A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

The SO-HO-SAI (雙峰祭), Tsukuba University`s Festival – from the evening of November 1st thru the 3rd



The Jazz Cafe is one of my favorite attractions at the annual SO-HO-SAI Festival at Tsukuba University. This year`s gigs are set for November 2nd and 3rd

By Avi Landau

In past years, Tsukuba University`s Culture Festival had been held in October- over the Sports Day weekend. Finally, however, the event has been moved to the more appropriate (for reasons I discuss above) November, over the Culture Day weekend.

This year the event will be held from the evening of November 1st, thru Monday night, November 3rd.

There are many Tsukubans who eagerly look forward to this festival and make sure their schedules can fit in time for a visit to Tsukuba U`s very long and narrow campus.

The fact that the dates have been moved ( from last year), though, has probably led to some confusion.

Despite the fact that the month in which it will be held has changed, the festival and its various attractions will be the same. Regular go-ers all have their favorites.

For me, there is the music, especially the jazz cafe and the Andean Folk Music Troupe. This year, with the blessing of truly glorious weather, not a soul could have left disappointed. With a wide range of cheap and delicious foods, live music in all genres, arcade games, scientific displays, and technological exhibitions all served up with youthful enthusiasm, for me this festival is the TRUE TSUKUBA FESTIVAL (Tsukuba Matsuri).

As I have written before, one noticeable thing for many graduates of foreign universities is the lack of any political or INTELLECTUAL presence in the Tsukuba University festival. In recent years, however, environmental awareness has started to be felt with several booths selling organic produce or showing data from research on GREENER LIVING. Still walking the length of the campus this weekend, I felt pessimistic about recent calls to lower the voting age in Japan to 18.

Anyway, if you do go, and you should- go on an empty stomach!



And don`t miss the Tsukuba Unversity Andean Folkmusic players ( the Folklore Circle) – they are amazing ! They run a South American style restaurant, as well !


Nov. 1st 2014 the festival will open at 4PM and run to 8:30 PM

Nov. 2 –  10 AM – 8 PM

Nov. 3 – 10 AM – 8:30 PM

By the way, the festival`s name SO-HO-SAi ( 雙峰祭 ) means: The Twin- Peaks Festival – specifically referring to the Male and Female peaks of Mt Tsukuba which has long represented for the Japanese the forces of the Yin and the Yang and their interaction. The SO-HO-SAI this year appropriately opens on the evening of the same day that the Ozagawari Festival is held on Mt. Tsukuba. I have written in detail about it in a previous post (read it for more detail) – but I would like to repeat here that the Ozagawari is a remnant of the ancient coupling festival- the KAGAI – which was held between the male and female peaks.

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