In case you aren’t hip to the UAE’s love for all things Japanese, we’re excited to break it down for you. Dubai’s Japanophilia rolls out beyond sushi, anime, matcha, and manga. Those make up just the tip of the iceberg of the city’s fascination with the land of the rising sun. For a true taste of Nippon, nip on down to Natsu, Alserkal Avenue’s Japanese arts and culture festival on until July 31.
You’ll be spirited away to a world of Japanese films, food, and fabulous art and traditions. Natsu, which means summer in Japanese will see a host of venues across the arts district dive deep into Japanese culture through a string of activations and workshops.
The event has the blessings of the Japan Foundation and the Consulate General of Japan, so you know you’re in for an authentic experience.
Here’s a rundown of 4 events to make the most of Natsu Japanese festival:
Indie movie theatre Cinema Akil will host weekly screenings of Japanese films running the gamut of genres from action-comedy anime such as Gintama: The Very Final to the more serious arthouse cinema such as 1954’s The Crucified Lovers. The latter’s based on a famous play by Chikamatsu, Japan’s Shakespeare.
For timings and registration click here
Location: Warehouse 68, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz Industrial District
Moby, the Japanese plant-based cafe has teamed up with Dubai-based food blogger and tea sommelier Haiya Tea to concoct a delicious matcha soft serve. Topped with pistachio coulis, shaved chocolate, Japanese choux choux (cream puffs), furikake (seasonings), this earthy green tea’s frozen avatar is perfect for summers.
You can get a scoop of the bright green scrummy stuff for free when you register for a movie screening at Cinema Akil taking place during Natsu.
Concept store The Edit is launching Alserkal’s first Matcha Bar in collaboration with wellness brand Matcha Union on July 17. Hit up the launch for your free cuppas of the sustainably sourced green tea as well as an array of other teas and coffees.
Love all things Japan? You need to check out this hidden music room in DIFC that will drift you off to Tokyo’s underground nightclubs
Sima, the performing arts and theatre production company is putting up an artistic dance show called RHYME. Directed by Alaa Krimed, choreographer and artistic director of Sima Performing Arts, the poetic dance performance sees talented performers from Sima move rhythmically to Arabic poetry. The idea is to explore the connection between Eastern cultural heritage and the Arabic language.
When: Shows at 7:30 pm, every Friday and Saturday until July 30
Tickets: AED 132, click here to purchase
CHI-KA, the warehouse-turned haven for appreciating kimonos and contemporary art is hosting an immersive ‘Summer in Japan’ exhibition that puts together bits and bobs of elements that constitute Japan’s atmospheric summers.
It’s hard to recreate the country’s tropical rain showers in Dubai, but the storefront-cum-art space promises an exhibit that will help you catch a whiff of Japanese petrichor and the thrill of sipping green teas from vending machines. Founded by Serbia husband-wife team Nemanja Valjarevic and Nina Trojanovic who are certified Japanophiles, we’re sure this one will live well up to the hype.
Called Emotional Topography: Japan in Summer, the exhibition will run every Sunday until July 31.