Takrazuka Grand Hotel Program
Thanks to burning the candle at both ends, plus a heavy dose of prednisone-induced insomnia, I’ve been on my trip to Japan for three days now and a bit behind on the blogging. Blogging while sleepy is a bit like blogging while driving…you can do it but should you do it?…
Well, I’m just going to plunge in, if my heavy eyelids close in the middle, hopefully my forehead will hit the “publish” key as I hit the pillows.
My first day in Tokyo was to be a get-over-jetlag day. Then my daughter asked me to get her some Takarazuka DVDs for her thesis research, and then I decided since I was going to the Takarazuka Theater in Tokyo, well why wouldn’t I want to see a show? Only problem was that the show, Grand Hotel, was completely sold out. Of course, that is a problem only if you mind a little cultural adventure. I don’t, and so I consulted with my daughter to see if there was any way I could still see the show. There was, she said…if I didn’t mind trying to buy scalped ticket with my non-existant Japanese language skills.
For those not familiar, The Takarazuka Revue is a Japanese all-female musical theater troupe. Women play all roles in lavish, Broadway-style productions of Western-style musicals. Started in 1914, Takarazuka is a sort-of counter to the all-male Kabuki theater. There is generally a play, an intermission, and then a Vegas-style musical review.
Back to my Takarazuka scalping and theater experience. Getting to the Takarazuka theater was quite easy from my hotel…only 2 stops on the subway. I got to the theater and thought I’d take a lark and ask if there were any tickets at Continue reading
Good morning from Tokyo! I have had the most pleasant (if jet-lagged) first night and morning possible in Tokyo.
Mobile WiFi HotSpot Rental, Narita
I arrived last night just a smidge late due to the snow and ice in Denver. I think I got through passport control, baggage claim and customs in a record 15 minutes flat! Waiting to greet me when I got off the plane was Mr. Alan Scott Pate himself. Alan is the foremost American expert on Japanese dolls, and he is the creator and leader of our small-group tour. Big kudos to Alan and his team at HE Travel for meeting every single one of tour participants at the airports as we have arrived. In case you missed it (or I forgot to mention?) I am in Japan with a group that will be focusing on Japanese dolls…it is possible that some of my travel readers don’t know that I’ve been writing about and photographing dolls for many years, and hence this tour.
The most amazing thing about Alan greeting me at the airport (besides how wonderful it is to see a familiar face upon arrival far away from home) was that Alan helped me rent a mobile wi-fi hotspot for my trip. These little wonders are about 1/2 the size of my iPhone 6S+, and will keep me wi-fi connected for my entire trip; I believe the cost was just under $100 for the 12 days. For all the times I’ve been traveling to Japan, I can’t believe I didn’t know about this! I can now blog and social media from anywhere.
Sunrise view from my room, Capitol Hotel Tokyu
It was also wonderful to have Alan take me to the handy airport shuttle which goes directly to my hotel (just 1 other stop before). If you’ve ever taken an shuttle from Narita, there are just so many of them and getting on the right one can confuse the jet-lagged mind. The shuttle was very reasonably priced; under $30 US.
I arrived at the Capitol Hotel Tokyu (in the Akasaka area of Tokyo) just before 8pm. I opened the door and the view of Tokyo from my room took my breath away. Even as tired as I was, I was taking photos almost immediately. I was too tired to go out to dinner, so I had a quick room-service curry and was in bed by 10pm. Continue reading