Stories that go bump in the night
In the Edo Period (1603-1867), getting together and telling ghost stories (kaidan) at night was a popular summer pastime. As a hotel located in the middle of Nihonbashi, the historical town that preserves the culture of Edo (Tokyo), the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is reviving this seasonal tradition at its Banquet Room on Aug. 10.
The stories will be told by Teisui Ichiryusai, who is designated a Ningen Kokuho (living national treasure) as a professional traditional kodan storyteller. He is particularly famous for his ghost stories, which use stage sets, and lighting and sound effects to really make spines tingle.
After the event, there’s a buffet dinner at the hotel’s Italian Ventaglio eatery.
Stories start at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are ¥5,250 but only ¥4,200 if you wear yukata or kimono. Tickets for the show and dinner are ¥10,750 and ¥9,700.
The hotel is next to Mitsukoshi-mae and Shin-Nihonbashi stations, and a seven-minute walk from Nihonbashi and Kanda stations.
For more information or reservations, call Tokyo Kimono Club at (03) 3249-3136 between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday night fever
If you never believed that disco was dead, you’ll want to be at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo on Friday, Aug. 29, for “Club Chic 2008 Summer — The Greatest ’70s Disco Hits and Classics.”
The event, held semiannually since 2005, will transform the hotel’s spacious 1,000-sq.-meter Grand Ballroom into a mirror ball-twirling, Barry Gibb-wailing, John Travolta-strutting, big hair-and-platforms, polyester-and-medallions disco inferno.
The party starts at 9 p.m. and continues until 2 a.m.
Tickets are ¥12,000 (¥10,000 in advance), including one drink. Guests are requested not to wear jeans or sneakers, and white suits are optional. Men should be 25 or older and women 20 or older.
The Grand Hyatt Tokyo is a three-minute walk from Roppongi Station. For reservations, call (03) 4333-8838 between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Aloha festival in Kobe
Hawaii is heading to the Kobe Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers for the “Sheraton Aloha Festival,” from Aug. 4 to 10.
On Aug. 9 (6 to 8:30 p.m.), an Hawaiian Luau & Show will be held in the Rokko Ballroom. After a one-hour dinner, leading Hawaiian bands in Japan LeoAloha and Kaulana will be on stage. The show costs ¥13,000, including dinner and drinks.
On Aug. 10 (11 a.m.-6 p.m.), all the sounds, flavors and colors of the islands will be in the ballroom, with Hula performances, live Hawaiian music, and an Hawaiian market selling jewelry, fabrics, T-shirts, aloha shirts, quilts and food. There are also culture programs for kids, where they can learn the Hula dance and how to make a traditional Hawaiian lei. A ticket with a ¥500 coupon is ¥2,500 in advance or ¥3,000 on the day.
From Aug. 4 to 10 (11 a.m.-6 p.m.), there’ll be “Hawaiian Collection” exhibitions in the banquet rooms in the Sheraton annex, showcasing the work of Hawaii-based Japanese photographer Kuni Nakai, Kazuhiko Hanzawa, a collector of vintage aloha shirts, and Hawaiian quilt artist Tomiko Okada. Admission is free.
The hotel is a minute’s walk from Island Center Station on Rokko Island. For more information, call (078) 857-7040.