Held every spring at Zojoji, the Kohgen event stages workshops related to traditional Japanese culture and religion, with everything from calligraphy and zazen meditation to electronic music on the menu. While you wait for next year's edition, here's an excellent chance to learn more about religion in Japan without having to open any textbooks: the second edition of our 'Kohgen Lounge' is themed on kuyo, the Buddhist practice of honouring the dead.
With roots going back over 2,500 years, this ceremony is a central tenet of Buddhism, and also one that's evolved in a peculiar direction in Japan. A monk will be joining us at Ebisu's Time Out Café & Diner to explain the concept in simple terms, after which the stage will be taken over by a craftsman specialising in items used for Buddhist rituals – including some rather offbeat 'collaboration tools'. To wrap things up, the floor will be opened for audience questions. Although the presentations will be conducted in Japanese, English interpretation is also available.