Doors Open 2023: Sounds of Japan at JFT

The Japan Foundation, Toronto is back for the city’s annual Doors Open event! We will be opening our doors once again on May 27 and May 28, along with more than 100 other buildings and sites across Toronto. This year, the theme is “City of Sound,” and we are delighted to bring the Sounds of Japan to Toronto with our lineup of activities for everyone to enjoy.

We will be open from 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM on both days. Drop-ins are more than welcome!

Join us for a special weekend filled with animated films, Japanese sports posters, library games, and fun for the whole family!

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Activities for Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28, 2023

Extended Gallery Hours

Our current exhibition is the brilliant A Sense of Movement: Japanese Sports Posters and will be open for public viewing with extended hours on both days.

A Sense of Movement is an impressive international exhibition that explores the connection between Japanese graphic design and sports. Our collection presents a total of 68 pieces from 24 designers. Join us to experience the fruit of Japan’s rich graphic design culture, from the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics to present day.

Pre-registrations are open. Pre-registered guests will have priority entry to our exhibition if we are at full capacity. Pre-registrations are not mandatory for our Doors Open activities.

Extended Library Hours

Our library will also be open with extended hours on both days.

Visitors are welcome to browse our collection of 20,000+ Japan-related books, manga, and audio-visual materials, covering a wide range of topics including Japanese sounds and music. If you’re new to our library, we can help you sign up for a library card. We have also organized a few fun activities for you enjoy! More details below.

*Click here to check Library’s book list on Japanese onomatopoeia and sounds.

Library Stamp Rally Game

Similar to last year, we’ll be setting up a Stamp Rally game for you to play and win some prizes!

Hints related to manga sound effects will be placed around our library. Players will need to find these hints, choose the correct sound effect stamp, and use those stamps to fill out the empty speech bubbles on a manga frame. Collect all three stamps to get a special prize!

Library Photo Booth: Be like a manga character!

Take a special picture at our photo booth! Speech bubble props will be available and will feature popular sound effects/onomatopoeia used in manga to connect with the theme of sound.

Animated Short Films & Soundscapes of Japan

Soak in a lineup of impressive animated short films in our event hall, created by animation students of the Tokyo University of the Arts. Read more about the films here.

Curated by acclaimed animation filmmaker and educator YAMAMURA Koji, half of these animated films were chosen with the theme of “sound” (to reflect this year’s Doors Open theme, “City of Sound”) and the other half relates to the theme of “sports” (in conjunction with our Japanese Sports Posters exhibition).

In between each film, relax to short soundscape videos inspired by the “100 Soundscapes of Japan.” These sounds were chosen in 1996 in an effort to combat noise pollution and promote protection of the environment.

Staff Music Playlist

The JFT staff have curated a diverse playlist of their favourite Japanese music that will be played throughout both days in our library. Listen to the playlist here.

QR codes will be available on-site for you to scan so that you can listen to the playlist after your visit!

About the Building


Year: 1973
Style: Commercial/Industrial
Original Architect: Crang & Boake

Building Description

Located in the heart of the city, Japan Foundation Toronto (JFT) is on the third floor of the 35-storey Hudson Bay Centre, which comprises a 535,000 square feet office tower, the Bay department store, Marriott Hotel, condominiums and an extensive retail concourse with a variety of shops and services. The tower stands at 135 metres in height and is at the northeast corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets. The International Style office skyscraper was designed by architects Crang & Boake in 1973. The Japan Foundation, Toronto established its office and cultural centre in the Colonnade in 1995 and was designed by international and Canadian design icon Yabu Pushelberg. In 2015, the office moved to the current location and was designed by the global firm Interior Architects. The inspiration of the modern interior can be traced to design elements of traditional Japanese interiors.