It’s summer movie season now but in Japan it’s also summer festival season and one of the biggest summer festivals in Tokyo is the Koenji Awa Odori Festival. On the last weekend of August, over a million people descend on the Koenji neighborhood to watch dance troupes like Kasumiren (the one you will see in these pictures) take to the streets.Read More
Today marks the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story in Japan and the post that follows this one will be the last Star Wars-related post that I do for the foreseeable future.Read More
On April 15, 2018, Tokyo’s Disneyland’s year-long 35th-anniversary celebration kicked off and “Dreaming Up!,” a new daytime parade, made its official debut at the park. This parade replaced the long-running “Happiness Is Here,” which started out as the park’s 30th-anniversary parade. Big-time, U.S.-based Disney blogs like WDW News Today and Disney Tourist Blog were on the frontlines for the earliest run-throughs of the parade, having descended on Tokyo in the days leading up to April 15.
Incidentally, that day was a rainy Sunday—not the best parade weather. Since we didn’t want to contend with the crowds of opening week, my significant other and I opted to wait until ten days later before we ventured into the park.
The weather on April 24 wasn’t much better (they didn’t coin that phrase “April showers” for nothing), but we happened to get lucky and win the lottery for the parade viewing area. This enabled us to get front-row seats for “Dreaming Up!” without having to stake out a spot on the ground hours beforehand. We were close enough to see that a couple of the female characters in the parade might have actually been … men in makeup and wigs? Apparently, the Kabuki tradition is alive and well at Tokyo Disneyland.Read More
The original idea behind The Gaijin Ghost was to have a travel blog that would de-emphasize the blogger and make the reader the main character, rather like a Choose Your Own Adventure book where the reader is invited in with the words, “You’re the star of the story!” For a while, I even tried to adhere to a mandate of never using first-person pronouns here on the site. It can actually be tricky to write like that when you’re trying to synthesize subjective experiences into travel blog posts.Read More
In the film Silence, the character of Rodriguez, played by Andrew Garfield, exists simultaneously as a Christ figure and Judas figure. The most pronounced instance of him being framed as the former is when he sees his reflection morph into the face of Christ while drinking from a stream. Yet like the movie itself, even this scene opens up a prism of interpretations if you mark it as an allusion to the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image as mirrored in a pool of water.Read More
Nemo & Friends SeaRider opened on May 12, 2017 in the building formerly inhabited by StormRider at Tokyo DisneySea. More than just a new attraction, this ride actually brought a whole new theme to the area of Port Discovery in DisneySea.
In this post, you can see 30 photos of the attraction and how it integrates into Port Discovery, along with 4K video of the ride from front-row-and-center in the motion simulator. As we compare the ride with its Florida cousin, The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot, you can also see some additional photos of that attraction.Read More