Yokohama embraces French culture

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The Independent Online

The Japanese city of Yokohama has hoisted the French tricolor for its annual month-long celebration of French cuisine, art, music and culture.

Organized by the French Institut of Yokohama, the embassy and the Yokohama Convention and Visitors' Bureau, the only French cultural festival in Japan runs until July 11 and is being staged at venues throughout a city that is widely considered to be one of the most international in Japan.

The cuisine events include a seminar and tasting session of wines from the South Bourgogne region of France, led by local expert Thibault Burgy and complemented by some local cuisine, as well as cooking classes for French cuisine and local hotels taking part by adding new dishes to their menus.

The Musiques Festiv' 2010 in Yokohama will be staged between July 3 and July 9 at a number of venues around the city, with the Japanese-French combo of Duo Ykeda performing "Paris Danse!" on July 4 before moving on to the Iwama Shinmin Plaza to demonstrate Prelude: Parler de George Sand et Chopin.

The musical side of the festivities will also see La Caravane Passe performing their unique type of Tzigane music in Japan for the first time, while a harp concert is scheduled for the Minatomirai Hall on July 31.

Other performers include Genevieve de Brabant and Yuko Matsunaga performing a series of chansons over dinner at the Restaurant Ratatouille on July 2.

The Yokohama France Video Collection will be displayed at the Red Brick Warehouse venue until June 20, comprising 29 visual art pieces by French and international artists, including Frederic Dumond and Alex Pou from France and French-Algerian artist Hakeem b.

The same venue will host the Yokohama France Dance Cross 2010 on June 20, a contemporary dance festival with Marta Izquierdo and Francois Grippeau, while the Animation Festival runs from June 26 to July 2 at the Cinema Jack and Betty in Naka Ward.

Other events throughout the month include guided tours through Yokohama, a conference on traditional French cuisine, an exhibition of objects from the Louvre Museum, French-style flower arranging class and a workshop of traditional Provencal crafts.

Further information: Events take place throughout Yokohama until July 11. Details on venues, times and ticket prices are available through the institute's website in French at:  and in Japanese at: