The cafe with a kabuki twist  — we visit Tully’s Coffee at the Kabukiza Theater

Kabuki is a traditional Japanese performing art that has been enjoyed by the masses since the 17th century  and is known for its unique make-up as well as its distinct, exaggerated poses and expressions. Kabuki is performed exclusively by male actors, and some of the more famous ones enjoy celebrity status in Japan, appearing in movies, TV dramas and commercials.

So, while it’s not nearly as big an attraction in this day of 4-D movies and theme parks as it used to be in the Edo Period, kabuki is still an established entertainment genre. And the Kabukiza Theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district, which was newly rebuilt in 2013, is still a mecca for kabuki fans. Today, one of the reporters from our Japanese sister site Pouch introduces the Tully’s Coffee shop located in the Kabukiza Theater for a look at a modern cafe that serves a menu item with a kabuki twist!

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New Tokyo cafe pairs men and women at random, provides coffee, cake & iPads to spark conversation

Remember that time you spotted that cute guy/girl at the cafe? Remember how badly you wanted to go over to them, make a witty comment, sit down and have them laugh and gaze into your eyes? And remember how they left before you actually did anything?

Well no longer! Aiseki Cafe in Ginza has the answer. When you come in you’re shown to a table with only two seats: one for a man and one for a woman. You chat, flirt, sip coffee and eat cakes, and then after 30 minutes you get rotated to the next person to repeat the process until you’ve found someone to make the sacred connection with: sharing your cell number.

Oh, and if you’re a woman, great news! You get unlimited coffee and cake for only 500 yen, one-fifth of the price for men. Cha-ching!

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Does how you dress affect what a sushi restaurant serves you? We experiment in Ginza

Take a stroll down the streets of Ginza and you’ll have no trouble realizing it’s Tokyo’s epicenter of everything posh and luxurious. The neighborhood is packed with shop after shop boasting high-end fashion, jewelry, and dining, so it’s only natural to think that any sushi restaurants in the area cater to an upscale clientele.

That being said, three reporters from our Japanese-language sister site began to wonder what would happen if they went to a Ginza sushi restaurant dressed to varying degrees of formality and ordered a special o-makase (“leave it to the chef”) course.

Would they each be offered different menu items depending on how they were dressed? Would their bills come out to be significantly different? With these burning questions in mind (and the prospect of eating sushi in the guise of journalism), they decided to conduct a little experiment to find out for themselves!

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Meerkats draw large crowds as they play in the streets of Ginza

If you thought you’d have to travel to the African continent to rub ankles with a meerkat, you’ll be happy to know that they’re closer than you think. Just take a stroll down the Ginza boulevard on any given weekend and chances are you’ll run into three friendly meerkats soaking up the sun on the side of the street.

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Le Jardin de Tweed: Lunch on the roof terrace at Chanel Ginza

Ginza is well-known for its high-end boutiques and exclusive brand name designer stores. Armani, Hermes, Gucci, Bvlgari and Chanel all have signature outposts here and the most surprising thing about them is they offer the unique opportunity to dine inside their buildings.

The iconic Chanel building has one of the most impressive locations of the lot, with a laid-back, resort-like setting up on their roof terrace overlooking the busy Ginza shopping street below. Featuring tweed accents and a lunch box put together by acclaimed French chef Alain Ducasse, you’ll have to get in quick for a chance to eat here as the outdoor area is only open for a limited time until October 31 every year.

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Twitter users report large groups of Chinese buyers in line at Apple Store in Ginza

With the release date of Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus still unconfirmed in China, buyers from the world’s largest smartphone market have been finding other means of procuring the much anticipated devices. It’s reported that Chinese resellers snatched up pre-order iPhones within hours on Apple’s Hong Kong website, hoping to sell the phones in China for as much as four times the retail price.

According to reports by Twitter users, buyers from China have also made their way to Japan with the goal of smuggling the iPhones back into China for resale. At the Ginza Apple Store, it’s estimated that as much as 90 percent of the more than 400 people waiting in line to buy an iPhone 6 are Chinese.

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Seemingly cute cat in downtown Tokyo might desperately need help, plus a new owner

For years, Hachiko, the faithful Akita dog that waited every day outside Shibuya Station after its owner died at his workplace, has been Tokyo’s most famous animal. Recently, though, it seemed like cat-loving Tokyoites had found an animal celebrity of their own when a cat perched on top of a signpost in Ginza started drawing crowds.

Unfortunately, the scene has gone from heartwarming to heartbreaking with some sharp-eyed observers’ theory that the cat is in actuality being abused by its owner.

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Ginza is a fancy place…just look at the elevators!

The Ginza area of Tokyo is by far the ritziest of all of Japan’s districts. With stores such as Chanel, Cartier and Bulgari (not to mention an extremely overpriced bar staffed by former and current porn stars), you’re going to have to have a lot of yen in your pockets if you want to do more than window shop and people watch. Yes, there are exceptions and cheap eats to be found nestled amongst the luxury items, but overall, Ginza is dominated by fancy things. Just look at the elevators…

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A Maasai tribesman in Ginza: How Tokyo fashion empowers women a world away in Africa 【Photos】

Glitzy Ginza is a high-end shopping district in Tokyo that attracts luxury brand flagship stores, ladies who lunch, and businesspeople with cash to burn. But if you happen to be there this week, you might spot something very incongruous in this moneyed mecca: a Maasai tribesman selling shoes.

William hails from Kenya, where he is the head of a Maasai tribe, and the shoes he is here to promote are a Spanish brand called Pikolinos. So how did an African tribesman end up in the Japanese capital selling European shoes?

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Japanese casual steak joint set to debut in New York

When one thinks of exported Japanese food, one tends to imagine sushi, miso, and other dishes that have become so ingrained in the English lexicon that they no longer warrant italics.

One thing you almost definitely don’t consider when thinking about Japanese food is steak. Why would you? Steak is the territory of Western food, often associated specifically with American diners; Which is what makes the New York debut of Ikinari Steak – a Ginza-area chain – so much more surprising.

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Where to find the “ultimate melon bread” in Japan

Just the thought of melon bread (or meronpan, as it’s called in Japanese), is enough to make my mouth water. It’s got to be the combination of that fluffy, sweet interior and the crispy, thin cookie dough outer coating…not to mention its heavenly aroma. Whenever I go to a new bakery in Japan, I always try out the melon bread first, and that inevitably sets the standard for me (by the way, plain old 7-11 melon bread is one of my favorites – who else agrees?!).

While it may seem contrary to fact, not all melon bread is actually made with melon flavoring. The name has more to do with the fact that its round shape and exterior grooves resemble a melon. However, we here at RocketNews24 have recently discovered an authentic, “ultimate melon bread” to beat all the rest! If you’re as big of a melon bread fan as us, keep on reading to find out where you can buy this little bun of happiness.

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Tokyo’s Irina Churns Out Some Amazingly Colorful Roll Cakes

Bright pink polka dots, zebra print, and purple stripes are printed on these oblong objects.  They look so showy and colorful, but what could they be?  A handkerchief?  A fancy sponge?

Believe it or not, these colorful circles are roll cakes (rolled sponge cake and cream filling), and yes, they are edible.  They’re so cute and tiny we could eat a hundred of them, but the sad realization that we can’t sit around all day snacking on these beautiful pastries without gaining some junk in the trunk has got us down.  At 271 yen (US $3.47) for one mini roll cake, these little guys will slim down your wallet while expanding your waist.

You can find these sweets at irina, a bakery that specializes in roll cakes.  Our reporter visited irina’s Ginza store to check out these amazing little pastries.

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Great Tasting Sashimi Dishes For Very Reasonable Prices—in Ginza Nonetheless!

Assorted Sashimi Plate

Itamae Baru, a Japanese food restaurant in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza district, offers dishes to get excited over!  Why? You can’t find steamed abalone for 500 yen ($6.25 US) or uni pasta with generous amounts of sea urchin for 780 yen ($9.75 US) this tasty anywhere else in the city!

Itame Bare is one of these wonderful up and rising  restaurants where young itamae, or sushi chefs, create Japanese dishes for astonishing low prices! 

We went to Baru for a taste of this amazing fare. Read More

Snow Cone Inspired Pasta May Deliver Us From the Heat, The Best Part Comes After You Finish!

This summer isn’t even half way through, but everyone in Japan can firmly agree that it sucks – hard.  For the past two weeks the temperature has hovered around 35℃ in many parts of the country with a hardly a cloud to weaken the scorching sun.

Walking around in the streets, heat exhaustion has me pining for winter like it was a long lost lover whom I’m willing to forgive for cheating on me with 10 dudes as long as she comes back for one precious moment to ease my soul.

Just then some news hit me like a bucket of cold water.  There is a restaurant in Ginza called Fresh Pasta Monster that is serving “Shaved Ice Fresh Pasta” for a limited time Now that’s something to make me forget about that tramp, winter.

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What Recession? World’s Largest Uniqlo to Open in Ginza

Uniqlo, the clothing retailer who has achieved ubiquitous status in Japan is continuing its ambitious plans to expand worldwide. In order to achieve their goal of earning 5 trillion yen (US$60 billion) by 2020, they have been aggressively building larger and larger flagship stores around the world.

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