Founded in the 17th century, Kabuki is a traditional and highly stylized form of Japanese theatre in which all the roles are played by men.
Although visually very beautiful, performances can often go on for up to four or five hours! At the Kabuki-za Theatre in Ginza however, it’s possible to buy a ticket for just one act. These normally cost less than 1000 yen and can be purchased at the door.
Performances usually start late in the morning and take place on most days. English guides and headphone sets are available.
How to get to the Kabika-za theater
The closest station to the theater is Higashi Ginza Station on the Hibiya Subway Line. Alternatively from the Sukiyabashi Exit of Ginza Station (Ginza, Marunouchi and Hibiya subway lines), walk down Harumi Dori in the direction of Tsukiji and Harumi. You’ll then find the theater on the left.
The Tea Ceremony
Thought to be a spiritual discipline which can be applied to everyday life, the tea ceremony involves the consideration of others, the consideration of the arrangement of objects, and the appreciation of social graces such as timing and patience – you can take part in this in the tea house in Shinjuku Gyoen. (Ceremony: 700 yen. Entrance to the park: 200 yen for adults and 50 yen for children).
Open: 9 am to 4:30 pm Tuesday to Sunday.
Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday was a national holiday).
December 29th – January 3rd
How to get to Shinjuku Gyoen
Take the Marunouchi Subway Line to Shinjuku Gyoen Mae Station or the JR Sobu Local Line to Sendagaya Station.
As Japan’s national pastime (or so it seems) you can hire a Karaoke box for as little as 100 yen an hour! You’ll find venues everywhere, but for non-speakers of Japanese the karaoke houses in Roppongi are probably the most accessible.Pachinko
A pachinko machine is similar to a pin ball machine -one go costs 100 yen. You’ll find pachinko parlours in most places.
For entertainment of an amusing nature, just stand and watch the streams and streams of executive looking “salarymen” letting their hair down on the various virtual machines.
You’ll find a large number of games centres in Shinjuku and Shibuya. There are also branches of Sega Joypolis in the Times Square Shopping Centre (Shinjuku), and Decks Shopping Mall in Odaiba.
In the T-Next Toshiba Showroom, which is on the ninth floor of the Park Tower Building in Shinjuku, you can have up to one hour’s free internet access (open 10:00am to 06:00pm, closed on Wednesdays. Tel: 03 5322 1048). To get there, leave Shinjuku Station via the South Exit and walk down Koshu Kaido Dori Avenue in the direction of Hatsudai. Park Tower is then close to the Washington Hotel.
In Shibuya, Manga Manga (close to HMV) is open twenty four hours a day. One hour costs 400 yen.
Sumo was originally a religious ritual that also involved sacred dances and songs. It dates back to 500 AD. Today only three tournaments a year are held in Tokyo. These take place in January, May and September at the Kokugikan Stadium in Ryogoku (JR Sobu Local Line). If you turn up early (9am or so), it’s possible to buy tickets on the gate, and because Japanese ticket holders don’t usually take their seats until the well-known wrestlers start fighting, in the morning you should be able to get away with occupying the more expensive seats.
Read more on sumo in Tokyo right here.
For the exact dates of tournaments check the Japanese Sumo Association web site.
The Yomiuri Giants play at Tokyo Dome (“the Big Egg”). The nearest stations are Korakuen Station (Marunouchi Subway Line, Nambuko Subway Line) and Suidobashi Station (TOEI Mita Subway Line or JR Sobu Line). For details of matches go to the Tokyo Dome web site.
See our article here on Ice Hockey in Japan.
Catering for all tastes and genres there are well over 80 different clubs in Tokyo.