Akio Wannabe-San

Party Time

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Celebrating my kid’s sweet 18, we decided to have the birthday and dance at our home  I don’t think it is difficult as we have some  sound activated lights  that we can use for the dance floor.   So besides food, drinks and invitations and some good music on a turntable , I think we are pretty much ready to get the party rolling and getting the mood set right.

Musicians In Japan

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Musicians are a plenty in Japan , in fact , they make it a huge affair to display their talent on the streets of Tokyo with no reservations.  And some of them lug all their instruments with them and that must be hard work.  Some I notice uses the  cougar tube  an amp combo that is small but gives out good sound and is good for recording , now that is really smart.

 One has to wonder if they are doing this full time or is it for interest alone?  I do see some selling their CDs and some other things and of course some people do throw money into a box that is provided by the musicians. But these street performers are very serious with what they are doing and one has got to respect them for it.

Street Performance In Japan

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Street performances in Japan is a common sight and I’ve written a lot about it in my many years that I’ve been in Japan.  The talented Japanese guys and girls spare not change when it comes to buying their musical instruments and costume for their performances.  My nephew who lives in Japan had asked me to bring a  pro bass box  for him this summer when I am on vacation in Japan and although my sister isn’t so keen in him performing on the street, I feel that it’s a really cool thing to do and experience.   I say go for it just as long as he isn’t doing drugs or drinking alcohol or fighting on the streets.

Portable Synthesizer For Musicians

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I don’t know much about gadgets like the above but the nephew in Japan does and he wants me to bring him a  korg kaossilator  when I visit him this summer.   Apparently, he couldn’t find it at a reasonable price where he is , so he wants me to order it online and bring it with me when I visit his family.  I guess this is a synthesizer that is quite popular with young and old musicians as it produces different sounds for the musician/s.  I know exactly where to buy it online for him, so it’s really a pretty easy gift to bring for him during my visit.  He is going to love me for it.

Maid Cafes In Japan

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Maid cafes are quite the thing to do when you visit Japan, but it is not only for the tourists, they are for the locals as well.  Most people who comes to the Maid cafes in Japan only do it for the experience but some are into cos-play and others well, just wants to look at the pretty and young girls there.

Maid cafes are themed cafes obviously and there are so many sprouting in every corner in Japan especially bigger cities like Tokyo.  You are usually not allowed to film inside the cafes or take photos but there are some who would let you take a picture of them for a few hundred yens.

 There are of course different maid cafes around Japan , and all of them do have food involved as well as drinks.  They also dance for you and before you can partake your food, you need to do some singing or dancing or both from what I know.  I don’t know if they are popular for the older folks but for the younger folks ,  both men and women , they seems to have been quite taken by all the cos-play and the cutesyness of the dress up and cos- play.

Oh btw, maid cafes are not hostess hereby they drink with you and you can neither touch them.  This isn’t a prostitution ring , no naughty business here, so cheeky old men out there, you can do away with the idea, if you think it is this kinda establishment.

Now the tricky part of one’s experience with the maid cafes are that there is a table charge plus whatever you order during your 1 hr stay at the cafe.  If you intend to stay longer, you will be charge another table charge , so the turnover of the tables are fairly quick.  You cannot hang around the cafes and not pay for the table charge.

Japanese Drumming In Japan

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Drumming in Japan is quite tradition , unlike our drumming the West with a  gretsch new classic  .  Although , I do enjoy the traditional drumming in Japan, I much prefer the classic drumming we have in the West.   Both are art form but the traditional Japanese drumming seems a lot more intense.

I’ve seen some Taiko drumming in Sado Island sometime last year and tourists flocked to this quiet island because of this cultural event held yearly.  There is no lyrics to the drumming but it was definitely very enjoyable but if I had a choice I still prefer our Western drumming.

Great Gift For Host Family

 Every year, we send exchange students to Asia so that they can experience what it is like to study in a different country and environment and Japan is one of those that is highly requested.  Students stay with a host family and it is customary to bring the host family a gift.  In Japan, they have just about everything and to any Japanese you asked , they will tell you that quality is more important than quantity.  I usually suggest that they get the host family some Acrylic Dinnerware and  Home and Patio Décor Center has Merritt melamine  that any Japanese family will and can appreciate.

 Of course, you can choose from various price ranges and it doesn’t even need to be a very expensive set.  There are some sets that are as little as $32.99 and some as expensive as $299 but you can be sure that the quality of these gifts are equally exquisite and well made.  And like I’ve mentioned and cannot stress enough, any Japanese would love quality over quantity, so be sure to buy something useful and not because it’s expensive.

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And since summer is just round the corner, I suggest this flip flop wine glass outdoor set for any host family or friends that you are visiting.  I’m pretty sure not only the Japanese will love it , anyone would love to have it.

Rakuzan Teashop

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This is “Rakuzan” Teashop, located in Kagurazaka, one of my favorite areas in Tokyo. And although it is a teashop, they are first and most famous for their great selection of beautiful traditional Japanese handmade teapots of all sizes and designs.

It’s not a very big shop, but I can easily spend 45 minutes in there, looking at all their different teapots, tasting the special teas of the week, etc. A great little shop I recommend visiting if you happen to be in Tokyo. – Easy access to Kagurazaka by JR Sobu Line to Iidabashi Station, or by Tokyo Metro’s Tozai Line, Kagurazaka Station.

Street Performers In Japan

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It takes a very special kind of people to go on the street and perform for no returns or monetary gain.  But it looks like they are not going to be a dying breed anytime soon in Japan.  At the Harujuku bridge on the weekends, you can see so many of these street performers giving their best to their willing customers.  You can see some with  new Korg keyboard  and other instruments that they lugged a long with them for their performances and some even dressed up for their gig.  They take what they do very seriously and definitely admirable.

I know I could never do that myself , therefore, whenever I am in Japan, and see these street performers, I leave some money for them.  Unlike in USA, where you need to pay the performers money to have a picture taken with them, in Japan, they are so happy when you want a picture with them.  They are not doing it to make money mostly, they just want to do it because of their passion.

Manga Cafes

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Manga cafes in Japan takes you to a whole new level of enjoying your anime.  There are many Manga cafes in Japan and all has great amenities to offer.  From hourly to half a day and even over nite booking.

One can book their private booth and enjoy their free complimentary internet or just have a quiet rest in the oh so comfortable leather seating that you can reclined and stretch out fully.  Of course, there are food that you can order and drinks as well.

There are 1000s of manga for  you to enjoy and you can pick anyone that you like.   Manboo is one of the biggest Manga cafe chain in Japan and they are open 24/7 from what i understand.  There is the 30 mins rate at about 100 Yen and 3 hrs rate at 980 Yen or an over night rate of 1290 Yen approximately. But weekends are a little bit more expensive.  In order to use the internet, you need to have a valid ID as well, but one can always apply for a Manboo card and you never have to worry about using the internet for free.

 The inside and the outside of a Manga cafe is totally different , while the reception area looks like a hotel , the booth area is dark and have neon lights all over.  The booth consist of its own computer, a faux leather chair and internet access of course.  Oh I also forgot that you have your very own tv in the booth as well.  Some Manga cafe have a nail salon that offers really cheap manicure as well , so there are lots to do in Japan besides shopping , eating and karaoke.

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