This trip we went and did a lot of Japanese cultural things that we could not get the same experience outside Japan. We went to a kabuki show at the most famous theatre in Tokyo, Kabukiza. I'm going to be honest, I don't know which show we saw. You have to get tickets online and it doesn't say what show it is.We did not care what show it was. We wanted to experience kabuki, and we did.
It was unlike any performance I have ever seen. Kabuki means the art of singing and dancing. It was so interesting. Very much reminded both Ellen and I of our childhood watching Mukashi Banashi (a Japanese cartoon about traditional Japanese folk tales). It was loud, with the banging of the blocks. The makeup was pretty amazing. Brought back a lot of childhood memories.
|Eating kabuki while watching kabuki. This is our favorite senbei, a Japanese rice cracker. The kanji for it means kabuki. We thought it appropriate to take some with us to snack on.|
|Coco Ichibanya, a Japanese curry chain we saw every where. Cosette is not a fan of Japanese curry, but maybe now she will be since there is a whole chain named after her.|
The most highly anticipated activity of the trip was going to the Studio Ghibli Museum. We have been Studio Ghibli fans from a young age. Our Japanese friends brought us a VHS of Totoro one year when we were little (my parents still have it), and we all fell in love with the show. Ellen is totally Mae, and the dad is the anime caricature of our Dad. There is one part in the show where Mae runs off and they can't find her. I cry at that part every time now when I watch it with my kids, because they love Totoro too (Cosette and Henry were Totoros for Halloween one year, post here). I wish they had been with us because they would have died and gone to heaven. Catbus, Totoro, and Gigi! It is any studio Ghibli fan's heaven.
Miyazaki melds the Japanese and European culture together and creates the most beautiful, thoughtful films. The museum was built just like a house from his films. I seriously want my house to be built like it, if we ever have a house.
You have to buy tickets online way in advance. We did not realize you had to buy them in advance, but luckily found tickets on Japan Wonder Travel for not much more than the museum charges. We got a really good deal on our sumo tickets on that site as well. So I highly recommend checking out their deals if you ever go to Tokyo.
|My neighbor Totoro.|
|Waiting to get in to the Museum and beyond excited.|
|Sunsetting on Laputa.|
|Posing with the giant robots from Laputa on the roof top of the Museum.|
I did not want to leave. There was an adult size catbus that we got to sit in, AND you sink into the seats just like Mae and Satsuki do in the film! No pictures are allowed inside the Museum, which is a shame. It was kind of like being at Disneyland, except Miyazaki themed. There was a lot about the animation and how the films are made. We loved it!
|And on the way home that night we saw another childhood cartoon favorite, Anpanman! And Ellen and I should own up and say we would still watch Anpanman today if we could get a hold of it. |
I found a link to a Mukashi Banashi show right here, if you want to check it out. A lot of my youtube searches are for old Japanese cartoons that we would watch. This is the exact Mukashi Bunashi, I only wish it had the theme song with the dragon.