Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Opens Artistic Summer Ghost Story Event
09.July.2022 | SPOT
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. The art illumination exhibition promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Jounen no Akari (Lights of Passion)
Without light, there are no shadows. In this exhibition, light and shadow complement one another, portraying the popular 100 ghost stories in a new way. Last year’s event received critical acclaim as guests found themselves moving breathlessly from room to room, exploring the many incredible pieces put on display. Along the dusk-lit promenade, goldfish lanterns lead guests to the start of their mysterious adventure. The atmosphere changes from room to room, with bamboo lights and shadows surrounding you from all sides.
An Immersive Light Art Space
Odawara Wind Chimes at Dusk
Luxurious Cherry Blossom Hairpins
Glass Lamp, Iroshita Studio
Flower Arrangement, Rikou Otsuka
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, from flower arrangements by master ikebana artist Rikou Otsuka and sculptures by some of Japan’s most influential traditional creators.
Enjoy Traditional Summer Ghost Stories with Light Art
Born from the Earth, Yasumaro Ozawa
Byakko, Yuji Nishijima
Inverted Light, Eros Nakazato
Mysterious music will drift through the air, making guests feel as though they’ve been transported into another world. The eerie space is lit by Ghost Lanterns made by a 200-year-old company in Fukuoka, and the venue is decorated with art blending ukiyo-e with contemporary styles.
Culture and Crafts from Around Japan
Paper Lanterns from Ise
Bamboo Lights, Akarinowa
3D Knit Lights
Summer fireworks have been recreated in colorful paper form by an artist in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, and materials found in a neglected bamboo grove in Shizuoka Prefecture were used to create the many iconic lights seen throughout the unique exhibition. Local craftsmen are at the heart of the event, with pieces brought in from areas all around Japan.
Wa no Akari Room
A concept room featuring gently flickering lights and lanterns is available to book for a limited time. Why not come spend your summer in this otherworldly atmosphere?
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)
Wa no Akari Room
Available: July 2 – August 31, 2022 (1 room available per day)
‘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
21.November.2022 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD
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/
Izu Kogen Grand Illumination to Offer New Experiences for 8th Season
14.October.2022 | SPOT
From November 11, 2022 until August 2023, Izu Granpal Park in Shizuoka Prefecture will host the 8th Izu Kogen Grand Illumination event!
The Izu Kogen Grand Illumination was ranked #1 in the Walker+National Illumination Ranking for six consecutive years and is beloved by visitors of all ages. This isn’t just a collection of pretty lights–the Grand Illumination also includes a number of hands-on experiences for everyone to enjoy.
In 2021, the event won first place in the Ninth Illumination Awards for the second year in a row. Known as Japan’s first ‘hands-on illumination experience,’ the park has continued to evolve year after year, adding more attractions and finding its unique style. These attractions include a zip line through the lights, Dinosaur Go-Karts, and more.
This year, the Flower Lantern Area and Sweets Lantern Area have been completely redesigned and upgraded to be even more three-dimensional and colorful. Come enjoy this incredible world of lights and have some fun with the whole family!
Izu Kogen Grand Illumination ~8th Season~ (Hands-on)
Venue: Izu Granpal Park
Running: November 11, 2022 – August 2023
Official Site: https://granillumi.com
Midtown Christmas 2022 to Bring Gorgeous Lights and Sounds to Tokyo
07.October.2022 | SPOT
From November 17 until December 25, Tokyo Midtown will hold the popular Midtown Christmas event for 2022!
Adults and children are sure to love this massive Christmas event. Each year, a massive Christmas tree appears in Tokyo Midtown, but this year’s festivities will also throw some more unique pieces of art into the mix.
This year, visitors will see golden lights on the city’s trees, as well as a pop-up Christmas tree inspired by party poppers. Lights and music will join together to make guests feel as though they’ve walked into an outdoor theater, and the popular ice skating rink will once again be open for everyone to enjoy. Why not enjoy the Christmas season in Tokyo’s shimmering midtown?
Bubbles Fill the Air for a Limited Time at the Christmas Story Lights
A Massive Dome Filled with 300 Lights Invites Visitors to Celebrate the Season
Hands-on Experiences at the Party Popper Tree
Midtown Winter Lights
Running: November 17 – December 25, 2022
Venue: Midtown Garden, Plaza 1F
Light Hours: 17:00-23:00
*Some event times and details are subject to change.
Sponsored by Netflix
Keyakizaka Lights, a Tokyo Winter Tradition, to be Held Again in 2022
02.October.2022 | SPOT
From November 11 until December 25, 2022, Roppongi Hills Christmas will cover Tokyo in glittering lights once again. The Keyakizaka Lights, one of Tokyo’s most popular winter attractions, will also take place in 2022, with the 400-meter-long Keyakizaka street covered in over 800,000 blue and white LED lights.
For the first time in three years, the Mohri Garden will be covered in lights as well. The annual Christmas market will invite guests to experience an authentic German Christmas, and Christmas cakes and gourmet food unique to Roppongi Hills will be for sale.
The Roppongi Hills Christmas event utilizes LED lights and has done so since the first event was held in 2003. Clean power will be used again this year, and the lights will be switched on from 5 PM until 11 PM each night.
Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka Lights
Running: November 10 – December 25, 2022 *Daily from 5:00 – 11:00 PM
*Lights may begin at a different time on November 10 only.
Location: Roppongi Keyakizaka Street
Official Site: https://www.roppongihills.com
NAKED Night Walk Art Project to Open at Famed Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima
Japanese creative company NAKED will hold a Night Walk event at Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima, located near one of the top three most scenic spots in Japan. The event will run from October 29 until November 23, 2022.
The NAKED Night Walk was created to revitalize hot spring resorts and other tourist spots during the pandemic. This special event will bring the illuminated experience to Zuiganji Temple, one of the Tohoku Region’s most famous Zen temples. Guests will be invited to carry beautiful lanterns around the grounds, maintaining social distancing while enjoying the cool evening weather. These lanterns will cast one of three unique designs onto the ground below–a starry sky, a camellia flower, or a lotus.
Guests can also enjoy NAKED’s Flower Fortune Telling, pulling unique paper flowers from a massive wall, with each holding a personalized fortune. These flowers can then be tied to a nearby tree to further spread NAKED’s art. You can also take home your flower as a souvenir!
The event will only run for a limited time. For more information including admission fees and hours, see the official website!
NAKED Night Walk – Matsushima, Zuiganji Temple (National Treasure)
Address: Zuiganji Temple (Chonai-91 Matsushima, Miyagi District, Miyagi Prefecture)
Running: October 29 – November 23, 2022
Hours: Weekdays 17:00-20:00 / Fridays, Weekends, Holidays 17:00-21:00
Official Site: https://zuiganji.or.jp/
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/
Kansai’s Largest Illumination Event to Start Third Phase on October 8
10.September.2022 | SPOT
The third phase of the popular illumination event at the English Garden Rosa & Berry Tawada will be held from October 8, 2022 until February 12, 2023! One of the largest light-up events in the Kansai region, this year’s theme is ‘Evolutionary Lights!’
Let Time Pass in The Golden Forest
Visitors will be welcomed into a glorious forest of golden lights as they arrive in the main area.
The clock tower rises in the center, and the spectacular production begins at the start of nightfall when the tower itself begins to glow and 100 trees are enveloped in golden light.
The White and Silver Garden of the Fairies
The area has undergone a major transformation, from the warm European-inspired colors of last year’s event to a mysterious silvery-white color scheme. Visitors can also enjoy the popular light-up experience Miraculous Blue Roses and the Seven-Colored Prayer Tree.
※Details: Lights and effects are triggered in response to the sound of bells rung by visitors and special pedals stepped on as they explore the event.
Shaun the Sheep Area
A special Christmas display inspired by the new Shaun the Sheep movie, releasing in December 2022, will be on display.
*Images of the special display will be available in mid-September.
SHAUN THE SHEEP AND SHAUN’S IMAGE ARE ™ AARDMAN ANIMATIONS LTD. 2022
Galactic Express Milky Way
The Milky Way is said to be a magnificent shade of blue. The Milky Way Galaxy Railroad, which requires a separate fee, runs through the area, inviting guests to explore a sea of stars. Why not take a trip through this glittering world of lights while taking some incredible photos?
Why not visit this incredible sea of lights this winter?
Rosa & Berry Illumination 2022-2023 – Evolutionary Lights
Running: October 8, 2022 – February 12, 2023 *Closed on Tuesdays
Hours: 17:30-21:00 *Subject to change depending on the season
Venue: English Garden Rosa & Berry Tawada (Maibara, Shiga)
Official Site: https://www.rb-illumi.com/
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Displays India-Ink Painting from the Film ‘Sen wa, Boku o Egaku’
From October 1 until November 27, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo will hold a special event in conjunction with the film Sen wa, Boku o Egaku. Visitors to the hotel’s historic One Hundred Steps Staircase will be surrounded by a world of color and paintings made from India Ink.
Fisherman and Woodcutters Room with Colored Wood Carvings
Grapevine, Hiromasa Togami.
Atelier (Image courtesy of Toho)
The coming-of-age story Sen wa, Boku o Egaku won 3rd place in the 2020 Honya Taisho and the 2019 TBS King’s Brunch Book Grand Prize. The book received rave reviews from booksellers nationwide and has now been adapted into a live-action film by Norihiro Koizumi, best known as the director of the Chihayafuru film adaptation. The film will be released on October 21, 2022. As a tie-up project with the film, the One Hundred Steps Staircase, a Tangible Cultural Property of Tokyo built in 1935, will be the setting for an incredible display of paintings that appear in the film.
Sen wa, Boku o Egaku at the One Hundred Steps Staircase
~The World of India-Ink Filled with Color~
Running: October 1 – November 27 *Open daily during event period
Hours: 11:00-18:00 (Last entry at 17:30)
Venue: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, One Hundred Steps Staircase (Tangible Cultural Property of Tokyo)