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Arts and Culture for Expats in Japan

Submitted: March 2014

Japanese culture can be described as elegant and vibrant, inclusive of both traditional and contemporary aspects of Japanese life. You can visit one of the many peaceful Japanese gardens scattered across the country or enjoy one of the dramatic performances at the National Theatre.

The diversity in Japanese culture results in a multitude of festivals ranging from traditional lantern (Setsubun Mantoro) and cherry blossom (Hanami) festivals to family oriented festivals such as Obon.

For more information about festivals and other cultural events across the country, please refer to the links provided below:

Visiting a museum is often an ideal way to get a sense of the culture of a country. You can use the online resources below to locate a museum near to you:

For a quick overview of traditional Japanese arts, you can visit the Virtual Museum of Japanese Arts, a project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

While some museums have free admission, the average cost of admission is ¥600 (6USD).

Museums in Japan are not only dedicated to fine or traditional art but also celebrate Japanese industry. The Toyota Automobile museum for example is a popular destination for car enthusiasts of all ages. You can refer to the link below for more information about visiting this museum:

Additionally if you do not have the time to make a visit, you can view its collection online by visiting the website above.

For a different perspective, you can consider visiting a Japanese anime or manga museum to learn about this widely popular art form; see the link below for a list of these museums:

If you plan to visit many museums while in Japan, you can consider obtaining the Museum Grutt pass which allows you entry into all museums in a certain locality. The average cost of this pass is ¥2000 (20USD). For more information on this pass, please see the links below:

If you cannot decide which of the many museums in Japan to visit, perhaps you can take into account the opinion of others on the best museums that Japan has to offer. Please refer to the following article below in this regard:

The art scene in Japan is truly an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary offerings. You can explore your passion for the arts by visiting one of many art galleries across Japan. You can use the articles and resources below to find a gallery suited to your tastes:

You can use the links below to find information about art events such as gallery openings and festivals across Japan:

For more information on art listings, you can check the website below:

Additionally, you can keep up-to-date on the art world by checking out the websites provided below:

The Japanese theatre world offers a wide selection of performances such as Noh and Kyogen (Japanese musical dramas with comedic interludes), Kabuki (Japanese dance dramas) and grand puppet shows that are pleasing to adults and children alike.

For information about the location of the various theatres governed by the Japanese Arts council as well as the performance schedule, please visit the link below:

Tickets can range from ¥1000 (10USD) to ¥9000 (90USD) depending on the performance and seating selection.

Like with other cultural offerings in Japan, its musical offerings are representative of both traditional and modern influences. You can attend koto (Japanese national instrument) performances as well as one of the many music festivals that Japan is renowned for. The Tokyo Summer Festival is considered to be one of the biggest musical festivals in Japan. These music festivals are popular in the summer months and you can find more information about them by links below:



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