Asakusa Samba Carnival – sway away!

If you are on vacation or business during the last Saturday of August in Tokyo ,you would be one of the luckiest visitors at the time. The Asakusa Samba Carnival is one of the most happening festivals in Japan that is celebrated on a very high note. This beautiful event is said to be modelled after Rio de Janeiro’s famed “Carnivale” and has been held every August except in 2011 since the day it began in 1981. The carnival has grown around the historic Sensoji Temple in the old section of the city that celebrates a huge number of traditional and cultural festivals each year.

The samba parade that takes place during this time has become the centre of the attraction. Music and laughter will fill the air, while all people would be enjoying the festive atmosphere to the fullest. Among all this happiness, there would be teams of competitors competing to win the first prize. Teams would come up with their own choreography, costumes and choose their favourite music and sway lightly and magically according to its tune. The costumes and props would add a burst of colour to the event and the music will liven up the already enthusiastic and happy surroundings. All the streets of Asakusa would come alive and mesmerise any visitor.

More than 3,500 Samba music lovers will fly to Japan during this season to take part in the event. The sight of more than 500,000 sightseers would be a very common thing each year. There would be different food stalls and vendors who will provide bites while you enjoy this cultural and entertaining festival. Do not forget to click some of the most interesting and wonderful moments of this festival while you keep enjoying every second of it. You might even find yourself swaying to the lively rhythms that would dominate the surroundings.

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Tokyo Nightlife – Partying Till the Break of Dawn

Most parts of this city function throughout the night, and most of the eateries and entertainment options are open to the public until the subway restarts its services in the morning ensuring that the clients are not stranded. So as the colourful neon lights come on, the daytime commercial hub transforms itself to an attractive metropolis which provides all the options for a great evening out.

The entertainment districts tend to be rather crowded and generally packed with millions of locals who are in search of a good time after a day’s work. From jazz and reggae bars, to dance clubs to anything else you can imagine is available here. With various nightspots, each catering to the different price ranges and types of clientele, the city comes alive at different places offering a range of atmospheres. Some of the popular areas are Ginza, Roppongi, and Kabuki-cho in Shinjuku and it is better to scout around before settling for what is ideal for you.

Most of the easily accessible options are the watering holes. Generally of western style these are popular in Roppongi. Nomi-ya, the Japanese style beverage establishments and Yakitori-ya Bars, bars popular for local chicken grill snack are also favourite haunts of visitors as well as locals. Generally most pubs and bars feature live music with packed dance floors for those in search of a lively night out.

Plenty of karaoke bars are scattered throughout Tokyo with most of them charging a flat fee and including unlimited karaoke tracks and a set number of drinks.  In this metropolis, the experience of karaoke is enhanced by theatrics with some bars even providing special effects including lighting. 

Visitors to this city are afforded a range of lodging options to suit all budgets and requirements. Most prefer a Tokyo apartment as it affords a sense of freedom compared to other forms of accommodation. Generally all apartment types available feature modern amenities and facilities. For those seeking a serviced residence in Tokyo, a central location and easy access to Roppongi subway station and Roppongi entertainment district the best option would be the Somerset Roppongi Tokyo.

Spinning and twirling, let the Golden Dragon Dance mesmerise you

On the northeast side of Tokyo lies a small sea side village known as Asakusa. This village was established in the 7th century. The story goes that two fishermen out at sea one day found not fish but a small golden statue in their fishing nets. This Buddhist statue was that of the deity Kannon. Kannon was revered as a deity of compassion.

On this auspicious day which was the 18th of March 628, a Golden Dragon appeared above the village in the sky to mark the finding of this statue.

Dragons are popular among Asian nations, and unlike their Western counterparts are usually serpentine in appearance, wingless, and comparatively benevolent. Of these the golden ones are a rare breed and are not seen easily as they are invisible.

The appearance of this Golden Dragon in the village of Asakusa, together with the finding of the golden statue catapulted this village to fame. The enshrined statue in the Sensoji Temple grew in importance and popularity whilst becoming a famous pilgrim’s spot.

Thereafter every year, a special Golden Dragon Dance is held to commemorate the visitation of the original dragon nearly 1300 years ago. This dance dragon weighs only 75 kilos and is around 15 meters in length, whereas its live counterpart was thought to be over 30 meters long.

The dragon dances thrice before it disappears from public view until the next year. This dragon is held up on poles and is manoeuvred by 8 men. Whilst the dragon dances, ladies attired as geishas use traditional instruments to play music.

Visitors to Tokyo during this period should not pass up the opportunity to be a part of this interesting Golden Dragon Dance Festival, as it is truly a memorable experience. If the visitor is looking for a Tokyo serviced apartment from which to base themselves, then the Citadines Tokyo Shinjuku features some of the finest service apartments Tokyo has to offer.

Kabukiza Theatre: The home of song and dance

Kabuki is a highly stylized Japanese form of theatre that originates from the red light district of Edo and began in 1603 as performing a new style of dance and drama on the riverbeds of Kyoto.”Kabuki” means “song and dance” and this form of theatre attracted a diverse mix of social classes unlike the older forms of Japanese arts that entertained the high class Japanese society.

Kabuki play usually tackle social and political issues such as moral conflicts, historic events and love relationships where the actors of these plays used an ancient form of Japanese speak in rather dull tones and are spiced up with the use of ancient Japanese music. The speciality of this art is that it is staged on a rotating platform equipped with trapdoors that are used as entry and exit points by the actor and the footbridge that brings the actors almost a few feet away from the audience. Initially actors of both genders were allowed to act in Kabuki plays although this changed as time went on. Women were forbidden from acting in Kabuki plays, and this is in place even today.

The Kabukiza theatre is located in the area of Ginza. Inside the theatre the scene resembles an enormous family get-together. The theatre holds around 2,500 spectators. Given that an entire play continues for several hours visitors often select certain acts they would like to see as it is not considered rude to leave in between acts. This provides quite a bustling business to surrounding tea houses and restaurants. Tickets for the plays can be pre-ordered by phone or be purchased at the theatre.

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