Tour Report on 28 May 2016

Thank you for the guests kindly joined our Saturday tour on 28th of May.
We totally had 57 guests from 15 countries, by six groups.

It was cloudy, but not so bad.
We hope all guests enjoyed  mild temperature and walking tour with us.

Last week, G7 summit was held in Ise-Shima in Japan, and after that, the US President Barak Obama paid a visit to Hiroshima, where 71 years ago, death fell from the sky and the world was changed.

U.S. President Obama Visits Hiroshima
HIROSHIMA, JAPAN – MAY 27: U.S. President Barack Obama gives a speech during his visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on May 27, 2016 in Hiroshima, Japan. It is the first time U.S. President makes an official visit to Hiroshima, the site where the atomic bomb was dropped in the end of World War II on August 6, 1945. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Article:www.huffingtonpost.jp

Personally I was so impressed with the US president’s speech that  I’ve come to realize that we should introduce Hiroshima all through the world as the place where we can feel how disastrous war is.

But also we need to be future oriented and we should invite to Hiroshima as the place
where all of us can feel how precious peace is and how beautiful life is.

Here are some attractions you will enjoy in Hiroshima.

Itsukushima Shrine.
This world heritage site is famous for its red torii gate and pier-like structures that appear floating on the sea at high tides.

ダウンロード                Photo: www.jalan.net
Hiroshima castle.
This five storied lookout is a symbol of Hiroshima castle,which used to be the center of the politics in Chugoku area.

ダウンロード (1)               Photo:www.hiroshima-navi.or.jp
Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki.
This Japanese pancake is grilled on an iron plate, which is made up of batter, sliced pork,squid,shredded cabbage, and noodles. Tastes good!

ダウンロード (2)                  Photo:www.hiroshima-navi.or.jp

We wish May 27th be a unforgettable day as the re-start point toward ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons.

Tour Report on 21 May 2016

Thank you for joining us from all over the world.

On that day we welcomed over 60 people from USA, Australia, U.K., Canada, Spain, Columbia, Israel, Chile, Poland, Malaysia, Germany, Singapore, India, Egypt and Hong Kong.

We divided into 7 groups.

The weather was really nice and very warm despite the middle of May.

In this tour, most of the spots the guides describe is things of pre-modern time. But the first two spots are related to early modern time buildings. One is Tokyo Station where we first meet and the other is The Industry Club of Japan. These two buildings were built in early 20th century, that symbolises Japan’s early age of modernization from feudal era.

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For European guests it is not special at all because such things can be found all over in their countries. As for The Industry Club of Japan opened in 1920 for forum of industriasts, the feature of this retroprospective building is it is combined with new modern high-rise building. Initially it was only 5 story building but in early 21th century, some portion of the building was demolished and replaced with the new building. The glass window building and the old brick building were combined inside. It is called facade architect. Only the symbolic side of the building was remained to preserve cultural heritage while expanding office space for rent. One might see it weird.

The significance of this preservation is to tell how Japan industrialised the nation. On the top of the old building is two statues.

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A man holding a hammer symbolises coal mining industry and a woman holding a spinning wheel symbolizes textile industry. The two were the major industries at that time.

There are dramatic stories being told about these industries. As for textile industry, there were sad stories of young women working at textile factories.  They were forced to work more than 12 hours a day. The textile they produced were not only used for kimono but stocking western women used. Big export products for Japan. They worked so hard that some of them ended up dying of tuberculosis in harsh environment.

As for coal mining, there is a famous love affair being told among Japanese. The story is similar to Hollywood film “Titanic.” In Fukuoka prefecture, there remained a coal mining tycoon residence, Ito Denuemon House currently as public exhibition. A georgeous traditional Japanese mansion reveals how rich the house owner was.

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Ito was self-made coal mining tycoon. Coal was necessary materials in those days because it was major energy source to run ships for war and trading and to generate electricity. In 1911, he married a noble woman, Byakuren when he was 50 years old and she was 25 years old. Byakuren was married to him to save her family that was financially in trouble.

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But she was never happy living with Ito although he showered her with expensive kimono and jewelries. Later she fell in love with a young man and ran away from Ito. Her letter to tell the will of divorce was printed in newspaper, which was very sensational at that time because wives’ adultery was illegal while Ito could openly had mistresses. The couple were at risk of prison sentence. But Ito was kind enough to let her go without prosecution.

Byakuren gave up her noble status because of that incident and then the couple got married and had children. She was good at writing poems and became a well-known poet since then. Today under new democratic constitution, nobility is abolished and wives’ adultery is no longer illegal.

By learning such stories, this building should look more interesting spot for our guests. The buildings we escort are not just for viewing but learning hidden stories with them.

We are always eager to tell such stories to the guests. Please come and join us!

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We have a regular tour every Saturday and have weekday/Sunday tours irregularly.Please check the calendar on our website, Facebook and TripAdvisor.

Tour Report: May 17, 2016

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It was raining hard and the wind was quite strong. I gave up to wear KIMONO or Japanese traditional outfit.
KIMONO, the proud Japanese tradition. But too hot in summer, too cold in winter, so difficult to walk, and getting stains when raining…Wearing KIMONO is really uncomfortable.
Despite that I like to wear KIMONO because many tourists seems happy looking at our KIMONO.

Now many Japanese don’t wear KIMONO. One of the reasons is that they can’t put KIMONO on by themselves.
It used to be that mothers taught daughters how to put KIMONO on. But now, there are KIMONO schools which teach it. I went to KIMONO school for a half year.

We welcomed 8 guests. Thank you for joining us!

Rain made leaves and flowers more beautiful.

Azalea was almost gone and iris started blooming.

Now, we have the most comfortable weather before the rainy season. Visit and enjoy TOKYO now!

(Naomi)

Tour Report: May 14, 2016

Thank you for joining our tour! On that day, we welcomed 70 guests and divided into 6 groups. The weather was perfect and there was a nice breeze. I hope you all enjoyed the nice weather.
Bletilla striata are in full bloom at Ninomaru Japanese Garden. You can enjoy different flowers depending on the seasons there. Irises bloom between late May and Jun at their peak.
Joining a walking tour is a great opportunity to meet fellow travellers. For many, travelling alone is an exciting adventure with a great sense of freedom. However, it can also get lonely from time to time. Adventure into the unknown and make small talk with others on the tour traveling like yourself where many friendships can be made and travel partners found.  I’m always happy when I see that guests are interacting and sharing their trip experiences each other.
By the way, have you ever been to any World Natural Heritage Site in Japan? We have 4 natural sites, Shiretoko(Hokkaido), Shirakami-Sanchi(Aomori/Akita Prefecture), Ogasawara Islands(Tokyo) and Yakushima(Kagoshima Prefecture). Don’t be confused, the famous mountain Mt.Fuji is listed for “cultural” heritage site, rather than a natural heritage site. It is said Mt.Fuji has nurtured Japan’s unique art and culture as it has been depicted in “ukiyoe” woodblock prints and represents the tradition of mountain worship in Japan.
Anyway, today I’d like to share you the beauty of Yakushima. On this Golden Week holidays, I was traveling to Yakushima to enjoy an ancient forest which has a distinctive climate and unique wildlife. Yakushima is renowned for having “35 wet days a month”, as a Japanese saying goes, enjoys an incredible rainfall, which makes for superb waterfalls and rivers amid the misty, moss-clad peaks.
More than its 3,000 species of animals and 1,300 types of plants, Yakushima’s most memorable feature is those ancient cedars. You can see one of the world’s oldest trees, the Jomon-sugi, reputed to be 7,200 years old. It dates to the Jomon Period from which it gets its name. Height is about 30 meters and around the stem is about 45 meters. The hike to Jomon-sugi is not technically difficult but it is very long, 22km and 12 hours round trip…it was so challenging and I was super exhausted but so glad that I didn’t give up. It was one of the best trips in my life.
If you are looking for a place for enjoying nature, then this is it!
(Report by Chisako)
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Tour Report: May 7, 2016

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Sumo season is on in Tokyo!
The 15 day summer tournament in Tokyo started last Sunday. This is one of the three tournaments held in Tokyo throughout the year (The other three are held elsewhere in Japan).

One of the guests told me she was interested in going to see the Sumo match. The reserved seats are all gone, but if you are willing to stand in line early in the morning, you may be able to get the non-reserved seats for the day.

It was quite recent that I first saw sumo live, and I can tell you it is much more exciting than seeing it on TV. If you have a chance, I definitely suggest you go for it.

Sumo recently has become more globalized than ever. Of the Makuuchi, or the top 42 ranking wrestlers, 16 are from outside Japan.  Mongolia is known to be home of many good wrestlers, but there are wrestlers from other countries such as Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Georgia and Russia. It might be interesting to go find wrestlers from your country.

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Well, so much about sumo, we were joined by 46 guests on Saturday.
None from the said sumo countries, but thank you all the same!
The weather was perfect, with spotless skies and neither too cold nor too hot.

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The wisteria at the Japanese garden were almost over, but then the irises shouldn’t be far away. I explained that the Japanese were so fond of carps that we even have a professional baseball team named after the fish.
Now on baseball I can go on and on, but maybe I will just finish here and keep the topic for some time else…

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(Report by Yohei)

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Please visit our website and Facebook, and drop your comments on our TripAdvisor page!

Tour Report on May 4, 2016(Holiday tour)

We welcomed 11 guests from Italy, Australia, U.S.A., Canada, Brazil and
Philippines.
We divided the guests into 3 groups and started our tour at 10:00 am from Tokyo Station.
Today was very hot day with strong wind .
Luckly the rain was stopped early in the morning.

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Thanks to all the guests for joining and having a good time with us.
Please enjoy the rest of your stay in Japan.

TFWT’s regular walking tour is held on Saturdays 13:00-15:00.
If you are in Tokyo on the day, why not come and join us?
Please check the tour calender on our website.
And also please visit facebook and tripadvisor.

(Posted by Keiko.N)

 

Tour Report on 30 April 2016

 

Thank you for joining our tour on April 30th.

Now, Japanese are enjoying Golden Week holidays. Many Japanese have looked forward to this week, because we have a long holiday, and moreover the weather is usually nice during this week, so it is really good season for going out.

On the day of tour, it was also perfect weather. We welcomed 70 guests from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, US and so on. We divided into 7 groups.

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We strolled and had relaxing afternoon in the fresh green leaves, and some guests were sitting verdant lawn as they listened our explanation about the Edo history.

 

Edo castle used to be built at the east garden of imperial palace, but now only stone base remains. We cannot enjoy watching powerful and magnificent castle unfortunately.

Do you know the closest castle from Tokyo?

Whenever our guests ask me this question, I always answer “Odawara Castle is the closest castle from Tokyo”. It is located in Odawara City in Kanagawa Prefecture. It takes 1 hour and a half by train.

From the beginning of 15 to the end of 16 Century, Hojo clan controlled east side of Japan(KANTO Area) . Odawara Castle was the center of that area. After decreasing Hojo’s power, Tokugawa who unified Japan during the Edo period controlled the castle. Ohkubo who was the retainer of Tokugawa became the load of the castle. After the Edo period, it was taken apart, and the stone base was destroyed by the big earthquake in 1923. However, from in 1930’s, the castle was rebuilt step by step, and in 1960 watch tower was restored.

In 2016 May, watch tower has been reopened, because it had been under the construction from July 2015 due to the earthquake resistant. You can enter the inside of the watch tower and there are a lot of exhibited objects about Odawara Castle and the background of its history. You can learn a lot!

We are looking forward to seeing you in our tour every time, but if you have time druing staying in Tokyo, why don’t you visit there?

We have a regular tour every Saturday and weekday/Sunday tours irregularly. Please check our website, Facebook and TripAdvisor

(Posted by Chizuru)

Notice : Holiday Morning Tour on Wednesday , May 4

・Date / Time : Wed.  May 4 , 2016 ( 10:00-12:00)

・Meeting Place : Tokyo Station Marunouchi Central Gate (ground floor)

[more on where to find us]

・We leave at 10:00 a.m.  Please take care to arrive on time !

・Participation Fee : Free

・Reservation : Not required

・Participants : Foreign tourists and residents , and their accompanying

Japanese friends, families, etc.

For more imformation on our tour, please visit our website, Facebook,

and TripAdvisor!