This Week's Events in Tokyo
January Fourth Week
After the crowd of the New Year's Holidays and after the three-day weekend, the city seems to quiet down a little bit yet there are a number of events taking place here and there. Apart from the traditional and cultural events winter bargains are held at shops and department stores around the city until the end of the month. If you're a laid back person on fashion and don't mind too much about trends, this may be the perfect time to go out to town to do some winter shopping.
1/1 Mon&Hol – 2/12 Mon&Hol | Flower Festival 2007 < Winter Peony >
The Ueno Toshogu Peony Garden is the only place in Tokyo where you can see winter peony. Since centuries ago, winter peony has been recognized as a noble and felicitous flower to welcome the new year because of its rareness due to the difficulty of growing and the low percentage of putting on flowers. From New Year’s Day until mid February, you can see 600 trees and 40 breeds of winter peony putting on flowers inside capes made of straw for cold prevention.
[Date] January 1st (Mon&Hol) – February 12th (Mon&Hol)
[Time]   9:30 – 16:30
[Place]   Ueno Toshogu Peony Garden (Botan-en)
9-88 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
[Access]   3-min-walk from JR Ueno Station: JR Yamanote / Keihin-Tohoku / Joban Lines
[Admission]   Adults… JPY600
High School Students… JPY400
Secondary School Students and below… Free
[Inquiry]   03-3822-3575 (Botan-en)
[URL]   http://www.ueno.or.jp/botan/
(Botan-en Official Website, Japanese)
1/21 Sun – 2/4 Sun | Japan Media Arts Festival 10th Anniversary Special Project
< The Power of Expression, JAPAN >
The Japan Media Arts Festival a project to promote a new genre of expression media art*, counts its 10th year from the start dating back in 1997. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunkacho) and Computer Graphic Arts Society present a special exhibition < The Power of Expression, JAPAN > at the brand new museum The National Art Center Tokyo located in Roppongi.

At this exhibition, visitors are welcome to explore the world of Media Art in Japan featuring digital art, games, robots, anime and manga from the viewpoints of past, present and future. Specific displays include (1) Media Art in Japan 1950-2006 introducing the flow of media art in Japan in the past half century, (2) The Origin of Expression pursuing the origin of Japanese media art back to Edo to Jomon Period (12,000 – 2,500 years ago), and (3) The Possibilities of the Future which views the future of Japanese media art.

In addition to the displays, there will be live talks and sessions held by the leaders of media art as well as showings of special projects only available at this exhibition.

*media art: art consisted of multiple expressions such as manga and anime, or those that use electronics device
[Dates]   January 21st (Sun) – February 4th (Sunday)
[Time]   10:00 – 18:00 (last entry 17:30)

National Art Center Tokyo (Kokuritsu Shin Bijutsukan)
7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

[Access]   directly connected from Exit 6 of Nogizaka Station: Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line
5-min-walk from Exit 4A of Roppongi Station: Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
4-min-walk from Exit 7 of Roppongi Station: Toei Oedo Line
[Admission]   Free
[Inquiry]   03-3535-3501 (Bunkacho Media-Geijutsusai Administrative Office)
[URL]   http://plaza.bunka.go.jp/ex/index.html
(Japan Media Arts Plaza Official Website, Japanese)
(National Art Center Tokyo Official Website, English)
– 1/31 Wednesday | Nihonbashi HD HVD Planetarium
< HOKUSAI – the universe of Hokusai – > < The Gift from the Starry Sky >
For a limited short term, a special planetarium with the world’s newest technology opens at a corner of Nihonbashi, the town of tradition and innovation. Leaving less than ten days until the end of the term-limited project, the planetarium presenting two spectacular shows of the night sky of 5 million stars created by leading planetarium creator Ohira Takayuki continues to draw more and more visitors each day.

The first show < HOKUSAI – the universe of Hokusai – > features the paintings of Katsuhika Hokusai, one of the most famous ukiyoe artist (woodblock printing) of Edo Period, by resembling his works against the starry sky and pursues the art and philosophy of Hokusai through the stars and space.

The other show < Hoshizora no Okurimono > is a great chance to have an other-worldly experience of the night marvel provided by the Guinness approved “Megastar II”, exploring through the various night skies from around the world including the southern islands, the Tibetan mountains to the northern auroras.

★Katsushika Hokusai
Hokusai left nearly 30,000 works of art in his life, but it is not so widely known that many of them were created upon careful calculation using rulers and compasses. Many of his works are also associated with the sky and the universe, as represented in the hidden appearance of the Wain in Mikawa no Yatsuhashi no Furuzu.
[Date]   now through January 31st (Wed)
[Time]   <Hokusai>… hours starting with odd numbers
<Hoshizora>… hours starting with even numbers
(*N.B. hours change accordingly to days of the week. Please check with the planetarium)
[Place]   Nihonbashi HD DVD Planetarium
2-2-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
[Access]   1-min-walk from Mitsukoshimae Station: Tokyo Metro Ginza / Hanzomon Lines
1-min-walk from Shin-Nihonbashi Station: JR Sobu Kaisoku Line
9-min-walk from Kanda Station: JR Chuo / Yamanote / Keihin-Tohoku Lines
[Admission]   <Hokusai>… Adults JPY1,500 / Children JPY800
<Hoshizora>… Adults JPY800 / Children JPY400
(all seats reserved)
[Inquiry]   03-3271-0080 (Administrative Office)
[URL]   http://www.tfm.co.jp/star/
(Nihonbashi HD DVD Planetarium Official Website, Japanese)
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