Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Review: Roppongi Kaguwa
For those readers who stumble to this blog by way of a search engine when they type in “Japan” or “teach Japan” or “visit Japan” or some numerous other terms…I am going to start tossing in mini-reviews of places I visit that I have found interesting or pleasant – or if they were exceptionally NOT pleasant.
Back in September, I went to a pre-wedding party for Deanne and Maseo, both very nice people, who I previously only knew through their blogs and my comment/email correspondence with them. The party was held in Roppongi – an area of Tokyo known for being infested with, or rather “designed for,” foreigners in Tokyo. (The apartments are bigger – more Western style and crazy expensive. Many Western restaurants have a location there, and many MANY lame nightclubs with ad slogans of “where the celebrities go/See and be seen!” litter the buildings. Really, I see Roppongi, in general, as “Japan-lite” or some sort of zoo…Westerners can go and see “real Japanese” in their “natural habitats” without the dangers of actually going in to the Savannah. Anyway…I digress.)
By the sheer fact that Japan and Tokyo has hundreds of years of history, it goes without saying, that even in Roppongi, there are pockets of interesting Japanese restaurants, clubs, and drinking establishments. One of these interesting places is Roppongi Kaguwa.
The idea of the design of exterior, interior, the show, and food – is to give an impression of Edo-era “red-light” entertainment. Sexy, sensual, but not over-sexed or vulgar. The food is high quality Japanese style, drinks are well balanced. The prices are not excessively high – and when you order a set party type meal plan, you can for only about 1000 yen more, make it “all you can drink.”
The show is a one-hour show – which is composed of about 8 short sketches or scenes. Some scenes are traditional fight or love scenes with performers in kimono. Others are lighthearted “Benny Hill” type skits. And some are sassy burlesque. What is interesting is that out of 30 or so performers; maybe 3 are women, 4 are men, and the rest are “new-half’s” or transvestite/transsexual. And it’s okay to mention that – it is advertised as such! That makes those burlesque routines all the sassier considering that most of those sexy girls…aren’t girls.
Unfortunately photo taking by patrons is not allowed, but they do allow an “after-show” photo of the cast with any special event patrons: birthday, wedding, etc. also, after the show, the performers come visit the audience, and are happy to sit, converse, and have a drink with you – assuming you pay for the drink!
When I went, I enjoyed the group seating, ease of conversing with fellow quests, and the plentiful alcohol. I spent three hours drinking at the pre-wedding party prior to my guest arriving. (His band (?) / the band he’s in (?) – had a live show, so he could not come earlier) He and I proceeded to stay for another performance of the show, and an additional three hours of drinking. This, of course, created in me the need to make some overly effusive claim of undying affection to my date later on…