ARIGATO in LONDON – An Event of Thanks

“ARIGATO in LONDON,” an event to show Japan’s gratitude for the worldwide help, assistance and courage given after the Great East Japan Earthquake and also to show how Japan is recovering from the disaster, will be held for 15 days from July 28 to Aug 11 at London County Hall.

Veteran fashion designer Junko Koshino, 72, and Olympic hurdler Dai Tamesue attended a press conference in Tokyo recently to discuss the project. Koshino and Tamesue are two of the executive committee members.

The event is to include the screening of a film that has been made to express “arigato” meaning “thank you” in Japanese in 83 languages toward the 163 countries and regions that offered to help after the disaster. There will also be a photo exhibition showing the progress of reconstruction efforts held in cooperation with the Recovery Assistance Media Team and photographer Shinichi Sato.

Read the rest of the story: Japan to hold ARIGATO in LONDON event.

Japan’s Ninja Festival

To arrive in Iga-Ueno on the first Sunday in April is to feel like a stranger in ninjatown. This small city in the mountains, about two hours by train from Osaka, is supposedly the ancestral home of those fearsome feudal super-sneaks and master killers, whose name and reputation have spread across the world through movies, comic books and video games.

Here in Japan, ninjas are now something of a national myth, a slightly cartoonish composite of old folk tales and modern pop culture. This morning in Iga Ueno, however, it would be discourteous to dispute their existence. It’s the opening day of the annual ninja festival, and travel on public transport is free to anyone in costume. Connecting to the local loop line, I step on to a train brightly painted with ninja murals (designed by the famous Japanese manga artist Leiji Matsumoto), and find my carriage filled with muffled, hooded figures, all armed with swords and throwing stars.

Admittedly, their weapons appear to be made of soft foam or folded paper, and their outfits come in a range of colours – not just classic ninja black but purple, red, canary yellow, baby blue and a distinctly unthreatening shade of pink. Also, very few of these mysterious commuters stand much over four feet tall.

Read the rest of the story: Tall tales and tiny assassins at Japan’s ninja festival.

Michael Jackson memorabilia exhibit to be held in Japan

Nearly 300 items of Michael Jackson memorabilia — from the huge Neverland sign that once marked the entrance to his California ranch to a 1967 Rolls Royce — are set to go on display in Japan later this month, nearly a year after the singer’s death.

Jackson’s death last June from cardiac arrest at the age of 50 shocked fans around the world and sparked a new wave of interest in his music, while a documentary film featuring the singer, “This Is It,” became a blockbuster cinema hit.

Read the rest of the story: Jackson fans to get peek at memorabilia in Japan exhibit

St. Patrick’s Day Parades Around Japan

Omotesando, Tokyo is home of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade for Japan biggest city. This year’s parade is on March 14 and starts from Omotesando Hills; it runs from 2 p.m. till 4 p.m.

Tokyoites aren’t the only ones that think they have a little Irish in them. Other areas in Japan also hold parades and more.

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, parades will take place on land and the Horikawa River on March 14. The land parade starts at midday from Karakoro Plaza. Twenty green boats, will also depart Otemae Horikawa Boat Boarding Point at 11 a.m. and head to Karakoro Plaza. (

In Yokohama, the parade runs from 1 p.m. till 4 p.m. on Motomachi Shopping Street on March 20, (

In Tsukuba, the parade starts at 3 p.m. in Tsukuba Center Plaza on March 27 (

In Ise, people will parade along a 2-km course, starting at Ise Shrine Geku from midday and finishing at 4 p.m. on March 13 (

In Kyoto, a mere 300 participants will march on Oike Dori from 2:30 p.m. till 4 p.m. on March 14 (

Visit the Irish Network Japan at for more information.

Photo by infomatique.


DesignTide Tokyo is a trade show conceived with the vision of continually proposing new products, scenes and ideas. While focusing on interior design and commercial products, this event also brings together carefully selected work from a wide variety of fields. DesignTide Tokyo is also an exhibition space for designers and artists to share ideas and outlooks, presenting from Tokyo to the world.

Tide Exhibition
The core of DesignTide Tokyo, Tide Exhibition is a trade center where new creations and ideas are introduced and exhibited. This is the main exhibition venue for designers, manufacturers, buyers and journalists to gather and confront design head-on.

Tide Market
A place where new creations are exhibited and sold, and market research can be conducted. Tide Market is also where visitors can actually get to pick up the designs and make purchases through direct communication with designers.

Tide Extension
An exhibition of works throughout the city of Tokyo, held at individual shops and galleries that will be connected through DesignTide Tokyo, forming a single exhibition.

Main venue: Tokyo Midtown Hall

Opening hours:
10/30 (Fri) 15:00-21:00 (last entry 20:30)
10/31 (Sat) 11:00-21:00 (last entry 20:30)
11/1 (Sun) 11:00-21:00 (last entry 20:30)
11/2 (Mon) 11:00-21:00 (last entry 20:30)
11/3 (Tue/holiday) 11:00-17:00 (last entry 16:00)
*Opening hours are subject to change. See website for up-to-date information.
*Please note that visitors will not be allowed to enter the venue after the last entry time.
Admission Fee: ¥1000 (one day pass)
Extension venues: Various locations in Tokyo

From 2009-10-30 at 15:00 To 2009-11-03 at 17:00
Exhibition Hours 11:00-21:00

Opening Reception on 2009-10-30 from 19:00 to 21:00
9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6205

Website: DesignTide Tokyo 2009

Directions by subway:

Please come to Tokyo Midtown from the stations listed below.

Roppongi Station on the Toei-Oedo Line (Tokyo Midtown is directly connected to Exit 8 of the station)

Roppongi Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (Tokyo Midtown is directly connected to Exit 8 of the station via underground passageway near Exit 4a)

Nogizaka Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (three-minute walk from Exit 3 of the station)

Roppongi Itchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line (ten-minute walk from Exit 1 of the station)

photo by: micamica

Comiket – Comic Market – The World’s Biggest Underground Comic Convention

Comic Market or Comiket (コミックマーケット Komikku Māketto) as referred to by locals and seasoned attendees, is this weekend August 14h-16th. If you never been, it’s a great time to go! This event is huge and has over 500,000 attendees mostly in cosplay every time, which is twice a year. So be warned of long lines and Miku Hatsune and Ranka impersonators – never a bad thing.

The comic market is where a lot of underground or self-published(dōjinshi) comics are sold and where a lot of comic book artists are discovered. It’s been the birthplace of many beloved characters and series over the years since it was started. The first comic market was held in 1975 and was started by Yoshihiro Yonezawa.

As items sold in Comiket are considered very rare (because dōjinshi are seldom reprinted), some items sold at Comiket can be found in shops or on the Internet at prices up to 10 times the item’s original price!

There used to be a huge camping out before the Comiket by attendees, but htis is no longer allowed. Still the doors don’t open until 10:30am and you will be waiting a long time for the doors to open if you catch the first train. Either way, its hard to avoid the lines and the wait, but you will be privy to the most underground of comics at this event and that’s guaranteed.

From the Comiket Site:

Comic Market (Comiket) 76

Session Date : Aug. 14th (Fri)~16th (Sun) 2008
Next Session Date : Dec. 29th (Tue)~31th (Thu) 2009

The Comic Market is an event with more than 30 years of history and boasts 35,000 dojinshi publishing circles and 500,000 general attendees. Dojinshi circles come seeking to distribute their creations to others who share their interests. The corporate dealers’ area include corporations which understand and support the ideals of the Comiket. Most dojinshi circles do not aim to make a profit from their activities. Their aim is to interact and communicate with fellow participants through their own creations. Communication encourages creation though inspiration and thereby lays the groundwork for evengreater works to come into being. This is the paramount ideal of the Comic Market.

Rules and Guidelines for Attendees New to the Comic Market

  • We recommend that first time attendees come to the Comic Market in the afternoon in order to avoid long lines.
  • Please use public transportation, such as trains or buses.
  • Taking photographs of people in cosplay is limited to the costume-play public square. Always get permission from the cosplayer before taking their picture.
  • You may only change at the designated dressing/changing rooms. If you wish to cosplay, you must register at the dressing room. (The dressing room is located at Conference Tower.) Registration will cost ¥800. Please be aware that cosplay and masquerading have yet to be widely accepted in mainstream Japanese society. Do not come to or leave the Comiket wearing a costume.

Dojinshi Area :10:00am to 4:00pm each day.
Corporate Dealers Area : 10:00am to 5:00pm on Aug. 14~15th.
10:00am to 4:00pm on Aug. 16th.
Dressing Room :
10:00am to 4:30pm each day.
(Registration open from10:00am to 3:30pm, on the last day only to 2:30)


Tokyo International Exhibition Center (The Tokyo Big Sight)

Dojinshi Area : East Halls 1~6 & West Halls 1~2
Women’s Dressing Room : Conference Tower Floor 1 Reception Hall
Man’s Dressing Room : Conference Tower Floor 6 Conference Rooms
Corporate Dealers Area : West Hall 3~4
Costume Play Public Square : 1st Floor Garden near Restaurant Avenue etc. 10:00am to 4:00pm (only to 3:00pm on the last day; location may change depending on weather)

Tokyo Big Site – photo by: jmurawski

Tokyo Film Center’s first ever International Film Festival

For the first time ever the Tokyo Film Center will be holding an International Film Festival which will be screening short films made by talented filmmakers who come from different parts of the world. The event will be held on Sat 25th and Sun 26th of July.

So, if your asking yourself “Is this one of those movie buff festivals where they’re just after your money?”, I have to say YES, we are movie buffs but not after your money because it’s a no charge event, yes you got it — NO CHARGE.


So if you are a movie buff or not I recommend for you to come by with friends or family and enjoy the films/live music/ethnic dancers/good food/cosplay make-up and much more.

If your a movie buff you’re lucky, because we have a little of everything for you, which includes meeting the creators of the films, special guests, coming by and seeing our film facility, and much more.

Thank you and hope to see you there.
Tokyo Film Center School of Arts

For more info:
Tokyo Film Center School of Arts
Tokyo, 134-0088
Tel. +81-3-5675-2009
Fax. +81-3-5667-2252
Web Site.
Google Map Directions

Fire Breathing Baby Ignites Roppongi – Kenji Yanobe’s Giant Torayan Robot –

Sculptor Kenji Yanobe’s Giant Torayan robot, a 7.2-meter (24-ft) tall mechanical baby that sings, dances and spits up fire, was part of a larger art event in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. The fire-breathing robot performed on center stage at “Roppongi Art Night,” an all-night event featuring installations and performances by dozens of artists at various venues in the area.


Giant baby robot spits fire on Roppongi (pics)

KANPEI EARTH Marathon – One Man Around the World

This is quite a feat. Hazama Kanpei is running and sailing around the world!

He has already started working his way across America and is in Arizona at the time of this post. The videos on his site are great inspiration and show how far and much human spirit and generosity abound.

As well as KANPEI EARTH Marathon being an enormous personal challenge, Kanpei-san is also the official ambassador for the Tokyo 2016 Olympic bid, and will run to reach Copenhagen on October 2, where it will be announced which city will host the 2016 games.

Join Hazama Kanpei as he runs and sails non-stop around the world! Check out his website for schedule details and be a part of this man’s journey.

In his own words:

One man.

A hugely successful and much-loved comedian.

A hardened and powerful ultra-marathon runner.

One man, with a spectacular vision.

Approaching the age of 60, now is the moment
to set off once again on a long, long journey
to make an unbelievable dream a reality,
and to add another page to his extraordinary life and career.

To run.

To run and sail around this planet,
this huge, round planet Earth,
with nothing but his own two legs to propel him.
Wind power to cross the oceans, the power in his legs to cross the land.
His vision is to become one with this precious star.
To be close to it; be one with it; to feel it; with his whole body and his whole soul.

In the morning he will face into the rising sun, and run.
As the day passes, so the sun passes over his head, and he will run.
And run, while the sun warms his back and sink slowly
beneath the horizon in the west.

Each and every day, 30 miles eastward.
With that one, simple goal, – eastward, eastward, each and every day
when 30 monthshave passed, he will find himself back
in the very same spot from where his journey began.

And over those 30 months he will make friends with a myriad of different people,
each and every one of them sharing this planet as their home.
He will experience the unimaginable vastness of nature,
and all the wonders that mankind has bequest to this star
over its long and complex history.

And he will try to feel out something of the wisdom that mankind needs
to continue to live and to prosper in the Earth’s embrace.

This one man’s unprecedented challenge is a pilgrimage to the Planet Earth.

KANPEI Earth Marathon