The Gitah Bunkakan, as it is known in Japanese, is a small concert hall and museum of guitars and other related instruments. Located over the mountain in Yasato Machi, Palacio De La Guitarra is about a 40 minute drive from downtown Tsukuba.
Open only on weekends and during Golden Week, the palace offers several interesting concerts every year. The upcoming June concert features a joint concert of a Japanese duo, Masayuki Kato and Kenji Tezuka on June 5 at 6 pm.
Other upcoming concerts include: August 28, 6 pm, Maria Estelle Guzman Guitar Recital; Sept. 9, 3 pm, Yuki Taira, Songs of Okinawa (with guitar accompaniment); Oct. 3, Emiko Iwabuchi, a non-guitar concert on piano; Oct. 24, The Hollan Baroque Orchestra; Nov. 14 and Dec. 5 (both at 3 pm) feature European artists whose name in katakana are rather difficult to decipher. The first is something like Wolfeen Liske from Germany and the second is Jens Bang Rassmusen from Denmark. All concerts are 3000 yen, and since the seating is rather limited, they usually are sold out rather early.
There are also mini concerts every day the hall is open and cost 800 yen for admission. The times for these 30 minute or so concerts are noon, 2 pm and 4 pm (except on regular concert days), and provide very pleasurable listening in a small, domed hall with excellent acoustics. If you are not staying for a mini concert, then admission is only 500 yen. For more information, call Palacio De La Guitarra 0299-46-2457, or call the Alien Times for directions in English. Web page site: http://www.guitar.or.jp/palacio/index.html
The International Women's Network (IWN) is a group of women who enjoy chatting with people from all over the world. We hold a monthly potluck dinner where we exchange information about the local community while eating a variety of foods. No reservation is needed to attend the potluck. Just bring one dish of food and show up at the meeting. Newcomers are always welcome! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the international city of Tsukuba with us!
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