pieces on display to enjoy.
This is what it looks like when looking up the 100 Step Staircase from the bottom. You will come to several rooms when ascending the stairs with light displays in them.
This is the first room inside which is a display created by bamboo lighting artist NITTAKE from Nichinan, Miyazaki. The bamboo is beautiful on its own but even more so when the lights are turned on in a dark room as the entire room is turned into artwork itself.
Continuing on you come to the “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” You can see the lights before you even enter the room and they plunge you into that Japanese festival atmosphere. It’s truly spectacular inside. It’s different from the previous room which was dark with lights hanging from it. It’s even more bright and colourful. It made me want to visit the real Nagasaki Lantern Festival which boasts 1 million visitors every year.
This room contains umbrella art using Japanese umbrellas from Yamaga, Kumamoto. The colours of the umbrellas turn the room into something magical. The room has a relaxing, soothing vibe to it that makes you want to gaze in silence.
Dangling further up the stairs are wind chimes which continue the summer vibes.
There are many unique art pieces too such as these goldfish from Yanai, Yamaguchi. There is artwork from around 40 individuals and groups so there is lots to be discovered. Take your time to admire each and every thing in there.
The stairs actually go up to 99. Once you have seen the final exhibition on the top floor it’s time to return to the bottom where you take your shoes off.
Whether you’re interested in art or Japanese culture, this exciting event is one not to be missed this summer.
Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan 2019 ~Kokoro no Shikisai~
Location: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo (1-8-1 Shitameguro, Meguro Ward, Tokyo)
Running: July 6, 2019 – September 1, 2019
Opening Hours: [Mon-Thurs] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30) / [Fri-Sat & August 11-18] 10:00-20:00 (Last Entries 19:30)
*Photography allowed (Tripods, flash and photography for business purposes forbidden)
Price: Same-Day ¥1,600 / Advanced ¥1,300 (Special Advanced Price of ¥1,100 Until July 5) / University & High School Students ¥1,200 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥600
*Student ID required. Preschoolers permitted free entry.
Online Tickets: https://www.e-tix.jp/100event/#akari
Official Website: https://www.hotelgajoen-tokyo.com/100event/wanoakari2019
New ‘Ways of Telling’ Exhibition Unravels People’s Narratives in Artistic Ways
‘Ways of Telling’ Venue Photographer: Kioku Keizo
The Ways of Telling Exhibition is now open at the Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery in Tokyo. The focus of the gallery is to closely inspect how people ‘tell,’ or communicate with others. Human beings often depend on hearing or seeing as ways to get information, but there are many other ways to express thoughts and emotions, from paintings and photography to video creation. The exhibition highlights different attempts to receive and express invisible ‘narratives,’ and visitors will have to rely on their imagination to understand each piece.
‘Ways of Telling’ Venue Photographer: Kioku Keizo
‘Ways of Telling’ Venue Photographer: Kioku Keizo
‘Ways of Telling’ Venue Photographer: Kioku Keizo
Exhibition Space Design – Hideyuki Nakayama Architecture / Photo: Takashi Kato
Eight artists have contributed to the exhibition, each utilizing a wide variety of mediums. Hideyuki Nakayama, the architect behind the exhibition space, wanted to encourage visitors to use their imagination. “A building is a place that has been given a name and a fixed purpose, but I tried not to see it that way. I wanted it to feel like a different place for each guest. I hope that the space will overlap with the underlying purpose of the exhibition, in a way,” he explains.
Bringing together both the seeing and the blind, a special book club was established as a place to discuss each person’s ‘way of seeing’ when it comes to art. In the exhibition space, Rinko Kawauchi’s book Hajimari no Hi, containing images and thoughts captured by blind individuals during the book club, will be displayed in both words and other mediums.
Ways of Telling
Running: October 9, 2021 – December 26, 2021
Hours: 11:00-19:00 (Closed Mondays)
Address: Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery, Galleries 1 & 2, and Interactive Space
Manga Artist Kazuo Umezu’s Work Featured in UMEZZ ART PROJECT Exhibition
UMEZZ ART PROJECT logo featuring self-portrait by Kazuo Umezu ©Kazuo Umezu
The UMEZZ ART PROJECT, focusing on the works of manga artist Kazuo Umezu, is coming to Tokyo City View in Roppongi Hills in Tokyo from January 28 until March 25, 2022. The artist is widely known for his work on a number of horror series including Cat Eyed Boy and The Drifting Classroom, Working in the industry since 1962, his works have inspired a number of other manga creators, with Urusei Yatsura and Inuyasha creator Rumiko Takahashi once serving as Umezu’s assistant.
The Drifting Classroom（1972-1974）
My Name is Shingo（1982-1986）
*Dates of serialization in parentheses.
Tokyo Mega Illumination at Tokyo City Keiba to Collaborate with NAKED for AR Experience
2021 marks the fourth year that the Oi Racecourse, also called Tokyo City Keiba, will be bathed in a sea of over eight million colorful lights! The Tokyo Mega Illumination is back from October 16, 2021, until April 10, 2022, and features a water fountain show synchronized to music, a 100-meter tunnel covered in twinkling lights, and more. This year, in the Twinkle area of the event, guests can enjoy various AR illuminations created as a collaboration with NAKED, a creative production company headquartered in Shibuya. The NAKED BIG BOOK interactive experience will also welcome visitors to enjoy a projection mapping experience like no other.
NAKED BIG BOOK
AR Horse Camera Filter
Limited-Time Area: Tree Playing with Lights (Lawn Area)
NAKED’s most popular work, NAKED BIG BOOK, utilizes projection mapping to allow guests to turn the pages of a giant book and experience a unique world separate from their own. Using web filters and AR, guests can also see the object as a pop-up picture book!
During this special collaboration held on a horse racing track, visitors can also see a giant white horse in AR as they explore the grounds. Colorful horseshoes and stars will pop up from people’s footprints, and the sound of visitors’ steps will take on the sound of a horse’s hooves instead. Be sure to make some memories by snapping commemorative photos with themed filters during the event!
Tokyo Mega Illumination 2021-2022
October 16, 2021 – April 10, 2022
Open Saturday and Sunday throughout October (Closed October 31)
Open Daily from November 1, 2021 – January 10, 2022 (Closed on Race Days and January 1)
Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays from January 11, 2022 – April 10, 2022 (Closed April 1)
Tickets are sold for the following week. New tickets for the following week go on sale each day at 0:00.
Official Site: https://www.tokyomegaillumi.jp/
Machida City Museum Hosts Looking at Prints: Techniques, Expressions and Histories Exhibition
The Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts in Machida, Tokyo, is currently holding the Looking at Prints: Techniques, Expressions, and History exhibition until December 5, 2021. Featuring over 130 prints created with a large variety of techniques, guests can take a deep dive into how each piece of art was made.
An Up-to-Date Parody of the Four Classes – Utagawa Kunisada. 1857. Letterpress, wood, multi-color printing.
Artists featured in the exhibition have used many different techniques to create their masterpieces, including woodblocks, copper plates, lithographs, and stencils. The main exhibit introduces famous printmakers such as Albrecht Durer, Pablo Picasso, and Shiko Munakata, but also a number of lesser-known artists who utilized less traditional techniques. All explanations are in an easy-to-understand manner, so why not come learn about art in Tokyo?
Looking at Prints: Techniques, Expressions, and Histories
Running: Until December 5, 2021 (Closed Mondays)
*Contents will undergo partial changes throughout the exhibition.
Weekdays – 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Weekends/Holidays – 10:00 AM until 5:30 PM
*Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Address: Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts (4-28-1 Haramachida, Machida, Tokyo)
Official Site: http://hanga-museum.jp/
Sumikko Gurashi Themed Cafes Open in Tokyo, Osaka, and Aichi to Commemorate Second Theatrical Movie
To commemorate the release of the their second movie, ‘Sumikko Gurashi: Aoi Tsukiyo no Mahou no Ko,’ Sumikko Gurashi will be opening the limited-time ‘Night Party with Sumikko’ cafe in Osaka on October 20, Tokyo on October 21, and Aichi on November 11.
(Advance Reservation Benefit Only) Original Invitation with Postcard (Five types)
Tokage’s Night Party Curry: ¥1,430 (Tax Incl.)
Shirokuma’s Warming Hot Rice Casserole: ¥1,430 (Tax Incl.)
Five’s Recommended Children’s Lunch: ¥1,650 (Tax Incl.)
Magician’s Party ~Açai Bowl~: ¥1,430 (Tax Incl)
Aoi Tsukiyo’s Fruit Punch: ¥1,100 (Tax Incl.) + ¥220 for one mini ice cream
Sumikko’s Pudding Ice Cream: ¥880 each (Tax Incl.)
Starry Drink: ¥990 each (Tax Incl)
Hot Café Au Lait: ¥880 (Tax Incl.)
Acrylic Keyholder (Random out of five): ¥770 (Tax Incl.)
Phosphorescent Sticker (Random out of eight): ¥605 (Tax Incl.)
Acrylic Stand (Random out of five): ¥880 (Tax Incl.)
Muddler (Three types): ¥1,100 each (Tax Incl.)
Mug Cup: ¥1,980 (Tax Incl)
Purse: ¥1,100 (Tax Incl.)
Fluorescent Pen Set: ¥1,100 (Tax Incl.)
A5 Clear File Duo: ¥605 (Tax Incl.)
Bandanna: ¥1,870 (Tax Incl.)
The Sumikko Gurashi characters are beloved by both adults and children for their gentle touch and tone. Their first movie, ‘Sumikko Gurashi Tobidasu Ehon to Himitsu no Ko’ was released in November 2019 and received great popularity. The sweet story of the Sumikko’s adventures through a story-book world attracted over 1.2 million viewers across Japan.
The heartwarming cafe menu includes “Tokage’s Night Party Curry,” “Shirokuma’s Warming Hot Rice Casserole,” Five’s Recommended Children’s Lunch,””Magician’s Party ~Açai Bowl~,” “Aoi Tsukiyo’s Fruit Punch,” “Starry Drink,” and more. The cute, Instagrammable dishes feature the characters who feature in the movie, which tells a mysterious story that begins under a blue moon in the Sumikko’s hometown. A lineup of limited edition goods and perks will also be available, adding to the movie excitement.
Enjoy a cute, social-media friendly meal and original merchandise at the exciting Sumikko Gurashi cafe!
©2021 Japanese Sumikko Gurashi Association Film Club
Sumikko Gurashi Cafe
Tokyo: BOX cafe&space Tokyo SolaMachi (Previously TOKYO BOX cafe&space Tokyo SolaMachi)
October 21 ~ December 5 2021
1-1-2 Tokyo Sky Tree Town Solamachi 1F, Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Shinsaibashi, Osaka: kawara CAFE＆DINING Shinsaibashi
October 20 ~ December 5 2021
1-4-3 Shinsaibashi OPA 9F, Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka City, Osaka
Aichi & Nagoya: BOX cafe&space Nagoya LACHIC 1F (Previously NAGOYA BOX cafe&space A)
November 11 ~ December 12 2021
3-6-1 LACHIC Basement 1F, Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi
Reservation Fee: ¥650 (¥715 incl. tax) *Reservation comes with benefits *Up to four seats can be reserved per application.
Cafe Online Shop opens November 11 12:00 until December 12 at 23:59
Reservations & Official Site: https://sumikkogurashi-movie-cafe.jp
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/cafe_sumikko
Online Shop: https://sumikkogurashi-movie-cafe.jp/online_store
Contemporary Art Festival ART@FUKUOKA Opens at Daimaru Fukuoka Tenjin
Department store Daimaru Fukuoka Tenjin will host the contemporary art festival ART@FUKUOKA for the first time, from October 13 until October 25, 2021.
The art market is growing year by year, with more and more people curious about incorporating unique works into their interior design, or purchase pieces as assets. In particular, the contemporary art market has become the focus of a large movement and continues to elevate a number of new personalities. The ART@FUKUOKA festival will feature 300 works by promising young artists from both Japan and abroad. This is a great chance for those unfamiliar with the contemporary art world to get a feel for what it represents!
Main Building 8F Works at a Glance
Sadamasa Motonaga – Untitled
©Motonaga Data Research Office
Nick Walker – Vandalism
DOLK – Winner blue dolk
ONEMIZER – Bicause Pipi
ART ~New Expressions~ (Main Building Antenna Plus 1F) Works at a Glance
The contemporary art movement is gaining more popularity worldwide. Each year, expressions become more and more diverse, and more unique creators spring onto the scene. The ART ~New Expressions~ section focuses on artists with the potential to lead the next generation.
BABYTECTOR [PRISM]. 2021.
Emoji_Alligator_Emoji (Output. ver). 2021.
BREAK DANCE. 2021.
Panther and Phoenix. 2021.
Running: October 13 – October 25, 2021
Address: Daimaru Fukuoka Tenjin
Venue 1/Main Building, 8F: 10:00-6:00 *Closes at 5 PM on October 25
Venue 2/Antenna Plus, Main Building 1F: 10:00-8:00
Official Site: https://www.daimaru.co.jp/fukuoka/
10 Locations in Japan and Beyond Participating in Naked’s DANDELION PROJECT
The DANDELION PROJECT has a powerful message: we’re all connected, even during these isolating times. Naked’s interactive art project began in Tokyo, Singapore, and other cities last year, and given their success, locations are now set to open at Heian Shrine in Kyoto and Kumamoto Castle this fall.
The original idea for the project came from artist Ryotaro Muramatsu, who decided to plant (or install) dandelion art pieces worldwide and bring people together to help them bloom. Those participating in the installations are able to send their wishes for world peace on digital dandelion fluff to other locations where DANDELIONs are planted around the world, and these messages are delivered in real-time. Even those unable to attend one of these installations can participate from home on the official website.
With new DANDELION PROJECT locations set to open around Japan, places with historical significance are happy to participate, including Kamigamo Shrine and Ninna-ji Temple in Kyoto, Kumamoto Castle, and Kochi Castle. There are plans to hold more events around the world in the near future.
DANDELION PROJECT Locations
Tokyo – Tokyo Tower Main Deck
Tokyo – TBS drama series Japan Sinks: People of Hope Collaboration, Akasaka
Kyoto – Kamigamo Shrine (World Heritage Site)
Kyoto – Ninna-ji Temple (National Treasure/World Heritage Site)
Kyoto – Heian Shrine (Important Cultural Property)
Kyoto – Kosho-ji
Aichi – Kochi Castle (Important Cultural Property)
Saga – Saga Prefectural Observation Hall
Kumamoto – Kumamoto Castle (Important Cultural Property)
Korea – Seoul
Official Site: https://breathbless.com
Worlds Largest “Washi” Print Exhibition ‘Awagami International Mini Print Exhibition 2021’ to be Held in Tokushima Prefecture
The Awa Washi Traditional Industry Center, a foundation which strives to inform and preserve the Awa Washi paper’s 1,300 years of history, will be holding the ‘International Mini Print Exhibition 2021’ between October 9 and November 7. The event will exhibit over 1,800 prints from 58 countries.
This international print exhibition will be displaying works from both domestic and overseas artists, all printed on A4 Wagami, or Japanese Paper. The exhibition is being held to increase the amount of artists displaying their works, while allowing local residents to feel an international connection through Awa Washi culture. This is the fifth instalment of the exhibition, which is held once every two years. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the organizers experienced some troubles such as shipping delays, but despite this, a total of 1,375 domestic and international artists applied to display their works. Each print has been carefully created by the artist, and will be displayed in one place to encourage not only those familiar with Awa Washi, but also introducing the culture to general art fans.
Why not immerse yourself amongst Japanese and International artwork at this unique paper event?
Awa Gami International Mini Print Exhibition 2021
Duration: October 9 ~ November 7 2021
Opening Hours: 9:00 ~ 17:00
Venue 1 General Incorporated Foundation Awa Washi Traditional Industry Center (141 Kawahigashi, Yamakawa-cho, Yoshinogawa-shi, Tokushima)
Admission Fees: Regular: ¥300 Student: ¥200 Elementary-Middle School: ¥150
Official Site: http://miniprint.awagami.jp/
Miniature Photographer Tanaka Tatsuya to Hold Second Exhibition, Opening in Hiroshima for Limited Time
Miniature photographer Tanaka Tatsuya, who has garnered attention from all across the world, will be holding the ‘MINIATURE LIFE 2 ~ Tanaka Tetsuya’s Lifelike World~’ exhibition between November 26 and December 13 in the Sougo Hiroshima 9F exhibition hall.
Event Limited Goods
The popular “MINIATURE LIFE Exhibition” which captured the hearts of 1.5 million people within Japan and overseas, has returned with even more power than before. You’ll find a sushi roll train rolling along the tracks, a clip becoming a waiting room chair, and a hot-air balloon lettuce floating in the sky… Tanaka Tatsuya is a miniature photographer living in Kagoshima, who crafts a tiny and funny world by transforming everyday items.
Their unique and creative works will make you laugh and groan, transcending borders and attracting over 3.2 million followers on Instagram! Tanaka is spreading the joy of miniature art from Kagoshima to the world.
In this long-awaited second exhibition, around 170 works will be displayed, including some brand new pieces. Venue-limited merchandise and miniature dolls that feature in the artworks can be purchased at the event, so don’t miss out!
Be sure to check out the ‘MINIATURE LIFE 2 ~ Tanaka Tetsuya’s Lifelike World~’ exhibition, where your everyday life will be transformed into a wonderful new world!
MINIATURE LIFE 2 ~ Tanaka Tetsuya’s Lifelike World~
November 26 ~ December 13
Address: Sougo Hiroshima Main Building 9F Exhibition Hall (6-27, Moto-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima)
Tickets & Exhibition Details: https://www.home-tv.co.jp/event/miniature_life2_tatsuya-tanaka/
Changes Made to November’s OMNIBUS Music Festival in Tokyo
As part of the Tokyo Art & Live City project, the OMNIBUS music festival will take place on November 6 and 7 in Japan’s capital. Rather than being held at Shinjuku Central Park, the November 7 concert will now take place at Hulic Hall Tokyo. Originally, this concert was named The Park #Assembly, though this has now been changed to The Hall #Space. For those holding tickets with the original name, don’t worry–your ticket will still be valid at the new venue.
Those who want a refund due to the venue change should head to the official website by October 9. The November 6 concert titled The Circuit #Excursion will be held as scheduled.
Additional tickets for the festival went on sale on October 2, 2021. Schedules for the events will be released soon, so stay tuned for more details!
The Circuit #Excursion
When: November 6, 2021 / Venue Opens at 12:00, Show Starts at 12:30
Locations: Shinjuku ACB HALL / Shinjuku Marz / Shinjuku Marble / Shinjuku Motion / Shinjuku Zirco / Shinjuku Red Cross / Shinjuku ReNY
Performers: asobi, Wez Atlas, ODD Foot Works, Campanella, kiki vivi lily, Kvibaba, Kai Kubota, Kuro, (sic)boy, SUKISHA, Suzuki Mamiko, Sleepless Sheep, Saboten, sooogood!, dongurizu, PEAVIS, VivaOla, YOSA&TARR, YonYon, and more
The Hall #Space
When: November 7, 2021 / Venue Opens at 15:30, Show Starts at 16:30
Location: Hulic Hall Tokyo 11F (2-5-1 Yurakucho Center Building, Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
Performers: Sohei Oyamada, GLIM SPANKY (Acoustic ver.), Koji Shimotsu, and more
Lawson Ticket: https://l-tike.com/omnibus/ (L Code: 74447)
Ticket Pia: https://w.pia.jp/t/omnibus/ (P Code: 203-026)
Official Site: https://omnibus-tokyo.com/
Baccarat Crystal Commissions YOSHIKI to Design Piece for 180th Anniversary
X JAPAN leader YOSHIKI was one of eleven designers chosen to submit an original design for Baccarat, commemorating the 180th anniversary of the crystal manufacturer’s Harcourt glass. The work was unveiled at Paris Fashion Week in Fall 2021.
Baccarat is a manufacturer of fine crystal founded in 1764 in the Lorraine region of France. The company’s iconic Harcourt glass features a hexagonal base with three-button feet and is known as a timeless and iconic symbol of the brand.
This year marks the 180th anniversary of the glass, which was first created during the time of Louis Philippe I. It’s hard to believe that these pieces have been on the tables of royalty for almost two centuries!
YOSHIKIMONO, the kimono brand created by YOSHIKI, has been featured at Tokyo Fashion Week multiple times. In 2020, his works were shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the UK, along with the Tokyo National Museum.
Known for his blend of rock and classical music, YOSHIKI continues to express his individuality in both his sound and fashion taste. From the front, the glass looks to be on fire, while from the top, there is a sense that a poisonous flower is taking bloom. The work is a one-of-a-kind blend of east and west and was a new challenge for the performer.
Comment from YOSHIKI
“I am honored to have been chosen as a designer for the 180th anniversary of Baccarat’s Harcourt glass. I’d like everyone to also keep an eye out for some new music coming soon. Thank you to all of the fans who continue supporting me in everything I do.”
Baccarat x YOSHIKI
‘Marubeni Gallery’ to Exhibit Marubeni Collection Pieces under Variety of Themes
Marubeni Corporation will be opening the Marubeni Gallery at their head office building on November 11 2021.
Marubeni has been collecting and preserving textile-related businesses since 1858, preserving dyed woven products from the Edo period (kimono, obi, fukura etc) and curating the Marubeni Collection, a collection of Western paintings collected from art businesses in 1970-1980, along with modern Japanese paintings which have been collected from artists and their circles, and a selection of weaved designs.
From the left:”Crimped Fiber Tasuki Chrysanthemum & Seigaiha Print Furisode” (Designated as an item of cultural importance in 2020) / “Iso Tsuzure Go” by Takeuchi Seihou / “La Bella Simonetta” by Botticelli (late 15th century).
The Marubeni Collection will be displayed at the Marubeni Gallery, exhibiting a variety of themes under the concept of “a space where the beauty of the East and West resonates.”
There are plans for special exhibitions to be held three times a year, and the Autumn 2022 event will be showcasing Botticelli’s “La Bella Simonetta,” the representative work of the Marubeni Collection.
Be sure to visit the Marubeni Gallery, where the beautiful of the East and West join together beautifully.
Opening Memorial Exhibition I: The Echoes of Modern Art between Japan and France
Duration: November 1 2021 ~ January 31 2022
Opening Hours: 10:00 ~ 17:00 (Last Entry at 16:30)
Closures: Sundays, Public Holidays, New Year, Exhibition Renewal Dates
Official Instagram: https://instagram.com/marubeni_gallery_official