Senior Travel in TokyoEdit This
Tokyo senior travel can prove both compelling and challenging. While there is plenty to see and do, Tokyo is a very crowded city with limited disability access, which can make those with mobility issues face a bit of difficulty when getting around. However, if you're active, you'll find Tokyo's sprawling public transportation system a perfectly convenient way to navigate the entire length of the city without worrying about how to get from 1 place to the next.
A popular activity with senior tourists and cultural aficionados alike is to watch a performance of kabuki, a style of classic Japanese theater that involves colorful makeup, purposefully exaggerated movements and music featuring the 3-stringed instrument the shamisen. Kabuki plays have the advantage of allowing tourists to have a taste of as much or as little of the play as they like. You can rest your weary feet and watch a performance that averages 3 to 5 hours or you can purchase a ticket for a 1-hour act of the play.
In Tokyo, the best place for kabuki is the Kabukiza Theater in the Ginza area of the city. Full play tickets start at ¥2500 (U.S. $28) and 1-act tickets cost only around ¥900 (U.S. $10). You can also rent headphones that translate the performance into English, which is convenient for those with hearing difficulties and those who aren't fluent in Japanese. Don't be startled if audience members shout during the performance. This kind of interaction is a part of the art.
Traditional Japanese culture values beauty and tranquility and both of these traits are featured in a traditional tea ceremony. There are a number of tea ceremonies performed by masters for an English-speaking audience around the city for a fee of only around ¥1000 to ¥5000 (U.S. $11 to $56) per person. Although the traditional way of the tea ceremony involves sitting on tatami-mat floors, seniors who experience difficulty sitting on the floor atop their legs can request, at many of the locations, that the ceremony be performed on a Western-style table with chairs.
The duration of these ceremonies lasts between 10 minutes and 90 minutes (the longer they are, the more expensive they are). The longer sessions are more reflective of a traditional ceremony, but the shorter sessions allow those with trouble sitting still for long periods or those with busy schedules to fit in the experience as well. Some prime locations for ceremonies for senior tourists around Tokyo include the Imperial Hotel, the Hotel Okura and the International Chado Cultural Federation.