Japan’s Renewed Kabuki-za Theater in Ginza Lights Up

Lights began to shine on Tokyo’s celebrated home of traditional kabuki theater on Thursday, as the renovated venue prepares to raise the curtains on a new era.

The new Kabuki-za theater, part of a 29-story office building in the upscale Ginza shopping district, has now started an evening illumination program ahead of its April opening.

The theater occupies the bottom floors of the tower, retaining some elements of the original facade, which evokes medieval Japanese castles and temples with its curved roofs and red paper lanterns.

Standing 145 meters (470 feet) high, the new skyscraper is the tallest building in the area. Overlooking an eastern section of the Japanese capital, the summit of Mount Fuji can be seen on clear days.

Japan beyond the Ginza – Touring Japan

I can’t think of another museum that embodies the spirit of Japanese innovation quite as well as Miraikan: The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

Created by Japan’s Science and Technology Agency — and led by astronaut Mamoru Mohri — the futuristic glass building is packed with permanent exhibits and fun hands-on gadgets that explain the science behind technology and its application to daily life. Visitors can build a robot, meet the humanoid ASIMO, "drive" a virtual reality horse, brush up on nano-technology, peek inside the body or take in a show in the Dome Theatre.

Most fascinating of all is the giant Geo-Cosmos — representing planet Earth — that floats over a six-storey atrium. The 6.5-metre sphere is made of 3,715 panels lit by nearly 1 million LED lights, which display daily conditions on Earth. The images are gathered from observation stations and satellites, and show real time planetary conditions such as weather, sea temperatures and carbon monoxide concentrations, as well as simulations of global warming.

Read the rest of the story: Japan beyond the Ginza.