Kyoto Day at Japan Foundation

Every year in October, the Japan Foundation Cologne has a Kyoto Day to celebrate the sister city Kyoto. The relationship dates back to 1963.
So it’s the 60th anniversary! Still, Kyoto Day is one of the smaller festivals at Japan Foundation. The doors opened at 1pm with opening words by representatives of Cologne, Kyoto and the Japan Foundation. There was an exhibition, various info booths, stage programme and a few things to eat.


Kyoto Day 2023 performance

Tres Toni were the opening act, a three-piece female band who performed five songs with a Kyoto theme. Other stage performances would switch between speeches and presentations (Kimono, Iadô). The short film O-Bon, Anecdotes from Kyoto was screened at 4:30. 

Unlike at the Summer festival (natsu matsuri), there was no performance outside – just a table selling popcorn and soft drinks was set up in front of the Japan Foundation building.

Kyoto Day 2023
Origami penguin

Bread & Travel

On the basement and first floor were various info tables by the German-Japanese Society Cologne, the Consulate of Japan, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and Dokomi (biggest anime/manga con in Germany).

Bakery My Heart travelled from Düsseldorf to Cologne to offer Melonpan and other sweet buns. They used to have a bakery shop in Düsseldorf, but closed it down. Since then, they provide buns to various super markets in Düsseldorf.

The current exhibition had a Kyoto theme as well: The Seasons of Kyoto’s Gardens. 

Kyoto Day Book Exhibit
Japan Foundation library

Interactivity on Kyoto Day

Japan Foundation combined simple crossword puzzle with a questionary to entertain visitors. Once filled, you could choose a price – I picked a Tokyo 2020 pin 🙂
The other entertainment part was Origami. They do that at every festival.

Where next?

I usually combine a visit to the Japan Foundation with shopping at Heng Long. This is Cologne’s biggest Asia super market and a good place to get some fresh tofu or vegetables. Next to Japan Foundation is also the Museum of East Asian Art with an extensive collection of Japanese, Korean and Chinese art.

Asia super market in Cologne

Next festival

While Japan Foundation will continue with the usual event programme (movies, concerts, exhibition), the next big event will already happen in early November: Cologne’s museum night. Both Japan Foundation and the Museum of East Asian Art will take part.

Kyoto Day 2023

Mia Jaap

Journalist, developer and passionate about Japanese and Korean language. Loves to travel in Japan, but is open to explore the major and lesser known sights of Germany.

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