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I’m free. Go on, pick me up.

無料 issue 158 July 2013

Child’s play Summer holiday fun: cool indoor ideas, field day picking fruit & best swimming rivers

Plus+ Netsuke: pocket-sized perfection Kansai’s comedy scene Koh Samui: treasure island for kids

+ Where To Go And What To Do —

Kansai Scene is proudly published and printed by Mojoprint

Local listings, news, maps and classifieds


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Contents Features Cool play for hot days


Fruit picking fun


Kansai comedy scene



© Nicole LaRue



Koh Samui, Thailand


Kansai’s best swimming rivers


Food and Drink

Bistro New Orleans, Osaka

Nicole is an American illustrator/designer based in Osaka. Learn more about her and her playful work on our artist profile (page 34). Website: /








Made in Kansai

Tiny traditions: Netsuke p14 Business Matters

Vital connections


Listings Film p23 Events p26 Art




Live Music


Business Finder


Classifieds p40 Maps p44



Kansai Scene is published monthly by Mojoprint Publisher/Creative Director...............Daniel Lee Editor.............................................. Carla Avolio Sub-editor................................Donna Sheffield Production Manager..................... Rie Okamoto Accounts Manager......................... Michiko Lee

Art....................................................Colin Smith Event & Festival............................ Yuki Uchibori Film................................................. Adam Miller Live music................................. Phillip Jackson Club.................................................Terumi Tsuji

Interested in writing for Kansai Scene? Please contact after reviewing our writers guidelines:

DISCLAIMER  Opinions expressed herein are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. We take no responsibility for the quality or content of advertisements. Public and private parties appproached by those claiming to work for or on behalf of Kansai Scene should call this office to confirm the truth of any such claim, especially where money may be involved.

Contact Kansai Scene General Editorial Advertising Tel. 06-6539-1717 Fax. 06-7635-4791 Address Osaka-shi, Nishi-ku, Shinmachi 3-5-7, Eiko Bldg. 2F Website A bit of history  Kansai Scene was founded by Peter Horvath and Nishikawa Keiko in 2000 and published by Jatin Banker between 2003 – 2011. Published monthly, KS provides English articles, information and listings for visitors and residents of the Kansai area.


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Got some news?

News & Openings

Bangkok on a budget KIX — Flying to Thailand just got cheaper, thanks to Asia Atlantic Airlines who are launching some budget flights from Kansai this month. The airline is partly owned by travel agency H.I.S, so currently you can only book tickets through this agency. The current offer is just one round-trip flight per day from Kansai to Bangkok, and this will be available from July 27 until September 2013. The airline plans to add connecting flights to China and South Korea later in the year, and increase its fleet size. Connecting flights to Russia and Indonesia may also be on the cards.

for on the lookout KS is always ents and new newsworthy ev und town. openings aro ggestions to Email your su editor@kansais

Connect with the HUB KYOTO — A global networking and co-working space has opened in Kyoto, giving a new lease of life to a former temple and school. HUB Kyoto is a working space for social entrepreneurs and innovators, a place where anyone can plan projects, meet like-minded people, and share ideas. Their mission is to bring about positive social change together. The Kyoto HUB has an active facebook page where you can see workshops and events coming up. •

Let’s Monki around SHINSAIBASHI — This month, H&Mowned brands Monki and Weekday opened up their own shops not so far from their big sister, over in the Ebisubashi building. Weekday has a focus on simple, modern styles made with quality textiles. Monki has more of a focus on fun, bold prints, unusual cuts and a store concept that includes an underwater scene, complete with floating jellyfish streamers overhead. Monki’s style was in part inspired by Tokyo’s infamous Harajuku street fashion, and they’ve opened a sister store slap bang in teen heaven Takeshitadori. •

Star-crossed tofu cookery NISHINOMIYA — Celebrate the traditional Japanese star festival, tanabata, on Sunday July 7 by learning how to cook some yummy tofu dishes. Nishinomiya International Association (NIA) is holding the class for a maximum of 20 people. You’ll learn how to prepare six different dishes including tofu skin (yuba) alongside friendly NIA volunteers. Eat what you cook as a reward! The class costs ¥800 and begins at 10.15am. To reserve a space, email NIA on niasakura@ceres.

Back to the dinos FUKUI — Dinosaurs! Who doesn’t love learning about earth’s prehistoric beasts? In Fukui prefecture, a 25-year long excavation has already unearthed dinosaur fossils, plants, shells and three new species of animal. The prefectural museum there has also hooked up with similar organisations in Thailand and China, sharing valuable resources and research. This month sees the beginning of a special exhibition where you can learn more about the excavation work going on. The exhibition finishes on Monday 14 October. Admission ranges from ¥1,200-¥500.


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

French Connections The latest news for francophiles in Kansai, by Stephan Ducoup

The Wedded Rocks in Ise, Mie Prefecture.

Tourists wanted in Mie MIE — Mie Prefecture’s tourist board has big plans this year to promote the area to tourists at home and abroad. Mie, Japan’s home of shintoism, boasts a long ninja history and a famous pilgrimage road, but tourists aren’t always aware of all the sights. So the tourist board has coined the phrase “As a matter of fact, they are all in Mie!” Expect to see this campaign for around three years. This October, ‘Sengu’, the rebuilding of Ise Shrine that takes place every 20 years, will begin. Next year, the pilgrimage road of Kumano Kodo will be celebrating a decade of world heritage site status. So the prefecture is anticipating, and banking on, a higher number of tourists.

What matters on the business scene OSAKA — Kansai Scene’s monthly Business Matters events are going from strength to strength, bringing local businesspeople, freelancers and readers together. Last month, freelance writer (and our very own ed!) Carla Avolio gave a presentation on how to make money from magazine writing. Thanks to everyone who braved the rains to make it! Next up, Tong Cheuk Fung will be giving a presentation on Jul 18 about how to start networking when arriving in a foreign country and about his new co-working project, 47 Ronin in Kyoto (see p7). If you have an idea for a presentation, or would like share your own business experience with others, get in touch on the Facebook page.

Bonjour! Welcome to July, the month when France celebrates its national day. If you’ve never heard of Bastille Day, held every year on July 14, then rent Les Miserables on DVD to learn more about the French Revolution. First celebrated in 1789, this original revolutionary day continues to be marked in France, albeit in a different style: instead of cutting off heads with guillotines, we pop champagne corks. It’s a massive day and if you’re in France during that time, you’ll see fireworks everywhere and dancing all night long in outdoor parties. So come and join us! OSAKA: Enjoy wine and French music at the Kansai Bastille Day Party at Cafe Barbara in Nakazakicho,

Friday July 13 from 7:30pm

KOBE: French meeting in Sannomiya, check the link for the exact date and place ( KYOTO: An afternoon of concerts and food at the French Parissai Festival at the French Institute Kyoto, Sunday July 14 from 3:30pm (

If you prefer to stay at home, don’t forget to check the latest episode of the French/Japanese web drama Paris Aleas on

Sunday July 14th. Bastille Day celebrations at the Institut Français du Japon, Kyoto

A new group that aims to connect, inform and engage small business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals doing business in Kansai.

Networking opportunities

Presentation & networking event:

Seminars & presentations

with Tong Cheuk Fung

Parties & events

July 18, Thu, 7:30–9:30pm @ Odekakebiyori Machiya Cafe, Kyoto ¼2,000 w/1d

Vital Connections


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Business Matters

First steps to vital connections It’s tough being the stranger in town, but you’ve just got to bite the bullet and get networking, says Tong Cheuk Fung. Text: KS

KS: Can you describe your current job and how it relates to networking? Tong Cheuk Fung: I work in event planning, project management, overseas promotion for Japanese companies, and running a co-working space. Networking has been crucial in building my career in Japan. Almost all of my job opportunities have come through referrals from the network I have built. I think for a foreigner wanting to work as a small business owner or freelancer in Japan, word of mouth is especially important for your credibility. After getting the jobs, I’ll again use my network to find resources – be it translators, designers or consultants – to complete the task. KS: What are the benefits of creating networks in a foreign country? TCF: Coming to a foreign country is not easy. In Japan, basic things like applying for a mobile, getting accommodation, opening a bank account, going to the ward office, can often break you. But a good network will help you with basic survival needs. Once you are done “surviving” in a foreign country, you might want to build your career or business. Chinese people talk a lot about “Guanxi” (関係), which describes relationships or connections in business. I don’t mean that success is simply a matter of getting to know big shots. Rather, success is about being good at what you do and having people know about it. By having Guanxi, or useful connections in your network,

you will eventually meet gatekeepers who will open up opportunities where you can showcase your talent. KS: How have you created these networks? TCF: I have created my network in Japan by setting up an international community called We Are One Japan (, which organizes events based on different interests like music, films, design, art, languages, food, culture, or travel. Through these events, I meet a diverse group of foreigners and Japanese with whom I become friends, and even business partners. I also make sure I attend other people’s events to meet different communities and just to have fun. KS: What has been the most crucial factor in helping you build networks? TCF: I think it would be having an open mind in meeting new people, and not being shy to introduce myself and find out about them. Sometimes I will even send emails to strangers with whom I see a potential for collaboration, and some of them have now become my customers and business partners. Another crucial factor is the ability to communicate with people, and the most effective way is if you can speak their language. So making the effort to learn new languages, or not being shy to use those in your repertoire, will help make your connection with people more engaging, and amazingly the level of trust will increase as well.

KS: What can people in Kansai do if they want to connect? TFC: Go online to Facebook, Linkedin, Couchsurfing, etc to find events that suit your interest or are in your local area. For those looking for career or business development through networking, I’ve created 47RONIN (, a global residential and co-working space in Kyoto, which hosts a community of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners. We sometimes collaborate on bigger projects by synergizing each of our talents and resources. And if you want to get to know the Japanese business community, you can check out events and activities at Knowledge Capital ( at the newly opened Grand Front Osaka. Finally, please feel free to get in touch through any of my communities. I look forward to meeting you at events in the future.

Vital Connections Tong Cheuk Fung will be the presenter at the next Business Matters Event. Join us for a presentation on building a network in a new country with a networking opportunity to follow. • Date: Jul 18 (Thu) • Time: 7:30–9:30pm • Entry: ¥2,000 w/1d • Venue: Odekakebiyori Machiya Cafe Restaurant, Kyoto For full details and registration visit:


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013


Cool play for hot days Blistering days and bored kids are a bad combination, but don’t stress. Here’s a survival guide for the best child-friendly activities to help you keep your cool this summer. Text: Carrie Matsushita • Illustrations: Nicole LaRue

It’s hot and humid and you have restless kids climbing on top of you. How can you keep them busy and cool in Kansai? Well you could go to an indoor playground; most of the big malls have them. You could go swimming at many of the great pools in Kansai or just enjoy meeting up with a friend at a kid-friendly cafe to use the air conditioning. Let me share a few of my favorite spots. The first is an indoor playground, but with much more to offer. Dream 21 has a planetarium and a nature museum too and is located next to the fantastic Higashi Osaka Hanazono Chuo Park. At Dream 21 you need to buy tickets to see the planetarium shows, enter the museum or play at the indoor playground. The indoor playground tickets are ¥100 for an hour time slot, of which there are five throughout the day. When you first get there I recommend you buy tickets

for the indoor playground first as they often sell out fast. My usual plan of action is to first take the kids to play outside during the morning when it’s coolest. They have a large playground area and a little stream to play in. Next we eat a picnic lunch in the shade and finally hide from the sun during the hot afternoon at the indoor playground, museum and planetarium. Other great places to play indoors are The Big Bang in Sakai City and Kids Plaza in Osaka City. Both have three floors of fun and climbing jungle gyms, plus lots of special events and workshops. But if you’re looking for just a few of hours of indoor play you can check out your local kids center. Every prefecture has them and they are free to use. You can ask about them at your local ward office in the childcare section. If you live in Osaka city they are called Kosodate Plaza. There are 24 of them, one in each ward. The main one is in Tenjinbashi 6 Chome and you can search for one in your area and learn more about them on their website ( Out of Osaka City you can ask your ward office where the chikii kosodate shien center nearest you is located. The centers usually have a room with toys. Many will have books or special playtimes with activities for different age groups. They may also have seminars and events for raising children. However, maybe the only thing to cool you down this

summer would be a dip in the water. My choice for pools would be Nagai Koen Pool. It has something for every age to enjoy and is reasonably priced. In addition to the 25m indoor pool, there’s a wonderful outdoor area that’s open for the summer season between June 2 and August 27. This includes a wading pool for the little tots, a small wave pool, a twisting slide for children 120cm or taller, and a slide younger kids can ride along with their parents. You can buy food from the stalls on site, but it’s also okay to take a bento or snacks. I recommend taking a leisure sheet and setting it in some shade as soon as you get there, as these spots will be filled up pretty quick. Also don’t forget your sunblock, rash guards (those very effective swimming shirts), swimming cap (if swimming indoors), straw hats, and plenty of drinking water. Another delightful water activity is to splash around in some of the lovely streams found within parks. Tsurumi


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Information Dream 21 • Address: 7-21 2 Chome Matsubaraminami Higashi, Osaka City 578-0923 • Tel: 072-962-0211 • Open: 9:30am–5pm, closed Mon • Admission: 1st/2nd floor (adults ¥300, high school ¥200, junior high to 4yo ¥100, under 4yo free); 3rd floor (¥100, under 4yo free)

Kids Plaza • Address: 2-1-7 Ogimachi Kitaward Osaka City 530-0025 • Tel: 06-6311-6601 • Open: 9:30am–5pm (weekdays); 9.30am–7pm (weekends); closed Mondays • Admission: Senior high school and over (¥1,200); elementary to JHS students & seniors over 65

Ryokuchi Koen has a steam and a fountain; Utsubo Koen

has a lovely stream surrounded by lawn and flowers; and

Ashiya Shi Sogo Koen has a stream and a beach on the bay.

I know this sounds crazy, but how about going out for a nice lunch with the kids? While it may seem impossible, if you check out you may just find some cafes and restaurants in your area that have kids meals, play spaces, changing stations, are stroller friendly and even have allergy-sensitive menu options. One of my favourites, Café-Café Balance Shokudo, is located about 10 min from JR Hanaten on foot. This nonsmoking restaurant is a much better option than slaving away in a hot kitchen. While the kids are amusing themselves in the play area, you can kick back with one of two beautiful healthy meal sets on offer, including one that’s low calorie. There’s also organic coffee and a range of treats, such as a delicious black bean chocolate cake. And when your charges have exhausted themselves, they can refuel with curry rice, rice omelets or onigiri. Another place the kids, especially the train fans, will love is the Kids Degoichi restaurant in Kyoto. It has three floors dedicated to toy trains: the first and third floors are filled with Tomika plastic rails and trains that kids can watch go around or play with, and the second floor is for adult train fans who can enjoy cold refreshments while watching trains go around scenic displays. The venue has some fun menu items, like ice cream train cakes and fries that arrive at your table on train shaped plates, and the staff are dressed as train attendants and engineers making for a very fun atmosphere. These are just a few of the many cool, kid-friendly spots scattered throughout the Kansai area. You can discover more indoor play spaces, pools, restaurants, museums and much more on If you would like to find a friend to go with, join Kansai Kids Network on Facebook and create an event!

(¥600); children over 3yo (¥300); under 3yo (free)

The Big Bang • Address: 1-9-1 Chyayamadai Minami-ku Sakai City Osaka 5900115 • Tel: 072-294-0999 • Open: 10am–5pm, closed Mon • Admission: Adults (¥1000); JHS and below (¥800); elementary (¥600); children over 3yo (¥400); under 3yo (free)

Kids Degoichi Kyoto • Address: 2F Gion fururiiru Bldg, Shin Monzen East, Hanamikoji, Higashiyama Ward Kyoto City 605-0082 • Open: • 1st floor: Mon–Sat (10:30am–7pm); Sun and hols (10am–7pm) • 2nd floor: Mon–Fri (12pm–12am); Sat (10:30am-midnight); Sun and hols (10am–8pm) • 3rd floor: Closed weekdays; Sat (10:30am–5:00pm); Sun and hols (10am–5pm) • Admission for 1st/3rd floors: Adults ¥700/2hrs, ¥300 for each additional hour; children ¥500/2hrs, ¥200 yen for each additional hour (the drink and soup bar is included)

Café-Café Balance • Address: 2-4-24 Imazunaka Tsurumi Ward Osaka City 538-0042 • Open: 11:30am–4pm, closed Sun



Paradise rated G


Once Thailand’s party central, Koh Samui has matured into a wholesome destination fit for the family. Text: Andrew J Farmer • Images: courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Osaka Office

Say “Koh Samui” and one generally thinks backpackers, bucket drinks and full moon parties. But over the last decade, Thailand’s third largest island has outgrown this ‘90s cliché, and has matured into a destination that has something to offer almost any traveller – even kids! While the island’s universally appealing mountains, coral reefs and palm-fringed beaches remain, the presence of large shopping complexes, movie theatres and international hospitals now make it a safe and convenient getaway for the whole family.

Island life Koh Samui, or just Samui as it’s known by locals, is easily reached from Kansai Airport with a 5 hour and 40 minute flight to Bangkok, followed by an hour flight south. Stepping off the plane, you’ll notice the repetitive “irasshai” are instead replaced with low-key greetings by smiling Thai staff. Occasionally, the only person who



appears to be on duty in a shop or taxi can be spotted sleeping in a nearby hammock. But don’t let that worry you. Instead, bury your watch, slow down to island time, and focus on enjoying your holiday.

A beach to call home There are places to stay on Samui to suit every style and budget, with the majority found in the beach communities around the island. A good place to start would be to first decide on the area you like, then search for accommodation that suits. Chaweng is the largest and most developed beach town on Samui. Backing on to the six kilometre long beach you can find every class of hotel. Lamai is the favourite haunt of the Kansai foreign community, and on New Year and Golden Week holidays it’s common to see groups of 30 plus familiar faces strolling the beach. Laem Yai, Mae Nam and Choeng Mon are quiet




Gulf of Thailand Ko Tao Ko Phangan

Ko Samui



beaches on the northern shores of Samui, while Bang Rak on the north eastern tip of the island is famous for the glorious Big Buddha statue. The fisherman’s village of Bophut is a charming place to stay and boasts boutique style hotels. On the south coast of Samui, the small beaches of Ban Hua Thanon, Na Khai, Laem Set, Bang Kao and Thong Krut all have several places to stay and seem a world away from the hustle and bustle of Chaweng. A nice option for families is to rent a hillside private villa. Fully serviced villas with private pools and outdoor kitchens offer a luxurious experience at prices cheaper than you imagine. An easy way to book is via, run by Andy Walmsley and Glen Morgan, who long-term Kansai residents will remember from their nightclub days in Osaka. Famous for taking care of you from behind the bar, they, along with their international and Thai staff, will now take care of you


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Traveling Tips • Stay away from scooters. • Bargaining is the norm: try to find out the local price, always counter the vendor’s initial offer, and remember to smile. • Drink bottled water. • At wildlife attractions, avoid people who offer to take your photo with the terrified animals. • Treat yourself to a Thai massage. Prices start from 200 Baht. Left-main: Choeng Mon beach / Left-top: Luxury resort / Left-bottom: Namuang waterfalls. Above-left: Idyllic beach in Angthong Marine Park / Above-right: The magnificent 12m high Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai

Getting there • Thai Airways offers multiple flights daily to Bangkok (BKK) with a very convenient

on Samui, offering specialist advice and great deals on services across the island. A bonus for Kansai residents travelling with Japanese friends and family is that information and services are available in Japanese.

Navigating the Island of Coconuts By far the best thing to do on Samui is to laze on the beach, snacking on fresh fruit and banana pancakes from vendors, and watching the kids commune with nature. But if you want to venture out, it’s easy to do so yourself. The island has an area of 228.7 km2 with a ring road that connects its main beaches, towns and ports. A car can be rented for around 1,500 Baht per day, but remember to drive on the left side of the road and be prepared to be passed by faster moving bikes and cars. Air-conditioned taxis will take you from one side of the island to the other for 600 Baht. “Song tail” open sided taxi trucks travel around the Samui ring road and stop at every beach and attraction. Expect to pay 70-100 Baht per person.

Family fun With myriad temples (wats), waterfalls and family-friendly attractions, Samui will keep even the most enthusiastic children content. For some traditional culture, visit Wat Phra Yai, which is home to the 12 metre tall golden Big Buddha, or Wat Plai Laem, the most colourful temple on Samui with an eight armed Buddha set in a lake full of hundreds of carp.

The Namuang waterfalls are also well worth a visit, with the 18 metre waterfall ‘number 1’ easily accessible just off the ring road and a lovely place to enjoy a fresh water swim. Coco Splash Waterpark is walking distance from Lamai beach and features several water slides, sprinklers and pools with shady areas for meals and frosty beverages for supervising parents. Paradise Park Farm is on Samui’s highest mountain, Khao Pom, within a cool, tropical rainforest. Offering spectacular views of Samui and the surrounding islands, it boasts 100 species of birds, small animals, a deer park, waterfalls and an infinity edge pool. For a day trip, Angthong Marine Park is a must. Have your hotel arrange for a morning pickup to the boat and enjoy the day on pristine, uninhabited islands where you can swim, snorkel and kayak in the freshwater lagoon. After an active day outdoors, wind down in the evening at one of the island’s many “Walking Streets”. Closed to vehicular traffic in certain sections, the streets come alive at night with vendors selling crafts, art, food and entertainment by cultural groups. Lamai has one every Sunday, Cheong Mon on Wednesday, Maenam on Thursday and Bophut Fisherman’s Village has theirs on Friday. Low-key and charming, these kid-friendly events are a great way to spend the evening as you savour the memories of a day spent in paradise.

night option that allows you to put in a full day’s work. Get to KIX for a flight just after midnight, arrive in BKK, switch to a Bangkok Airways flight and be checked in and on the beach by breakfast time. • Low-cost carrier Air Asia offers convenient flights to Kuala Lumpur with transfers to Surathani Airport on the mainland and a short ferry to Samui.

When to go The rainy season typically finishes just before year-end holidays, making Samui a great destination to bring in the New Year. Winter and spring are dry on Samui with the hottest time of the year being the middle of April.

Where to stay Coconut Beach Resort Directly on Lamai Beach and featuring some of the last simple huts that were ubiquitous 20 years ago. Sea Breeze Place This modern and stylish hotel features a fully serviced relaxing pool area, groomed grounds and a restaurant.

Where to eat Chaweng Beach For an unforgettable beach-dining experience, feast on delicious Thai food while lounging on colourful cushions under the glow of flaming torches. The Farmer Restaurant & Bar: Maenam Sample the best of local Thai, Western and seafood dishes among green meadows and rice paddy fields.



Pick of the bunch While a day out in nature is exciting, keeping the kids entertained is another matter. KS investigates a day outdoors that keeps both their minds and bodies active. Text: Matthew Coslett

Fresh fruit is one of the best things to eat during a long, hot summer. But instead of picking up the pre-packaged lonely banana at the combini, why not try roaming the fields to pick your own fruit salad? It’s the perfect family day out, or excuse to drag your friends away from the beer garden for a different experience. “We recommend fruit-picking to people who would like to have a new experience in Japan,” explains Naomi Ota from J.T.B. Global Marketing and Travel, a tourism operator that offers fruit picking tours all over Japan. “Most of our customers are families or small groups. I think it is really popular because of the interest people have in Japanese food culture. For families with children it is a great opportunity for them to experience something new.”

So how do those who are interested in fruit-picking get in on the fun? First, you have to choose what kind of fruit you want to pick. While strawberries are always popular with couples, grapes, oranges, pears and peaches can be a lot more fun for kids. There are plenty of companies that offer tours to pick all these and more all over Japan. However, if you go through a tour company, be aware that a typical tour will start early. Expect to have to meet the group between 7am and 8am, which can be a little early for toddlers. If this sounds a little too early, there is a lot of fun to be had by simply picking up a day pack and tramping down dirt tracks to find fruit farms on your own. “Most of the farms are way out in the boonies, so be prepared for that, and don’t expect them to be found locally,” cautions Shannon Yukumi-

Field, who spent a day picking pears in Osaka. “Once you arrive, the rest is easy. First you pay a flat rate and you receive a bucket that you put the fruit in. For that rate, you can basically pick and eat as many pears as you like and you have no time limit. All-in-all it was a good day.” While you may imagine that picking fruit is straightforward, there are in fact a lot of techniques concerning how you should do it. Generally speaking, you should be gentle with the fruit, as excessive force can damage the berries, or even worse, uproot them and cover you with dirt. The most common techniques involve lifting the stem and twisting off the fruit or holding the stem and gently plucking off the fruit. The farm you visit should be able to advise you which method is most suitable for the fruit you want to pick. At


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Fruit picking tips: • While a lot of places offer water to clean the fruit or state that the fruit is safe to eat, it is recommended that you take a bottle of water to clean off any dirt from the berries. • Make sure that you enquire first about whether you need to reserve or not. Some places have turned visitors without reservations away on busy days!

most farms the fruit will be arranged in rows. However, if your child is very young, be aware that they may require assistance to reach the fruit that catches their eye. Similarly not all fruit are equal and care should be taken to make sure that unripe or rotten fruit isn’t consumed by an overeager child while your back is turned. A recent ehow article recommends a simple checklist to ensure that you get the best value for money from your experience. First you should check the

fruit colour. According to the Yokoso Japan website, which offers tours from Kansai, this means “deep purple” for grapes, “skin coloured evenly in red or pink (with) fuzz or short hairs on the surface” for peaches and strawberries with “clear and sharp pimples”, “a hull in fresh green” and “a skin evenly coloured in vivid red”. Next, ehow recommends that you “squeeze the fruit to feel if it has the right amount of firmness”. Then check the stem: a “rock hard” stem is usually best avoided. Finally, bring the fruit close to smell it and “look for a shiny lustre”. After all these checks have been done, you can enjoy your reward knowing that you are eating the pick of the orchard. For families with young kids, a lot of fun can also be had thinking up some ridiculous mnemonics for these steps (My attempt: Chubby Sailors Saluted Sparkly Ladies!!!) or drawing up a colourful checklist. As well as being lots of fun, fruit picking is a great way of addressing the problem that children today no longer know where their food comes from. The classic joke of children believing that milk comes from the supermarket and eggs from a box is rapidly becoming a reality. So while the kids enjoy muddy fun as they pick the fruits, it is also a good chance to educate them about how fruits grow and the work that goes into producing even the most simple foods. Expect to come home with a child covered in mud, educated and very happy.

Orchards Grapes 柏原市観光 ぶどうセンター (Kashiwarashi Kankou Budou Center) 072-971-8308 フルーツランド天野さん (Fruits Land Amanosan) 0721-53-1159 京都竹中葡萄園 (Kyoto Takenaka Budouen) 0773-27-0375 Apples 丹波高原山下フルーツガーデン (Tanba Kougen Shimoyama Fruits Garden) 0771-83-0264 美山町自然文化村 (Miyamachou Shizen Bunka Mura) 0771-77-0014 Oranges 赤阪みかんがり園 (Akasa Mikan Garien) 0721-72-1447 やぶ果樹園 (Yabukajuen) 072-446-1777

Online resources: • To learn more about fruit picking tours visit Club Tourism Yokoso ( • Kishigawa’s Ichigogari Kyokai ( has one of the largest strawberry farms in Kansai. • Kobe residents are well catered for by the Kobe Municipal Fruits and Flower Park ( Depending on the season there are a lot of different fruits that © Kobe Municipal Fruit and Flower park.

can be picked. By far the best month is August when grapes and peaches are at their best. • Savor farm ( remains popular for the range of things that can be picked there. • Grand berry ( remains one of the best places for strawberries in Kansai.


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Made in Kansai

Tiny traditions kept alive in carving Once an essential dress accessory, netsuke fell out of fashion in Japan along with the kimono. But a small group of artists continue to keep the future of this exquisite miniature art alive. Text and images: Lucinda Cowing

Depiction of how netsuke were worn around the obi shash of a kimono. Source: Wikipedia

Say the word “netsuke” to a young Japanese person, and you’ll typically prompt either bewilderment or unwarranted confidence. “Oh! You mean this, right?” says one girl, showing me a red-nosed, bun-headed mascot hanging from her bejewelled mobile phone. Anpanman may be a modern-day Japanese icon, but the cutesy animation has little to do with the sculptural art of netsuke, which dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1868). Literally meaning “root for attaching,” netsuke were necessitated by the absence of pockets in traditional kimono. They served as a kind of tog-

gle to fasten inro — a pillbox used to contain items such as money, medicine or tobacco — to the obi sash encircling the waist. Far more than trinkets, netsuke are intricate miniature sculptures, each one a microcosm in the palm of your hand. Crafted from boxwood, ivory, porcelain, bullhorn and other materials, there is no limit to what they may depict: a heron protecting her egg, an imperial courtier eloping with his lover, or a scheming tanuki raccoon disguised as a Buddhist priest. Besides their functionality, netsuke came to embody iki, the aesthetic most desired by the common people. That is, an understated luxuriousness that demands contemplation but also a bit of fun. The inconspicuousness of netsuke also meant they evaded the draconian sumptuary laws of the ruling shogunate, who forbade displays of wealth unbefitting of one’s class. “Of course, the main reason why netsuke are virtually unknown today is that kimono are no longer a part of daily life,” explains artist Shigejo Ito. Yet, paradoxically, Ito is one of 150 artists continuing the tradition of netsuke in Japan today, in addition to several dozen across the globe. Tracing my thumb over the tail of a curled-up dormouse, I turn the piece until its dainty feet are revealed,

along with the minute characters of the carver’s signature. This piece was made soon after Ito’s first encounter with netsuke, about 10 years ago. It was a life-changing event for Ito, who from age 30 had followed in her mother and grandmother’s footsteps as a carver of Buddhist statues. At a renowned workshop in Kyoto, Ito carved serene figures of two shaku (a traditional unit of measurement equating to roughly one foot), from a single block of sugi cypress wood. “It was at the exhibition of a carver called Yoji Yamada, who specializes in yokai mythical monsters,” Ito recalls. “He agreed to teach me, and my interest in netsuke, particularly antique pieces, grew and grew.” Astoundingly, this dormouse is a copy from a book, the work of noted Edo-period artist Masanao, whose pieces recently fetched record-breaking prices of more than £160,000 at auction. The mouse is rendered in tsuge, or boxwood, long the wood of choice for netsuke carvers. Although incredibly dense — I can barely scrape the surface — tsuge’s tight grain allows for intricate details Ito says are “impossible to replicate using cypress”. Once Ito began to dedicate herself full-time to the art, her next challenge was to find her own style. “My teacher would say, ‘Why are your pieces so boring?’” she recalls. While the ancient


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

The Summer Exhibition of Toun Shishido at Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum July 1–31

conventions of Buddhist sculpture carving continue to be strictly adhered to, in the world of contemporary netsuke, “making copies,” Ito asserts, “is taboo.” Ito found this both liberating and pressurizing. It took one year to actualize her original creations, referring to books and the Internet for inspiration. She’s developed a penchant for carving animals; on her desk along with countless tools are printed images of the galago, the curious, wide-eyed primate from Africa. In fact, this is the subject of her latest work. Working intently under a bright light in a cozy apartment in the Osaka suburbs, Ito is polishing an adorable pairing of this bushbaby along with a bat. Oddly, though, the figures are sitting, rubbing their heads. “I wanted to bring together two animals that wouldn’t otherwise meet,” she explains excitedly. “Here, they have literally bumped into each other.” Despite the freedom of subject matter, some principles of netsuke carving have remained the same. Each piece is designed to be viewable from any an-

gle, and to be called a netsuke, it must have a himotoshi, or channel through which to thread the beaded cord for suspending the inro. Finally, after the painstaking work of carving and polishing, the netsuke are ready to be stained. But even this presents yet another obstacle. Traditionally placed in a heated dye composed of elements such as red iron oxide and alder nut, the netsuke are removed two days later and left to dry slowly in humid conditions. The risk here is that the colour may not have absorbed evenly, but even worse, that mould or cracks have developed in the process. “If that happens, there is nothing you can do,” Ito sighs as she recalls watching months of labour disappear. Yet, despite such setbacks, the charm of netsuke still entices Shigejo Ito. Indeed, it is the perseverance of artists like Ito and the enduring appeal of this uniquely miniature art that fuel hopes of a future for netsuke. Sincere efforts to make kimono fashionable, particularly among young Japanese, may also spur regrowth of the “root for attachment”.

A keen craftsman from a young age, former jewellery maker Toun Shishido began devoting himself to the art of netsuke in 1997. As Kyoto prepares for the Gion Matsuri, its most important annual festival, Toun has dared to stretch the conventions of netsuke carving to create mini replicas of hokogashira, the impressive long handled sword that stands upon the giant decorative floats paraded through the streets. Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Museum is Japan’s foremost museum dedicated to netsuke miniature sculpture, located in a stately former samurai residence near Nijo Castle. The museum holds 2,500 netsuke dating from the Edo period to present, and exhibits 400 selected pieces to the public five times a year. Check website for opening dates • Open: 10am–5pm (last admission 4:30pm) • Admission: adults ¥1,000, students ¥500. Please note children under the age of 11 are not permitted in the museum.


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Food and drink

Gumbo and all that jazz Bistro New Orleans is bringing the taste of Creole and Cajun food back to Osaka.

Bistro New Orleans • Address: Kitahorie 1-15-10 • Open: 3pm–11pm daily (Closed Tuesdays) • Food: ¥400-¥1,250 • Drinks: ¥400-¥900, bottled organic dinkel and white beer, Asahi and Asahi dark on draft. New Orleans cocktails • Go to dish: Gumbo, chaurice sandwich, bread pudding • Events: July 13 – Alicia Saldenha acoustic solo live

Text and images: Wes Lang

• Best bit: the food is as authentic as you can get, and you’ll feel welcome

After the old America-mura haunt Savannah closed down a decade ago, Osaka was without an authentic New Orleans-style restaurant – until now. Enter Bistro New Orleans, the brainchild of a Crescent City transplant with a knack for good conversation and savory food. This is fast becoming the go-to place for those longing for real Creole and Cajun food. For the uninitiated, Creole and Cajun food are a unique take on French cooking, whose slow-cooked dishes are created on the backbone of the mirepoix (onion, celery, and carrots, which form the stock for cooking). In New Orleans, green peppers are used in place of carrots (root vegetables don’t grow well in swamps). The mirepoix is locally known as the trinity, and forms the basis of dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee (smothered) and shrimp creole. Cayenne pepper and thyme add the signature kick to the dishes, which can leave you

with a runny nose if you overdose on the spice. Stopping by one quiet Friday, I perched myself at a table by the windows and took in the décor: the fleur-de-lis motifs, the Saints memorabilia, and the stylized French quotation (Laissez les bon temps rouler) on the main wall. While perusing through the menu, the owner CC came over and introduced himself, asking me if I had any questions about the items on the menu. He recommended that I start off with the gumbo. When the dish arrived at the table, the scent of thyme immediately wafted from the rich-looking steam. One bite into the soup and I’d found a winner. Next, I found myself torn between sampling one of the pasta dishes or sandwiches. In the end I went with the chaurice sandwich and a side of coleslaw (¥700). The hamburger-sized sandwich with a homemade chorizo patty really packed a fiery punch. For those with a weak constituency, pay heed to the

even coming here on your own • Worst bit: they don’t have Po Boy sandwiches, but that’s because no bakeries in Japan make New Orleans-style French baguettes

warning signs on the menu. Items marked as spicy truly are spicy. My tongue immediately started tingling after the first bite, but it was a pleasant burning sensation that permeated throughout the entire sandwich. After two dishes I was thoroughly satisfied but again I was persuaded to indulge in the bread pudding (¥600), which differs from its British cousin by using fresh fruit. The peach pudding, served with a side of vanilla ice cream did not disappoint. All in all, my introduction to the flavors and styles of New Orleans cooking was a positive one, and my only regret was not having a larger stomach to sample the catfish and hush puppies, which I ended up getting as take out.


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013



Kids stuff Anyone that has kids here in Kansai will know that when taking them to any park or public attraction, there will be an army of local mums (and sometimes dads to be fair) eager to know all about you and your little ones. While you won’t be expected to engage them in a deep discussion about global issues, it is only polite that you should at least be able to offer a few basic facts about your kids and be able to ask questions about theirs. Networking with other parents can be just as important as business networking, especially if you have recently arrived here with kids in tow and need to get some first-hand information. Never underestimate the power of the mummy collective. Expressions 子供さんのお名前はなんですか

Kodomo-san no onamae wa nan desu ka いくつですか

Ikutsu desu ka どこの保育園に行かせてますか

Doko no hoikuen e ikasetemasu ka 旦那さんは日本人ですか

Danna-san wa nihonnjin desu ka ご近所さんですか

Gokinjyo-san desu ka 予防接種はしましたか

Yobosesshu wa shimashita ka その靴はどこで買ったんですか

Sono kutsu wa doko de kattan desu ka

What is your son/ daughter’s name? How old is he/she? Which pre-school do they go to? Is your husband Japanese? Do you live locally? Have you vaccinated your child? Where did you buy those shoes?

Vocab 息子 Musuko


娘 Musume


保育園 Hoikuen


幼稚園 Yochien


小学校 Shogakko

Elementary School

中学校 Chugakko

Junior High School

高等学校 Kotogakko (koko)

High School

予防接種 Yobosesshu


What’s it like living in...Taiwan? Manabu Itamochi launched his own business from scratch in Taiwan. It began with his travel to China during the college. KS asked all about it. 台湾に住むことになったきっかけは。 大学時代の旅行がきっかけで中国に興味を もちました。その後も何回か中国へ旅行す るも言葉が話せず、30歳の時に思い切っ て1年間、上海へ留学しました。留学後は そのまま上海、広州で仕事をしていました が、旅行で訪れた台湾の雰囲気に惹かれ て、台湾へ移住することを決めました。 台湾で何をしていますか。 移住後はフリーランスで仕事をしていましたが、日本の会社と取引 が増えてきたため、現地法人を設立することにしました。日本から台 湾へ進出を検討される方への市場調査、会社設立サポート、現地企 業とのマッチング、販売先開拓などコンサルティング業務や国際貿 易、イベントプロデュースを行っています。サブカルチャーに興味が あるので、アニメなどのコンテンツ関連のイベントプロデュースも行 っています。 台湾で起業して最も印象に残った出来事は。 2つあります。まず、会社設立を自分で一から行ったことです。出来 るのか不安もありましたが、最後に登記が済んだ時にはとても嬉し かったです。もう1つは、今年初めに日本人歌手の台北ライブに携わ ったのですが、たくさんの現地ファンが来てくれ、アンケートでも好 意的な回答が多く、やって良かったと思えた事です。 普段は何語を話していますか。どのような学習方法で。 中国語です。はじめは簡体字で勉強し、繁体字は生活するうちに自 然と身につきました。ニュースを聞いたり、新聞を読んだりして、独 特の言い回しを覚えるようにしています。台湾はニュースに字幕が 付いている事が多いので、学習には適していると思います。 台湾での生活、ここが好き! 親切な人が多く、細かい事を気にしないこと、公共心があり、どんな に混んでいても優先席は空いているなど公共心を持つ人が多いこ と。また、台北市内の移動はバスで代替済ませることができること も便利。 台湾でおすすめの飲食店/屋台、ローカルフードを教えてください。 寧夏夜市です。食べ物中心の夜市で競争が激しいため、おいしいと ころが多いです。屋台の横にある牡蠣オムレツの店がおすすめで す。台湾発祥の猫カフェも癒しスポットですね。猫を飼ったので行か なくなりましたが…(笑)あとは、家の近所にある「脆皮燒肉飯」がお 気に入りです。本場で食べた香港料理よりも美味しいと思います。 Interview by Sarasa Kitano Follow Manabu on Website: Blog:


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013


New waves of comedy Osakan timbers are definitely shivering with laughter thanks to these home-grown bilingual comedy troupes. Text: JJ O’ Donoghue • Images: Mark Weich and The Pirates of Dotombori

Mark Twain wrote that the human race has only one real effective weapon and that is laughter. Although he didn’t live to see drone warfare, the scribe was right. Comedy is to Kansai as the Senkaku Islands are to Japan: integral. Osaka pretty much ‘owns’ manzai, the scripted comedy double-act routine, and witty Osakans rarely miss a chance to make fun with a pun. Even the comedian-in-chief Mayor Hashimoto seems to be pretty adept at putting his foot in his mouth these days. Perhaps, then, it’s unsurprising that Osaka is also home to two comedy troupes that combine foreign and homegrown talent. Nearly every expat will agree that living in a foreign country has its share of odd, endearing and embarrassing moments. From toilet troubles (here’s looking at you Toto) to murdering the language and the locals doing likewise with your language. But turning these universal experiences into vignettes that elicit laugh-out-loud responses, to use the language of the internet, requires talent and bravado.

Add to that a live paying audience and you start to see why more people run marathons than opt to try comedy. These challenges might go someway to explaining why for a long time English language comedy was thin on the ground in Kansai. The Pirates of Dotombori, a diverse improvisational comedy group founded in 2005, are Kansai’s longest running bilingual comedy troupe. Working both in English and Japanese the Pirates take their inspiration and structure from the famous radio turned TV improv show Whose Line is it Anyway? Billy Reilly, a long time Pirate, took over management of the group in 2009 when Pirate founder Mike Staffa moved to Tokyo where he started a ‘frenemy’ group, the Pirates of Tokyo Bay. Being adept in Japanese and English allows the Pirates to navigate between the two languages, often at the drop of a hat in the true spirit of improvisational comedy. Reilly says that the feedback from the Japanese audience

has been great because their brand of comedy is diametrically opposed to the manzai staple. “Manzai is prepared, rehearsed and involves only two people who play very rigid, cultural set roles while what we do is spontaneous, unpredictable and universal due to the varying background of all our members,” said Reilly. While improv comedy is largely situational, shows still require a bit of preparation, and the Pirates meet regularly to test routines and gags before taking them to the stage. But Reilly said it helps that Osakans are a receptive bunch who are special in being “ready and quick to laugh, relax and have a good time”. Although laughter might be the ultimate weapon, the Pirates, despite their name, are on good terms with ROR, Kansai’s other comedy


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Top: Raugh Out Roud members performing stand-up Left & right: The Pirates of the Dotombori

collective. In fact a few of the Pirates are ROR regulars. Like the Pirates, ROR – which stands for Raugh Out Roud - draw on their diverse backgrounds and experiences of living ‘here’ and ‘there’ for their material, but their format is strictly stand-up. Think rakugo, but on your feet. Edd Daggers (with a name like that you’d expect killer one-liners) is the man behind ROR. He came to Osaka via Shanghai where he had been testing the waters with his stand-up. Surprised to find that Osaka was without a standup scene, Daggers said he set about correcting that and “rounded up a few brave souls to take on the challenge of starting the first English-language stand-up comedy group in Osaka.” According to Daggers one of the biggest perks of doing comedy in Osaka is that the audiences are eager due to the dearth of live comedy in the city. “The catch is that the audience we have is often a return audience, meaning that we have to constantly keep coming up with new material in order to keep the shows fresh and exciting.” Last October the collective celebrated their one-year anniversary,

which, according to Daggers, was one of ROR’s highlights and a testament to how far they had come. “[It was] a great show and a huge crowd. It’s been incredible to see our performers transform from nervy open-mic newbies into polished stand-up comedians in such a short space of time.” There have been unfunny moments too; the group’s first show in Kobe was packed with people who didn’t understand enough English to catch what was going on. “Cue an hour and a half of polite silence,” said Daggers. ROR also took the show on the road to Okinawa, only to find that the US soldiers they were hoping to play for were not allowed off the base. But as Daggers said, “setbacks like these are all part of the journey and we learn a lot from each one.” There’s no shortage of comedy on the internet these days, but just like the experience of going to a cinema is vastly different from watching a movie on your small screen in your tatami room, experiencing comedy in a live venue where give-it-your-all comedians are trying (and sometimes failing) to make you laugh far outweighs the experience of laughing alone.

The Pirates of the Dotombori • Upcoming shows: Tin’s Hall in Tennoji on July 28 and Switch in Nishi Umeda on September 14. • Follow them: Twitter @osakimprov; Facebook at facebook. com/osakaimprov; website for show listings and auditions

ROR • Upcoming shows: Bar IZNT in Sannomiya on July 15 and at their regular haunt, Café Absinthe in Shinsaibashi, on July 17 • Try your hand: If you think you’re funny or you just want some attention, ROR hold a monthly open-mic comedy night. The venue is L&L Bar in Shinsaibashi and it’s usually held on the last Thursday of every month from 9pm. The mic is anyone’s for the taking and you can test your material for five minutes as well as meet the team from ROR. • Follow them: Facebook at or check their homepage at


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Jul 6

Fast and Furious 6. © Universal Pictures

Fast and Furious 6

© 2013 DISNEY / PIXAR.

Justin Lin, 130mins, July 6 Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Ludacris Genre: Action/Heist

Film previews



Monster University Dan Scanlon, 110mins, July 6 Starring: Billy Cyrstal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren

Recruiting all of the leads from the past F&F movies the film is bigger, if not better, than all that passed before, although Dwayne Johnson schools Vin Diesel in charisma school.

V/H/S. Horror 8 credited directors, 116mins, July 13 Starring: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes Genre: Horror

An ambitious horror-project, with scenes divided between 8 directors and a script penned by a dozen writers. A “found footage” film that falls short of its potential, but a worthy watch for horror fans.

Genre: Animation

Reviving a popular film franchise after a decade normally results in movies that offend the original fans and fail to attract new ones (we’re looking at you, Spielberg and Lucas!), but one company that is consistently an exception to the rule is Pixar, with Cars 2 being more action packed and fun than the original and each consecutive Toy Story being more heartrending than the last. Hoping to continue their decades long winning-streak is the newest installment in the Monsters Inc. universe, Monsters University. With everything being tied up nice and tightly at the end of the original film, it may seem superfluous to somehow squeeze out a sequel. So in order to leave the “happy ever after” ending of the original untarnished (and in order to bring back Steve Buscemi’s awesomely creepy Randy), the new film is actually a prequel, set in the college years of Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman). Helen Mirren also puts in a solid performance as Dean Hardsrabble, with a “she’s mean, but I bet she’s nice deep-down” role. In the 2001 movie (that’s right, it was 12 years ago!), Mike and Sully were best of friends, and it was the threat of this friendship ending that acted as the film’s main conflict. But they were not always so close, as this prequel shows the jock-like temperament of the gigantic, fluffy frightener clashes with the studious, geeky funnyman. Both being attention seekers in their own right, fighting for the top spot at the school sparks the flames of competition between these professional scarers. Setting the film at a university is a stroke of pure genius, because not only is the original narrative unscathed, but it also allows for a little silliness to attract a new, young audience. With the young watchers of the last film now hitting collegeage, they can indulge in a double dose of nostalgia and relatable college-humor. Still more “Pixar” than “Disney”, the film will no doubt be popular with a very wide demographic.

Don’t forget you can find a list of local cinemas (and what’s playing) online at:

Pocket Monsters © Pokemon.

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! The Movie: ExtremeSpeed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens Kunihiko Yuyama, July 13 Starring: Atsuko Maeda Genre: Animation

The 16th movie in the franchise and they are really milking this cash-Miltank (Pokemon pun!). Alongside the feature film is a short, showcasing Eevee’s evolutionary state, which is narrated by ex-AKB leader, Atsuko Maeda.

The Paperboy Lee Daniels, 107 mins, July 27 Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman Genre: Thriller

A journalist returns to his hometown to investigate a death row prisoner’s case, and nothing is as clear as it seems. A fantastically trailer trashy Nicole Kidman is in love with the con, and will stop at nothing to help clear his name.



River refreshment you can bank on When it’s too hot to pound the city streets, head for Kansai’s best swimming rivers for refreshing fun for the whole family. Text: Sam Evans

On a sweltering Kansai summer day, is there anything more enticing than an ice-cold dip in the great outdoors? We don’t think so, which is why we’ve sourced the best, and most convenient, places to cool off while surrounded by mother nature. Here, in no particular order, are Kansai’s “divine nine” swimming rivers. Grab your bathers, and we’ll see you there.

Ikuta River, Kobe

Takihata River, Osaka

Community bus headed for Takihata Dam.

Kobe’s best kept secret is a heavenly oasis that happens to be bang in the middle of the city just behind JR Shin Kobe station. As well as plenty of shaded areas and a few jumping rocks, there’s enough space to set up a barbecue or to simply kick back and forget about the hustle and bustle of the city below.

Alight at the bus terminal and then walk 15

follow the small road that goes under the

It may sound like a big deal, but putting in just a little effort in busing to Takihata Dam is guaranteed to pay dividends: breathtaking views of the surrounding Kii peninsula and pristine swimming spots that are perfect for both kids and adults. Set up camp at the shallows and enjoy the gentle flow of crystal clear water that trickles down from the mountains.

station towards the hill. This road soon

Access: Take the Nankai Koya or the

becomes a path that will get you there in

Kintetsu Nagano line to Kawachi-Nagano

20 minutes.

station. From there hop on a Takihata

Access: Exit Shin Kobe station and

minutes following the river upstream.

Takano River at Yase, Kyoto Another city spot, Yase in Kyoto’s northeastern quarter is both easily accessible and great for families in the mood for fun. Walking down the steps from Yase Hieizanguchi station will bring you to a pristine nature spot boasting leafy trees and clear, flowing water. The pebbled banks offer enough room to lounge and barbecue while


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

the shallow water means that kids can be left to their own devices. If you want to get the most out of this spot, KS strongly advises putting your towel down early as it gets busy! Access: From Kawaramachi, take the short walk to Gion-Shijo station and take a limited express on the Keihan line to Demachiyanagi station. Transfer here, taking the Eizan Dentetsu to Yase Hieizanguchi station.

Oto River at Kawayu Onsen, Wakayama For fun seekers in the mood for a more traditional Japanese experience, nothing beats this geothermal wonder where hot water rises from deep underground into the pebble banks of an emerald green river. It’s a bit of a trek from the cities so it might be an idea to stay at one of the onsen resorts which, although costing up to ¥15,000 per person per night, offer the genuine Japanese experience with superb meals included. Access: from Shingu station on the JR Kisei main line, take a 1 hour bus ride to Kawayu Onsen.

Tenokawa River at Tenkawamura, Nara The quaint village of Tenkawamura in Nara’s Yoshino region is well known for its water; being home to the famous Dorrogawa “rumbling water” springs and Tenkawa Dai-Benzaiten, which enshrines the god of water. The river here is gentle, clear and snakes through the majestic Kii mountain range to provide swimmers with some of the best scenery in all of Japan. Access: From Abenobashi station (Tennoji), board a limited express train on the Kintetsu Yoshino line to Shimoichiguchi station and from there it’s one hour on a Nara Kotsu bus to Tenkawa Kawai.

Totsugawa River, Nara Bordering Wakayama and Mie prefectures on the southern tip of Nara, this place is simply idyllic. With lush, majestic mountains rising up on either bank, the emerald river sparkles during summer as the sun shines on its surface. After taking a dip in the river’s

The Oto River at Kawayu Onsen, Wakayama. Perfect family fun all year round. © Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau

mellow currents, hike a short way up the mountain path to cross the Tanize bridge, which stretches over the river. At 297 metres, it’s the longest suspension bridge in Japan, so you’ll have one to tell your friends. Access: Take the JR Kisei line to Shingu station, then take a 90 minute bus ride to Totsugawa.

Kibune River, Kyoto Lying up in the hills of north Kyoto, this river is a far cry from the touristpacked streets of the city. The currents up here are gentle as the river winds through the hillside, its rugged banks consisting of boulders big enough to accommodate family-sized picnic blankets. Although narrow, the river is great for a paddle and in some areas is deep enough for an invigorating plunge. After a well-deserved dip, it’s worth checking out the picturesque village just a short walk up the road.

Ibogawa at Tatsuno, Hyogo Way out in western Hyogo, the town of Tatsuno, affectionately referred to as “the little Kyoto of Harima”, is rich in history and natural beauty. The town’s river, the Ibogawa, is one of the longest in Hyogo, its blue waters flowing down from the nearby Mount Keiro making for one of the most pleasant swim spots in the region. Take a blanket and picnic here while the kids have fun in the wide but benevolent currents. Access: From Himeji take the Kishin line to Hon-Tatsuno station. From here, walk east to the Izumo highway and then follow this until you hit the river bank.

Kamogawa, Kyoto

transfer again to the Eizan Dentetsu-

Kyoto’s most famous river, which flows right through the middle of the city, probably wouldn’t come to mind as an ideal swimming spot. However, further upstream, about 1 kilometre north of Kamigamo Shrine, there’s a beautiful stretch of river that’s perfect for paddling and picnics with Kyoto locals and (probably rather tipsy) university students. Again, this one can get crowded so be sure to arrive early!

Kurama line. Alight at Kibuneguchi and

Access: From Demachi-Yanagi station

follow the road, which travels parallel

board the City Bus number 4 and get

to the river going upstream into Kibune

off at the last stop, Kamigamojinja-mae.


From here walk north along the river for 10

Access: From Gion-Shijo station, take a limited express on the Keihan line to Demachiyanagi. Transfer here to the Eizan Dentetsu line to Taragaike and then

minutes until you smell barbecue.


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013


Mitsuumi Sunset Festival みつ海まつり~サンセットフェスティバル~ Shin Maiko Hama Beach, Hyogo

Jul 14

A firework waterfall that’s over 500m in length is one of the glittering highlights of this fiery festival. This ‘Niagra Falls’ of sparks is the longest in Western Japan. Before it happens, don’t miss the thrilling Hiage ritual, in which people throw burning torches into the air to light the festival flame five meters off the ground. This festival is held on the sandy beach of Shin Maiko Hama beach, which also has beautiful tidal wetlands to wander around. Throughout the day, there will be a variety of stage events and interactive attractions. Time: Noon • Admission: free • Access: Sanyo Railway Sanyo Aboshi stn bus to Kamaya Nishi • Tel: 079-322-1004

Event Listings Jul 6–8

The star festival, Tanabata, celebrates the legend of two lovers who can only meet once a year. There will be world food booths, star gazing with telescopes, a walk-through bamboo ornament and more. Provided by

Admission: free • 2013tanabata.

Gion Festival

Fuchin Taisai Festival



FREE Yasaka Shrine and surroundings, Kyoto • Jul 1–31

Jul 7

One of the largest religious events in Japan, the Gion festival sees various ceremonies held throughout July including a parade of traditional Yamaboko floats on July 17 and a procession of Geisha, Maiko and teams performing ancient dances on July 24. Admission: free • kyokan ko.or. jp/gion

Tanabata no Yube 七夕の夕べin四天王寺2013 FREE

Shitennoji Temple, Osaka


A brilliant yellow field of over a million sunflowers and even a giant sunflower maze!

Admission: ¥100 • Access: JR Kishin line Harima-Tokusa stn; 30min walk •

Sakurayama Park Science Festival 桜山公園まつり科学の屋台村 FREE Himeji City Science Museum, Hyogo • Jul 20 & 21

Tatsuta-Taisha Shrine, Nara

The shrine’s most important event of the year has a thrilling climax in which performers chant prayers in a shower of sparks from Roman candles. Admission: free • Access: JR Yamatoji line Sango stn

Sunflower Festival ひまわり祭り Nanko Sports Park and Surroundings, Hyogo Jul 13–28

Ohatsu Tenjin Summer Festival お初天神夏祭り FREE Tsuyu no Tenjinsha Shrine, Osaka • Jul 19 & 20

A much-loved annual summer festival which features powerful taiko drums thundering from a float.

Admission: free •

This festival of science fun features a village with over 30 booths where kids can try their hands at experiments, woodwork and see planetarium shows. Admission: free (¥50-¥100 for each booth) •

Summer puppet show 夏休み文楽特別公演 親子劇場 National Bunraku Theatre, Osaka Jul 20–Aug 5


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Jul 15

Free Yukata Wearing Experience 無料ゆかた体験会 FREE

Kyoto International Community House, Kyoto

If you’ve ever wanted to try wearing Japanese summer kimono, yukata, but just don’t know where to start, this event has just what you need. Kyoto International Community House have a Kimono Dressing Circle ready and willing to dress you in yukata for free. Come to Meeting Room 1 and choose your favourite yukata from their large selection. These friendly staff will do all the hard work to get you looking perfect. They stock many different sizes of yukata, appropriate footwear and, of course, men’s summer kimono too. All you need to do is bring your camera, and enjoy the experience of wearing yukata. If you bring your own yukata, the volunteers will help you get dressed, and then you can head to the Gion Festival wearing it. Admission: free • Time: 10am– 4pm • Access: Subway Tozai line Keage stn; 5min walk • Tel: 075-394-2641 • Email:

Jul 24

Monjudo Defune Festival 文殊堂 出船祭 FREE

Amanohashidate Kaisen-Kyo Bridge and surroundings,


Here be dragons! This festival recounts an ancient legend in which a violent dragon caused great trouble for people in the region. The god of wisdom, Monju came to preach to the dragon. After losing a battle, and being educated by Monju, the evil monster became a guardian spirit. See this fierce battle between the god and dragon performed in spectacular costume on a torch-lit stage over the sea. Other events at the festival include some traditional musical performances, and a spectacular fireworks show to finish off the night. Time: 7:30pm • Admission: free • Access: Kita Kinki Tango Railway Amanohashidate stn • Tel: 0772-22-8030

The traditional puppet theatre, Bunraku, performs fairy tale stories. English audio guides are available. Admission: ¥3,800 adults, concessions • english.html

portable shrines, a spectacular fireworks display and hundreds of boats sailing along the river Okawa. Admission: free • www.tenjinsan. com/tjm.html

Admission: ¥2,500 adults, concessions • event/1319

Summer Holiday Project

Family classical concert

夏休み自由研究講座 FREE


Lake Biwa Museum, Shiga

Jul 21

To inspire kids to do summer projects on the natural world, the Lake Biwa Museum are offering lectures about how to conduct scientific investigations on topics like space, insects and plankton. Email to reserve a place.


Tenjin Festival

Admission: ¥4,200 adults minimum •

Admission: free •


Experience the romance of hot-air balloon flight. Fly in the early morning on Jul 26 and Aug 4 or rise into the evening sky on Jul 27 and Aug 2.

Walking with Dinosaurs Osakajo Hall, Osaka • Jul 25–28

An internationally-renowned theatrical event that brings dinosaurs back to life.

Provided by Biwako Visitors Bureau

ンサート親子de 夏コン名曲旅行

Japan International Birdman Rally

Kyoto Concert Hall, Kyoto Jul 27


A child-friendly classical music concert. With workshops, a puppet show and plenty of songs, this concert aims to get the little ones enjoying classical music too.

FREE Matsubara Suiei-Jo Beach, Shiga • Jul 27 & 28

Admission: ¥2,000 adults advance, concessions • kyophil/2013.7.27.html

A flying competition where participants from all over the country attempt to fly over Lake Biwako using human-powered flying machines.

Admission: free • birdman

Hot-air Balloon Flight

Yukihata Jizo Festival

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, Osaka Jul 25



One of the three most famous religious festivals in Japan, featuring

Karasuma-Hanto Peninsula, Shiga Jul 26–Aug 4

FREE Sekurabe Jizo and surroundings, Shiga • Jul 28


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Jul 27 & 28

Photo provided by Biwako Visitors Bureau

Jul 24 & 25

Kochi Festival

Konotori Tajima Airport Festival’ 13

河内祭の御船行事 FREE

Koza River and surroundings, Wakayama

コウノトリ但馬空港フェスティバル‘13 FREE

Konotori Tajima Airport, Hyogo

This centuries-old Shintoist festival is held to pray for a good catch by fishermen and a good summer harvest. It re-enacts the celebration of the returning victorious Koza navy fleet during the 13th century. See wooden battleships illuminated with paper lanterns floating along the Koza River on the evening of July 24. These magnificent vessels, decorated brightly to console the souls of those lost in battle, also parade during daylight on July 25. Other sights not to miss are the skilful shishimai lion dance, which is particular to the Koza area, and the fiercely competitive kaidenma boat races. Many other unusual ceremonies are carried out throughout the day.

Konotori Tajima airport hosts its annual air show, which is the perfect family day out because it’s free and exciting for all ages. The sky above the airport will be a stage for some aircraft acrobatics, but there’s also lots of fun activities on the ground including live music performances, a hang-gliding simulator, stalls for gourmets and a children’s play area. You can watch demonstration flights from the Japanese Self Defence Force helicopter team and civilian teams. You can also experience a tethered hot air balloon flight and a sightseeing flight by Cessna.

Admission: free • Access: JR Kinokuni line Koza stn

Toyooka stn bus to Tajima Kuko Taminal-mae •

Time: 9:30am • Admission: free • Access: JR Sanin Honsen

• Tel: 0735-72-0645

Event listings cont. A Buddhist celebration of jizo (the guardian deity of children) showcasing unique and witty handmade sculptures.

Admission: free • Access: JR Biwako line Yasu stn; 10min walk • Tel:077-587-3710 Uozaki stn. Change to Rokko Liner to Marine Park, then 5min walk east. •

Louis Boston, who has over ten years business experience in Japan, will talk about his radio programme ‘Blacken’.

Admission: free • Tel: 06-6205-4545 • MidosujiTalkinAbout

FREE Lake Biwa Matsubara Beach, Shiga • Aug 1

Sakai Fish Market 堺大魚夜市 FREE

Ohama Park, Sakai • Jul 31

A huge fish auction with a 700-year history, plus various attractions will be held on this day. Admission: free •

Running an International Internet Radio Station in Japan うめきた Talkin’About vol.3 FREE Grand Front Osaka North Tower-C 713, Osaka • Aug 2

A unique non-verbal performance featuring magic, juggling and mime, Gear is suitable for all ages and needs no translation.

Insectivorous Plant Exhibition 食虫植物展


Admission: free • event/articles/c/hanabi

Art Complex 1928, Kyoto Until Jul 28

Admission: ¥3,000 adults advance, concessions •

Hikone Great Firework Festival

A fireworks display with 10,000 fireworks exploding and reflecting beautifully on the surface of the lake.

Gear ギア

Kiseki no Hoshi Botanical Museum, Hyogo • Until Jul 22 Provided by Biwako Visitors Bureau

Kids candle workshop キャンドル体験教室 Village 4go Kan, Shiga • Until Dec 27

A special exhibition of insectivorous plants that will be popular with children; there’s a wide range on display from large pitcher plants (30cm) to tiny butterworts. Admission: ¥600 adults, concessions •

A workshop in making candles held especially for children. Admission: ¥1,200–¥2,000 •

Find more listings online at:


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013


July 20-21

Art Osaka



Hotel Granvia Osaka, 26th floor, Umeda

This annual event is perfect if you want to take in contemporary art but don’t have time for gallery hopping. Dozens of galleries located around Kansai, elsewhere in Japan, and overseas (particularly South Korea) show choice works on the top floor of a luxury hotel just a short walk from JR Osaka Station. Visitors can get a sense of which galleries in the region show work that interests them, and reference the info for future art-viewing expeditions. The art fair offers galleries the chance to use a second “Exhibition Plus” room for special thematic exhibitions, solo exhibitions or installations. This time there is a special exhibition, The Spirit of Gutai Today, with works by members of the Gutai Group that are still active internationally. This group, active from the mid-50s through the early 70s, was formed in Kansai and broke new ground with conceptual and interactive works, performances, and acts of creative destruction that at times prefigured influential work later produced in the West. Gutai is enjoying a renaissance of critical interest overseas, with a major retrospective held recently at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Art Osaka coincides with the start of another art festival, the Dojima River Biennale at nearby Dojima River Forum (Jul 20-Aug 18; see listings below.).

Above: Masashi Hattori – Solo exhibition EXHIBITION PLUS room, YOD Gallery Osaka (archive, Art Osaka 2012) Below: Guest room of Hotel Granvia Osaka 26th Floor Yukino Miyata “piece of hukei” drypoint, 79×107 cm, 2012

Jul 20–21 • Contemporary art from 52 galleries in Japan and overseas, exhibited in a luxury hotel environment Open: 11am–6pm Sat, Jul 20 / 11am–7pm Sun, Jul 21 Admission: ¥1,500 Access: JR Osaka Stn •

Art Listings Kyoto

Kei fu shu jo: Jizai no tetsuki (With a Free Hand)

Noritoshi Hirakawa: unión de…(The completion of Casa Barragán) Taka Ishii Gallery Kyoto FREE Jun 22–Jul 13

Black and white photos of the artist’s unión de… photography and modern dance project, presented at the Luis Barragán House and Studio, a World Heritage Site, in Mexico City. Open: 11am–7pm; closed Sun, Mon and hols • Admission: Free • Access: Karasuma subway line, Gojo Stn exit 8 • takaishiigallery. com/jp

Kyoto Art Center FREE Jun 14-Jul 14

MAYA MAXX「彼岸、此岸」2013年 何必館・京都現代美術館蔵

Three artists, Zon Ito, Tomohiko Ogawa and Atsushi Nishijima, exhibited works based on the characters "景" "風" "趣" and "情", in a converted old elementary school.

Maya Maxx: Engrave on a Heart

Open: 10am–8pm every day • Admission: Free • Access: Subway Shijo Stn, Hankyu Karasuma Stn or Shijo-Karasuma bus stop •

Kahitsukan Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art Jun 1–Jul 28


Painterly abstractions with biomorphic, primitivistic and cosmic themes.

Open: 10am-6pm; closed Mon, but open Jul 15 • Admission: ¥1,000 • Access: Keihan Gion Shijo Stn •

Evangelion and Japanese Swords Osaka Museum of History Jul 3–Sep 16

Exhibition combining the perennially popular anime

series and the world of Japanese katana swords.

Open: 9:30am–5pm (until 8pm Fri); closed Tue (when Tue is a national holiday, open Tue and closed Wed) • Admission: ¥600 • Access: Subway Tanimachi 4-chome Stn •

Art Court Frontier 2013 (#11) Artcourt Gallery

Annual event showcasing emerging talent, particularly young artists residing or having roots in Kansai. Open: 11am–7pm, until 5pm on Sat; closed Sun and Mon • Admission: Free • Access: JR Sakuranomiya, JR Osakatenmangu or subway Minamimorimachi Stn •


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Jul 3–Jul 20

Jul 13–Aug 25

Saori Miyake: Abstract Dislocation FREE

Fukugan Gallery

Play Kyoto National Museum

Saori Miyake’s enchantingly eerie and nostalgic images are photograms, images printed like photographs but produced without using a camera. She paints on clear film and places it atop photo paper for printing, creating black-and-white images with the luminescent quality and texture of gelatin silver prints and the fluid strokes of paintings. They are based on old film (never digital) photos bought at flea markets or obtained from friends. Past motifs have included little girls playing, old-fashioned interiors and sundappled outdoor scenes, diaphanous, often reversed like a negative or spangled with luminous fairy dust. Photographic printing, usually employed to capture reality, is used here to create fictional, dreamed or remembered spaces that spark déjà vu and, as the exhibition title suggests, “dislocation” in the viewer. Miyake will also be exhibiting at Art Osaka (see facing page).

This exhibition features a wide variety of works from the Kyoto National Museum’s collection that deal with the theme of recreation, including “scenes of music and dances offered to deities, banquets, moon viewings, flower viewings, boat rides, theater outings, igo and sugoroku board games, poetry matches, shell-matching games, incense-smelling games, children’s rides, and playing with dolls,” to quote the museum. It is not often that an august institution like this one, dedicated to preserving pre-modern art treasures and cultural properties from Japan and Asia, mounts a fun-filled thematic show like this. If you have never been to this museum, one of three National Museums built by Imperial decree in the 19th century (the others are in Tokyo and Nara), this might be a good time to visit.

片身替蒔絵螺鈿双六盤 京都・三時知恩寺蔵 Sugoroku game board with split design of stripes and pebbles. Sanji Chion-ji Temple, Kyoto

Jul 13–Aug 25 • Works from the museum’s collection exploring the theme of play/amusement Open: 9:30am–6pm (until 8 on Fri); closed Mon

Jul 3–Jul 20 • Hand-painted images, based on old photos, printed

Admission: ¥1,000

with photographic techniques • Open: 1pm–7pm; closed Sun,

Access: Keihan Shichijo Stn

Mon and hols • Admission: Free • Access: Subway Shinsaibashi

Stn or Yotsubashi Stn •

Jimin Chun / Motonori Kawamura: Mental Sketch Modified

Jul 20–Aug 18

Jul 6–Sep 1

International, thematic biennial linking art and architecture with other areas, focusing this time on the role and meaning of water.

Retrospective on the 40-year career of Maki Sasaki, prolific comic artist and illustrator who freely blends manga, picture books and installations.

Open: 11am-7pm every day during exhibition period • Admission: ¥1,000 • Access: Nakanoshima, Fukushima, Shin-Fukushima or Higobashi Stn • topics/biennale2013.html


CAS (Contemporary Art and Spirits) • Jun 15–Jul 6 FREE

Two-person show exploring and re-contextualizing everyday objects and materials in thought-provoking ways.

Dojima River Forum

Open: 10am–5pm; closed Wed • Admission: ¥500 • Access: Hanshin Koroen Stn • otanimuseum. jp/home

Open: 9:30am–5pm; closed Mon (when Mon is a national holiday, open Mon and closed Tue) • Admission: ¥950 • Access: JR Biwako Line Seta Stn then bus to Bunka Zone-mae •

Hyogo Osamu Kokufu: Cosmosphere Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya • Jun 22-Jul 28

Open: 2pm–7pm; closed Tue and Wed • Admission: Free • Access: Namba Stn •

Dojima River Biennale 2013: Little Water

museum has a splendid traditional Japanese garden.

The Mark of Maki Sasaki The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga

Retrospective of sculptor’s large-scale works incorporating vehicles (some working) and vegetation, exploring past/future and art/science borders. The

Find gallery access details and more listings online at:


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013


Jul 7

Universe Universal Adventure: Reboot 15th Anniversary & Proty 9th Anniversary (Techno) • DJs: Marco Bailey, Q-Hey, D41, Hirro, Takatsugu Wada, Asato, Ryo Fujioka + more • Admission: ¥3,500/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) • Open: 3pm - 11pm • Where: Namba •

On the night of Tanabata, aka the Japanese Star Festival, Osaka welcomes the Belgian techno star Marco Bailey. Having worked for more than 15 years as a DJ and producer, he is one of the busiest techno DJs around, touring every weekend and hitting each continent. Festivals likes Tomorrowland, Time Warp, Awakenings, Global Gathering, I Love Techno and Wire, and clubs such as Ageha, Space Ibiza, Fabric, and Rex have all been host to Bailey’s amazing music. He has established MB Elektronics & MB Selektions to release high quality music and remixes by none other than Adam Beyer, Speedy J, Umek, Claude Young, Christian Varela and

Ken Ishii. To celebrate the 100th release on his MB Elektronics label, he released his own artist album “High Volume”, which is another techno masterpiece. Together with the Japanese techno icon DJ Q-hey, Bailey’s Osaka gig promises to be a pure techno extravaganza.

Club Listings July 5 (Fri)

Gentlemen: ¥3,000/1D, Ladies: ¥2,000/1D • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-213-4119 •

6 (Sat)

Azure Heartbeat (Hip-hop) • DJs: B-ball,

Nore, Ruffty, Hisakid + more • Admission: Gentlemen: ¥2,500/1D, Ladies: ¥1,000/1D. Foreigners: FREE (Before 11pm: FREE) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6212-0226 •

Circus Circus 1st Anniversary Day 1 (Dubstep) • DJs: Goth-Trad,

Kyoka, Eadonmm, Ce$ • Open: 8pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6241-3822 • circus-osaka. com

Union Trunk (House/Techno) • DJs:

yodaHaruka, Miki Shinichi, Masanao Shibata • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥1,500/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6251-2242 •

World World Disco (All Mix) • DJs:

Murakamigo & Komori, MJ-Michi, Rokkie • Open: 8pm • Admission:

Azure The Fun (Hip-hop/Reggae) • DJs:

Juzzy, Hal + more • Admission: Gentlemen: ¥2,500/1D, Ladies: ¥2,000/2D. Foreigners: FREE • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-62120226 •

Circus Circus 1st Anniversary Day 2 (Techno) • DJs: Fumiya Tanaka,

Yasuhisa, Kunimitsu • Open: 8pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6241-3822 • circus-osaka. com

Union Gulp! (House) • DJs: Osakaman, Mottsu, Koji Fujimoto • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥1,500/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6251-2242 •

World Tachytelic x Co (House/Electro)

• DJs: Taku Takahashi, Takeru John Otoguro, Taku-Hero, Ocum

+ more • Open: 8pm • Admission: Gentlemen: ¥3,000/1D, Ladies: ¥2,000/1D • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-213-4119 •

7 (Sun) Circus Circus 1st Anniversary Day 3 (Hip-hop) • DJs: Krush, Kireek,

Tsugu, Okadada• Open: 7pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6241-3822 • circus-osaka. com

Triangle Mostwanted (Bass Music) •

Acts: Ichi aka Digital One, Sey-z, Mostmcs feat. Taquilacci, Kom aka Big Chief, Rolling Maestro + more • Open: 6pm • Admission: ¥2,500/1D (WF: ¥2,000/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6212-2264 •

11 (Thu) Circus Agile feat. Derrick May (Techno)

• DJs: Derrick May, Monashee, Ryo Yoshida • Open: 7pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) •

Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-62413822 •

12 (Fri) Azure Osaka Safari (Hip-hop/R&B) • DJs: George, Shimotaku, B-Ball, Bullset + more • Admission: Gentlemen: ¥2,500/1D, Ladies: ¥1,000/1D. Foreigners: FREE (Before 11pm: FREE) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6212-0226 •

Circus Tightrope Dancing feat. Prins Thomas (House) • DJs: Prins

Thomas, Ageishi, Tetsuo • Open: 8pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6241-3822 • circus-osaka. com

Union 4Rapture (House) • DJs: Masaaki, Nagisa • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥1,500/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6251-2242 •

World Bikini Night (House) • DJs:

Tomoyuki Tanaka, Mitomi Tokoto • Open: 8pm • Admission:


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Gentlemen: ¥3,000/1D, Ladies: ¥1,500/1D • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-213-4119 •

13 (Sat) Circus Mushrooms Project Japan Tour 2013 (House) • DJs: Mushrooms

+ more • Open: 8pm • Admission: Gentlemen: ¥3,000/1D, Ladies: ¥2,000/1D • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-213-4119 •

14 (Sun) Circus London Elektricity Japan Tour (Drum’n’Bass) • DJs: London

Project, Altz, Daisuke Kakimoto, Norio, TV Eye • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6241-3822 • circus-osaka. com

Elektricity, Toyo • Open: 8pm • Admission: ¥3,500/1D (ADV: ¥3,000/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6241-3822 • circus-osaka. com

Grand Cafe


Daishi Dance monthly regular Midnight! D.D vs De De (House)

Harmonize the differing Interests release Tour (Dance Music) •

• Live: De De Mouse • DJs: Daishi Dance, Kohsuke, Anyan, Manaboon • Open: 8pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (Before 10pm: ¥1,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6213-0031 • grandcafeosaka. com

Joule Queen presents Koxbox Japan Tour (Trance) • Acts: Koxbox,

Energy Dai, Ryosay, Yuta, hidetaka + more • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6214-1223 •

Onzieme Seven 3 year Anniversary (House) • DJs: Sugiurumn, Nao

Nomura, Osakaman, senda, Asaura, kojimAn, BanchO • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥2,500/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6243-0089 •

Triangle Jumble (Electro/House/Hip-hop)

Acts: O.N.O aka MachineLive, Satol, Crossbred, Ooshima Shigeru • Open: 8:30pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (WF: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-62431666 •

Daihikaku Technogaoka vol.4 (Dance Music) • Live: aMadoo, Harp On

Mouth Sextet, 111111111111 • DJs: Kihira Naoki, Pwu, Yonezawa, Keishi Nakamura + more • Open: 7pm • Admission: ¥3,500 (ADV: ¥3,000) • Where: Ashiya •

Pure Osaka The Moment (Hip-hop/R&B)

• DJs: Yazz, B-Bass • Open: 9pm • Admission: Gentlemen: ¥1,500/1D, Ladies: ¥FREE • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6214-6600

20 (Sat)

21 (Sun)




DMC Japan DJ Championships 2013 - DJ Battle (Hip-hop/ Electro) • Live: Shingo Nishinari

Outdraw (Techno) • DJs: Masanori

Factory feat. Naoki Shinohara (Techno) • DJs: Naoki Shinohara, Pwu, Yukke, Makoto Murakami, Matsuo Akihide • Open: 6pm • Admission: ¥2,500/1D (ADV: ¥2,000/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6241-3822 • circus-osaka. com

• DJs: Jommy, Fu-Tsuka, Idiot Deux, Key Toy’s crew, MJ-Michi + more • Open: 6pm • Admission: ¥2,500/1D (ADV: ¥2,000/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6212-2264 •

• DJs: Kireek, A-Killer, Raimu + more • Open: 7:30pm • Admission: ¥2,500/1D (ADV: ¥2,000/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-62122264 •

Troop Cafe


Sound and Bicycle feat Clone Records (Techno) • Acts: Serge,

Emma House (House/Techno) •

Mituo Shiomi, Telly + more • Open: 11pm • Admission: ¥2,500/1D • Where: Kobe • Tel: 078-321-3130 •

Union Extended Mix (House) • DJs: Masanori Ikeda, DNT, Daisuke Ito, Yusuke, Yoppo • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥1,500/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6251-2242 •

World Fearless x Co (Techno/ Electro) • DJs: Shinichi Osawa,

Masatoshi Uemura, Golden, Tem

DJs: Kaori, Sancon, Danbo, Lippie + more • Open: 8pm • Admission: ¥3,500/1D • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-213-4119 •

19 (Fri) Union O.S.G (House) • DJs: Mitchy,

Naoto, 244 aka 822, Dongri + more • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥2,000/1D (WF: ¥1,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-62512242 •

Mikami, Synya, Konma • Open: 8pm • Admission: ¥2,000/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-62413822 •

Joule Yoji (Trance/Techno) • DJs: Yoji, Energy Dai, M.Minami, Hirro, UK bin + more • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6214-1223 •

Union Vino (House) • DJs: Yabu, Uoshima, Kino., Toshimi • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥1,500/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6251-2242 •

World DDD (House) • DJ: Daishi Dance • Open: 8pm • Admission: Gentlemen: ¥3,000/1D, Ladies: ¥2,000/1D • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-213-4119 •

27 (Sat) Union Masterpiece (House) • DJs: Ies, Tsubasa, Yuzo, Kenji Tazaki, Nao Ikeda • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥1,500/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6251-2242 •

World Motivation (House/Techno) • DJ: Towa Tei • Open: 8pm • Admission: Gentlemen: ¥3,000/1D, Ladies: ¥2,000/1D • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-213-4119 • Find more listings online at:


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

See Nicole’s artwork here: • • • • • • email:


A calm and colourful life Cover artist Nicole LaRue brings calm, playful colour work to every commission. Text: KS • Images: Nicole LaRue

A tiny sky-blue octopus peeps out from a glass jar. Is he a companion of the girl next to him? Or is he an unwilling prisoner? Either way, he’s what draws my eye first on this issue’s colourful, breezy cover illustration. It was created by graphic designer and illustrator Nicole LaRue, who fills her worlds with sky blues, muted oranges, olive greens, and softly curving lines. There’s cute closed-eye creatures, and intricate line drawings as delicate as a lace doily everywhere you look. “Other people have described my art style as quirky and I would have to agree,” she says. “It’s just a little fun to make something out of the ordinary. Favourite themes? Mmm, it seems like animals and nature creep into almost everything I do...” LaRue grew up in California, but built a home with her partner in Salt Lake City, Utah. The couple dreamed of living abroad, and it was her partner’s English teaching job that brought them to Kansai. LaRue has been

working in design for over 10 years, and looking over her portfolio, there’s everything in there from whimsical book illustrations and playful memory cards to more graphic-styled corporate letterheads. Her etsy store stocks handmade headbands, bandanas and greeting cards, all sold out with a sweet promise of more to come. “I do commissions every day,” she says. “I think all of them are fairly memorable - at least the ones that are illustration-based. I actually didn’t do as much illustration my first years out of school, although I loved it, I thought that doing design was where I could have a career. But lately illustration is turning into my career and it’s much preferred - I’m in love with drawing every day.” This issue’s cover took around 20 hours to complete, if time must be put on creativity. And they must, in the world of commissioned artwork. LaRue adds: “Illustration always takes longer than I anticipate, but it doesn’t

tend to matter to me if folks are allowing me to do it every day!” LaRue likes listening to folk music, podcasts or documentaries from home while she works. Her artwork always starts out with paper, pencil and black Micron pens, but like most illustrators, it becomes digital in delivery. The next project on the drawing board is something of a dream come true - Chronicle Books has given her and her partner a green light for a kids journal. Her personal illustrator heroines are the watercolours of Julianna Swaney, the woodprints of Kristiana Parn, and cute lineworks of Suzy Ultman and Laura George. With her newest book commission, doubtless, LaRue is set become someone’s personal heroine too.


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Live Music


Bo Ningen

Aug 3


The Guardian newspaper described Bo Ningen as “Four skinny Japanese dudes based in London who sport chest-length lank black hair, psychedelic smocks and loon pants but leave their socks off onstage.” Bo Ningen (meaning Stick Men) was formed by two Japanese musicians in 2006 in London. After building a busy live schedule around London and other parts of the UK and creating a strong following, they were signed up and they released their self-titled debut album in 2010, which was then followed two years later by Line The Wall. Musically they use elements of both punk aggression and psychedelic grooves and melodies, at times descending into a cacophony of noise, which all certainly makes for an interesting combination; and even though the band is based in the UK all of their songs are performed in Japanese. London based Japanese psychedelic-punk outfit • Shangri-La, Osaka • Punk • 6:30pm • ¥3,500/¥4,000 • Tel: 06-6357-3666

Live Music Listings July/August


Rock • 6pm • ¥6,500/¥7,000 • Tel: 06-6341-4506

Namba Hatch, Osaka July 25

Nana Mizuki

Kei Rock • Time TBA • ¥4,500/¥5,000 • Tel: 06-6341-3525

Osaka Jo Hall, Osaka July 14–15


Anime-Pop • 14th-6:30pm/15th-4pm • ¥7,000 • Tel: 06-6357-4400

Acidman Zepp, Osaka July 15

Rock • 6:30pm • ¥4,500 • Tel: 066341-3525



Rock • 7pm • ¥4,800/¥5,300 • Tel: 06-6341-3525

Big Cat, Osaka July 20

Ryosuke Miura

Ayumi Hamasaki

Pop • 3pm/6:30pm • ¥6,000 • Tel: 06-6357-4400

Osaka Jo Hall, Osaka July 20–21

Garth Hudson


Rock • 6:30pm/9:30pm • ¥7,900/¥9,400 • Tel: 06-6342-7722

Club Quattro, Osaka July 21

Steve Vai

The Vamps

Rock • 6pm • ¥3,800 • Tel: 06-68821224

The Vamps

Fair Warning

Rock Guitar • 7pm • ¥7,000 • Tel: 06-6311-8111

Zepp, Osaka July 19–20/22–23/25–26/28

Club Quattro, Osaka July 24

Kaname Kawabata

Mad July Dolls - SADS

Hiroko Shimabukuro Namba Hatch, Osaka July 20

Pop • 3pm/6:30pm • ¥6,300 • Tel: 06-6357-4400

Metal • 6pm • ¥6,000/¥6,500 • Tel: 06-7732-8888

Pop • 20th-6:30pm/21st-4pm • ¥8,500 • Tel: 06-7732-8888

Sarah Brightman

Sarah Brightman Osaka Jo Hall, Osaka July 18

Female Vocal • 7pm • ¥13,000/¥15,000 • Tel: 06-6341-4506

Mad July Dolls – SADS Club Quattro, Osaka July 20

Big Cat, Osaka July 26

Rock • 7pm • ¥6,660/¥7,160 • Tel: 06-7732-8888

Rock • 7pm • ¥7,500 • Tel: 06-63118111

Big Cat, Osaka July 27

Billboard Live Osaka, Osaka July 30

Club Quattro, Osaka July 31

Namba Hatch, Osaka Aug 3

R&B Pop • 6pm • ¥6,000/¥6,500 • Tel: 06-7732-8888


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Aug 6

Jul 31

Aug 13

Scott & Rivers Club

Steve Vai

Lindsey Stirling

The duo of Rivers Cuomo and Scott Murphy came together in Los Angeles in 2009 after Rivers heard Scott’s Japanese language songs and discovered that both were signed to the same label (Cuomo with the band Weezer and Murphy with the band Allister). Rivers requested the record label put the two in touch to discuss a project. Both artists cover lead vocals and guitar and their self-titled debut album was released in March of this year. The album featured 11 songs of their own plus a cover of Kimura Kaela’s ‘Butterfly’. The album astoundingly reached the top spot on the Japanese iTunes alternative chart within one week of its release. The songs are catchy-poppy-indie rocky-foot tappingly addictive and it’s no wonder that the duo have built a strong following in Japan.

With three Grammy awards and over 15 million album sales under his belt, guitar virtuoso Steve Siro Vai can pretty much go anywhere in the world and find an audience waiting for him. Starting out with Frank Zappa’s band in 1980 (until 1982) Vai went solo in 1983 and has since released eight albums and has played with the likes of Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, David Lee Roth and Alcatraz. Mention the name Steve Vai and everyone knows what to expect. Inspired to pick up the guitar after hearing Jimmy Page’s solo on the Led Zeppelin track Heartbreaker he went on to study under Joe Satriani and graduate from the famous Berkley music school. Surprisingly, outside of music Vai is a keen beekeeper and an honorary member of the British Beekeepers Association!

There’s nothing unusual about mixing dance and music, except when the musician is also the dancer. Young performing artist Lindsey Stirling blends the two art forms with choreographed violin performances that are simply astounding. Known as ‘the hip-hop violinist’ on the TV programme America’s Got Talent, where she reached the quarter final in 2010, she has since released her self-titled debut album taking in genres ranging from classical to dubstep. Almost creating a new genre herself, the talented artist completed a US tour last November and went on then to conquer Europe. And although she wasn’t a winner on America’s Got Talent, YouTube announced that her song ‘Crystalize’ was the eighth most viewed video of 2012 with more than a staggering 42 million views!

Grammy winning Guitar Virtuoso Indie-Pop ‘super-duo’ performing in

• Club Quattro, Osaka

US violinist, dancer, performing artist

Japanese • Club Quattro, Osaka

• Rock Guitar • 7pm • ¥7,000 • Tel: 06-

• Billboard Live Osaka, Osaka

• Pop-Rock • 7pm • ¥5,250/¥5,800


• Pop-violin • 8pm

• Tel: 06-7732-8888

Bo Ningen Shangri-La, Osaka Aug 3

Punk • 6:30pm • ¥3,500/¥4,000 • Tel: 06-6357-3666

Ketsuheishi Osaka Jo Hall, Osaka Aug 3-4

Hip-Hop Pop • 3rd-6pm/4th-5pm • ¥6,800 • Tel: 06-6341-3525

Scott & Rivers Club Quattro, Osaka Aug 6

Pop-Rock • 7pm • ¥5,250/¥5,800 • Tel: 06-7732-8888

Koichi Nakamura Taku Taku, Kyoto Aug 8

• Tel: 06-6342-7722

Pop-rock • 6:30pm • ¥5,000/¥5,500 • Tel: 06-6882-1224

The Jaywalk

Various Artists • 11am • ¥13,000(1 day)/¥23,000(2 days) • Tel: 0180993-030


Rock • 5pm • ¥6,500 • Tel: 06-63574400

Osaka Aug 10–11

Billboard Live Osaka, Osaka Aug 13

Pop-violin • 6:30pm/8pm • Tel: 066342-7722

Big Cat, Osaka Aug 10

Summer Sonic 2013 ft Metallic/Linkin Park/ Muse/Smashing Pumpkins/Fall Out Boy/Stone Roses/ Stereophonics/Cyndi Lauper/Johnny Marr

Lindsey Stirling

Big Cat, Osaka Aug 14

Kpop • 7pm • ¥5,000/¥5,500 • Tel: 06-4708-8928 U-kiss

U-kiss Zepp, Osaka Aug 12-13

Kpop • 2:30pm/6:30pm • ¥7,000 • Tel: 06-7732-8888

Find more listings online at:


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Kansai Business Finder Wining & Dining Absinthe Mediterranean Restaurant Cafe/Bar

Nishi-ku, Kita-horie 1-2-27 South Yotsubashi Bldg. 1F Osaka Tel: 06-6534-6635 Url:

Asbinthe Solaar Roof Top Restaurant Cafe Bar & Beer Garden

Chuo-ku, Namba 5-1-18 Namba Dining Maison 8F Osaka Tel: 06-6633-1445 Url:

Meera Indian Restaurant

Kita-ku, Umeda 1-3-1, Osaka Ekimae, Dai-1 Bldg. B2 Osaka Tel: 06-6348-0134 Url:

Outback Steakhouse Australian Themed Steakhouse

> for maps see

Kita-ku, Umeda 2-1-24 Shinsakurabashi Bldg. 1F Osaka Tel: 06-6457-7121 Url:

Tel: 06-6125-5338 Url:

Tel: 06-6364-2001 Url:

Dublin Bay

Ali’s Kitchen

Murphy’s Irish Pub

Irish Pub

Pakistani & Arabic Cuisine

Chuo-ku, Dotonbori 2-1-5-B1 Osaka Tel: 06-6213-1122 Url:

Chuo-ku, Shinsaibashi-suji 1-10-12B1 Osaka Tel: 06-6553-2292 Url:



The Place to be...

Beer & Pizza restaurant and bar

Chuo-ku, Shinsaibashi-suji 2-3-2, Queen’s Court Bldg 1F Osaka Tel: 06-6211-0439

Kita-ku, Sonezaki-cho 2-5-24, Chuo Bldg. 3/4F, Osaka Tel: 06-6312-3387 Url:

First Irish Pub in Japan

Chuo-ku, Higashi-shinsaibashi 1-631 Lead plaza 6F Osaka Tel: 06-6282-0677 Url:

Fubar Restaurant and Bar

Chuo-ku, Shinsaibashi-suji 1-5-22F Osaka Tel: 06-6245-3757 Url:

Captain Kangaroo Food, Sports & Rock ‘n’ Roll

Kita-ku, Sonezaki-shinchi 1-5-20 Okawa Bldg. 1F Osaka Tel: 06-6346-0367 Url:

The Blarney Stone Shinsaibashi The Irish Pub in the Heart of Osaka

Chuo-ku, Higashi-Shinsaibashi 2-527 Kohda Bldg B1F Osaka Tel: 06-6484-2220 Url:

Chinese Cafe Eight

The Blarney Stone Umeda

Chinese Cuisine

The Irish Pub in the Heart of Osaka

Chuo-ku, Soemon-cho 7-2 Luz Shinsaibashi 5F Osaka

Kita-ku, Sonezaki 2-10-15 Sonezaki Center Bldg. 6F Osaka

México Mexican restaurant and bar

Chuo-ku, Dotonbori 2-1-8, Zelkova III 5F, Osaka Tel: 06-6212-6766

Education Kobe YWCA Global Network of Women

Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Chuo-ku, Ninomiya-cho 1-12-10 Kobe Tel: 078-231-6201 Url:

Osaka YWCA Global Network of Women

Kita-ku, Kamiyama-cho 11-12 Osaka Tel: 06-6361-0838 Url:

Arthur Murray Dance School Dance Studio

Tel: 06-6572-6877 Url:


Shops & Services Mojoprint Full Color Printing

Nishi-ku, Shinmachi 3-5-7, Eiko Bldg. 2F Osaka Tel: 06-6539-1717 Url:

Brastel Remit

Chuo-ku, Minami-senba 3-5-28 Osaka Tel: 06-6245-1731 Url:

Send money overseas

Marga Language Service


Japanese Language School

Chuo-ku, Onoe-dori 5-1-27-8F Kobe Tel: 078-271-6446 Url:

Osaka Abacus Association Let’s learn Abacus!

Minatoku, Yunagi 2-13-7 Osaka

Sumida-ku, Yokoami 2-6-2 Tokyo Tel: 0120-983-891 / 03-6869-4851 Url:

English PC Support

Nishinomiya-shi, Maruhashi-cho 6-8-1F Nishinomiya Tel: 0798-65-7555 Url:

Miyabi Int’l Gyoseishoshi Law Firm VISA Lawyers in Osaka

Kita-ku, Nishitenma 1-8-9 Viequ tower #2406 Osaka Tel: 06-4981-7439

To list your business in the Kansai Scene Business Finder contact for more details.

Yuko Tamaki Accounting Office

Tel: 06-4394-8850 Url:

Accounting & Tax Services

Shinmei Law Office

Chuo-ku, Tanimachi 1-7-3-8F, Osaka Tel: 06-6809-1955 Url: indexeng.html

Creamy Kids International Modeling Agency

Kita-ku, Umeda 1-2-2 Osaka Ekimae, Dai-2 Bldg. 2F Osaka Tel: 06-6347-7705 Url:

Pakmail Amagasaki We Ship Anything, Anywhere!

Tsugiya 2-2-28 Amagasaki Tel: 06-6492-8950 Url:

Pakmail Esaka We Ship Anything, Anywhere!

Suita, Esaka-cho 1-23-17 Osaka Tel: 06-6330-8988 Url:

Sweatshop Union T-Shirt Print Shop

Naniwa-ku, Sakuragawa 4-5-19 Osaka

Business Lawyer

Kita-ku, Nishi-tenma 4-11-22, Hanshin-shinmei Bldg. 501 Osaka Tel: 06-6362-8013 Url:

Exeo International International Dating Parties

Kita-ku, Umeda 1-1-3-3F Sky Lounge Mariage Osaka Tel: 050-5810-3977 Url:

Travel GS Travel Best Fares in Osaka

Chuo-ku, Higashi-Shinsaibashi 1-13-21, Wadayoshi Bldg 302 Osaka Tel: 06-6281-1230 Url:

H.I.S. • No.1 Travel We go the extra mile for you

Kita-ku, Umeda 3-4-5, MainichiIntecio 15F Osaka Tel: 06-6133-0273 Url:



Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013


Place your ad online at:

Employment > Education Art, Design, or Advertising

English Teacher (Part Time) Background in art, design, or advertising plus 3 yrs. teach exp. needed. CELTA, TESOL, or M.A. (TEFL / App. Ling) is a plus! In the Umeda area. Send resume, photo, and availability to employment[at] (Change the [at] to @...) Only qualified candidates contacted.

working visa required. Misa Kitayama: m-kitayama@serio-corp. com

photo to NANNO & COMPANY:

contact the manager, Mr. Asada at 06-6312-3387 (4pm–midnight).

Native Eng teacher wanted


Location; Makino station on Keihan line. Hirakata city. Day; Friday 3:00 - 8:00. 5 classes. Pay; 2,500- trans covered up to ¥1,000. Please send me your CV with picture; impact_

> Kitchen/Waiting Staff

yrs. teach exp. needed. CELTA, TESOL, or M.A. (TEFL / App. Ling) preferred. Background in finance, law, marketing, or art/design a plus! Send resume, photo, and availability to employment[at]coaching-english. jp. (Change the [at] to @...) Only qualified candidates contacted.

SUNDAY INSTRUCTORS (UMEDA) Business & academic

subjects. 3 yrs. teach exp. needed. TEFL qualification is a plus! Sales duties (counseling, trial lessons) important for this job. Send resume, availability, and photo to employment[at]coaching-english. jp. (Change the [at] to @...) Only qualified candidates contacted.

Native English Teacher needed(Thomas English)

P-time Native English teacher wanted in Joto word,Korien and Keihan Line Osaka. Children and adults, Long term,Wednesday, Tuesday and weekdays.Kind & Genki Sensei. 2500~3000yen Please e-mail your resume with the picture to (s-techfield@nyc.odn. THOMAS ENGLISH http://

Professional, reliable P/T native English teacher required.

Native part time teachers

Eikaiwa in Yokkaichi seeks

Native English Teacher Recruitment in Osaka Sakai

Student-centered L. school requires PROFESSIONAL, RELIABLE P/T native English teacher for doctors' class in Hirano, Osaka on Friday 14:00-15:30/90min. Rate is Y5,000/ lesson+trans. Proper working visa and over 5 yrs. teaching experience are required. Send CV to hello@ FT Native English Teacher ~40hrs/ week usually less than 30 teaching hrs/week. ¥250,000/month + ¥100,000 bonus. Children & adults. Apt: ¥55,000/month. Required: BA/ BS, be in Japan. Preferred: TEFL cert or teaching exp., proper visa. Send resume/letter of intro to: bigapple. Deadline: 7/5, Start: 8/5 www.bigapple-school. com/home.html Shiga Daytime Corporate Classes Seeking professional

English teachers for daytime corporate classes on Tues and/or Wed in the Shiga area (Maibara st.) from July for long-term contracts. 3-7 hrs/day. Full days available. \4,000-4,500/hr. Send CV w/ availability to P/T English teacher TKC

provides after school care for elementary school kids. We need energetic native English speakers who can give fun English time at Nishinomiya-kitaguchi in Hyogo. Mon-Fri 2:30-7:30pm ¥180,000/ month. Japanese skills preferred. Experience with kids & proper

needed. Wednesdays and Fridays afternoons/evenings and Saturdays. Place: near JR Koshienguchi, between Amagasaki and Nishinomiya. Students: Mainly adults and a few kids. 2200-2500 yen per hour of teaching plus transport. Kite English: kiteenglishschool@

city. We are currently looking for native English speaking teachers to work 9:30 - 14:30 in our nursery. And also teachers for adult evening classes. Prior teaching experience is necessary. If you are interested please email a copy of your resume to:

TEACHER WANTED School in Ashiya/Okamoto is looking

for FT/PT English and French teachers ASAP. University diploma is preferable. Must be native speaker with valid visa Payment: 2700-3000yen per hour and transportation. Contact us by email.

English teacher Experienced English teacher

from Singapore or Philippines urgently needed. 3 classes in 2 Wednesday mornings per month. Time: 9:00am-12:00pm. Location: near Tanimachi 4-chome. Pay: 2500 Yen/h plus transportation. Curriculum: Beginner level of business English. Email CV with

Kansai Corporate Classes CES is seeking professional,

experienced English instructors for p/t and semi-f/t corporate classes and Intensives in Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Shiga and Kyoto for positions starting immediately. P/t hourly rates 3,500-4,500 yen per hour. For more info, please forward resume with to P/T NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHER

School in Settsumotoyama seeks long term teacher who can give fun English classes to kids/adults. Must be cheerful, responsible, professional, young & energetic. Fridays 3-8pm, ¥2000/hr + transportation. University degree, experience teaching kids + proper visa required. E-mail CV + recent picture. LANGUAGE CLUB HANAKotoba: hanakotoba8758@ Full-Time & Part-Time Native English Teachers Wanted

Michael’s English School is seeking part-time and full-time native teachers to start immediately. Candidates must be self-motivated, dynamic, presentable, reliable and team players. Send a CV and a photograph to michael@ / www.

> General Esaka Foreign Books -

Secondhand bookstore opened in Esaka. We have a wide selection of used picture books, fiction/ nonfiction paperbacks, business, health & beauty, cooking and recipe, and comics. (500yen~). 5 minutes walk from Exit #6 of Esaka Station (10 minutes from Umeda) Midosuji Line. Please visit our website to check the map and the operation hours. PART-TIME: Nightclub Hostess スタッフ募集 Looking

for Female hostess staff (weekend staffers a plus!). Nightclub will offer English-only service. Basic Japanese ability & proper visa required. Will provide transportation after shift ends. ¥1500/hr ~ please call 080-6188-3645 worldline888@ Let's talk in English with customers!

English speaking bar staff

wanted for newly opened bar in Umeda. Beer & Pizza Gosuke. Conversational level Japanese required. All nationalities welcome. 3 hrs a night, 6pm–5am. ¥900/ hr (first month ¥850/hr). Please

Looking for Bar & Kitchen staff!! Bar Zerro in Shinsaibashi is looking for 20-35 year old bar & kitchen staff. Foreigner/Japanese. Female or Male. ALL OK. Some Japanese skill req'd. Previous bar/kitchen experience a plus. ¥1000~/hour. 6pm~5am (based on negotiation). If interested CALL 06-6211-0439 or EMAIL wonyong_

For Rent Bentencho Apartments 3 LK, NO key money, deposit,

guaranteer, Juso Large, bright, clean 3LK apartment in Juso. 95,000 yen a month plus utilities. 6-8min walk from Juso Hankyu station. Fully furnished, A/C, large fridge, laundry plus more. Close to grocery, shopping and banks. English speaking landlord. This place is a must see! Pictures available Les Praisley: Close to City Center,

Bentencho Apartments Available from 60000yen/month 1DK 60000yen/month semi furnish. 1DK 70000yen/month fully furnish. 2DK 75000yen/month semi furnish. 1LDK & 2DK 80000yen/month semi. 6min walk from Bentencho subway and JR Loopline station. No Key money, No guarantors, No agency fees, 3month min. stay required Alex 09037030314 / alex@ Osakako (west side of

Osakak City) apartments available from 55000yen/month. 1R 55000yen/month semi furnished. 2DK 75000yen/month semi furnished. 2DK 80000yen/month fully furnished. 2LDK 90000yen/ month unfurnished. No Key Money, No Guarantors needed, No Agency Fees3month min. stay required. All apartments close to Osakako subway station. Alex 09037030314 / / www. 2-story house (4LDK) for

rent in Nara 2-story house (4LDK) for rent in Nara near Yagi/ Sakurai/ Kashihara. Semifurn + newer appliances (washer, fridge, stove), large, bright, 2 toilets. Only 58,000 yen/mth + deposit. Convenient to Osaka/ Ikoma/Nara City, Kintetsu Osaka Line and JR Line. See web link for map, details and photos. Brent: http:// KOBE: No Key money No agency fee Bigger than most. Sharing OK. With washer, fridge etc. Two big sunny apartments, 3LDK Sumiyoshi: 63m² ¥98,000 3LDK


Kansai Scene magazine JULY 2013

Kobe University: 61m² ¥98,000 Eng or Jpn. 090-9286-1216 ffeilden@



1LDK APT in Bentencho on JR/ Chuo Lines, Rent 65,000yen,NO KEY MONEY!NO DEPOSIT! furnished or unfurnished,5mins to the stn,VERY convenient area,only one apt on the floor,renovated,bath&toilet are separated,balcony,sunlight,MOVE IN ASAP!!! www.3chousingosaka. / originalsoken@gmail. com


FOREIGNERS FREE ABACUS CLASS for FOREIGNERS offered by O.C.C.I. and Osaka Abacus Assoc. to promote int'l goodwill. Individualized lessons taught in Japanese or English. Saturdays 10-12 am. Course material provided for free. Near Sakaisuji-Hommachi and Kitahama. Call: Moritomo Ken 066572-6877 site/osakasoroban/

KOBE: No Key money No

agency fee Bigger than most. Sharing OK. With washer, fridge etc. Three apartments available. 2LDK Hankyu Ojikoen, near shops, 51m² ¥98,000 3LDK Hankyu Mikage, natural, 63m² ¥98,000 3LDK Kobe University: sunny, 61m² ¥98,000 Eng or Jpn. 090-9286-1216

Room/Flat Share Shared accommodation for rent in Osaka【Wagokoro】

Rent ¥45,000~, 9.72m2~, 8min walk from JRSenrioka st.【Marche Awaza】Rent ¥46,000~, 7.29m2~, 7min walk from Awaza st. No key money, deposit or guarantor. Furnished. Initial cost: 1st month’s rent & dealing charge(15,750). Contact info: 06-6136-3330 / info@


8mins walk from st.【SHINFUKAE】 JPY35000~, 5 mins walk from st. 【Nada】JPY48000~, 4mins walk from st. No guarantor nor key money. With common use utensils. Contact info: 06-6222-3123 / info@

performers for singing contest in Aug. Now's your chance to sing your fav. Japanese songs & compete against others. Be the King or Queen! Event is free to join but you must register thru website to perform. Visit website for more info

Courses and Classes Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

8 2-hr session program for foreign residents to reduce depression, anxiety & stress, increase clarity of awareness and attention. Beginning July 2013. Doshisha University, Imadegawa, Kyoto. Participation is free. Visit or email course instructor: gkm0001@ Private Japanese lessons in Osaka. Tailored to you!

Grammar/Communication/ Preparation for JLPT. Can meet at coffee shop or any where in Osaka. Can do Skype calls too. Availability: 10am-9pm, Mon to Sat. Rates: 60min ¥2000 • 90min ¥3000 • 120min ¥4000. 2 or more lessons/week = ¥1700/ hr. for more information: http:// Email:

Events International Red-White Singing Contest in Aug. seeks

performers! Global Community wants Foreigner participant/

和洋FESTA音楽で平和を願おう! Peace through Music We believe that inner peace is the key to combatting many of the daily problems in life. Please join us at JR Nishinomiya Furente Hall (Sat Aug. 24 from 13:30) as we attempt to raise awareness of the suicide rate in Japan. Fun Japanese and western music. Inq & Tick info to

In a band? Go to gigs? Hang

out in live houses? Active in the independent music communityresearchers from the Uni of Newcastle, Aust want to hear your thoughts. Research involves an online interview discussing your experiences/ thoughts about live houses. More details (info statement) visit http:// au/ or email: stephanie.pease@

Indulge in Gion atmophere

with the Gion specialist Deepest Kyoto Tour (non-profit project in Kyoto) offers 2 hr walk in Kyoto regularly every Wednesday. Time:13:00-15:00. On July 3rd we start a brand new tour with Gion specialist! Fee:¥3000. Check out or contact deepestkyototour@gmail. com for details.

Announcements Japan Small Boat Operator's Exam in English The

exam date for the English version of the Japan Small Boat Operator's Permit is July 18. Sign up for this exam between June 28 and July 11. There are 3 schools to help you study: mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=6 w Payne:

OSAKA BOOK GROUP'S MEETING July's meeting will

happen on Sunday the 28th at Cafe Garb near Shinsaibashi, starting at 1pm and discussing F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby". Anyone can pop in! / INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN KOBE SUNDAYS

at 10:30AM, only minutes away from SANNOMIYA station. Our BILINGUAL (English/Japanese) services are centered around vibrant small group discussions. www.

For Sale Sayonara sale in Kyoto

City Must sell everything by July 29! IKEA bed, 3 person couch-bed, 2 computer chairs, table/desk, 2 lamps, kitchenware, plates, glasses, mugs, tatami rug, yoga mat, 2 bicycles, microwave & more! Susie: Sayonara Sale! Best Offer

or Free! Get while the getting's good! Many things for sale and for free including: iphone 4 & 4S, bedding, kitchen wares, furniture, gardening goods, tools, clothes. See website for photos http://goo. gl/etq2y

Sorry… Due to space restrictions we are unable to print all classified ads. See for more classifieds online, including personals!

Be seen in Kansai Scene There is no better way to reach those interested in foreign lifestyle and cultures living in the Kansai area.

To find out more about how to advertise your business in Kansai Scene, please email or call us in English or Japanese on 06-6539-1717.

Cine Libre Umeda 3F


Grand Front Osaka

Umeda Sky Building

35F German Umeda 4F Consulate Garden Cinema Westin Hotel

Yodobashi Camera


JR Osaka Sta.

Loft Maruzen & Junkudo Club Noon

Osaka YWCA

Hotel Kinki

Ogimachi Park

Capsule Inn Osaka 4F de ri Arca ashido kyu Hig

Navio Toho Plex

Hankyu Dept.











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Hankyu Umeda Kinokuniya Sta. Ings New Hankyu Toho Hotel Annex Hep 5 Hep Navio



Mitsukoshi Isetan

Theater Umeda



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Shin Midosuji


Ogimachi Dori Lagunaveil Sonezaki Daimaru Premier Visitors’ Police H.Q. Float Information Court ta. Umeda S Center da Piccadilly Hotel me Hanshin Asahiya U Dept. in Granvia Bookstore sh n a Hilton H E-ma 6F Plaza West Hotel Hilton Umeda Kansai Blarney Hotel Burg7 Stone Maru Bldg. Herbis Chedi Bldg #4 Ent Luang Tower 3/4F 5F Records Beer & Pizza Bldg #3 Outback Bldg #1 Bldg #2 GO_SUKE Steakhouse 33F Creamy 2F B1 Exeo Breeze Himalaya Herbis Breeze Kita Shinchi Ritz Tanimachi Lin Osaka e o.2 Carlton N 1F Capt. Kangaroo te u 5F 3F Switch Ro Shinmei No.1 Travel Law Office 1F Mister Kelly’s Dojima Avanza US 4F Junkudo Consulate a

Nishi Umeda


Entrance InterContinental Japan Osaka Hotel

Kita Shinchi Ana Crown Plaza

NTT Data


City Hall

ma Dori

24F Na


Tosabori River




Ostec Exhibition Hall

Kitahama The Tag Free Space Studio 0

Post Office


Police Station






Miyabi Int’l Law Firm







Utsubo Park

Chedi Luang Yodoyabashi




Mitsui Sumitomo Bank


National Museum of Art

ashi Lin Yotsub hi s Higoba

iv aR a jim him NTT s Do o n a k Na Rihga Royal Hotel

e ana Lin Keih noshim a k Na

Nishi Tenma

Hanshin Expresswa y(Loop R ou te) N

Oebashi Bank of Japan

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ine in L Ma Sta. n i a nsh e Ha ushim Lin Fuk zai






Movie Theatre


Arthur Murray

Crysta Nagahori (underground shopping)

Nagahori dori Shinsaibashi


Nagahori tsurumi-ryokuchi line Nagahoribashi

Ali’s Kitchen



Family Mart

Cafe 1F Absinthe

line Yotsubashi




Tezukayama Gallery

OPA Big step

Horie Park


Sankaku Cinem 11F Koen @rt Triangle Apple Store Drop Clapper Fanj twice Lunar Grand Club Cafe Azul





México 5F Rooftop Bar OO

Namba Hatch Tominaga Hospital





Cross Hotel


Shinsaibashi 3F

Hotel T’point



The Blarney Stone



Suomachi-dori (Europ


1F Zerro

SoemonHotel B1 Pure Osaka Cho Metro the 21


Chinese Cafe Eight

Dublin Bay / Dublin Garden


Hanshin expressway (loop route) Namba Walk (underground) Senni chimae lineNipponbashi bash Kintetsu Nara line 5 Namba walk Nippon

a St



Toho Cinemas Namba Nan-nan Town


GS Travel


Daimaru Dept. South

Namba Namba Sta.


JR N amb

Hotel Monterey


5F Boy

Daimaru Dept.



23 mm

Daimaru Dept. North

Nikko Hotel


Shinsaibashi-suji (shopping arcade)

Kitahorie Hospital




El Pancho


Chedi Luang


Tokyu Hands


Mizuho Bank



Cine Pop

Junkudo Tower Records

Swissotel Nankai Osaka



0 Post Office




Kansai Scene Mojoprint Office

Police Station




200m Shrine


Movie Theatre

Kobe Sauna

Kobe Ikuta Junior High School

JR Motomachi sta.


Minato Bank

ine wa yl





Movix Kyoto


Sh iei Ya ma te s








i Yamatoji-dor

Keihan Line



Gion Kiraku Inn

-dori kawa Shirakawa river Shira

Gion s hijo

Fuji Daimaru

Kyoto Royal BLDG.



Junkudo 7F Bal

-d Kawaramachi

Teramachi Shotengai Shinkyogoku Shotengai

Shin Kyogoku Cine Lalibe










Kyoto Royal Hotel

Hankyu Line

Teramachi Area





Kobe Kokusai Shochiku

Hotel Okura


Jomo Gas

Kawara Machi

Kobe City Hall

Sansei Hosp.

World Express

miya anno JR S Sun City OS Cinemas 7F Junkudo iya Mint Kobe m no San Tower Hotel Tokyu Inn SannomiyaRecords SOGO Dept. Marga 5F Kinokuniya 8F Kobe Kokusai Kaikan 1F HSBC

Sannomiya Hanadokeimae st.


Mitsui Sumitomo Bank

Kyoto City Hall

Tozai Subway Line


Port liner

Daimaru Dept.

Kainan lin


Flower road


Kyukyoryuchi Daimarumae




d Fu

1F 7F Hobgoblin


Route 2 San Plaza Sannomiya Cine Marui Center Phoenix Center Plaza East Plaza West Junkudo Kowka 4F

2F Guild

Movie Theatre


Tokyu 4F Hands Iznt



Midnight Express 5F

Trinity 3F

Sanchika un

Hanshin line



Kobe Grocers

tetsudo Kobe kosoku

Hanakuma Park


1F Bistrot Cafe De Paris

Ikuta jinja

Hotel Monterey



Ikuta Police Station

Oriental Dental Clinic 4F Hotel Tor Road

Hyogo-ken Prefectural Hall



Cafe Terrace De Paris 3F

Pearl Street

Kobe Mosque Kobe Womens St. Michael’s Junior International College School Yamate kansen

Soraku Park



Kitano-cho Tor Road


Police Station



Post Office

Shijo-dori Minamiza Theatre

Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art Gion Hotel

Joko-in 0

Post Office


Police Station




Gion Kaikan

N Yasaka Jinja

200m Shrine


Movie Theatre

Kansai Scene #158 July 2013  

Child's Play issue. Summer holiday fun: cool indoor ideas, field day picking fruit & best swimming rivers in Kansai. And so much more!

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