Guests' comment 2010
Julia and Alex (Israel )
We had a wonderful time in Japan.
We enjoyed the performance and we will recommended it.We mostly enjoyed the first part of the show, with the boy what sacrificing himself to save his father.
Ms. Yabe's lecture helped us a lot. She helped us and explained very important things about kabuki history,kabuki theater, Noh and Bunraku theaters.
In Kyoto we went to see the show in Gion Corner, there was a Bunraku show, and her explanation about this theater helped us too. (we understood why there are 3 people, what each of them doing and why one of them not cover his head).
Thank you very much, we had a wonderful time at the lecture and at the show afterward. And, of course, thank you very much for the recommendation to take the seats that overlook the Hanamichi. It was very interesting to see the dramatic entrances/exits of the kabuki actors on the Hanamichi.
Cindy (now living in Korea, originally from Texas, USA)
Kazui-san, thank you so much for meeting with my family and explaining Kabuki. Although my husband wasn't sure that he would enjoy the performance, your explanations helped so much and he surprisingly had a great time. I had wanted to see Kabuki for many years, and am so thankful that we found your services on the internet. The seats were great, the headphones were so helpful and your services were outstanding. Your explanations and assistance provided an enjoyable and most memorable experience and was one of the highlights of our vacation.
Marina (New York, USA)
We would not have been able to enjoy the show without Kazui's lecture. She is a talented and thoughtful teacher whose love of kabuki made us even more excited to see the show! The handouts were very informative, especially how she highlighted the special part of each act.
We liked kabuki because it allowed us to experience Japanese society through its premier performing arts. It was an excellent way to end a fantastic honeymoon!
Trudy (Hawaii, USA)
I thank my lucky stars to have found Yabe san's website! Shortly before my recent trip to Japan, I wondered whether I might be able to see a kabuki performance but had doubts. Although some of the theaters are now offering tickets online, I was at a loss about where to even begin. There was no need to worry once I "met" Yabe san through her website! She was extremely prompt, professional, courteous and informative-- replying to my numerous emails and answering all of my questions. She was able to get me absolutely WONDERFUL seats for a kabuki performance at Shinbashi Enbujyo theater. She even made arrangements for me to see my favorite kabuki actor, Bando Tamasaburo, in "Botantei", and I was sitting in the second row! She met me before the kabuki performance, armed with flyers, photos and information in English about kabuki in general, the plays I would be seeing and the actors themselves. She thoroughly explained the layout of the theater and the types of souvenir sales available. Although I had done some research on kabuki and the specific plays beforehand, Yabe san provided me with so much more information, allowing me to truly appreciate and enjoy my kabuki experience (even if I can't understand Japanese). She also escorted me to the theater and helped me rent my earphone guide and order my meal! Moreover, she is just simply a warm, friendly, helpful person whose enthusiasm for the art is contagious! Without her help, I would not have had these highlights of my vacation. I definitely plan to return to Japan in the future and will utilize Yabe san's services again! Thank you, Yabe san, for giving me such wonderful memories-- I will treasure these forever!
Sebastien (Versailles, France)
I really wanted to discover Kabuki, and Yabe san was of great help, she helped me choose a performance according to my own cultural interests, chose and booked the ticket before I arrived in Japan, provided many details by e-mail. The pre-performance discussion was very interesting and of great help too. She showed me the shop where you can find DVD's and books about Kabuki, and invited me to a nice place where we had tea and traditionnal Japanese sweets. As for the kabuki performance in itself, it was quite outstanding and is definitely an interesting way to embrace Japanese culture.
Harri (Helsinki, Finland)
I was delighted to find Ms. Yabe's website and quickly established an email connection with her. Once she confirmed my hotel reservations, she arranged tickets to both Shinbashi Enbujo in Tokyo and Shochiku-za in Osaka without delay. Everything went smoothly from the confirmation of the dates and choosing the seats to agreeing on the payment terms and meeting in face as expected. Ms. Yabe also helped me find some Kabuki DVDs and books in Ginza. I fully recommend her for anyone interested in learning about kabuki (her Kabuki lecture serves as a good introduction to the art) and seeing with their own eyes on site.
Petr & Sona (Prague, Czech Republic)
We are people from central Europe - we spent almost a month in Japan during April/May 2010. Among others we decided to go to see a traditional Japanese theater Kabuki in Kabuki-za.
Not only due to final month before closing the theater for reconstruction it seemed impossible to get tickets in advance from Europe - finally I found a contact on Kazui-san and contacted her immediately.
From the very first everything went smoothly - Kazui-san has always reacted to all my e-mail answers (well, more or less relevant :-), though it was our 1st trip outside Europe...) without any delay & even for the last month before the theater reconstruction (when there was a real hunt for tickets!) she was in the end able to provide us with tickets for the play for the one specified date I was searching them for.
And more then that - we met as we have agreed in advance in front of the theater & Kazui-san took us to tea ceremony & provide us with interesting information regarding the Kabuki history as well as with information regarding the play we were going to watch. After a nice time with Kazui-san, she saw us up to the theater, told us what is common to do during the play and its breaks and helped us to get head phones for English comments too.
We really liked what we saw during the play - I for one was surprised at the crowd loud reactions during the play which we heard several times - it felt like that the crown were giving advices to were somehow supporting the actors/characters. Really interesting & nice experience - something completely different from European theatre definitely.
So finally - I was glad to be helped by Kazui-san, it was a wonderful experience to be simply relying on her as she provided us with everything we´ve agreed upon in advance. I can only recommend her services to all you wondering to go to watch Japanese theater. I want to thank Kazui-san herewith for her services as well.
Pat (Michigan, USA)
I am an American living in Japan for now. I have been to three kabuki performances with Ms. Yabe. One was a puppet show which was very interesting. I had taken a short class about kabuki before going the first time and it does help with the mystery of this venue. The audio guide during the performance is invaluable. Amongst the many things I have done in Tokyo/Japan this was memorable. The actors being "national treasures" is an unusual concept to grasp. The actors are somewhat like U.S. movie stars. Ms. Yabe has much information and enjoys explaining about what she loves.
Ragnhild (Oslo, Norway)
I lived in Tokyo four years and had the pleasure of going to Kabuki with Ms. Yabe several times. Ms. Yabe knows everything about Kabuki and the Kabukiza in Ginza district Tokyo. She knows the interesting plays, she can explain the rather complicated stories, and the colorful and gorgeous costumes and make-up which the actors wear, and the symbolic meaning of the dance. There are so many interesting details to learn about Kabuki, Ms. Yabe can guide you through it all!
Karen (Minnesota, USA)
In early January (2007) I paid a visit to the Kabuki with Yabe-san, where we both decided to wear kimono. Since it was my first time attending a public event with a cultural touch, Yabe-san introduced me to a Kimono shop not far from the theather, where I was able to rent it for the day. The process was very elaborate and unique. There were various layers and color/pattern combinations to choose from. Although it was in the Winter I was able to walk with it in the streets all right without a Winter jacket. The experience was worth the while. The expert in the store had all figured out, and it made it much easier for me. I had to simply decide on the color and everything else matching was handed to me. The good thing about renting the kimono was that I was able to have the help to tie/wrap the fabric nicely around my waist. The dressing up part was glorious and walking out in the street with it was even more interesting. I had finally confined my pace within the allowed space between my legs and the capricious socks I wore, wearing a lacquered wooden sandal, was slippery at first but I managed. The challenge was to sit tight in the theater with this costume, eat bento on my lap, and make one visit to the ladies' room. In overall, the experience was exquisite and I recommend anyone to try it at least one time while touring around Ginza area. Probably going to the Kabuki-za with Yabe-san you can get an extra service on kimono wear, which will enhance your experience for the day to the utmost.
Claudia (Munchen, Germany)
I went on Kabuki tours with Mrs Yabe twice as I want to enjoy the Kabukiza while it is still open. I had been to Kabuki before, but always on one-show seats on the top floor, and I have to say the experience was totally different.
Mrs Yabe told me a lot about the background of Kabuki over a coffee for about an hour before the show started. It was really interesting to hear about the history of the art itself, but also about the history of the plays. I saw very traditional and also one very modern play, and was able to enjoy them much more through the information I had received beforehand.
I also really liked all the little hints on things to watch out for, e.g. how the stage helpers change the actors' costumes, how the stage changes, and how sound effects set the mood for a play.
Both times Mrs Yabe was able to get tickets for amazing seats where you had a good view of the hanamichi, so it was enjoyable to see the actors enter and leave the stage.
I can only recommend her lecture - it has certainly opened my eyes for this Japanese art form, and I 'm looking forward to participate again!