Day 12: The Luxurious Ginza District

Day 12: The Luxurious Ginza District

Tokyo, Ginza & a Kabuki Show.


By Adam May 10, 2014

If you could make the Mall at Millenia (Orlando Mall famous for its high end brands) into a district, you’d get Ginza. Walking down the street you see all the big name stores you’d image Apple plus every purse/bag/watch manufacturer. Aside from walking through the Apple store and browsing a floor of a mall in the area, we weren’t too interested in the area. The rain might’ve dampened our spirits, but at least it drove us to the south end of Ginza for our next stop – a kabuki show.

A Traditional Kabuki Show – 歌舞伎

I’ve seen a number of live performances, but the format of Kabuki was new to me. First off, what is Kabuki? It’s classical Japanese drama, performed entirely by men. An entire Kabuki show typically includes 3 acts and takes upwards of 3 hours (including breaks). If you’re only interested in a single act, you can acquire a single act ticket, which allows you an unspecified seat at a specific show. Full tickets to a show might start at $40, while single act tickets are closer to $12 a person.

When you get a single act ticket, you’ll receive a ticket number. Just before the showing, you’ll line up by your ticket number (think Southwest Air) then be let into a small balcony in the theater for people to grab the best seats they can.

The show we ended up seeing focused around political intrigue and would be too difficult to explain without a few paragraphs. What hit me most about it was the very slow pace of the storytelling. At 90 minutes it was a long show for containing only 3 separate scenes. The story and acting kept us interested, but by the end I was straining to stay focused.

For $5 you can buy an audio commentary which was well worth it. It isn’t a translation of what is being said, but more a way to follow along the high level points and explain the motivations of the individual characters.

Seats at the show.

Unlike most other days, we decided to take it easy on the photography front. We mostly enjoyed going into shops and taking breaks with coffee.

We went back to our hotel early in order to wake up early to make it to the Tsukiji Fish Market early in the day.

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