**This weekend has a lot going on, so here is a digest of what you can look forward to^^
Ibaraki Sweets Gourmet Fair and Candlenight
This weekend has a festival designed to satisfy both your sweet tooth and your senses. Starting on Friday, March 9th, the Ibaraki Sweets Gourmet Fair will open at the Edo-period movie set beside Lake Senba, packed with delicacies and rarities from all over the prefecture. Over 40 vendors will converge to provide both sweets like Tsukuba Pudding, Sweet Potatoes, and the Goka Roll, as well as feted gourmet fare like the Konkon Curry Hot Sandwich, Lotus-Chicken Focaccia, Kasama Inari Sushi, and Tsukuba Maki Sushi.
In addition, Saturday, March 10th will play host to a full series of entertainers, including comedy, quizzes, and lots of live music. To round off the evening, parts of Kairakuen will be decorated with candles starting at 5pm, to enhance the elegant atmosphere of the pink and white plum blossoms. See the flyer here (Japanese).
Schedule as follows:
1:30pm Free natto given out by ‘Miss Natto’ (first 400 people)
11am Osupengin Mansai Comedy
11:30 Gojo Mayumi (from Pretty Cure) Anime Song Concert
12pm Antoki no Inoki (Antonio Inoki impersonator) Stand-up Comedy
1pm Gojo Mayumi (from Pretty Cure) Anime Song Concert
1:30 Watanabe Hiroyuki Jazz Concert
2:30 Ibaraki Gourmet Quiz
3pm Anzen Daiichi Concert
4pm Sato Shoko Concert
5pm-8pm YES BAND and other local bands perform live
Location: Sakurada-mon Gainohen Movie Set, Lake Senba
Kasama’s Disaster Memorial and Recovery Events
Date: March 10th, 2012
The Kasama Kominkan will be hosting disaster prevention talks, panel exhibitions, and selling memorial photo collections.
The Kasama Shopping Center Porepore will be hosting a local goods fair.
Oike Park will have disaster prevention helicopter training, helicopter exhibitions, thick smoke training, and earthquake training using the earthquake simulating van.
Kitayama Park will have a disaster prevention goods exhibition, emergency rice distribution training, a taste-testing fair, thick smoke training, and green strategies.
For details, please contact 0297-23-2111.
Mt. Tsukuba’s Plum Blossom Festival
Currently underway in the plum forest of Mt. Tsukuba, this yearly festival combines both the beauty of the plum blossoms with the fantastic view from Mt. Tsukuba. Chief among the related events are the daily Ume Tea Service, the weekly Outdoor Tea Parties (every Sunday), the weekly stage performances (every Saturday), and the Earthquake Disaster Memorial Charity Event on March 11th. The Charity Event will involve Shamisen performances, Taiko performances, and more!
There are free circuit buses operating from 10am to 4pm every weekend and holiday, shuttling between the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest parking lot, Mt. Tsukuba Shrine, and Tsutsujigaoka. Many related food vendors are also on hand to provide a tasty snack while you enjoy the scenery. Website can be seen here (Japanese).
Tokaimura’s Tokai Station Gallery A will be hosting the pictures and maps of the results of the city’s inspection of the extent of the natural damage done by the earthquake disaster last year, as a commemorative exhibition. March 4th – March 10th.
The Tokaimura Fukushi Center ‘Kizuna’ will be hosting a memorial event for the disaster on March 11th, with presentations and picture exhibitions. For details, please contact 029-282-1711.
As part of disaster relief efforts, there will be a free classical concert offered at lunchtime on March 13th, in Omitama. What better way to celebrate the early spring weather than with a little culture during your daytime downtime?
Soprano Yunjon Phan will be accompanied by piano and a string quartet, and in addition to Mozart’s “Deh, vieni, non tardar” from The Marriage of Figaro, they will be performing Bach’s G Minor Fugue, Eine Kleine Nacht Muzik, Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s “Memory” (from Cats), “Eyes on Me” (from Final Fantasy VIII), and more (subject to change).
Entrance is free, but you must get tickets in advance (to prevent over-capacity); you can either call to reserve, or go pick them up when they are handed out on the day of, at 10am. Free seating, rows 14 and below. There is childcare available on-site for 300yen, but you must apply in advance. Flyer can be seen here (Japanese).
Date: March 13th, 12:30 (seating starts at 12:15)
Location: Omitama Shiki Bunka-kan ‘Mino-re’, Mori no Hall
To reserve tickets call the above at 0299-48-4466 (Japanese)