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AICHI

Nagoya festival offers worldly music, vibe

by Delilah Romasanta

Staff Writer

The cherry-blossom parties may be winding down, but revelers in Nagoya don’t have to give up on the fun quite yet.

On April 6 and 7, the annual Kakuozan Spring Festival takes place in Chikusa Ward. While hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) parties are essentially Japanese, organizers of the Kakuozan festivities adopt a very multicultural approach to planning their celebrations.

The festival takes place in an area that spans Kakuozan Subway Station to Nittaiji Temple, which has a plethora of shops and ethnic restaurants. The festival promotes these restaurants with stalls that offer dishes from different countries. There will also be a flea market and plenty of games.

The big draw at the Kakuozan Spring Festival, though, are the stage performances, which also have a multicultural theme to them. They kick off at 10 a.m. and run through 6 p.m. On April 6, some of the performances on offer will feature the music of India and the Caribbean. There will also be a show by the Chubu Ukulele Coalition and a set by Legs, whose music is described as roots rock.

On April 7, the day starts out with Semi On, who play so-called gypsy funk, and Kankan Africa, a group who celebrates West African culture. The day will end with a performance by Urizun Eisa, a group that specializes in eisa, which is a traditional Okinawan style of dance. That performance will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Nittaiji is a Buddhist temple whose name literally means “Japan Thailand Temple.” It was so named after Thailand donated some of Buddha’s ashes to it in 1900. Nittaiji Temple will also celebrate Buddha’s birthday on April 8.

Kakuozan Spring Festival takes place in Chikusa Ward, Nagoya, on April 6 and 7. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.kakuozan.com.