From Japan to Chaoyang District

Chaoyang Theater

Related to my previous rant about neighbouring countries. I am always looking for opportunities to get to know the rest of Asia, outside of the “island limits”. It is easy for a lot of Japanese to get stuck on the island, but going outside and coming back brings a lot of good things into the culture. So, that’s my job, to go and see how it is and come back to report back to the Japanese on how it really is. As well as, how it isn’t. I’m not saying that a lot of Japanese wouldn’t know about it, just the majority does tend to have this island mentality. And since because of my work I am able to connect with a rather ordinary Japanese population. They are always very interested in my adventures, and I feel they can benefit a lot from hearing my stories.

One of the most controversial topics is China. When you talk to people about it, there are rather mixed feelings. Some can be even scared, while many might have some connection through business for example. Overall the feeling is not that positive, while a lot of positive things are acknowledged on the side. Thinking positive about China, is just not the main thought. But I think it definitely should!

Anyway, I’ve been to China a couple of times, in Xiamen in the South as well as Hong Kong which is quite different from the mainland. This time, I headed to the nerve of the country, well known as Beijing. I stayed at theĀ Inner Mongolia Grand Hotel which is located right in the center of it all, Wangfujing. There you can do loads of shopping and see the “modern Beijing”, which is loaded with money and an abundance of workforce. You can really feel it when you walk the wide streets, how everything is made to be majestic and reflect the modern times.

But there is another interesting neighbourhood nearby that I wanted to focus on during this particular trip. It is Chaoyang district. A rather large district, which is why I didn’t have time to explore it all. But it’s good to explore bit by bit, because this district is filled with some of the most exiting nightlife as well as a huge park. I didn’t come here to do shopping, but instead, I wanted to visit the very popular Chaoyang Theater acrobatics show. All I can say is, wow!

Only kidding, there is a few more things I could say besides show photos. This is basically one stunt frenzy, where one after another, the most skilful Chinese acrobats put up a show that is the most impressive I have ever seen. Melting into my seat, as I was watching the performance I started thinking. Wouldn’t theater performances like these, be an excellent opportunity for Japanese and Chinese get together and meet. If history is a difficult subject to bite, I am sure that something as fun and exiting as acrobatics could get the hearts of Japanese running. My crazy adventure at the Chaoyang District really made me appreciate all the fantastic things that China has brought to the world, through their ancient culture.

My favourite stunt at the Chaoyang Theater was the bicycle trick. It was indeed the highlight of the performance. A dozen or so, acrobats were driving inside a round metal cage. When it seemed that things couldn’t get any more exiting, they turned of all the lights and they had to do all that in the darkness. Impressive indeed!

All in all, Beijing was a great trip. A bit too fast, but anyway. I hope to visit again sometime soon. Probably I will share some more experiences as well from China. But for know, I am settling back to my old good life back in Japan. And very happy for that too!

Noriko Hides


  1. Manuel says:

    Cool Chaoyang District sounds like the place to go when visiting Beijing. I have never been to China before, but it’s good to read something positive about the country too. Very interesting. Thanks!

  2. Ophelia Wicker says:

    Reading this post makes me want to travel to China. I know some people have negative views on it, but I don’t really believe in it. Going there will certainly change peoples minds. Thanks for posting.

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