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Tour Report on 24 July 2016 SUNDAY

  • 2016.07.26

Thank you very much for joining us from all over the world. On that day we welcomed 24 guests from Australia, Indonesia, Deutschland, Canada, Malaysia and Israel. Then we were divided into 2 groups. It was not too hot despite this time of the year. But it was hot enough to enjoy icecream at a resthouse in the East Garden, where the tour groups stopped in the middle of the course. The resthouse sells several kinds of icecream. Most recommended one is Macha icecream. Macha is strong flavoured green tea. It was originally used as powder of tea to mix with hot water. Macha tea is mainly used in tea ceremony. Tea ceremony is one of Japan’s traditional hobbies. People enjoy having sweets and Macha tea in a bowl. But this is formal occasion and certain manner is required for attendees.  There are manner schools for that. Our guests tried that and enjoy the taste of it. U.S. President Obama used to taste that when he visited Japan before becoming the President of his nation. Communicating with guests is greatest aspect of the tour. One of the guides talked with Israeli guests about Japanese diplomat named Sugihara who saved Jewish refugees from Poland while he served as Vice-Counsul […]

Tour Report : July 23, 2016

  • 2016.07.24

Thank you for all the guests kindly joining our regular tour on 23rd of July. We had 35 guests from 13 countries and eleven volunteer guides attended the tour. So we were divided into 5 groups and enjoyed the tour. This morning every TV program says “At last in Japan the download of POKEMON GO started yesterday” and are explaining how to play it. We can see some people playing it in the Imperial Palace East Gardens. It is cloudy and humid. We are still in the rainy season, which lasts longer than the past years. But according to the weather report, Japan’s hot and humid summer is starting soon. Japan is surrounded by the sea and then has a lot of beautiful beaches. Also you can enjoy marine sports. And there are a lot of large luxurious pool facilities, which offer running water, waving water and water slides. You can enjoy all day long with shaved ice. Some events are only available in summer, including climbing Mt. Fuji and firework displays. On July 30th in the evening, Sumida river firework display is held and is broadcasted on TV. Also a lot of firework displays are held throughout the country during […]

Tour Report : July 20, 2016

  • 2016.07.22

Thank you to all wonderful guests for joining us on July 20. We separated into two groups with 8 people in each group. It was a sunny day, despite the weather forecasts which predicted overcast. The air felt thick. It’s no wonder that it is in the rainy season in Tokyo. It’s muggy and rainy every day and the weather is unpredictable. There are some good points of the rainy season, of course. Rain helps grow trees and plants, such as rice. And also, rain water is collected in water reservoirs, is processed, and is introduced to public water supply. Let me go off on a tangent and tell you the story about our tour. We start from Tokyo Station and go through one of the most important business districts in our country. Later we go into the East Garden of the Imperial Palace. The garden used to be the part of the Edo castle in the past. So, you can see some traditional Japanese structures there. In summer, we see dragonflies gliding around pine trees and we hear cicadas/locusts making sounds during our tour. It’s because there are so much green in the East Garden of the Imperial Palace, […]

Tour Report: July 16, 2016

  • 2016.07.21

Emperor wishing retirement, was one of the major headlines last week in Japan. The initial report was from the public broadcasting company NHK. It claimed that the Emperor has been expressing his intention to abdicate for several years now due to the heavy burden of his public duties. Then came a series of mixed reports, some in support and others in complete denial. Official sources including the Imperial Household Agency have provided no meaningful information as of yet. We are left to wonder what is really happening.   My feeling toward the first news was “why not?”.  The Emperor is very old now,  aged 82. Many people of his age enjoy their retired life. After all his years of public service, he deserves a quiet life. Maybe enjoy some gardening at the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace.     Even today, many features of the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace are of his design. My group observed the orchard of traditional Japanese fruits at the Honmaru area, then went on to see the long-finned carp in the Ninomaru gardens. These are just two of the Emperor’s ideas reflected in the design of the garden. It is quite interesting to imagine what the […]

Tour Report: July 9, 2016

  • 2016.07.15

Thank you for all the guests who attended the Tokyo Free Walking Tour on July 9th. Even though it was raining hard because of the typhoon, still we had the regular tour as usual. During the two-hour walk, the guides were very responsive to the inquiry of the guest because most of them were very attentive and curious at the same time.  Actually, some of the guests learned  Japanese histories and knew about famous locations in Tokyo beforehand through social medias or guide books. Some guests were interested in  pine trees, which are well maintained in this East Gardens of the Imperial Palace.  Commonly, these trees are matching up so well with castle building and these majestic sights can easily catch the visitors’ attention.  In Japan, the words “pine”, “bamboo” and “plum” are occasionally used to describe ranks of dishes’ quality when you place an order at a restaurant.   The “pine” means the highest rank.   The “bamboo” follows and “plum” is the lowest in rank.  For instance, someone would say “Please give me a pine of Gyūdon.”   This means the highest quality of Gyūdon – is a Japanese dish consisting of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion […]

Tour Report: July 2, 2016

  • 2016.07.05

Thank you very much for joining our tour! Although it was an extremely hot and humid day today, we had apx.60 guests thankfully. We separated into 5 groups with about 10~15 people in each group, which was relatively big compared to recent tendency. According to weather forecast, the temperature was over 35 degrees in Tokyo for the first time this year, which is officially called ‘extremely hot day’. The breeze blowing through ‘Matsu-no-O-Roka’ felt so comfortable instead. Mostly we stayed in the shade to avoid heat and drink as much water as possible to prevent from getting heat attack. At the resting place in the middle of the tour, we always take 10 minute break. There, almost everyone rushed to get ice cream or something cold to drink. When the climate is mild and comfortable, we sit on the turf of the castle sites and talk about a bit of Japanese history etc., but today actually nobody was on the turf because of the strong sunlight. We sat under the tree and discussed the life of Edo Period in our group. It is getting even hotter from now on, but our tour is on whatever the weather is! We are […]