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KISS Shrine Lanterns

9 Jan

Udo Music Promoters, the Japanese company in charge of organizing and promoting the upcoming KISS Japan Tour 2015 (My post about it) has put up many billboards and flyers around Japan about the KISS concerts, they’ve also had KISS on Japanese TV programs.
Those are normal for concert promotion.

But sometimes Udo Music will do something unique and unusual to promote a band.
For example, before the 2013 KISS Japan Tour, there were “KISS Spicy Niku-man” dumplings available at convenience stores here. (They were delicious!)

Well, often when shrines in Japan have a festival, there will be rows of 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) with the names of companies, organizations and individuals who made monetary contributions to the shrine.

Rows and rows of 提灯 with contributors’ names printed on them at the “Mitama Festival” at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

They’re a very common sight in Japan.

But what is unusual is the Udo Music has arranged to have two KISS 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) at a festival at the famous 「今宮戎神社」 (“Ima-Miya-Ebisu Shrine”) in Osaka, Japan!

One says “Gene Simmons” and the other says “Paul Stanley“.

They say 「ジーン・シモンズ」 (“Gene Simmons” (l)) and 「ポール・スタンレー」 (“Paul Stanley” (r)).

I don’t know if Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley made contributions to the shrine, or if Udo Music made the contribution in their names…but either way, these lanterns are cool!
I want them!
I wish they were at a shrine in Tokyo rather than on the other side of the country in Osaka!

Hey, Ima-Miya-Ebisu Shrine, after the festival, give me those lanterns, please!

New Year Firefighter Drill & Review

5 Jan

Every year on January 6th the Tokyo Fire Department has their annual 「消防出初式」 (“Firefighters New Year Drill & Review“).

I watched this impressive show five years ago.
(My post and photos, here).
And, earlier that year, I saw the annual 「消防慰霊祭」 (“Firefighters Memorial Service“), which is impressive too (Click here to see my post and photos about that festival).

Tomorrow is January 6th, so the 「2015 東京消防出初式」 (“2015 Tokyo Firefighters New Year Drill & Review“) will be held tomorrow.

Flyer for the “2015 Tokyo Firefighters New Year Drill & Review” (2015 東京消防出初式).

If you want info about this festival (location, etc), feel free to contact me.

 

Happy New Year 2015

1 Jan

It’s now midnight on New Years Day 2015.
Happy New Year!

In Japan, New Years is the biggest holiday. There are many traditions, customs, decoration and a special meal with family.
2014 was the “Year of the Horse”…but it’s now the beginning of 2015 “the Year of the Sheep“.

2014 “Year of the Horse” passing the baton to 2015 “Year of the Sheep”

明けましておめでとうございます! (“Happy New Year!“)
How did you celebrate the New Year?

(The above image is from プロ年賀状 (“Pro New Years Postcards”) website.)

Xmas Sky Tree

24 Dec

It’s クリスマス・イヴ (Xmas Eve) in Japan now.
My wife and I went to the Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest tower, which was illuminated in green for Xmas.

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メリー・クリスマス (Merry Xmas).

Autumn leaves in Tokyo

29 Nov

Today my wife and I went to Iidabashi Station in Tokyo.

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From there we walked to Yasukuni Shrine to see the 銀杏 (Ginkgo trees) autumn foliage.

The Budokan can be seen from the entrance to Yasukuni Shrine entrance.

It says 「靖国神社」 (“Yasukuni Shrine”).

“TV Tokyo” was there filming.

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And then we walked to the Budokan:

The world-famous 武道館 (Budokan) in Tokyo.

A beer vending machine at the Budokan.

 

KISS x Momoiro Clover

17 Nov

Where to start this post?

Thirteen months ago, KISS (an American rock band that I’m a big fan of) played some shows in Japan.
My friend and I saw their 2013 October 20th show. (I wrote a post with photos here about it).

I have seen KISS in concert many times, actually…and it’s always been a great show!

Well, it’s been officially announced that KISS are returning to Japan in about three months!

KISS Japan Tour 2015 flyer

The Japan tour dates are:
2015 Feb 23 – Nagoya
2015 Feb 25 – Osaka
2015 Feb 26 – Hiroshima
2015 Feb 28 – Sendai
2015 Mar 3 – Tokyo (at the Tokyo Dome)

A surprising fact about the March 3rd date at the Tokyo Dome is that KISS will have the Japanese band “Momoiro Clover Z” as the opening act.
First of all, many concerts in Japan have no opening act at all. KISS almost never does for their shows in Japan.
But more surprising is that this band, Momoiro Clover Z, though popular in Japan…is a J-pop band!
They have, though, played at “OzzFest Japan” last spring (which I saw). I was surprised that they were at OzzFest…and now I’m surprised again that they’ll be sharing a stage with KISS!

Momoiro Clover Z have also collaborated with heavy metal guitarist Marty Friedman (who lives in Tokyo) on one song, and on another with heavy metal guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.
And now, Momoiro Clover Z and KISS will not only sharing a bill at the Tokyo Dome…but the two bands will be releasing a collaboration song on 2015 January 28th.
This song featuring American hard rock band KISS and Japanese pop band Momoiro Clover will be released internationally on i-tunes…and on two CDs in Japan (an official KISS CD and a Momoiro-Clover one).

KISS with Japanese pop band “Momoiro-Clover Z”

 

“Water Throwing Festival” 2014

18 Aug

Yesterday was one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals. The 深川八幡祭り (Fukagawa-Hachiman Festival).

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Were you there? I was there, but not as a spectator. I have been a member of a group in this festival for nine years. I’m one of the people carrying a 神輿 (portable shrine) in this festival.

This festival isn’t held annually like most festivals. It’s held every three years. So the next time will be in August 2017.

It’s often called 「水かけ祭り」 ( the “Water-throwing Festival” ) because spectators throw buckets of water on the participants. And even the Tokyo Fire Department sprays us with firehoses!

I wrote a post the last few times I’ve participated in this festival. The last time, the Emperor and Empress of Japan attended the festival!
Click here to see that post with photos. It was a rare opportunity that we were able to see the royal couple so close!

Here are a few of the excellent photos that my wife took.

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