Off-base events

Cherry blossoms on Okinawa, a sign spring must be just around the corner.

Events are as accurate as possible at press time. Since times or event schedules can change, please verify events before attending.


SHIMOKITAZAWA TENGU FESTIVAL (Tokyo): Through Feb. 1; Tengu is a long-nosed goblin and the Japanese god of mischief. This event features a Tengu parade on streets in Shimokitazawa to drive out devils and attract good fortune in the last day of winter in the traditional lunar calendar; Shimokitazawa Station on Odakyu Line; 03-3468-2933.

TSUMAGOI VILLAGE, ASAMA KOGEN WINTER FESTIVAL (Gunma prefecture): Jan. 31; featuring winter sports including skiing and snowboarding, along with 2,000 candles on the snow, fireworks 6:30 p.m. on Sat.; Princeland special site, 15-minute ride from Manza Kazawaguchi Station on Agatsuma Line; 0279-97-3721.

ZAO OF RIME ON TREES, SNOW & FIRE FESTIVAL (Yamagata prefecture): Jan. 31, 7:15-8:30 p.m.; featuring demonstrations of skiing and snowboarding, fireworks on the ski resort where trees are covered with rime; at Uenodai Ski Slope of Zao Onsen Ski Resort, 40-minute bus ride from JR Yamagata Station; 023-647-2266.

USA REGIONALS CHEERLEADING COMPETITIONS 2015 IN TOKYO: Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 10:30 a.m.; at Komazawa Olympic Park Sogo Undojo, 15-minute walk from Komazawa University Station on Tokyu Den-en Toshi Line; 1,800 yen; Kyodo Tokyo 03-3498-9999.

IWATE SNOW FESTIVAL (Iwate prefecture): Jan. 31-Feb. 8, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; featuring winter sports such as horse-sledding, snowmobile, slide, and also illuminations daily 4-9 p.m.; Koiwai Farm, Shizukuishi town, 10 miles from Morioka I.C. on Tohoku Express or bus from JR Morioka Station; 019-692-4321.

SAIKO (LAKE) SOFT RIME FESTIVAL (Yamanashi prefecture): Through Feb. 1; giant ice sculptures, illuminated at night at Mori Park at Saiko Wild Sanctuary, one of five lakes on the foot of Mount Fuji, a 25-minute ride on Route 139 from Kawaguchiko IC on Chuo Express or a 50-minute Fujikyuko bus ride from Kawaguchiko Station; free; 0555-82-2160.

TOMIOKA HACHIMANGU SHRINE ANTIQUE FAIR (Tokyo): Feb. 1, 6 a.m.-5 p.m.; about 140 licensed antique dealers participate in a shrine compound, three-minute walk from Monzennakacho Station on Tozai-Line; 0276-38-3417.

HANAZONO SHRINE ANTIQUE FAIR (Tokyo): Feb. 1, 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; at Hanazono Shrine located in Shinjuku, Shinjuku 3-chome Station on Marunouchi Line /JR Shinjuku Station; 03-3209-5265.


BONSAI FESTIVAL IN JINDAI BOTANICAL GARDEN (Tokyo): Through Feb. 1, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Mon.; bonsai, or dwarfed trees, of pines, plums, maples in the Botanical Hall; 5-31-10 Jindaiji Motomachi, Chofu City, bus from Mitaka Station, JR Chuo Line, or Chofu Station, Keio Line, Jindaiji Shokubutsu Koen Mae bus stop; 500 yen for garden entrance; 0424-83-2300.

SAPPORO INTERNATIONAL SKI MARATHON 2015: Feb. 1, 8:50 a.m.; starts and ends at Sapporo Dome; 50 km and 25 km for ski marathon, 11 km, 5 km, 3 km for ski walk; 5,140 yen for 50 km, 4,630 yen for 25 km; 2,060 yen for 11 km, 5 km and 3 km, 510 yen ages 15 and younger; 10-minute walk from Fukuzumi Station on Touhou-Line; 011-530-5562.

SETSUBUN AND BEAN THROWING: Feb. 3; on the spring setsubun — the day before the beginning of each season — the traditional mame-maki, or bean-throwing ceremony, is held at major shrines and temples in Japan.

66TH ANNUAL SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL: Feb. 5-11; features snow statues, ice sculptures and more in Odori Park, the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and along the main street in Susukino.

OTARU YUKI-AKARI NO MICHI (SNOW CANDLE) (Hokkaido): Feb. 6-14, 5-9 p.m.; features 200 floating candles on canals in Otaru, eight-minute walk from JR Otaru Station; 0134-32-4111.

TOWADAKO LAKE WINTER FESTIVAL 2015 (Aomori prefecture): Feb. 6-March 1, 3-9 p.m., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. weekends; Towadako Lake celebrates with a snow-covered lake side and illuminated strolls and featuring food booths, live music, and fireworks after 8 p.m.; 0176-75-2425.

MOUNT AKAGI SNOW FESTIVAL (Gunma prefecture): Feb. 7; featuring ski and snowboard classes for juniors along with ice fishing and more at Agaki Onuma (marsh) and Mount Agaki Daiichi Ski Resort, 70-minute ride from Maebashi I.C. on Kanetsu Express; 027-210-2189.

LIVING HARUKAZE EKIDEN (Tokyo): Feb. 8, 11 a.m.; starting at Shiokaze Koen, with 100 teams of four members in a 18.4-km relay; three-minute walk from JR Tokyo Teleport on Rinkai Line or eight-minute walk from Odaiba Kaihin Koen Station on Yurikamome (monorail); 12,000 yen per team; 03-5283-8250.

JAPAN CAMPING CAR SHOW 2015 (Chiba): Feb. 13, noon-5 p.m., Feb. 14 & 15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Feb. 16-11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 128 companies show off camping cars, outdoor equipment, campsite and tourism information; Makuhari Messe Exhibition Halls 1-3, five-minute walk from Kaihim-Makuhari Station on JR Keiyo Line; 1,000 yen adults, 500 elementary school and junior high school students, 1,600 yen adults, 800 yen four-day pass for kids; 050-5865-9874.

NAMAHAGE FESTIVAL (Akita prefecture): Feb. 13-15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Namahage, a demon-like being, portrayed by men wearing oversized ogre masks and traditional straw capes frighten children by asking if there is any child who is crying; Shinzan Shrine, Namahage-kan and Oga Shinzan Densho-kan, 45-minute bus ride from JR Oga Station on Oga Line.

YOKOHAMA CHINATOWN — LUNAR NEW YEAR SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: Feb. 19-March 5; celebrating a new year with firecrackers and Chinese dragon dance on the streets in Chinatown 3:30-8 p.m. Feb. 19, and Chinese New Year performance of traditional music, Chinese acrobatics and Chinese dragon dance at Yamashita Park special stage on Feb. 21, 22, 28 & March 1; one-minute walk from Motomachi Station on Minato-mirai Line or a seven-minute walk from Kan-nai Station on JR Keihin Tohoku Line; 045-662-1252.

NAGASAKI LANTERN FESTIVAL: Feb. 19-March 5; Nagasaki was the only port in Japan opened to foreign trade in Japan during the Edo Period for more than 200 years. The island of Dejima, constructed in Nagasaki Bay,was the only port given to Westerners to stay and trade while Chinese people were also confined in a limited land called Tojin Yashiki and it developed into a Chinatown in Nagasaki after the Meiji Restoration. Chinese New Year celebrations in Nagasaki take place at seven places in the city including Shinchimachi, Nagasaki’s Chinatown, Minato Koen (main stage) and other places. A myriad of glowing lanterns, as well as spectacular lion and dragon dances, are among the featured attractions; 095-829-1314.

FUJIKAWAGUCHIKO WINTER FIREWORKS (Yamanashi prefecture): weekends through Feb. 22, 8-8:20 p.m.; launched at Ohike Koen, located close to Kawaguchiko Ohashi (bridge) Minami intersection in southern shore of Lake Kawaguchi, a five-minute drive from Kawaguchiko I.C.; 0555-72-3168.

UENO TOSHOGU SHRINE PEONY FESTIVAL (Tokyo): Through Feb. 22, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; 3,200 peonies in 250 varieties contributed by Luoyang Botanical Garden, China in 1980 at the Peony Garden of Ueno Toshogu Shrine, five-minute walk from JR Ueno Station; 03-3822-3675.

YOKOHAMA RED BRICK WAREHOUSE ART & ICE SKATING: Through Feb. 22, 1-10 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends; art with lights with the theme of Narrative designed by Shunpei Minagawa; 10-minute walk from Bashamichi Station on Minato Mirai or 15-minute walk from JR Kan-nai Station; 1,000 yen adults, 900 yen children, includes shoe rental; 045-211-1515.

MOUNT FUJI SNOW FESTIVAL (Yamanashi prefecture): Through Feb. 25, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; snow sculptures and snow sledding at Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, 25-minute ride from Kawaguchiko I.C. on Chuo Express; free; 0555-72-2159.

TOKYO STATION A HUNDRED YEARS OF ITS LEGACY: Through March 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., until 8 p.m. Fri., closed Mon.; paintings, photos and movies focused on Tokyo Station at Tokyo Gallery; 900 yen adults, 700 yen junior and senior high school students, free children; 03-3212-2485.

TOYOTOWN ICE & GARDEN (Tokyo): Through March 6; outdoor ice skating link at Akasaka Sacas; 1,200 yen adults, 600 yen children, plus 500 yen for shoes rental, 15,000 yen adults season tickets, 8,000 yen children season tickets, free rental shoes after 7 p.m.; 03-3746-6666.

ATAMI PLUM BLOSSOMS FESTIVAL (Kanagawa prefecture): Through March 8; these are the earliest plum blossoms in Japan. The festival is a celebration of the plum blossoms at the Atami Baien Koen (Plum Garden) in Atami city – a resort town near Tokyo; 0557-85-2222.

TOKYO MIDTOWN ICE SKATING RINK (Tokyo): Through March 8, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; outdoor ice skating rink, with illuminations at 5 p.m.; Roppongi Station on Hibiya-Line and Oedo-Line, three-minute walk from Nogizaka Station on Chiyoda-Line; 1,500 yen adults, 1,000 yen children (includes shoe rental); 0570-017-154.

TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN ICE SKATING RINK: Through March 8, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; ice skating rink at Sky Arena on 4th floor of Tokyo SkyTree; Tokyo SkyTree Station on Tobu SkyTree Line; 1,500 yen adults, 800 yen children (includes shoe rental); 0570-55-0102.

ANNA AND ELSA’S FROZEN FANTASY AT TOKYO DISNEYLAND (Chiba prefecture): Through March 20; set after Anna and Elsa reconciled, see winter in a world of ice and snow created by Elsa’s power; two-minute ride from Resort Gate Station/Maihama Station, JR Keiyo Line; Tokyo Disney Resort Information 0570-00-8632.

OSHIMA TSUBAKI (CAMELLIA) FESTIVAL (Tokyo): Through March 22; Oshima Island is famous for camellia flowers and camellia oil products and during the festival, a ferry is available from Kurihama (Yokosuka) Port to the island; Oshima Tourism Association, 04992-2-2177, Tokai Kisen (ferry), 04992-2-2177.

FUJI-Q HIGHLAND ICE SKATING (Yamanashi prefecture): Through March 29, closed Jan. 20 & Feb. 10; three ice skating rinks; 5-6-1, Nishihara, Fuji-Yoshida city, Yamanashi prefecture, in front of Lake Kawaguchi I.C. on Chuo Express; 1,400 yen adults, 800 yen kids, 1,000 yen shoe rental; 0555-23-2111.

PRESS PHOTO EXHIBITION (Kanagawa prefecture): Through March 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Mon.; featuring 280 photos by press photographers registered at Tokyo Photojournalist Association and six photos from other local areas taken in 2014; Japan Newspaper Museum, Nihon University Odori Station on Minatomirai Line or 10-minute walk from Kan-nai Station on JR Negishi Line; 510 yen adults, 410 yen college students, 300 yen senior high school students, free for children; 045-661-2040.

SAYAMA SKI & SNOWBOARD (Saitama prefecture): Through April 5; indoor ski and snowboarding slope; 2167 Kami-yamaguchi, Tokorozawa city, Seibu Kyujo-mae Station, Seibu Line; fee; 04-2922-1384.

EDOGAWA SPORTSLAND ICE SKATING (Tokyo): Through May 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 1-8-1, Higashi Shinozaki, Edogawa-ku, six-minute walk from JR Koiwa Station on Sobu Line; adults 510 yen/day, kids 210 yen/day plus adults 310 yen and children 210 yen for shoe rental; 03-3677-1711.

MEIJI JINGU ICE SKATING (Tokyo): year-round, noon-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends; adults 1,340 yen/day, kids 930 yen/day and after 3 p.m., adults 1,000 yen and children 720 yen and 510 yen for shoe rental; Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku-ku, one-minute walk from Kokuritsu Kyogijyo on subway Oedo Line or five-minute walk from JR Shinanomachi Station on Sobu Line; 03-3403-3458.


THE 53RD NAGO CHERRY BLOSSOM: Jan. 31-Feb. 1; Nago Chuo Koen, brass band, taiko (Japanese drums), folk songs and more, illuminated 6-10 p.m. weekends; two-hour drive from Naha Airport; 0980-53-7755.

NAKIJIN CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL: Through Feb. 1; illuminations, traditional entertainments and more; two-hour and 45-minute ride from Naha Airport; 0980-56-2256.

YAEDAKE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL: Through Feb. 1; earliest cherry blossoms in Japan; Motobu-cho, four miles northwest of Nago city; 098-47-2700; www.motobu-ka.com.

YAESE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL: Feb. 1, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; 500 cherry trees at Yaese Town Park bloom and are illuminated with 20,000 lights 6-9 p.m. Jan. 23-Feb. 1; 40-minute drive from Naha Airport; 098-998-2668.

22ND TAKETOMI-CHO YAMANEKO (WILDCAT) MARATHON: Feb. 7; 23 km half marathon at 12:40 p.m., 10 km at 12:50 and 3 km at 1 p.m., start and finish at Taketomi-cho Uehara Elementary School playground, 40-minute ferry ride from Ishigaki Port or a five-minute ride from Uehara Port; 098-82-6191.

IEJIMA HIBISCUS FESTIVAL: Feb. 7 & 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; the island of Iejima, 5.5 miles off the coast of Motobu Peninsula, is home to a large hibiscus field where 1,000 varieties of hibiscus bloom; 30-minute ferry ride from Motobu Port of Okinawa; 0980-49-3161 (Iejima Village Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Division); 0980-49-2255 (ferries).

OKINAWA INTERNATIONAL ORCHID SHOW 2015: Feb. 7-15, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; nearly 20,000 orchids on display at Ocean Expo Park’s Tropical Dream Center at Motobu Town; 690 yen adults, 350 yen kids; 0980-48-3624.

NAHA CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL: Feb. 11-15; 400 cherry trees at Yogi Park bloom and potted garden plants are on sale; 10-minute walk from Asato Station, Yorimiya 1-1, Naha city; 098-855-2552.

1ST KUME ISLAND TRIATHLON: March 8, 8 p.m.; race is 2 km swim, 66 km bike and 20 km run; register until Jan. 31; Kumejima Triathlon Gimukyoku; 098-868-1587.

ZAMAMI VILLAGE WHALE WATCHING FESTIVAL: Through April 5; 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; a 50-minute express boat from Naha Port; 5,400 yen adults, 2,700 yen kids; 098-896-4141.

OKINAWA FLOWER CARNIVAL 2015: Through May 6; showcasing flowers; Shuri Castle Park, Okinawa Commemorative Government Park, Okinawa Kenritsu Budokan, Nakijin Castle Park and Yaedake Cherry Park; Okinawa Sightseeing Convention Bureau 098-859-6129.

South Korea

NEW YEAR FESTIVAL (Seoul): Jan. 30-Feb. 2; four-day celebration of the Lunar New Year held by the National Folk Museum of Korea, features seasonal folk traditions, folk plays, handcraft arts, performances, traditional food and more; +82-2-1330.

MUSICAL “MR. SHOW” (Seoul): Through Jan. 31; Interpark Art Center, Art Hall, 60,000-80,000 won.

TAEBAEKSAN MOUNTAIN SNOW FESTIVAL: Through Feb. 1; features snow sculpture exhibition, snow tunnel, slide and more; +82-2-1330.

BOSEONG GREEN TEA PLANTATION LIGHT FESTIVAL (South Jeolla Province): Through Feb. 1; green tea fields of Boseong are illuminated; +82-2-1330.

JARASEOM SINGSING WINTER FESTIVAL (Gyeonggi province): Through Feb. 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; featuring ice fishing for trout, snow sledding and 50-person sled ride on ice, along with snow sculptures, ice trees with ice flowers and more; take an ITX train to Gapyeong Station from Yongsan Station; 13,000 won (weekends), 12,000 won (weekdays); +82-2-1330.

HWACHEON SANCHEONEO ICE FESTIVAL (Gangwon province): Through Feb. 1; features barehanded ice fishing of mountain trout, more; take an intercity bus to Hwancheon from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal; +82-2-1330.

MUSICAL, “ALL SHOOK UP” (Seoul): Through Feb. 1; Art Center Grand Theater, Hongik University; 55,000-77,000-99,000-110,000 won.

MUSICAL “MARIE ANTOINETTE” (Seoul): Through Feb. 1; Charlotte Theater; 50,000-80,000-110,000-14,000 won.

PYEONGCHANG TROUT FESTIVAL (Gangwon province): Through Feb. 8, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; enjoy ice and lure fishing for trout and more; Odaecheon Stream area of Jinbu-myeon in Pyeongchan-gun; take an intercity bus to Jinbu from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal; +82-2-1330.

“AGATHA,” MUSICAL (Seoul): Feb. 11-May 10; Art Center Grand Theater, Hongik University, 30,800-69,300 won.

MUSICAL, “GONE WITH THE WIND” (Seoul): Through Feb. 15; Seoul Arts Center Opera Theater; 50,000-80,000-120,000-140,000 won.

MUSICAL, “ADOLESCENCE” (Seoul): Through Feb. 15; Chungmu Art Hall, Middle Theater Black; 40,000-55,000 won.

CHILGAPSAN ICE FOUNTAIN FESTIVAL (South Chungcheong province): Through Feb. 22; held in the area of the Alps Villages in Jeongsan-myeon, this festival attracts visitors with ice fountain, snow and ice sculptures, sledding and more; take an express bus bound for Jeongsan Bus Terminal from Central City Terminal, then transfer to a local bus bound for Cheongyang-Jeongsan and get off at Cheonjang-ri Bus Stop; +82-2-1330.

MUSICAL “KINKY BOOTS” (Seoul): Through Feb. 22; Chungmu Art Hall, Grand Theater, 50,000-80,000-110,000-140,000 won.

BITNORIYA IN YEOSU (South Jeolla Province): Through Feb. 25; Bitnoriya in Korea describes a group of people gathering together under the lights and the festival is at Geobukseon Park featuring winter attractions illuminated sunset-11 p.m.; +82-2-1330; www.yeosu.go.kr.

MUSICAL, “DREAMGIRLS” (Seoul): Feb. 26-March 15; Charlotte Theater, 50,000-130,000 won.

ULJIN SNOW CRAB FESTIVAL (Gyeongsangbuk-do): Feb. 27-March 1; taste fresh seafood caught from Uljin’s Hupo Port and see crab-related attractions; take intercity bus to Hupo from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, then take a Uljin-Pyeonghae route bus to Hupo Suhyup; +82-2-1330.

“HAROLD & MAUDE,” THE MUSICAL (Seoul): Through Feb. 28; National Theater of Korea, Small Hall, 30,000-50,000-60,000 won.

MUSICAL “BETWEEN RAINDROPS” (Seoul): Through Feb. 28; Sang Myung Art Hall, Theater One; 45,000 won.

DAEGU DALBAE DALMAJI FESTIVAL (Daegu): March 5, 2-7:30 p.m.; annual event welcoming the first full moon of the new year and includes traditional customs like burning daljip (brushwood) for the 15th day of the Lunar New Year; +82-2-1330.

MUSICAL “LA CAGE" (Seoul): Through March 8; LG Arts Center; 60,000-80,000-110,000-130,000 won.

DAS MUSICAL, ROBIN HOOD (Seoul): Through March 29; D Cube Art Center; 60,000-80,000-110,000-130,000 won.

MUSICAL “ONCE” (Seoul): Through March 29; Seoul Arts Center, Towol Theater; 60,000-100,000-120,000 won.

To see your events here: SSPEDTlibrary@stripes.com.

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