Fushigi Yūgi Stage Play at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Last Saturday a friend and I headed out to Tokyo to catch one of the last Fushigi Yūgi play showings at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel.

With Sailor Moon getting a musical revival (here and here), it was only a matter of time before another girls’ anime got one as well.  Fushigi Yūgi brings back so many great memories for me, because it’s how I connected with a group of girls that later became my best friends throughout high school.  We would pretend we were priestesses and pass around a priestess notebook that we filled with letters, drawings, and notes to one another during class.  It was silly and fun.  I still consider one of these girls to be my absolute BFF even to this day.

Here’s a short summary and review of the show, with pamphlet scans, too. 🙂

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Music: Psycho le Cemu 15th Anniversary Live @ Zepp Diver City

© 2014 SWEET CHILD

© 2014 SWEET CHILD

I didn’t spend Valentine’s Day weekend with Mr. J, but rather hopped a bus to Tokyo with some friends to catch a two-day reunion concert of one of my favorite bands that disbanded several years ago.  So after giving him his chocolate that morning, off I went!

Little did I know I would be reuniting with some gals I used to run around with 5-10 years ago, too!  It was a really fun weekend filled with adventure, great people, old visual kei (Japan’s version of glam rock) throwbacks, and lots goods/cosplayers.  What’s more awesome than that?

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Music: PIERROT’s 2 Day Reunion Live DICTATORS CIRCUS FINAL

© J // Washing Rice Blog

PIERROT’s announcement on Shinjuku ALTA’s big screen.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

Earlier this year on April 12th at Shinjuku ALTA, visual kei band PIERROT announced a two day reunion raibu (live/concert) for October 24th and 25th at Saitama Super Arena.  The crowd that gathered at ALTA was huge, especially considering 8 years had already passed since their break-up, an eternity in the music industry world.  But this, as well as the announcement of the reopening of their fan club, Arlequin, through 2014-2015, were welcome news for people like me who never got the chance to see them perform live before their split.

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Sailor Moon Musical: Petite Étrangère

Last weekend I saw the Saturday evening performance of the new Sailor Moon musical with a good friend of mine.  With the last musical, La Reconquista, based on the first Sailor Moon season, it only made sense that Petite Étrangère was based on the following season, Sailor Moon R.  R is my favorite of the five seasons and I was especially excited to see my favorite character, Black Lady, take the stage!

Somehow the cast managed to top their last musical performance, which was no easy feat!  They completely knocked it out of the park!  This post contains summaries (spoilers?!) and pamphlet scans.  🙂

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Music: Fuji Rock Festival 2014

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

So Fuji Rock Festival, ya’ll!  Fuji Rock, held at the end of July, is arguably the big daddy of all music festivals in Japan.  It and the Summer Sonic Festival, held mid-August, compete for the biggest international headliners, although either one is great if you’re new to the Japanese music scene and want to sample some new artists within the safety net of more well-known international acts to fall back on.  So how do you pick?

Fuji Rock is set amongst the lush mountains and greens of the Naeba Ski Resort located in Niigata prefecture.  On top of the music, it prides itself on being an eco-friendly event and that depends on volunteer help along with hired workers to keep everything running smoothly.  Most people camp out as long as they’re attending, so expect to encounter a lot of hippy and mountain girl/boy types.  There’s a lot of drinking and bonding with others/the earth going on over good music and eats.

Summer Sonic, on the other hand, is pretty much about music and music only.  Summer Sonic tends to feature more pop and billboard/oricon chart acts than Fuji Rock.  There’s no camping on premises or any extra frills.  That said, Summer Sonic’s one-day ticket is almost half the price of Fuji Rock.  Fuji Rock can really add up with all the extra traveling, camping, parking, etc. expenses tacked on to the original ticket price.  One of the girls I was chatting with at the festival blew about half her month’s salary on transport, 3 day festival ticket, and 3 nights at the nearby Prince Hotel.  Reasonable accommodation outside of roughing it is few and far between.

But if you know me, you know I like doing things on a budget and I’m not very outdoorsy.  So without further ado, here’s my take on how to do Fuji Rock for one day as a single, female traveler, and as cheaply as possible without camping. 🙂

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Music: Tegan & Sara Mugen Fest 2014 & the After Show

Tegan & Sara, an indies act who’s become fairly popular and mainstream with their latest album, Heartthrob, performed three shows in Japan last weekend.  Western musicians come and go all the time in Japan, but their tour stop in Japan was particularly notable because 7 years had passed since their last visit.

A couple of my friends and I made the the trip out to see them play in Yokohama & Tokyo, and both times definitely topped my list of memorable concernts.  So for any other Tegan & Sara fans, or those interested in the Mugen Festival put on by Asian Kung-Fu Generation every year, keep reading!

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