‘european design’

Supported by the European Union, about 40 European interior design-related companies are visiting Japan with the goal of establishing or strengthening their presence in the market, and on March 26 and 27 an exhibition will be held for the seventh time under the name “european design” at the Daigo & Saga Room of the Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo.

The exhibition offers opportunities for mid- to high-end contract and retail professionals to see the latest European designs, gain inspiration and network with existing and potential suppliers.

Participating companies stay in Japan for about a week, and during this weeklong business mission participants will be given a comprehensive overview of the Japanese interior retail market, practical tips on doing business with domestic retailers and firsthand experience of the domestic interior market by visiting places such as shops and department stores in Tokyo.

Admission is free, but prior registration is required and can be done through the event website. The exhibition is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 26, with registration from 12:30 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 27, with registration from 9:30 a.m.

For more information, go to www.europeandesign.jp .


New shops

Animation station

On March 29, a new interactive area dedicated to Japanese animation called “Asagaya Anime Street” will open in Tokyo beneath the elevated train tracks between Asagaya and Koenji stations on the JR Chuo Line.

The creators are hoping to connect people, including animators and their audience, with anime in addition to producing new works, creators and fans.

Suginami Ward, where the train stations are located, is home to many animation production companies and is one of the communities working to promote anime.

Located below the railway tracks, an area usually associated with negative images such as dark, noisy and scary, Asagaya Anime Street boasts 16 shops and facilities for people to communicate and interact with each other.

For example, at Cosmenia, a clothing store for “cosplay,” people can seek out the clothing worn by their favorite cartoon characters, and at Shirobaco, a stage cafe, aspiring voice-over performers are among the staff.

For more information, visit www.jrtk.jp/asagaya-anime-street .



African Festival

As the energetic spring season gets underway, the annual African Festival will be held again from April 4 to 6 at Yokohama’s Red Brick Warehouse No. 1.

This is the seventh year of the event, which bridges the cultural differences between Africa and Japan, and as it continues to see an increase in the number of visitors every year it is quickly becoming one of Yokohama’s iconic events.

Supported by many organizations, including the Foreign Ministry, the Yokohama Municipal Government and African embassies, this major cultural expo will entertain visitors with various features of the continent, such as musical performances and exhibitions of products from various African nations.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (until 5 p.m. on the final day) and admission is free.

For more information, visit africanfestyokohama.com .

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