Entertainment

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Entertainment

Post by mercuryfan on Tue 15 Oct 2013, 02:55

Few cities have as much to offer as Tokyo does in the performing arts.
It has Japan's own great stage traditions: Kabuki, No, Bunraku puppet
drama, music, and dance. An astonishing variety of music, classical
and popular, can be found here in large and small venues. Tokyo also
has modern theater -- in somewhat limited choices, to be sure,
unless you can follow dialogue in Japanese, but Western repertory
companies can always find receptive audiences here for plays in
English.

Japan has yet to develop any real strength of its own in ballet and has
only just begun to devote serious resources to opera, but for that
reason touring companies like the Metropolitan, the Bolshoi, Sadler's
Wells, and the Bayerische Staatsoper find Tokyo a very compelling
venue -- as well they might, when even seats at •30,000 or more sell
out far in advance.

Film presents a much broader range of possibilities than it did in the
past. Visitors can find all the latest horror and Oscar flicks, but there is
also more sophisticated fare as well.

There are five major districts in Tokyo that have an extensive nightlife
and have places that make foreigners welcome. The _kinds_ of
entertainment will not vary much from one to another; the tone, style,
and prices will.

Akasaka nightlife concentrates mainly on two streets, Ta-machi-dori
and Hitotsugi-dori, and the small alleys connecting them. The area
has several cabarets and nightclubs, and a wide range of wine bars,
coffee shops, late-night restaurants, pubs, and "snacks" -- counter
bars that will serve (and charge you for) small portions of food with
your drinks, whether you order them or not.

Ginza is probably the city's most well-known entertainment district,
and one of the most -- if not _the_ most -- expensive in the world. It does
have affordable restaurants and pubs, but its reputation rests on the
exclusive hostess clubs where only the highest of high rollers on
corporate expense accounts can take their clients.

Roppongi draws a largely foreign crowd and is the part of Tokyo
where Westerners are most likely to feel at home, though the area's
reputation as a haunt of the rich and beautiful has taken a battering
recently as petty crime and general unpleasantness dog Roppongi's
once-flourishing nightlife. It's best for barhopping.

Shibuya, less expensive than Roppongi and not as raunchy as
Shinjuku, attracts mainly students and young professionals to its
many _nomiya_ (inexpensive bars). There's something a bit provincial
about it, in that respect, and there are few places where you can count
on communicating in English.

Shinjuku's Kabuki-cho is the city's wildest nightlife venue. The
options range from the marginally respectable down to the merely
sleazy. Bars (straight, gay, cross-dress, S&M), nightclubs, cabarets,
discos, hole-in-the-wall pubs, love-by-the-hour hotels: Kabuki-cho
has it all. If you're a woman unescorted, you probably want to stay out
of Kabuki-cho after 9 PM.
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