I'm fed up with getting tickets.

I’m sick and tired of trying to get tickets.  I was totally exhausted when I tried to get a couple of seats for my favorite performance.    I’m wondering how do people usually get their tickets?  It seems that it’s getting harder and harder to reserve tickets compared to a few years ago.

In the end of May, there is a Bunraku, Japanese puppet theatre, performance, which I desperately want to see.  So, I decided to get the tickets at any cost.  After checking online, I found out that there are two ways to buy tickets.  There is a ticket allocation for theatre members as well as for the general public.  Needless to say, I thought I would try both of them just to be on the safe side.

I became a member of the theatre right away by paying 3,500 yen in order to gain the exclusive presale tickets.  So, I presumed that my tickets should have been all but assured.  However, it was not that simple.

On the day they started selling the tickets for theatre members, I simultaneously logged into the theatre’s website and called the reservation center at 10:00 AM on the dot, but both the server and the phone were busy.  I tried them over and over again and when I finally got through to the operator, it was already 10:30 though, I was told that only B seats on the third floor were available.

I was so disappointed!  The first thing that popped into my head was if I could actually see anything from the third floor.   And the second thing was that the 3,500 yen theatre membership was of little avail.

Not to worry.  I had another opportunity to get better seats.  I was well prepared for the on-sale day for general admission tickets.  On that day, as luck would have it, I was able to access the website as soon as they went on sale.  But again, unfortunate.  Tickets were sold out while I was filling out my information. 

Afterwards, I got to know that the tickets were completely sold out in just three minutes. 

↓Thank you very much for your click. 
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語ライティングへ


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

When I was a kid, one of my favorite folk tales was ‘Kaguya hime or Princess Kaguya.’  I read it over and over again and I still remember the scene in which the messengers from the moon descend to Earth to pick the Princess up with the full moon as a backdrop.  It was not only beautiful and owe inspiring, but made me aware of the existence of outer space and the creatures living there for the first time. 

It’s amazing that the story dates back to the 10th century.  It’s the oldest-known science fiction narrative to exist.   Isn’t it fun to think that people 1,000 years ago imagined aliens on the moon as they looked up at the sky?  For me, as a four or five year old kid, Princess Kaguya was nothing but an alien who tried to contact us like ET.

The original story writes that one day, an old bamboo woodcutter finds a bamboo tree glowing mysteriously while he is working.  A beautiful baby girl appears from it.  The old woodcutter and his wife think that the baby is a gift and raise her as their own.  After, she grows up into a beautiful princess, princes and even the Emperor himself vies for her affection.  However, she returns to her home on the moon leaving the Emperor alone and heartbroken.

Ghibli’s latest animation, ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’ is based on this story.  The difference is that Takahata, the directer of the film has embodied the character of Kaguya and has added the reasons why she came down to Earth and had to return to the moon.  As the tag line of the film goes “A princess’ crime and punishment,” the reasons are the clue to understand the film.

Takahata depicts the liveliness of everything on the earth closely with seemingly rough and dynamic strokes.  When Princess Kaguya runs though the field, gentle breeze blows and the grass bends joyfully along with it.  Birds, insects, animals, grass, trees and flowers, everything is alive.  Our lives are filled with brightness, even though we have to go through sufferings.  Despite fear, anger, and sadness, our lives are wonderfully original.  The film brilliantly illuminates it with images of life.

I longed for the moon when I was a kid.  On the contrary, Princess Kaguya longed for the earth.  It can be said that the film tells something important from the viewpoint of an outsider.  It’s a cerebration of life on earth.

↓Thank you very much for your click
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語ライティングへ


Vertical gardens in Aoyama

When I walk around Aoyama, I often spot vertical gardens here and there.  This new way of greening of town is definitely increasing and I think it’s becoming a trend.  Practically, boutiques, restaurants and cafes are adopting this lovely greenery on their façade or inside walls. 

Vertical gardens are easy on the environment.  They not only make the look of the buildings fascinating, but are effective against the heat island phenomenon.  For example, they protect buildings from being exposed direct sunlight and prevent a rise in wall temperatures.  According to a report of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, vertical gardens have created at least about 55 ha of greenery in the last 13 years in Japan.

Plants at Kazahana cafe are very energetic! 
As far as I know, we can see one of the oldest vertical gardens at Kazahana in Aoyama.  Kazahana is a café on a back street, but it’s a Mecca for aspiring gardeners as well.  The owner is a landscape designer who sometimes takes part in the Chelsea flower show and his designs have won awards.  Over the years, plants on the wall have grown bigger and a bit wilder, though I like this place because it totally makes me forget about being in the middle of Tokyo.

It looks like a entrance of a wonderland.
 My favorite vertical garden is the one at Santa Chiara church.  It’s really amazing.  The building is almost covered with plants and it looks like a green cave!  I was so excited when I saw it and I bet it will wow you, too.  Although this cave doesn’t give you a nature adventure, it offers you delicious and sweet experiences.  Every time I visit this site, I never miss dropping by a Spanish chocolate shop, Cacao Sampaka, which is attached to the complex.

I have no idea what will be the weather like this coming summer, but no matter how hot it’ll be, with vertical gardens, our days might be much cooler than last year. 

↓Thank you very much for your click.
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語ライティングへ


Happy New Year!



ブログタイトルの「I’m what I like」のように、


ドメスティックに育った日本人が、ネイティブのような英語を書くのは大変です。どうやっても「日本人の作文」感がぬぐえず、アップをためらうこともしばしばです。で、打開策として、最近始めた勉強法がこれ。→ The Guardianを読むことです。ライティングのためにリーディング? と思われるかもしれませんが、とにかくよいお手本をたくさん読まないと書けないということに気がつきました。(遅っ!)The GuardianはNYTimesみたいに難しくないし(意地悪くないし)、読みやすいですよ。オススメです。これを、意味がすんなり入ってくるまで2〜3回音読して、言い回しのリズム感みたいなのを掴もうと思っています。


にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語ライティングへ