Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tuesday the 23rd Kabuki-za, The Ginza, Takarazuka Theater, Imperial Palace, Masakado's Mound, Nihonbashi

This day we headed to the Ginza, forget the fancy upscale shops, I wanted to hit the gift shops at the Kabuki-za and Takarazuka theaters. The Kabuki-za theater shop did not open until after 11 and was more than worth the wait. I expected to spend some serious money here on DVD discs of kabuki as they are much cheaper here than the imported ones in San Francisco. Steven and Cindy both found several different little items as gifts, including very attractive small hand carved fox key rings.

At the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater Steven and I were vastly outnumbered by women. This very large theater, with several all female acting troupes, is very popular with women. We took in the gift shop and picked up a few items as gifts and for ourselves.

Then on through Hibiya park, we wandered slightly off track as we headed toward Masakado’s Mound. Steven wanted to look at the Diet building which he had seen in 1973, so we did that from a distance and then headed into the gardens near the Imperial Palace. Do I need to say Cindy and Steven took pictures? The remains of the fortifications of the Shogun's castle were impressive. I had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery as Cindy and Steven took photos, traveling with avid photographers means a slow pace. After an hour or two we made it to the office building area where we saw Masakado’s Mound. The mound itself was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. What is there today is a memorial stone. This is not some idle monument, while were were there a young man in work denims came with two bags of offerings, leaving a can of beer, two bags of rice and some gold leaf he offered his prayers while we kept a respectful distance. At the same time a man in a suit also prayed.

From there we went to the famous Nihombashi bridge with it's early 20th century sculptures. It was a bit dark but some good photos were taken.

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