Occidental countries are getting more and more interested in both these peculiarities of Japan: evidences of this are given by the great number of sushi restaurants and Japanese furniture shops that we can find in our cities, but also by the several technological devices that we use daily and by the manga, Japanese cartoons and videogames that we spend our free time with.
For this reason it is not surprising that Berlin, one of the most multicultural European cities, and one of those cities that pay more attention to new trends, organises each year an event devoted to Japanese culture and traditions: the Japan Festival. The 2008 edition of the Festival will take place from the 14th to the 16th November in the Postbahnhof (by the Ostbahnhof), a recently restored building that in the past was home to the post train station, and that nowadays includes two storeys, two clubs and a heated circus tent that will host around 50 exhibitors and 100 events, attracting more than 10,000 visitors wishing to discover or broaden their knowledge of Japanese culture.
The event will be opened by a speech pronounced by Prof. Willibald Veit, the director of the Asiatic Arts Museum, who will introduce the Rising Sun country to visitors. The speech will be followed by a great number of scheduled events, and during the three days of the Festival visitors will have the possibility to choose among a variety of dance shows, sessions of tasting of Japanese dishes, fashion shows and much more, and they will not take part in the event in a passive way, on the contrary, they will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars, and all this will be included in the ticket cost.
As far as food is concerned, an important role will be played by sushi, a dish which is well-known all over the world, but there will be also much more: the Japanese cook Takao Udagawa will prepare also udon (soft wheat spaghetti), misu (a soya soup) and much more, and everything will be accompanied by the typical green tea, by Calpico (a Japanese lemonade), Japanese beer and a variety of sake, which will be offered also during the tasting sessions.
Also Japanese fashion (both traditional and contemporary) will play an important role in the Festival, which will host both kimono and Hello Kitty (which is become well-known all over the world) fashion shows, but particular attention will be paid also to the Cosplay, the habit that Japanese people have to dress up in various ways, above all as manga and anime characters. People who will visit the Festival wearing a cosplay costume (the term comes from the words costume and play) will be granted a reduction on the ticket price.
Visitors will have the possibility to go thoroughly into Japanese dance and music, thanks to the performances of traditional Japanese chorus, of daiko players and kabuki, a particular type of dance connected to theatre. Space will be given also to samurai and martial arts demonstrations, including both the best-known arts like karate and kendo and the ones that are not famous in Europe yet, like aikido, but an important role will be played also by completely different activities: from shiatsu massages to origami and calligraphy workshops, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse completely in Japanese culture.
Berlin, a multiethnic and multicultural city, hosts also this year the Japan Festival, which always attracts thousands of visitors. If you want to get to know the thousands features of this city, and in the same time to immerse in the oriental culture, book now a cheap hostel in Berlin.