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Japan Offers More Arts, More Events in 2013

Japan will be more colorful in art and more international in the coming year.  Reflecting Japan’s contemporary cultural richness toward arts, the country is ready for greeting more visitors with both tradition and cultural beauty and interest.  The year of 2013 is the time to experience Japan’s uniqueness more than ever.



Hashima Island, a small island off Nagasaki Prefecture in southwest Japan, has debuted on the silver screen:  The island takes a part of the bad guy’s hide-out in the latest James Bond movie Sky Fall.  It is the perfect fit to the role with abandoned structures and the empty city, which were once thrived as underwater mining hub, but the last residents left the island in 1974 after the industrial coal demands extinguished in the 1960’s.  The island keeps many shadows of a busy cosmopolitan and the record high population density in 1960 (9 times as much as Tokyo).  The island offers public tours for children and adults.


Nagoya’s surrounding area Aichi will host Aichi Triennale 2013 art festival from August 10 until October 27, 2013 in several sites in Aichi Prefecture.  Inviting as many as 30 artists from all over the world, Aichi Triennale presents the artworks on the roadsides, the format from the last Aichi Triennale in 2010.  Maintaining their unique format of roadside art display, this is going to be the second event to show international arts reflected on the local manufacturing history and urban vibration on the backdrop.  The art sites will be centered to Nagoya, 1.5 hours by the bullet train from Tokyo and 1 hour from Osaka.


The Setouchi inland sea area has come a long way to become Japan’s top art site among world contemporary art and design fans, and it will become even more so in 2013.  Setouchi Triennale 2013 really connects artworks to the local scenery full of cultural elements and history in three sessions; March 20 through April 21, July 20 through September 1, and October 5 through November 4.  Synchronizing with Setouchi’s beautiful seasons, each session articulates the seasonal beauty and permanent collections as well as seasonal displays at 14 different locations on small islands and surrounding port cities.


Ginza’s landmark will come back after a major reconstruction in April 2013.  Kabukiza Theatre, the main theatre of Japan’s traditional Kabuki performance in Tokyo, is in the final phase of reconstruction for reopening on April 2, 2013.   Designed by the famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the new facility will represent Japan’s contemporary creativity and traditional culture.  Monthly performance schedule will follow the opening of the new theatre.



The 43rd Tokyo Motor Show displays world’s latest auto products at Tokyo Big Site from November 22 to December 2013.  The biannual show has been recognized as one of world’s top motor shows with 200 car makers, and draws more than 600,000 visitors each time.  This will be the great opportunity to experience the latest engineering and auto designs, and don’t miss innovative and unique concept cars of each exhibitor.


International Luxury Travel Mart (ILTM) has picked Kyoto for the 2013 event venue.  The country’s old capital hosts the global luxury travel industry from March 11 to 13, 2013, appealing its utmost beauty and cultural attraction for the luxury industry people.  For the city of Kyoto, this will be the milestone event to be more formally recognized as a major luxury travel destination.



National Confectionary Exposition will take place in Hiroshima in 2013.  From April 19 to May 12, this event showcases the best of Japanese traditional wagashi and also western style snacks and sweets, this exposition has been touring the country every 4 years for almost a century.  The 26th event reflects the time-honored craftsmanship as well as Japan’s quality and detail oriented professionalism, as well as Japan’s rich culinary culture.


Religious Rituals

The Ise Grand Shrine is Japan’s most esteemed shrine, dedicated to the Japanese royal family.  Within the 1,300 years of history, the tradition has the cycle of rebuilding of Ise Shrine in every 20 years, which coincides with next year.  Among 125 small shrines that consist of the Shrine, Naiku (inner shrine) and Geku (outer shrine) are to be rebuilt as a Shinto legend that death and rebirth of nature and the impermanence of everything.


Izumo-Taisha Grand Shrine has the tradition to rebuild the main shrine in every 60 years, which is famous for the astonishing size in height and width for the wooden structure from more than 1300 years ago.  With sacred furniture and decoration pieces all moved to the temporary hall, the rebuilding has been already undergone, and the highlight of the entire ritual is to move all of them back to the renewed main hall.  It will be the impressive refurbish of the main hall 79 feet high, as well as renewal of the giant thatched roof.

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