What’s on in Germany: January 13 – 19

This Week's Highlights: Berlin hosts a Japanese festival, Cologne celebrates design and Frankfurt resounds with Italian arias.

What's on in Germany: January 13 - 19
Photo: DPA



Japan Festival Berlin

From Aikido to Ikebana, the Japan Festival presents myriad aspects of Japanese culture. Take a manga quiz, watch a karate demonstration, and see dancers perform the slow but beautiful movements of butoh. Hot tea and fresh sushi keep visitors happily satiated throughout the two-day event.

Price: €13; €23 Two-Day Ticket

Location: Urania Berlin, An der Urania 17

Times: Saturday, January 15; Sunday, January 16; 10am-6pm

Ticket Hotline: 0172 300 68 73

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Sven Åke Johansson

One of Europe’s most pioneering players in the free jazz and improvisation realm, the Swedish drummer Sven-Åke Johansson moved to Berlin in 1968. A cohort of avant-garde luminaries like Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald, and Alexander von Schlippenbach, Johansson performs with two of his trios Friday night in Berlin.

Price: €5

Location: Ausland, Lychener Strasse 60

Times: Friday, January 14, 9pm

Phone: 030 44 77 00 8

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Pia Arnström

Decked out in vivid hues of electric blue, hot pink, and cherry, Swedish artist Pia Arnström’s 3D movie crowds, Hitchcock blondes, and American cult idols look swell in watercolour. Schmooze among them at Saturday night’s opening.

Price: Free

Location: Egbert Baqué Contemporary Art, Fasanenstrasse 37

Times: Saturday, January 15, 7-9pm (Opening); Tuesday – Friday, 2-7pm; Saturday 12-6pm (Regular Hours); January 15 – February 26

Phone: 030 43 91 08 80

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Passagen Interior Design Week Cologne

If design gets your heart pumping, get yourself to Cologne this week and be among the thousands of design enthusiasts flocking to the city for Passagen. Starting Monday, shops, galleries, showrooms, and museums host a varied program of design related events, featuring architects, artists, manufacturers, and designers from around the world.

Price: Various

Location: Various

Times: Monday, January 17 – Sunday, January 23

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Las Balkanieras

Miss Russia, La Dona Bosanchera, and Balkaniera Mediteranovich call their music turbo-electro-folk-pop with dancehall influences. Sounds about right. Bop around to the Balkan babes’ energetic tunes, Saturday night at Cologne’s Stadtgarten.

Price: €12

Location: Stadtgarten, Venloer Strasse 40

Times: Saturday, January 15, 10pm

Tickets: 0221 28 01

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Italian Night

Dear Wagner and Bizet, please don’t take offence, but no one does opera quite like the Italians. Sopranos Eleonora Buratto and Giorgia Milanesi, and tenor Ji-Min Park sing the arias of Verdi, Rossini, and Puccini Friday night in Frankfurt. Bellissima.

Price: €24-59

Location: Alte Oper Frankfurt, Opernplatz

Times: Friday, January 14, 7pm

Tickets: 069 13 40 400

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TAO – The Samurai of the Drum

Steeped in tradition yet sensationally modern, TAO is a mesmerising stage show that has been performed all over the world. Witness the ferocious skill of this drumming and dancing troupe at Hamburg’s Congress Center, Wednesday.

Price: €27-51

Location: CCH Congress Center Hamburg, Marseiller Strasse

Times: Wednesday, January 19, 8pm

Tickets: 01805 44 70 777 (.14/minute)

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Christian Fennesz

With a guitar and a laptop, Christian Fennesz creates electronic soundscapes that glitch and pulse with scintillating complexity. You’ll see Sparklehorse and Keith Rowe on his CV and the Beach Boys in his list of influences. Intrigued? The Austrian guitarist takes the stage at KörberForum, Thursday night.

Price: Free with reservations

Location: KörberForum, Kehrwieder 12

Times: Thursday, January 13, 9pm

Reservations: 040 35 76 66 66

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Jochen Blume Retrospective

American presidents, movie stars, queens, and clowns. A melange of personalities passed by the German photographer’s lens. A retrospective of Blume’s work hangs at the Monika Mohr Galerie through mid-February. Get a snapshot of the Cold War era with image of Kennedy, Castro, and Sophia Loren.

Price: Free

Location: Monika Mohr Galerie, Mittelweg 45

Times: Tuesday – Friday, 12-6pm; through February 16

Phone: 040 41 350 350

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Husband and wife sail from the Bahamas to Baltimore and an album is born. So goes the legend of Tennis, a Denver duo making waves with tracks like “South Carolina” and “Bimini Bay.” Catch the one-time landlubbers Friday at 59:1 before they set sail again on another songwriting adventure.

Price: €8

Location: 59:1, Sonnenstrasse 27

Times: Friday, January 14, 9:30pm

Phone: 089 2420 5718

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The Little Earth Bear – A Jazz Concert for Children

A little bear takes a walk in the woods and finds a balloon. Oh the adventures that ensue! Saxophonist Carolyn Breuer teamed up with author Sabine Bohlmann to create this delightful performance. Celebrate friendship, nature, and jazz Sunday afternoon at Munich’s Unterfahrt jazz club.

Price: €14 (Adults); €7 (Kids)

Location: Jazzclub Unterfahrt, Einsteinstrasse 42

Times: Sunday, January 16, 3pm

Phone: 089 448 27 94

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.