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The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Next month, Tokyo International Players (TIP) will present its spring 2014 production, The Mystery of Edward DroodDrood is based on the novel by Charles Dickens with music, book and lyrics by Rupert Holmes.   It is set in the style of a Victorian music hall at Christmas time, The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a meta-theatrical event that will have the audience participating in the show as the actors stage a play-within-a-play.  It sounds like it will be a huge amount of fun. Read more

Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery

“Having walked through times
when there was no such great war,
My thoughts go out to
the people who had lived through
those days of cruel hardship”

The poem above was written by the current Emperor and written in the hand of Princess Hitachi to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the war’s end in September, 2005.  It is one of two found in the courtyard of the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery just in front of the ossuaries and coffin, the other was written by the Showa Emperor (usually known outside Japan as Hirohito).  I think it is a very fitting tribute to the 380, 000 people who lie there.  Chidorigafuchi is a tiny, but impressive place. Read more

A walk along Inui-dori

Today I visited the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo, for my chance to see the cherry blossoms that line Inui-dori (or Inui street).  With the Emperor’s 80th birthday, it was decided that the famous street would be  opened to the public, in celebration.  So it was something myself and many Tokyoites had never seen.  With cloudless skies and warm weather, excitement was high. Read more

Shinjuku Gyoen Hanami 2014


Shinjuku Gyoen would have to be one of the best places for hanami in the inner city area of Tokyo.  The trees are brilliant, the atmosphere is fantastic and setting of the area is awesome (I love being able to see the skyscrapers of Shinjuku rise above the trees.  Plus, it is in Shinjuku which puts in what could arguably said to be the center of the city.  So it literally has everything there that you could want or need.  It has always been amongst my favourite places in Tokyo for any occasion and this visit was no different.  Shinjuku Gyoen is a great place, has always been a great place, and I hope it will always remain a great place for hanami. Read more

Chidorigafuchi park – 2014

This was the first weekend after the Meteorological Agency announced this year’s cherry blossom season had begun in Tokyo.   So yesterday I headed over to Chidorigafuchi park, just across the moat from the Imperial Palace to get an early look.  I’ve heard that the trees are almost in full bloom in Kyoto, but it looks like it’ll be a few more days yet here in Tokyo. Read more

Changes – a BIG night out coming up in Tokyo

For those of you that love live underground music, there is a very special event, “Changes”,  hosted by John Meyer is coming up on April 5 and 6, in Asagaya.  Some of Tokyo’s hottest underground artists will be there to entertain you and leave you wanting some more. Anyone who knows the local Tokyo band scene will be familiar with names like the Mootekkis, D.O.G.S., Grand Delinquents and a whole lot more.  Here are the details: Read more

The Whiskey by the Mootekkis

Ever since I’ve been in Japan, I’ve only listened to J-pop.  I mean it’s fairly rare me for to listen to music sung in any other language than Japanese.  But recently I found these guys, the Mootekkis, on YouTube and thought they were really good.  They are a five piece band with one guy from Australia, another from the States and the rest being Japanese.  Well, I shouldn’t say, “found them”, as I’ve known about them for some time.  I used to work with their guitarist, Jude for a couple of years but had never listened to their music at all.  So finally after rediscovering them, I went through their playlist and ended up loving their music which has been described as a mix of classic punk, hard rock and retro garage rock.   Read more

Anime Japan 2014

This year I really thought Anime Japan 2014, formerly known as, “Tokyo International Animation Fair”, was much better than previous years.  The organisers said they were going to make it bigger and better, targeting the number spot 1 in the world for this type of event and I believe they did it.  I wasn’t able to attend it on the Saturday, but what I saw on the Sunday was great, absolutely fantastic.  Read more

Koishikawa Korakuen

Koishikawa Korakuen is potentially one of the best gardens in Tokyo.  It has everything you could want.  There is history, nature, beauty and it is in a pretty good location.  But it has a couple of small minor niggling problems. What are they?  Read on and find out.

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Design Festa vol. 39 – Asia’s biggest art festival in 2014

Design Festa vol. 39 is one of Tokyo’s important cultural and art events is coming up very quickly!  Created by the Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku, it is the biggest Art Festival in Asia.  The event is a massive celebration of the arts at which anyone regardless of age, nationality, talents or language can exhibit.  There will be so much to do and experience – performances, international cuisine and art – all done with diversity and passion! Read more