Thank you for all the guests kindly joining our regular tour on December 24. We had 23 guests from various countries, and 9 volunteer guides and 7 volunteer guide trainees attended the tour. It was Christmas Eve. So we had fewer guests than usual. We divided into 4 groups and enjoyed the tour. It was warm even in December but sometimes cold winds blew. Fujimi-Mamon, literally a wide house, was used as a weapon warehouse in the Edo period. It was recently opened to the visitors. We entered this house by way of trial. It is located on the border of the Imperial Palace East Gardens and the Imperial Palace residence area. Through the windows we can look at residence area including the silkworm house for producing silk fabrics and the Imperial Household Agency.You have to take off your shoes at the entrance and taking pictures in the house is not allowed. The New Year is coming and is the most important holiday in Japan. Most companies close their business from Dec. 30th through Jan. 3th or 4th. At the end of the year, many people return to their parent home, so traffic is very heavy. You should be […]
Thank you for joining our Tokyo Free Walking Tour of Asakusa Course. The weather was perfect and we were able to welcome around 15 guests. As usual, we started guiding people to Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center in order to see better views of Asakusa areas from its rooftop. Right after we left the Information Building, we moved into Sensoji compounds by passing through the famous gates, Kaminariomon Gate (Thunder Gate) and Hozomon Gate (Treasure Gate), and there are vendors lined up called Nakamise Street. Our tour ended at the sight of two types of religious buildings. One was a Buddhist temple called Sensoji Temple and the other was Shintoism building called Asakusa Shrine. In japan, both of the religions dominate people’s belief. Today, this Buddhist area was extraordinarily full and lively with tourists. Fortunately, we happen to experience Hagoita Fair,( Wooden Paddle Fair )at Sensoji Templ. Our guides were responsive to explain this traditional event on our tour. A lot of colorful and decorative wooden paddles were being showcased on the vender’s tables and walls. People purchase an ideal one in hope of developing their health and safety. Originally this wooden paddle was not so decorated, and used to […]
Thank you very much to all the guests for joining our tour. It was very nice weather with moderate temperature as December. We welcomed 31 guests from Argentine, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippine, UK and USA. It was very moderate weather and we enjoyed sunshine. Some group had nice and relax guiding and talk at the park and on the lawn. The lawn in the East Garden is very clean and when the weather is fine, people can relax on the lawn and can even have picnic (no alcohols, though). Imperial Household Agency is very generous:) Our tour route is from Tokyo station to walking in the Imperial Palace East Garden, and we are not visiting or even see the Imperial Palace where Emperor and Empress live. Normally ordinary people are not able to go into the Imperial Palace area unless you register in advance. But there are 2 chances that any well-wishers can go in the Imperial Palace Grounds. It is on New Year’s Day (January 2) and Emperor’s Birthday. On those days, well -wishers enter the Imperial Palace Grounds from main gate (double bridge) and acutally see Imperial Family members waving hands from the Palace balcony. If you are in Tokyo […]
Thank you the guests who kindly joined our tour on 26th of November. We had totally 50 guests, divided by five groups. It was a clear sunny & windy day. Strong wind made us feel chilly. I usually wash my hands and gargle when I get home, but especially in winter, I always do these for preventing cold or flu. In Japan, gargling with tea (green, black, whatever) is a popular idea, since it is believed tea has anti-bacterial qualities. Not only drinking but also gargling tea is effective in preventing cold. I strongly recommend you to try this. On the same day, we had an orientation for incoming new volunteer guides. We totally have 68 fresh people. They will have On-the-Job-Training from next week, and then do first guide point in a few month (I hope). You can meet such fresh guide soon.(Posted by Katsumi) ===== We have a regular tour every Saturday and have weekday/Sunday tours irregularly. Please check the calendar on our website, facebook and tripadvisor.
Thank you the guests who kindly joined our tour on 8th of December. We had 2 guests from the USA and Hong Kong. It was a warm and calm day. We enjoyed walking through the gardens of colored leaves in the blue sky. We guides were surprised to hear that Japanese apples named “FUJI” are also popular in other countries. (Reported by Keiko N) ===== We have a regular tour every Saturday and have weekday/Sunday tours irregularly. Please check the calendar on our website, facebook and tripadvisor.
The leaves have turned bright yellow and red around Tokyo. Though it is a bit chilly, it is one of the better seasons to visit the city. Around 30 guests joined us for a Saturday afternoon stroll. Thank you for choosing to join us. Enjoy your stay in Japan! (Yohei) ===== Please visit our website and Facebook, and drop your comments on our TripAdvisor page!
Thank you the guests who kindly joined our tour on 26th of November. We had 39 guests from 17 countries, divided by five groups. Though we had a freezing and snowing on Thursday herein Tokyo, this Saturday was lovely sunny day and a good day for walking tour. We enjoyed many colored leaves during our tour. At the beginning of the tour, it was warm but we felt a bit chilly at the end. I felt winter has already started. An advent period has started, and we will have one month more by Christmas day. We hear “Black Friday” these days but it is not a popular word yet in Japan. Japanese Christmas is a couple’s or friend’s event, whereas “a family event” in many other countries. Japanese family “come-together” event is on New Year’s Day. Most of us cerebrate the first day of New Year with family. Usually, all Christmas decoration or ornament takes away on 26-Dec and instead of them, we put “Kadomatsu” (New Year’s decorative pine trees) instead. I think this practice comes from two reasons: 1. we Japanese are very punctual (!). 2. it comes from Japanese animism’s point of view: we believe “Toshi-gami-sama” (a incoming […]
Thank you to all the guests for joining our tour. Although it was snowing in the morning and freezing day, we welcomed 12 guests from US, Philippines and Taiwan. Thank you very much! It was the first snow in this season, and first November snow in 54 years in Tokyo! We had a guest from Philippines, and it was first snow experience for him! So in a sense, it was quite memorial day! Actually, it is quite rate to have snow in Tokyo. We usually have snow day twice or three days every year. Tokyo is not snow area, so once we have snow, many public transportations get confused, i.e delay or stop. Nevertheless, we could have tour as usual. If not snow, Tokyo is now the season of ginkgo yellow. You would find lot of ginkgo trees in Tokyo, as it is the symbol tree of Tokyo. Symbol mark for Metropolis of Tokyo is ginkgo leave design! One of the famous place for ginkgo tree in Tokyo is Meiji Jingu Gaien (Meiji Shrine Outer garden). This place is often used for TV drama shooting or for advertisement. Along the 300m street, there are 146 beautifully shaped ginkgo trees. And […]
Thank you for joining our tour last Saturday! Although it was drizzling and cold day, we welcomed 21 guests from US, Australia and Canada, and enjoyed the tour with the gorgeous autumn scenery. Now it is one of the best seasons to travel Japan. Autumn leaves are beautiful everywhere, weathers are nice and foods are excellent (meaning delicious Japanese dishes become much delicious in this season!). By the way, many guests ask us the best souvenir in Japan. Of course there are billions of choices, but if you’re looking for something unique, how about going antique market? For instant I sometimes go to Oedo antique market, which is held random weekend in Tokyo, and on last Sunday I got this lovely Obi (kimono sash belt) for just 500yen! Apart from that they sell dishes, dolls, jewelries, kimonos, chests, bags, buttons, posters, watches, something fabulous or something wired, so you won’t be bored to spend your time there. Hope your stay in this county full of excitement! And we Tokyo Free Walking Tour always welcome your joining. (Ayumi) ===== Please visit our website and Facebook, and drop your comments on our TripAdvisor page!
Thank you the guests who kindly joined our tour on 12th of November. We had 35 guests from nine countries, divided by five groups. Friday was a cloudy & very cold day, but Saturday was a warm & sunny, i.e. the very best day for walking tour. The leaves are already turning red and yellow in Tokyo, and yes, we can enjoy such beautiful autumn view during our tour. Also, we can enjoy chrysanthemum flowers as well. Do you know the flower has much to do with the royal family? The Japanese imperial crest is in a shape of a chrysanthemum. By the way, we can see so many runners on the way to Ohtemon from Tatsumi-Yagura in our tour. A road around the palace grounds is very popular running course in Tokyo. One big reason might be five kilometers per lap (it is easy to count), and it is a kind of “cool” course in Tokyo (it is my guess ;-)). Anyway, some of TFWT members loves jogging (me included), and we took part in a road relay race on the next day, 13-Nov. The relay was totally 20km, i.e. 5km/persons for four. We named our teams […]