Day 5: Kabuki (Tokyo)

Thursday 13 April 2017

Continues from: Day 4: Tetsugakudo Park (Tokyo)

Today was relatively uneventful to be honest. At least in terms of sightseeing, but it is the day the Kate was due to arrive!

Actually the only sightseeing I did for the whole day was a trip to Ginza to watch a Kabuki performance, and then a bit of a look around Ginza.

Breakfast this morning included ochazuke which is green tea poured over cooked rice with some Japanese pickles as a toppping. I also had one of the most delicious strawberries I've ever eaten.

Last night I mentioned to my AirBNB host that I had not yet seen a Kabuki performance. Kabuki is a traditional Japanese theatre performance that incorporates drama and dance.

A show is made up of a number of acts and an entire performance takes up the whole day and tickets are quite expensive. However, at the Kabuki hall in Ginza it is possible for a limited amount of people to see just one act. This was my plan.

The same show will generally play for a month and last night my AirBNB host looked up what performance was on in April so she could suggest to me the most interesting act.

She recommended me a dance that would go for around 40 minutes and which started at 10:00am.

In order to view just one session you have to line up before hand, I think the first two hundred people in line are able to get seats, and the ticket was fairly cheap. I think 1000 yen, but perhaps 2,000yen. There are also audio guides available that translate the Japanese.

I lined up about 30 minutes early and was able to get a seat!

The performance was enjoyable, though the Japanese was old fashioned very hard for me to understand. I would highly recommend getting the guide!

After Kabuki I had a look around Ginza and then walked all the way to our hotel- a Toyoko Inn near Ueno. This was around a 4.5km walk and took me about an hour. Along the way I got a cheesy pizza for lunch.

Upon arriving at the hotel it was only a little past the check-in time of 3pm.

Usually Toyoko Inn hotels only let you check-in at 4pm, however if you are a member you can check in at 3pm. Other benefits of membership include a free night every 10 nights, a general membership discount, discounts on certain days of the month, and the ability to book six months in advance instead of the usual three.

There is a nominal fee to join, 1000yen or something but if pays off pretty quickly. Especially if you visit Japan frequently. You can apply at any hotel and they will take your photo and make a card for you during your stay.

Upon checking in I took advantage of the fact that few other people were checked in to use the hotel's coin laundry to do my washing.

Later in the evening I met Kate at the train station exit we had agreed upon and we both went to a nearby Otoya restaurant which is a chain that has traditional Japanese set meals for very reasonable prices.


Something horrible happened at tonight's Otoya. It wasn't the fault of the staff but was my own stupid mistake, and I didn't realise it until the next morning.

I left my Japan rail pass behind!

To make matters worse we had to leave early the next day and Otoya wouldn't open until 11am!

The plan tomorrow was to take an early shinkansen to Toyama in order to enjoy the cherry blossoms along the Matsukawa River. Then, at lunch we were to catch another train to Takayama for the famous Takayama spring festival and an overnight stay at a ryokan.

Steps today: 26,075 - 22.0km

Continue reading: Day 6: Toyama & Takayama Festival


  1. Hi! I really like reading you Japan blogs! Why is the rest of your 2017 trip missing? :(

    1. Sorry!! It's been over 6 months but I finally posted another entry.