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Night Zoo

11 Aug

One week in August, Ueno Zoo in Tokyo has a “Night Zoo” event. We went to it yesterday. We’ve been to it before too (click here to see my post about it in 2011).

Before we went to the zoo, we stopped for lunch at 東京駅 (Tokyo Station):

An 「駅弁」 (Train station “bento”) shop. Have you ever had a Japanese “bento”?

You can watch them preparing the bento meals.

The 「銀の鈴」 (“Silver Bell”) in Tokyo Station…a popular meeting spot.

2015-08-10 11.24.48

「チキンラーメン」 (“Chicken Ramen”)

The one on the left says 「有休とります」 (“I’m gonna take a holiday”) to give your boss or co-workers. The other says 「ごめんね」 (“I’m sorry”) to give someone as an apology.

The Ultraman Shop’s “manager”.

The less-photographed entrance of 東京駅 (Tokyo Station).

Break time

The popular Japanese cartoon character “Doraemon” in the small children’s mini-amusement park outside Ueno Zoo.

I have many memories of taking my kids to this 「こども遊園地」 (Kids’ Amusement Park) when they were little.

The entrance to Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. We went to the zoo in the afternoon and stayed until the end of the “Night Zoo” event.

We could see the pandas eating, rather than sleeping – as they usually are.

パンダ (Panda)

シンシン (メス) … (“Shin-Shin” the female panda).

リーリー (オス) …. (“Ri-Ri” the male panda).

The polar bear was a highlight for us because it was feeding time when we happened to go to that exhibit…and also, Ueno Zoo has added a new viewing area where we could watch him swim!

Huge ゾウガメ (Giant Tortoise)

コビトカバ (Pygmy Hippo)

Sleeping seals.

The sun was setting and “Night Zoo” began.

 

Metal Festivals in Tokyo

26 May

Every October for the past ten years, there is a two-day heavy metal music festival in the Tokyo area called “Loudpark“.

This year it is scheduled for 2015 October 10th (Sat) and October 11th (Sun).

Loudpark heavy metal festival; 2015 Oct 10-11

Loudpark heavy metal festival; 2015 Oct 10-11.

Some of the major bands that are billed to play are: Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. Three of the “Big Four“!

And then the following month, there will be another big heavy metal festival in the Tokyo area!
OzzFest Japan is scheduled for 2015 November 21st (Sat) and November 22nd!

OzzFest Japan 2015 will be held on 2015 Nov 21st - 22nd.

OzzFest Japan 2015 will be held on 2015 Nov 21st – 22nd.

Unlike Loudpark, OzzFest doesn’t have a long history in Japan. This will only be the second OzzFest in this country so far.

The first OzzFest Japan ever was held in May of 2013. I went to it with a friend of mine.
(Click here to read my post about it.)

I saw Black Sabbath, among other bands, at OzzFest Japan 2013…and they were initially billed to headline OzzFest Japan 2015, but it’s been changed for whatever reason…Ozzy will still be playing with his solo band instead.

The main acts of OzzFest Japan 2015 will be: Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, KoRn Bullet For My Valentine, and Evanscence.

KISS Japan Tour 2015 goods

21 Feb

KISS is on their way to Japan now to begin their 2015 Japan tour on Monday.
(Click here to see my post about the announcement of this tour, the tour dates, and their special guests for the Tokyo Dome show).

The T-shirts and other merchandise that KISS will be selling for their shows in Japan have been revealed.

I like towels from concerts. These types of towels are unique to Japan, aren’t they?

Click here to see the page with the complete list of official KISS Japan Tour 2015 merchandise (Japanese only).

Today is Setsubun

3 Feb

今日は「節分」。(Today is “Setsubun“).

Google’s Japanese page has a “Setsubun” logo today.

Setsubun is a day to cast out bad luck and bring in good luck. It involves an old tradition of throwing beans at someone wearing a demon mask representing bad luck.

It’s mostly done in homes with young children, in which the children throw the beans at their father wearing the oni (demon) mask.

Click here to read about this, and other Japanese customs and holidays in February.

KISS Treasure Palace & rock photo exhibit

14 Jan

Last month there was a “KISS 秘宝館” (“KISS Treasure Palace“) temporarily in Osaka, Japan before the upcoming KISS Japan Tour 2015.

I wondered why it was only in Osaka. But my friend told me that it’s scheduled to be in Tokyo too.

The “KISS 秘宝館” (KISS Treasure Palace)

The “KISS 秘宝館” (“KISS Treasure Palace“) will be in Tokyo, Japan from Wednesday, February 4th – Sunday, February 8th; open until 5:30PM each day.

The address is:
有楽町朝日ギャラリー
東京都千代田区有楽町2-5-1 有楽町マリオン11階
(Yurakucho Asahi Gallery
Yurakucho, Tokyo 2-5-1 Yurakucho-Marion 11F
)

Admission is free.

And…

there is also an exhibit of rock photographs  in Tokyo by Koh Hasebe of Japan’s “Music Life rock magazine.

KISS on the cover of Japan’s “Music Life” magazine.

This exhibit is also free.

It’s from now until Wednesday, February 11th (a Japanese holiday).

The location is:
“B-Gallery” on the 6th Floor of the “Beams Store”
3-32-6 Shinjuku, Tokyo

A photo of KISS in Japan taken in the late ’70s by photographer Koh Hasebe .

The photographer, Koh Hasebe (l), and original Music Life Editor-in-Chief Kaoruko Togo.

 

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.

 

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