All three of us were wide awake again at 4:30 this morning. Jet lag is no party. Japan is 14 hours ahead of home meaning we are essentially flipping night and day as far as our bodies care. If you’ve ever experienced it you know what I mean. There’s not a whole lot you can do at that time of day but sit around and read. Watching tv is useless as it’s all in a language you don’t speak. No place is yet open that you can get breakfast either. The Executive Lounge of the Tokyo Hilton finally opened at 6:30 so we could get some eats.
This was to be a nice easy morning as we had tickets for Kabuki at the Tokyo National Theatre at noon. As the Kabuki didn’t start until noon we had a bit of time to waste. We left the hotel around 10 and headed towards the theater across the moat from the Imperial Palace. We rode the Maranouichi Line over. It’s amazing how familiar it felt to be walking around Tokyo. It’s always an adventure to roam a different city. We wandered around about an hour before arriving at the National Theatre. There was a bit of trouble sorting out our tickets. We finally figured out where we needed to be. As the entire play is in japanese we needed to pick up translators. We found our seats in the balcony and settled in for what was a four hour play.
One thing I’ve noticed time and again is that the Japanese do not size things for people over six feet tall. I got to sit with my knees crammed into the back of the seat in front of me the entire time. The discomfort was worth it. The play was amazing. The sets were stunning. I’m an old theater stagehand and this stage was huge! They had about a 20 meter turntable that could swap an entire set in less than 30 seconds. It had about 6 elevators too. They used wires for flying actors over the audience in a dream sequence. The costumes were beautiful and extremely detailed. You didn’t even notice time passing and 4 magical hours were gone before you knew it. Sorry, no pics as photography was mercifully not permitted.
After the play we dragged ourselves back to the hotel and took a nap. We were wiped out. After a couple hour nap we drug ourselves out of bed. We could have slept through the night but knew that was bad for adjusting to Japan time. We went down to the subway stop in the basement of the hotel and rode a few stops down the line to Shibuya. Shibuya is _the_ place to be seen for kids in their 20s. Imagine Times Square in NYC. Now grow that out in all directions about 10-15 blocks. At night it’s lit up like Times Square and Las Vegas. The sound of music and people calling from stores to try to get you to come in assaults you from all directions. Even on a Monday night it was packed. Add this to jetlag and it’s like walking through a dreamy haze. We could only manage an hour here before our bodies could take no more. We made out way back to the station and our hotel. At the hotel we took advantage of the free drinks in the Executive Lounge and had a couple vodka cranberries to help us sleep. We collapsed about 10pm hoping we’d be able to sleep longer than a couple hours