See Traditional and Modern Japanese Culture Collide With Yukata, DJs & More at Tokyo’s Hamarikyu Gardens
The three-day Hamarikyu Oedo Cultural Festival will take place at the beautiful Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo from August 23 to 25. It will be produced by international fashion designer and stylist Junko Koshino.
The boisterous festival is a coming together of Japan’s traditional Edo period and modern times which will be celebrated with a myriad of exciting experiences.
The centrepieces of this year’s event are the DJ performances and Yukata Fest which will take place around the two 6-meter tall pillars in the garden’s plaza. DJ KOO will appear as a special guest on Friday August 23rd while Japanese models Arina Urahama, Sayaka Shimizu and YORI will take the spotlight on Saturday 24th wearing Edo-style outfits with a contemporary pop spin all made by Junko Koshino.
During the Yukata Fest, there will be taiko drumming along to the DJ performance. Three people from the Eitetsu Fu’un no Kai―a group supervised by famous Japanese musician Eitetsu Hayashi―will be the drummers. The Fest will mash together traditional Japanese music with modern DJing.
Expect to be thrilled with an up-close performance of kendo swordsmanship, iai―the art of drawing one’s sword―and a showcasing of naginata, a type of long pole weapon. There will also be a play area where you can play karuta with the Hyakunin Isshu one-hundred poems which was popular during the Edo period, blow bubbles, and more.
And of course, there’ll be plenty of Japanese food to tuck into as well served at one of the many booths. This includes namie yakisoba, a local speciality soba noodle dish adored by the people of Fukuoka which will be served as part of maintaining the culture, a Fukushima no Sake standing bar which has won the top award in the Shinshu Kanpyokai 7 years in a row, and so on.
Specially prepared traditional Japanese wagashi confections produced by Junko Koshino will also be sold as part of a collaboration project with Ito En who are sponsoring the event and holding a special tea party. They are limited in availability, and those lucky few who do get a spot will be able to enjoy tea and sweets while enjoying a view of the spectacular Japanese-style gardens at the Nakajima No Ochaya cafe.
Visitors will also be able to pick from a wardrobe of bright and colourful yukata, including some designed by Junko Koshino, at one of the booths at the festival and have them fitted on from them. Those who arrive already dressed in a yukata will receive free entry to the festival!
You’ll completely forget you’re in the boisterous city of Tokyo while at this traditional x modern fusion of a festival. If you’re in Japan this summer, then don’t miss out. More details of the festival and its content can be found on the official website below.
Hamarikyu Oedo Cultural Festival 2019
August 23 @ 17:00-21:00
August 24 @ 11:00-21:00
August 25 @ 11:00-17:00
*Hamarikyu Gardens are open from 9am as usual while the festival is running
Location: Hamarikyu Gardens (1-1 Hamarikyuteien, Chuo Ward Tokyo)
Price: General ¥300 / 65+years ¥150 (Free for elementary school children and younger, residents of Tokyo, and middle school student residents and younger)
*Free entry for those wearing a yukata
Official Website: https://hamarikyu-event2019.jp/
Akiyoshido Cave in Yamaguchi to be Illuminated for Christmas & Valentine Theater Event
26.December.2022 | SPOT
The Mine City Tourism Association has announced a Christmas & Valentine’s Day event at Akiyoshido Cave, one of the largest limestone caves in Japan. The event will see the natural wonder illuminated by a number of colorful lights. The Christmas event will run from December 21 to 25, 2022, while the Valentine’s Day event will run from February 10 to 14, 2023.
Akiyoshido Cave is one of Yamaguchi Prefecture’s most popular tourist attractions. The interior will be decorated with colorful lights and unique soundscapes, creating a once-in-a-lifetime setting for visitors. These illuminations and sounds were directed by world-renowned lighting designer Motoko Ishii, known for her work on Tokyo Tower and the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge.
Christmas & Valentine Theater ~ Akiyoshido Cave ‘Fantasy of Light and Echoes’
Christmas Theater: December 21 – December 25, 2022
Valentine Theater: February 10 – February 14, 2023
Times: (1) 10:00-11:00 (2) 12:00-13:00 (3) 14:00-15:00
3 events per day
Akiyoshido Cave, Shuhocho Akiyoshi, Mine, Yamaguchi
‘Edo Punk! The Dynamic World of Ukiyo-e’ Released in Japanese and English
25.November.2022 | FASHION
Ukiyo-e paintings became popular during the Edo Period of Japanese history. For those weaning to see some of the most rad ukiyo-e paintings around, the new book Edo Punk! The Dynamic World of Ukiyo-e is now available at bookstores nationwide and online. Luckily, the book is also bilingual in English and Japanese!
Kuniyoshi Utagawa, popular in Japan and abroad and known for his unique perspective, and Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, the inspiration for many modern manga series, are both featured in this tome. The many pieces featured combine elements of fantastical beauty and harsh realities, and fans can read commentary by Shoko Haruki. Haruki worked at the Hokkaido Museum before becoming a curator at the Edo-Tokyo Museum in 2017. She specializes in Japanese art history.
The book is now available at bookstores nationwide and online.
Edo Punk! The Dynamic World of Ukiyo-e
Release Date: November 24, 2022
Price: ¥2,400 (Excluding Tax)
Author: Shoko Haruki
Official Site: https://pie.co.jp/book/i/5414/
Craft Beer Service Otomoni Releases Tsundere-themed IPA
Craft beer subscription service Otomoni opened orders for a new Tsundere-themed Hazy IPA on November 15, 2022. The beer has a sweetness level that changes on its temperature and was brewed as part of the 15th installment of the JAPANESE BEER ODYSSEY, which aims to share aspects of both traditional and modern Japanese culture through craft beer.
For better or worse, Japan’s otaku culture is now a major part of the country’s appeal to people around the world.
Japan’s video game and anime market is now legendary around the globe, and millions flock to the country each year to become more immersed in its popular culture. Just look at the annual Comiket event–over 700,000 visitors attend each year!
To celebrate the upcoming Comiket, a new beer has been brewed that pays homage to modern otaku culture. The Tsundere Hazy IPA is perfect for otaku who love a little challenge when it comes to their love life.
Brewed with NOMCRAFT Brewing in Wakayama Prefecture, the Tsundere Hazy IPA features two distinct flavors, each coming out more strongly depending on the beer’s temperature.
When poured, the beer has a very tropical aroma, and when ice-cold, it’s more refreshing and less sweet.
As the temperature of the beer rises, the smell becomes more fruity and strong, with the smell of hibiscus certain to make your mouth water. Whether you like bitter or sweet, this may be the perfect beer for you.
Would you try this tsundere-themed beer?
Tsundere Hazy IPA
The Sumida Hokusai Museum Opens Hyakunin Isshu Exhibition Featuring 105 Unique Works
The Sumida Hokusai Museum in Sumida-ku, Tokyo, will be holding the ‘Hokusai at Play with the 100 Poems’ exhibition from December 15, 2022 until February 26, 2023. The exhibition will focus on the Hyakunin Isshu, a famous collection of 100 poems integral to Japanese traditional culture.
Hyakunin Isshu Uba ga Etoki – Sojo Henjo / Katsushika Hokusai, The Sumida Hokusai Museum.
Hyakunin Isshu Uba ga Etoki – Ariwara no Narihira / Katsushika Hokusai, The Sumida Hokusai Museum. (Phase 2)
The Five Great Poets, Tsuki – Katsushika Hokusai, The Sumida Hokusai Museum. (Permanently on Display)
By the middle of the Edo period, the Hyakunin Isshu, or 100 classical poems, had become an established part of Japanese culture. Hokusai, an ukiyo-e artist of the period, painted a total of 27 of these famous poems, incorporating his own ideas and views to create unique pieces still beloved so many years later. This exhibition features 24 paintings from the museum’s Hyakunin Isshu collection along with dozens more items pertaining to this legendary collection of writings. Don’t miss it!
Hokusai at Play with the 100 Poems
Running: December 15, 2022 – February 26, 2023
*Certain exhibits will be changed between the first and second phases.
Phase 1: December 15, 2022 – January 22, 2023
Phase 2: January 24 – February 26, 2023
Hours: 9:30-17:30 (Last entry at 17:00)
Official Site: https://hokusai-museum.jp
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo to Hold Tours of Historic Hundred Stairs
The historic Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, which blends a hotel and a traditional Japanese museum, will offer a tour of the Hyakudan Kaidan (Hundred Stairs) from December 3 until December 25, 2022. This Tangible Cultural Property of Tokyo is an incredible sight, and those with an interest in Showa-era architecture won’t want to miss it.
In 1988, part of the old Gajoen structure was torn down to make way for new structures along the Meguro River basin, and the hotel underwent a large-scale renovation over a period of three years. The Hundred Stairs were originally built in 1935 and designated as a Tangible Cultural Property by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2009.
Over the years, the Gajoen has served as a restaurant and gathering place for visitors from both the Showa-era and Heisei-era. Filled with traditional Japanese aesthetics, the location is now filled with art and pieces of cultural significance. A number of special exhibitions are held throughout the year.
Why not come enjoy this tour of a piece of Japanese history?
Winter Tour: Hyakudan Kaidan 2022
~Architecture, Beauty, and Tales of Tradition~
Running: December 3 – December 25, 2022
Hours: 12:30 – 18:00 (Last entry at 17:30)
Venue: Hyakudan Kaidan (Hundred Stairs)
Tangible Cultural Property of Tokyo, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
Nagoya Castle to Hold Special Autumn Night Art Viewing for a Limited Time
The historic Nagoya Castle will hold a special nighttime viewing event for 14 days only, from November 25 until December 8, 2022. During this period, Honmaru Palace will be open to the public at night, and the Chrysanthemum Corridor inside will be open to visitors for the first time.
The Ninomaru Garden will also be illuminated and will transport guests to a different place and time by showing a space only possible during dark hours.
Inspired by the relationship between light and shadow, this event focuses on changes that occur over time and the creation and emergence of new ideas and things.
Honmaru Palace, Typically Closed to the Public, to be Open at Night
Nagoya Castle’s Honmaru Palace was completed in 1615 and served as the primary residence of the Lord of the Owari Domain and as the Domain’s government office. The interior of the palace was lavishly decorated with paintings and other art pieces and was praised as a masterpiece. Sadly, it was destroyed by an air raid in 1945. Restoration work began in 2009 and was completed in 2018 with unparalleled accuracy. The Honmaru Palace gives off a completely different aura at night.
First Public Viewing of the Jodan-no-ma in the Joraku-den
The Joraku-den was added to Nagoya Castle to accommodate the third Shogun, Iemitsu, on his way to Kyoto. It is the most luxurious of all the Honmaru Palace buildings, and this event marks the first time that the Chrysanthemum Corridor on the north side will be open to the public. Visitors are welcome to admire the golden-blue paintings as they stroll through the historic site.
See Spectacular Paintings when Entering the Tsugi-no-ma Room
During this period, visitors can enter the Tsugi-no-ma room to view classical period paintings, giving a more clear idea of how people acted and dressed during this time in history.
[Ninomaru Garden Special Viewing]
~Witness a Never-Before-Seen Feudal Lord’s Garden through a Spacial Presentation~
Scenography for this unique show was provided by the creative label PERIMETRON. In order to show another side of the Ninomaru Garden at night, the company focused on light’s characteristics, from reflection and transmission to refraction and absorption. Light and shadow intertwine in various ways, and guests will be transfixed by this curious showing.
Nagoya Castle: Autumn Night Special Viewing ~KEI~
Running: November 25 – December 8, 2022
Viewing Hours: 9:00-19:30 (Gates close at 20:00)
Official Site: https://www.nagoyajo-kei.jp/
Chainsaw Man Tokyo Special Division 4 Event and Pop-Up Shop to Open in Tokyo
A story-based digital GPS rally inspired by Chainsaw Man will be held within Tokyo’s subway system from November 1 until November 28. Fans of the anime series won’t want to miss it!
Participants will be tasked with one vital mission: to find five senior devil hunters who are currently undercover at subway stations around the city.
Participants will download an app from the special website and follow the instructions within to find stamp locations at stations throughout Tokyo. When they reach the designated location, they’ll find a special poster, and they’ll just need to press a button in the app to earn a stamp. By collecting stamps in all six locations, fans will receive a unique key visual which can only be obtained through this event.
During the event period, fans will also find a limited-time pop-up shop inside Ikebukuro Sunshine City. Original collaboration items will be on sale, and a game will be set up with winners able to walk away with unique prizes. From November 1 to November 20, admission to the shop will be by advance reservation only on a first-come, first-served basis to reduce crowding. Reservations can be made through the official website.
Chainsaw Man Tokyo Special Division 4 Event and Pop-Up Shop
Running: November 1 – November 28, 2022
Location: Various locations in Tokyo
Participation Fee: Free
Special Website: https://www.edith.co.jp/lp/CHAINSAWMAN-GPSRALLY/
Hello Kitty Autumn Event ‘Apple Halloween 2022’ Running Until October 31
HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX, a theater and restaurant offering Hello Kitty-themed shows and meals on Awaji Island, and HELLO KITTY APPLE HOUSE, an apple-shaped observation theater based on the popular character’s home, are both currently holding the Apple Halloween 2022 event until October 31!
Guests can enjoy a mystery-solving event and some adorable photo spots inspired by apples and the Halloween season. By solving certain riddles, visitors will be rewarded with candy!
Come have fun this Halloween with Hello Kitty, friends, and family!
Started in October, the New Show ‘HELLO KITTY THE PARTIES’ Gets Rave Reviews
HELLO KITTY THE PARTIES, a new show at the theater and restaurant HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX, will run until December 30, 2022. The show features a new theme each month and currently features a jazz band.
October’s theme is Happy Halloween Party, and visitors can listen to a number of famous songs while enjoying tasty and healthy dishes packed with autumn flavors. At the end of the performance, a meet and greet with Hello Kitty will be held. November’s theme will be Hello Kitty’s Birthday Party, while December will focus on a Christmas Party!
Apple Halloween 2022
Running until October 31, 2022
Venue: Awaji Hello Kitty Apple Land ( 177-5 Nojimahirabayashi, Awaji, Hyogo)
Official Website: https://awaji-resort.com/hellokittyshowbox/
Popular Swimming Anime Free! to Hold 10th Anniversary Event at Saitama Super Arena in Summer 2023
The popular anime series Free! will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a special event at Saitama Super Arena on August 13, 2023. Cast members from the series, including Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Mamoru Miyano, Tsubasa Yonaga, and Daisuke Hirakawa, will be in attendance. Free! -the Final Stroke- The Second Volume will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 5, 2023, and will include a priority purchase application ticket for the special event. Check out the official website for details!
The Free! anime franchise, which is loosely based on the High Speed! light novels by Kouji Ooji, began in 2013 and includes three TV series and multiple films produced by Kyoto Animation. The three anime series–Free!, Free! Eternal Summer, and Free! Dive to the Future–have been incredibly popular around the world. The first part of Free! The Final Stroke was released in theaters last year, with the second part hitting theaters in April 2022. Fans won’t want to miss out on the exciting 10th-anniversary activities in 2023!
Free! 10th Anniversary Special Event
Date: August 13, 2023
Venue: Saitama Super Arena (8 Shintoshin, Chuo-ku, Saitama)
Cast: Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Mamoru Miyano, Tsubasa Yonaga, Daisuke Hirakawa, more
Free! -the Final Stroke- The Second Volume Blu-ray＆DVD
Release Date: April 5, 2023
Price: ¥11,000 (Tax Included)
Official Site: http://fs.iwatobi-sc.com/
Results of Second Japanese Cultural Grand Prix Announced
12.September.2022 | FASHION
The five winners of the second Japanese Traditional Culture Grand Prix have been announced! The contest was spearheaded by the Japan Traditional Culture Promotion Project, established in May 2020 as a collaborative effort among companies, associations, and local governments to establish a sustainable framework for the continued development of Japanese traditional culture.
The project is headed by Seiichi Kondou, the Former Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. United Arrows Honorary Chairman Osamu Shigematsu serves as Vice-Chairman. Along with Nobuo Yoshida, the 14th generation head of the 400-year-old traditional paper fan store Ibasen, the Japan Cultural Promotion Project began this Grand Prix as a way to honor outstanding works of Japanese culture by companies, organizations, and individuals. Anyone can enter, regardless of nationality, residence, or age. The jury consists of 11 people from various fields, including Richard Collasse, the Chairman of Chanel LLC, and popular model Kozue Akimoto.
Grand Prix Winner
Dustpan x Broom
Each dustpan is shaped by hand to match the special shape of the Matsumoto broom, which is then dyed with natural Tokushima indigo dye. The broom is the only one in the world made from home-grown broomcorn, and each is made by a third-generation craftsman with years of experience.
Japanese Lacquer Art – Ether
Both traditional and innovative. The spirit of Japanese culture and the meaning of this award seem to have taken shape in this work. The zippers do not open. The surface looks like leather, but it isn’t. When the lid is opened, the glossy lacquer seems to spread out. My expectations were surpassed. Anyone who sees it or uses it will find themselves lost in imagination, and I’m sure that thinking about that will bring a smile to the creator’s face. This beautiful craftsmanship was born from plenty of care and attention. What a pleasant surprise. (Risa Tanaka)
Sake Drinking Set – Japanese nagomi Sake Cups
There’s something about this piece that shares a spirit with Art Nouveau. The delicate plants superimposed on the bright transparent glass are a powerful image. In traditional Japanese nagomi art, the linear appearance of the plants is painted a bit more lightly, but these overlapping layers and shapes resonate and make an impact. The artist used traditional techniques such as lacquer and foil in a subtle manner, while still making the plants look alive. I’d consider this as a modern take on ecology. (Yuko Hasegawa)
Floating Boat Counter
Masafumi Kodama (Registered Architect with a First-Class License) / Taiki Ishikawa (First Class Carpenter/Registered Architect with a Second-Class License)
The motif that inspired this piece is the traditional Japanese architectural technique of funahijiki. It’s an outstanding piece that utilizes practical architectural practices to create a piece of furniture at the center of a home, somewhere that the family relaxes. It brings the beauty of Japanese wood into the modern age. Funahijiki is a technique that has been used in incredible places, such as the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kojoin Temple. It’s graceful and elegant, and not often seen in the current age. (Hidetsugu Horikoshi)
Folding Chair to Assist in Seiza
patol stool SEIZA
Hirayama Daily Goods Shop, Makiko & Kazuhiko Hirayama
The judges liked this folding chair for assisting seiza sitting, as it’s something that could be put to practical use right away. It’s sure to help people enjoy tatami culture, and will be a big help for people who seldom sit on the floor in this traditional way. The height and size of the chair, as well as its ability to be folded for easy storage, are nice touches. I’d consider this a masterpiece with incredible potential. (Yuji Akimoto)
These pieces of artwork managed to connect traditional Japanese culture with future sensibilities, so give them a look!
Japanese Cultural Promotion Project
Official Site: https://jcpp.jp/
Japanese Painter Uemura Shoen and Others to be Featured at Shohaku Art Museum in Nara
Shohaku Art Museum in Nara will be exhibiting works by Uemura Shoen, Shoko, and Atsushi from September 6 until November 27. This will include sketches and rare works by these classical Japanese artists, many of which will be shown for the first time in two years.
Hanagatami. Uemura Shoen, 1915
Hanagatami (Rough Sketch) Uemura Shoen, 1915
Yang Guifei. Uemura Shoen, 1922
Tsudumi no Oto. Uemura Shoen, 1940
Flowers and Birds of the Four Seasons. Atsushi Uemura, 2010.
The museum has a large number of valuable materials in its collection, including drafts, miniatures, and drawings by Shoen and Shoko. Even the drafts by Shoen are meticulously crafted, down to each and every crease in the kimonos. By viewing the original sketches with the final paintings, guests can feel the emotion that went into them. The exhibition also provides a glimpse of how Shoko and Atsushi deepened their understanding of their subjects through sketching. Fans of Japanese artwork shouldn’t miss this valuable exhibition!
Shohaku Art Museum Collection 2022: Uemura Shoen, Shoko, and Atsushi
Running: September 6 – November 27, 2022
Venue: Shohaku Art Museum
Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last Entry at 16:00)
Official Site: https://www.kintetsu-g-hd.co.jp/culture/shohaku/
Light and Shadow 2022 Event at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Attracts Over 10,000 Visitors
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, which blends a hotel and a traditional Japanese museum, is celebrating summer in the spookiest way possible. From July 2 until September 25, guests can enjoy the ‘Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan 2022 ~Light and Shadow: 100 Stories~’ event, inspired by the tradition of telling ghost stories in summer to send a chill down your spine. Since opening, over 10,000 visitors have come to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Each of the seven exhibition areas is connected to the stairway, and each has its own theme pulled from the overarching theme of light and darkness. From Light of Passion to Midnight Light, guests will be surrounded on all sides. As you ascend the stairs, a festive atmosphere transforms into a more frightening one. Although the ghosts are out to play, guests are welcome to enjoy the many art pieces and crafts on display.
Sokyu Room / Lights of Passion
This Kabuki stage is filled with the passion of women who are addicted to love, a common theme in many traditional plays. The eye-catching Japanese umbrellas and lanterns will no doubt leave an impression, and the wistful music is titled Red Thread. The tale depicted here tells the story of a woman who becomes a haunting specter clad in flames of passion, sobbing and laughing in time with the song.
Still Water Room / Inverted Light
The three trees crowned with horse heads were created by the artist Eros Nakazato. Guests will feel as though they’ve been transported to the middle of a meadow as they explore this fantastical room covered in traditional paintings. In the work The Reverse of the Reverse, there are no wild horses on the earth, and those who have been tamed by humans sway in a beautiful and sad way. To make this scarier, the story has been reimagined as guests look through a crystal ball–now, humans are ruled by horses
Starlight Room / Midnight Light
Passing through a corridor of suspiciously flickering yokai lanterns, you will find that the clock has struck midnight. In the darkness, as most humans are asleep, specters are having a lively party. Playful cats dance and play and a number of artistic works by contemporary artists are on display. The music played fuses Japanese and ethnic instruments, some of which are interspersed with the voices of creatures of the night.
Experience this immersive art experience that will delight all five senses through light and shadows while you can!
Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan 2022 ~Light and Shadow: 100 Stories~
Running: July 2 – September 25, 2022
Hours: 11:30-18:00 (Last entry at 17:30) *Closing at 17:00 on August 20 (Last entry at 16:30)
Venue: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Hyakudan Staircase (Tangible Cultural Property Designated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government)
Official Site: https://www.hotelgajoen-tokyo.com/