It’s been an absolute wonderful week for music for us here at Sen. We saw two shows (one of them at Sen) and a festival with 6 different acts this last weekend; more live music than we’ve seen in the last 2 months.
If (I mean when) you come to visit us in Matsuyama, we will undoubtedly recommend you to visit Wanitosai, which is our favorite bar around here, and honestly, our favorite bar in Matsuyama.
It’s owned by Mai-chan and Takahiro; both super interesting, English speaking and both know their way around the kitchen and bar. Mai-chan went to both high school and university in the US and is completely fluent, along with being super witty and fun. Takahiro studied and lived for 8 years in Europe (mainly Italy) where he went to study visual arts, but quickly got turned on to marionette performance and production. He lived as a street artist, performing all over Europe before coming back to Japan a couple years ago.
It’s a self-proclaimed “circus bar” with found art and circus themed art gracing the walls and a truly eclectic mix of music. They have a wonderful array of interesting cocktails, European beers, nice wine and sake/shochu; they also cook up some mean Ramen (Takahiro’s family’s recipe-they own a famous downtown Ramen restaurant) and yaki-niku don. You will probably be treated to an impromptu marionette performance by Takahiro at some point in the evening and they often have live music events, such as…
Nemu nemu no ki (ねむねむの木) -sleepy sleepy tree, a duo that played Friday, May 11th at wanitosai, and Saturday, May 12th here at Sen. Very nice and chill acoustic set, with a bit of dabbling with hand drums, looping guitars and karimba, a couple of re-imagined Bob Marley tunes and a lot of story telling. They had no plan to play at Sen originally, but, after seeing them, we asked them if they wouldn’t mind doing a set over here, which they quickly said yes to.
That night we had some great repeater guests staying with us and one of our good friends (and his family) Ross! Again, it was great, relaxed set (the same set actually) that fit perfectly with our guesthouse’s atmosphere-we hope to get more acts like this for sure, and they are planning to come back next year.
The day after, May 12th, was Matsuyama’s premier live music festival; Live Earth Matsuyama. Held once a year, somewhere in Matsuyama-shi, this eco-fest featured stalls with tons of organic, locally sourced food products and meals, hippy products, soaps, etc…and luckily for us, was held in the spacious Matsuyama Castle park. It was my first time going and I was solidly impressed. The music line up was good, the crowd was definitely lively and was a great place to mingle with the “alternative” folk in Matsuyama. This is a great trend for us and hope we can hold a bunch more live music shows in the future…stay tuned!