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Cultural events highlight the summer season

Grand Fiesta

The Grand Fiesta, an event commemorating the 120th anniversary of Japan and Argentina’s diplomatic relations, will be held on July 30 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Meiji Kinenkan in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. It will be a night filled with tango dancing and music.

In 1898, the two countries established diplomatic relations, and in 1903, when Japan was at war with Russia, Argentina sold its cruisers Bernardino Rivadavia and Mariano Moreno to Japan in support. These cruisers, renamed Nisshin and Kasuga, led Japan to victory thanks to the long-distance cannons unique to these ships.

Tango, the traditional dance of Argentina, was preserved in Japan even during World War II.

At the Grand Fiesta, Machiko Komatsu & Tango Cristal will showcase energetic tango dancing, accompanied by upbeat tango music. Los Tres Amigos will play folk music with roots in the northern region. Tickets are ¥23,000 and the dress code is formal.

For more information and reservations, call 03-3434-6900 (Hiroko Matoba).

The 13th Yukata de Guide Tour

At the 13th Yukata de Guide Tour on Aug. 4, visitors can experience Ryogoku, an old, riverside town in Tokyo rich in the flavor of the Edo period, in yukata, a Japanese casual summer garment, with geta (both available for rental).

Guests will first visit the Kokugikan Arena, then move to the local summer festival site at the former Yasuda Garden to experience an open-air tea ceremony.

They will then be transferred to Azumabashi water bus station to get on the one-hour evening river cruise that includes a bento box lunch. From the upper deck, guests can enjoy a magnificent view of the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Skytree.

Upon return to Ryogoku, they can join the o-Bon dance and venture through street fairs to interact with locals.

The tour will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., with a fee of ¥4,500 (¥3,000 for participants who come in their own yukata and geta), and is limited to 60 people. English interpretation is available.

Guests are asked to meet at 2:30 p.m. at Ekoin Temple (five minutes from the West Exit of Ryogoku Station).

For more information and reservations (by July 27), visit visit-sumida.jp.