Phil Coulter’s Ireland’s Call has earned a kind of begrudging acceptance over  the years through the absence of an alternative. Photograph: Jayne Russell/Inpho

On Syokaun-Dori Avenue, about a half-hour train ride away from Tokyo Stadium where Johnny Sexton, on Friday, went through the captain’s run under heav(...)

France’s players attend a training session at the Fuji Hokuroku Park in Fujiyoshida, ahead of the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photgraph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images.

A: About the event: The world’s top 20 rugby squads will duke it out over six weeks at 12 venues in Japan, from the opening match in Tokyo on Septembe(...)

Lafcadio Hearn, shown with his wife, Koizumi Setsu. A writer of mixed Greek and Anglo-Irish blood, Hearn became the chief interpreter of the Japanese way of life to the West

One hundred and fifteen years after his death, Lafcadio Hearn’s Japanese ghost stories have not lost their power to shock and enthral. The reader of (...)

Jack Reynor’s horror short ‘Bainne’. Photograph:  Madeline Mulqueen

Jack Reynor is returning to the Galway Film Fleadh. “Yes, I am bringing down my spare liver in my suitcase,” he says. The Fleadh does have that reput(...)

From left to right, ballerinas Kate Haughton and Lauren Spiers with drummers Nicky Hahart and Michael Fleming help launch Culture Night 2018. Photograph: Peter Cavanagh Photography.

Art, science, music, history and entertainment are on the packed programme for Culture Night 2018, which takes place across the State on September 21s(...)

The pool at Toshimaen Amusement Park in Tokyo, during Japan’s heatwave. Photograph: Ko Sasaki/The New York Times

The dawn air in Tokyo is still and thick, like a heavy wet overcoat. By early morning, the thermometer is at 28 degrees and starting its climb to a su(...)

 The Hodges Figgis shop on Dawson Street, Dublin. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Hodges Figgis closed down for four hours in 1995. It was to allow for the legal transfer of ownership from UK company Pentos to new owners Thorn EMI, (...)

The Nightmare Realm’s extreme walk-through horror event, Haunt Dublin, at the RDS, is not for the faint-hearted. Photograph: Miki Barlok

Picnics and poltergeists The only way to watch a movie at Halloween is through your fingers. Scare yourself silly at an outdoor screening of Spielber(...)

 Samuel Beckett. Photograph: PA

It may not be one of the year’s major literary anniversaries, but I was nonetheless excited recently to learn that 80 years ago, for however brief a p(...)