Incredible opportunities abound if you open your eyes and ears to them! My time studying in Tokyo has had its challenges, but I’ve had so many fantastic experiences that I wouldn’t trade it for the world! The ICC (International Culture Center) at Waseda University provides many cultural experiences for exchange students, and they frequently get tickets for NHK concerts. NHK is the major broadcasting company in Japan, and people all over the country watch it.
The first concert I attended was a classical performance of Ivan the Terrible. I was fascinated by the performance because the choir sang in German, and there were supertitles on either side of the stage in Japanese. However, I don’t know any German and reading Japanese can be rather difficult, so I had to rely on my understanding of what the narrator was saying. I was thoroughly impressed with the performance quality, and had a wonderful time.
The second concert I attended focused on J-Pop artists, and many famous performers took part, including AKB48, Linked Horizon, Perfume, 関ジャニ∞ (Kanja ni 8), X-Japan, and Joe Hisaishi. These artists covered a broad spectrum of styles, such as the extremely cute “Kawaii” style, hardcore Japanese rock, anime opening and closing themes from Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan, and beautiful orchestrations from Hayao Miyazaki films. Listening to such incredible artists perform live was a phenomenal opportunity, and experiencing the wide variety of musical talent that Japan produces was eye-opening.
The NHK Concert Hall