Onsen Chillout Festival

Onsen Chillout Festival Main Image

If you like the idea of a music festival but Fuji Rock rocks just a little too hard and Summer Sonic is sonically over-whelming, we have just the answer to your problem. The Shibukyo music festival is a two day event of electronic and ambient music centred around the Shibu onsen village. Now in its fifth year, the festival brings together experimental musicians and visual artists who provide an altogether more relaxed atmosphere, which is a perfect accompaniment to a good soak. The centerpiece of the festival is the Kanaguya onsen which was famously used as inspiration for the hugely successful Ghibli movie Spirited Away. Musical performance, visual art and even a spot of live soba making will take place in and around the venue over the two days.

In terms of music, festival stalwarts Firo and plan+e from the PsysEx stable will be providing electro-acoustic noodlings and there will be live performances from Ironori and Coupie also. Visual exploration will also be strongly represented with no less than 7 visual artists confirmed for the festival so far, so expect your senses to be quietly stimulated throughout the weekend.

In addition to the arts there will be food and drink from Tochigi prefecture which takes you on a journey through the four seasons, talks from dance teacher Rieko Matsuda and not to mention the annual appearance of the Shibu onsen Geisha.

The Shibukyo onsen festival will take place on the 13th and 14th or April. A one day ticket will set you back 4000yen and 5500yen for a weekend pass. There are also several all inclusive over-night packages offered at the local ryokan, starting from 10500yen. For more information and ticket details please visit the Shibukyo festival website.

Words: Mark Birtles

Translation: Asuka O.

February 26, 2013