Weekly Japan agenda: Robots, classic cars and horse races

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The Independent Online

Highlights of events in Japan over the coming weeks include the International Robot Exhibition, the Japan Cup horse race and a tribute to classic cars. Plus the last chance to see the emperors' treasures on display.

Emperors' treasures on display
Ends November 29
To mark the 20th anniversary of the enthronement of Emperor Akihito, the most comprehensive display ever of items from within the palace are on show to the public at the Treasures of the Imperial Collections exhibition. The items will be exhibited at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno and will include works of art, musical instruments and personal items owned by the Imperial family.
9:30 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Friday and until 6 pm on weekends and national holidays. Tickets are Y1,300 (€9.75) for adults and Y700 (€5.25) for students. For more information: http://www.bihana.jp/

Robots of the future
November 25-28
The very newest robot technology goes on show at Big Sight, demonstrating the latest advances and future possibilities - as well as all the weird and wonderful robots that inventors in Japan and around the world can create.
10 am to 5 pm, with tickets Y1,000 (€7.50) per person. International Robot Exhibition 2009, Tokyo Big Sight, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063 Tel: +81-3-5770-5581. http://www.nikkan.co.jp/eve/irex/english/index.html

Songs for Human Rights
November 26
Musicians and DJs from around the world - including Maia Barouh and Assane Diabaye - perform at the intimate SuperDeluxe club to raise awareness of human rights issues for Amnesty International.
Doors open 6:15 pm Advance tickets Y3,300 (€24.75), Y3,500 (€26.25) on the door. SuperDeluxe, Nishi Azabu 106-0031. Tel. +81 3 5412 0515. www.super-deluxe.com/2009/11/26/

Classic car cruise
November 28
Close to 100 classic automobiles from around the world - including former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida's Rolls Royce - will take part in a car festival in Tokyo's Meiji Jingu Gaien district. The cars will include an 11 km-rally through Tokyo's up-market Ginza district.
10 am to 4pm at the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, Meiji Jingu Gaien, 1-1 Kasumigaoka-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. Admission is free. http://www.meijijingugaien.jp/english/

Japan Cup
November 29
Thanks to the strength of the yen, the Japan Cup is now the world's richest turf horse race, with Y533 million (US$5.65 million) up for grabs at the Tokyo Racecourse. The 12-furlong race is the most prestigious race on the Japanese calendar and attracts jockeys, trainers and spectators from around the world.
Admission is Y200 (€1.50). The Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu. http://japanracing.jp/course/j01.html

Cute cuticles

November 29-30
For anyone involved in the fingernail industry - the Tokyo Nail Expo 2009 is the place to be. Everything and anything "nailists" require - from care to design and the latest fashions - at their fingertips.
10 am to 7 pm, Tokyo Big Sight Inc. 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063 Tel: +81-3-5530-1111 Entrance is Y2,000 (€15.00). http://www.nail.or.jp/nailexpo09/index.html

Spectacular Chichibu festival
December 2-3
Celebrated as one of Japan's three great annual float festivals, the Chichibu Yomatsuri is held over two days in early December in the city of Chichibu, north of Tokyo. Decorated floats - some weighing as much as 10 tons - are pulled through the streets of the city and are transformed into stages for kabuki plays by day. In the evening, others are illuminated with lanterns and are pulled up a hill ahead of a spectacular fireworks display.

Interiors in focus
December 2-4
More than 360 exhibitors from 14 countries will be showing off the latest interior designs and fashions at the joint International Furniture Fair Tokyo and Interior Lifestyle Living trade fair at Tokyo Big Sight, with the focus on the latest trends and fashions in the interiors industry. Entry Y1,000 (€7.50)
Tokyo Big Sight, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063 Tel: +81-3-5770-5581.

Pole performance
December 3
Tokyo is hosting the final of the International Pole Dance Fitness Championship this year, with dancers from all over the world - including men - strutting their stuff at the Christon Cafe from 7:30 p.m. Competitors are from the United States, Japan, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Russia, England, Hong Kong and Belarus and will compete for the coveted title of World Pole Champion. Tickets from Y4,500 (€34). Christon Cafe, Oriental Wave building, 5-17-13 Shinjuku, Tokyo. Tel: 03 5287 2426.

Dance date
December 5
Approcahing 10 years of throwing the best dance parties in Japan, more than 7,000 revellers are expected at the Womb Adventure '09 dance music festival, at the Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex. One of the largest music events on the Japanese dance calendar, DJs will include Richie Hawtin and Dubfire, Josh Wink, Digitalism and Heartsrevolution. Tickets from Y5,500 (€41.28) Makuhari Messe Convention Centre, 2-1, Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba-city, 261-0023. Tel. +81 43 296 0001. http://www.womb.co.jp/adventure/

Dolls on display

December 6
Dolls Party 22 is not all about the cuddly varieties that your daughter plays with - this event covers everything from larger-than-life humanoid figures to slinky female forms anf the best-loved characters from animated Japanese entertainment. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry Y2,200 (€16.50). Tokyo Big Sight, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063 Tel: +81 075 325 1171. http://www.volks.co.jp/jp/event/dolpa22/index.html