April 15, 2013

Day 12 ~ Kabukiza

Hi there^^
Because of the much drinking last night, Kiki and I had to sleep out for a long time. So we went for breakfast at around 1 pm XD We took our time but Kiki still felt bad because of her headache so she wanted to retire. 
But I felt quite good and I also had a ticket for the Kabuki performance at 18:10 pm at the Kabukiza theatre in Ginza, so I liked to visit the area before. I left Kiki alone at our hotel and went to Higashi-ginza by subway. From there leads a direct connection to the basement of the theatre. The basement was quite modern looking. There were some souvenor shops, combinis and a Tully's Coffee. It was very crowded at the shops. They sell only things with Kabuki print on it, even food like dorayaki cost more than usual just because of the Kabuki print on it^^; So I bought nothing because that wasn't so important for me. 

basement of the theatre
I ordered the ticket for the performance online per creditcard but I had to fetch the real ticket there from a special vendor. It was really cool, I put my credit card in the vendor and just a few seconds later the theatre ticket came out. It was so fast that I thought at first the machine didn't except my credit card XD

the special vendor machine
my ticket^^
I still had some time left till the first performance would start so I checked the area. The theatre is integrated in a skyscaper - the Kabukiza Tower. On the roof of the theatre is a little garden and gallery. You get there by elevator, so I went on top and was quite surprised of the connection between old and modern age.

the little garden

passageway down the roof
one exhibit of the gallery
The gallery shows some exhibits of replicas from the theatre how it has looked like ages ago. It is really a wonderful building.

Outside again I searched for a place to have diner. At the next crossing there was a little shop which sold Soba and Tonkatsu. Special offer was a Katsudon menu (porc schnitzel with omelette in rice) so the decision was easy *_*
But first I had to buy a food stamp for Katsudon, take it to the counter and then I got my meal. An interesting way to order a meal XD But it was really delicious! (and cheap: I got the Katsudon plus Misosoup for 450 円)

the food shop
my dish
Strengthened I just walked around the theatre. I found a nice shop with jewelry and other glitter stuff so I entered it. The owner recognized my Duesseldorf bag and asked if I'm from Germany. I was really surprised^^; But he has travelled a lot and also knows Duesseldorf. The talk was nice but nevertheless I hadn't bought anything there.

The shop was in the basement
For the break during the performance I also bought something at the family mart: chicken tonkatsu curry sandwich and an anpan (filled with anko).

sandwich & anpan
Half an our before the performance would start, the entrance opened for the people. At every entrance (three) stood four people checking the tickets so you could quickly enter the theatre. They sold books with contents of the performance but only in Japanese. 
Before I searched for my seat I lend me an Earphone guide in English so I would understand the play. It cost 700 円 + 1.000 円 pawn. Then I had to go to the 3rd floor to take my seat.

earphone counter
Everywhere were some employées of the theatre to help the people found their seats or something. That is service!
I passed the souvenir shops and entered the stage room. It was impressive and really huge. The stage was wide and even a walk runs into the spectators.

stage before the 1st play started
stage before the 2nd play
view to the right from my seat
The evening performance consisted of two plays running around one and half an hour each. I watched the plays:

Omi Genji Senjin Yakata - Moritsuna Jinya [Moritsuna's Battle Camp]
Kanjincho [The Subscription List]

The first play was about two made enemy brothers and their family honour. It was really tragic but also very unpredictable. The second play was the story about Yoshitsune and his right hand man Benkei who even hit his master so that he won't be recognized as a lord. Yoshitsune and his man were on the run and had to pass a border but Yoshitsune dared to be discovered so Benkei took some unusual actions. It was more a kind of comedy in the end.
Both play were good though sometimes the actors moved really slow and the story seemed to stuck. The language is also hardly understandable. Even Japanese had lend earphones to understand the performances^^; But it was funny how they spoke old Japanese. The costumes, mask make-up and the scenery were also really great! So it was nice to watch.
Unfortunately it wasn't allowed to take pictures during the performance but that wasn't surprising. But I must say that two plays after another are hard to watch though there was a 30 min break between them. One performance for half the price would have been okay, too, for me.
And before I left I could take some pictures of the hall.

stage from the basement view
view to the higher gods (where I sat)

people leaving the theatre
In the end I returned home satisfied^^
But I can't say if I will watch a Kabuki play again (like I said one play would be enough). But it was a great experience.

The next day will be Kiki's birthday, I hope my plan for her will work and that she will have a nice day^.^ 

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