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.

Rabbit Cafe In Tokyo

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So my daughter was reading a e – book from an American writer who married a Japanese that I had downloaded on my ipad.  And she saw that there are several rabbit cafe in Japan and she said she had to visits these rabbit cafes .    So I guess , we might just get a trip to Japan soon?

As you all know , in Japan, the apartments are pretty small and in order to have a pet, you have to pay a lot of extra rent and deposits , that are pretty much not refundable. So for those who cannot raise a pet , they go to these pet cafes around Tokyo and different parts of Japan.  And as far as I am concern there are several rabbit cafes and lot of cat cafes.

 Open from noon till about 7pm  – 9pm , Japanese can visit for an hour or more if they so choose to.  As far as I know , you don’t have to pay to pet the pets but you have to order their food as well as feed the pets with food provided by them but you have to pay for them.

While some people might thing that there are more female pet lovers , you will be surprised to know that a lot of males loved to go to these pet cafes too.  Not only the young loves these pet cafes from what I’ve read thus far but the older people also loved to frequent this pet cafes.  Average time spent with the pets are like 30 minutes and some places has a cover charge of 1100 Yen to 1300 Yen on the weekends.

And if you want to take pictures with the pets , you will have to pay like 500 extra Yen.  But drinks are absolutely free from coffee , tea and pop as well.

The Oiran Experience

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Alot of people are mistaken when they see an Oiran and a geisha, they think that they are the same but nope , they are not.  The geisha is dressed up more simply than the Oiran but both the Oiran and the geisha can do the singing, acting and dancing but it is said that the Oiran does it better?

Oirans are freakishly expensive, I learned from a Japanese friend of mine who entertains a lot of their foreign clients.  To have the company of an Oiran , it would cost an entire years salary of a normal worker in Japan.  And yes, that’s a lot of money !  The Oiran is pretty special, she is not your normal prostitute because she can refuse your business, you need to be introduced first and if they are attracted to you , then you can start having a relationship with her.

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People from all over the world comes for the once a year procession of the Oiran and it’s pretty elaborate.  At the end of the procession, there is a stage, where the Oiran shows how the customers are served and what one can expect from the Oiran.

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The Bunsui Sakura Matsuri Oiran D?ch? is a free event held in Tsubame, Niigata. D?ch? is a shortened form of oiran-dochu, also the name for the walk the top courtesans made around the quarter or the parade they made to escort their guests. This parade features three oiran in full regalia — Shinano, Sakura, and Bunsui — among the cherry blossoms in April with approximately 70 accompanying servants. Each oiran in 15-cm tall geta parades in the distinctive gait, giving the procession an alternate name, the Dream Parade of Echigo (Echigo no yume-dochu). The event is extremely popular across the country, with many people in Japan applying for the three oiran and servant roles.

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.

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.

Tokyo Ramen Show 2014

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Sometime, in April every year, Tokyo has a big Ramen show, I wonder if they had it this year because I haven’t hear anyone talking about it.  I loved the Ramen show and would attend it if I could.  You get to try different kind of ramens from the best ramen chefs around Tokyo.  So if you get a chance to be in Tokyo at that time, brave yourself and go try it out.  But just so you know there are thousands of ppl going there.

Street Musicians

Street musicians or performers are not uncommon in Japan in fact, you would be surprised that there are so many of them in Shinjuku especially given that the Japanese culture is known for being conservative.   I’ve seen many during my many visits to Japan for work and vacation and they really do impressed me because these performers take their music really seriously.  They do have the best instruments as you can see here a  yamaha mox8 at musicians friend  has a similar one like the one above.

So do they get money for performing ?  I’ve been told that these Japanese Street musicians and performers are not into money although you do see some tourist putting money into their music boxes.  But I was told that these performers are just happy to be able to show off their talent and some probably hope to be discovered as the next best performer or to go internationally.  I know for sure that it takes a lot of courage to perform in the streets, I wouldn’t be able to do it myself.

Toho Cinemas

So you are in Japan and you want to watch your favorite show – where do you go?  of course the Toho Cinemas – but wait a minute – are they in Japanese or in English ?  no worries – even if they are in Japanese – they have English subs – but movies in Japan are very expensive – much more than in USA or Canada – a movie for 2 can cost you up to $24 a person – excluding all the goodies you need for your movie night.  But it’s an experience you want to go try right – after all, you are not in japan often.

Sumo Show

I found pictures that was taken many years ago – when I was still living in Japan for 6 months while working for a hotel chain in Asia.  i remembered vividly – how excited i was when my co-workers told me that got me tickets to see a real sumo wrestling show in the sumo stadium called the Kokugikan.  I had never seen a sumo wrestling show before – so I wanted to take lots of pictures and experienced it for myself.

It was a full house night that night and the banners on top of the stage – was the Japanese sumo wrestling association thanking the patrons for filling up the seats.  I saw many tourists and foreigners like myself – and my co-workers were very kind to explain what was going on during the whole event.

I wished we had better seats but for $50 – you can’t really asked for a lot.  The capacity for the stadium was said to be 10,000 – and it sure looked like there were that many people there.  Taking the subway to the stadium is not difficult at all – check with your concierge – and I was told not to book a tour – it’s a waste of money.  Don’t forget to visit the Sumo Museum while you are there – entry is free – but so small – not really worth going – but only my personal opinion.  But I did have fun – even though I didn’t really understand all those huge men trying to throw each other down.

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