Tokyo legend to re-open

Tokyo legend to re-open

This April, a Tokyo icon will re-open having being razed to the ground in 2010 in order to rebuild it to an earthquake-proof design.

The Kabukiza Theatre in the Ginza district had stood since 1889, during which time it built a reputation as the capital's principal venue for kabuki performances.

Kabuki itself has a far longer history, having originated in the early 17th century. Performances of kabuki, meaning to act eccentrically or erratically, are spectacular to watch, with the actors dressed in elaborate and brightly coloured costumes acting out very physical plays.

Indeed, the lead actors in these shows have to exhibit tremendous strength and stamina to dance and swing a sword while wearing 60kg of clothing. The Economist reports that some people even believe the demands of kabuki - principal performers inherit their roles and begin at a young age - shortens the actor's lifespans.

However, the rewards for being a great kabuki actor are high - the legendary figure of Danjuro Ichikawa XII, who died recently, was held in the same regard in Japan as Laurence Olivier is in Britain.

As well as kabuki, visitors to Tokyo, for all its modern technology and buildings, get the chance to witness or get involved with a number of other highly cultural and historic traditions.

These include eating freshly prepared sushi at a sushi bar, visiting one of the city's numerous temples and admiring the cherry blossoms in a perfectly maintained Japanese garden. 

During your time in the capital, why not stay in an equally iconic building as Kabukiza? The Park Hyatt Hotel, which occupies the upper floors of Tokyo's sixth tallest building, the Shinjuku Park Tower - a fixture of the skyline.

Featured prominently in the hit film 'Lost in Translation', the Park Hyatt offers spectacular views of the city and Mount Fuji, as well as fine drinking and dining, and luxurious rooms. After a day on Tokyo's busy streets, this represents a welcome oasis away from the hustle and bustle.

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