Tour Report on 24-December , 2016 Saturday

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.

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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.

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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 careful of your schedule during the season. And people are very busy in cleaning their houses and preparing special foods for the New Year called “osechiryori”. Because of “osechiryori”, people (wives) are free from preparing foods during the New Year. Entrances of houses and buildings are decorated with a set of pine branches and bamboo called “Kadomatsu” literally pine gate. In Japan, at new year, a deity of a house is believed to come into the house through the pine gate. This is the reason that people clean the house at the end of the year and place the pine gate. During new year days people pay for a first visit to a shrine or temple to pray for good health, happiness, and prosperity for the new year. Meiji shrine is famous for its many new year visitors.

Tour Report on 18-December , 2016 Sunday

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.

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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.

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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 play a game at New Year season in which two or more people hit a shuttlecock with battledores.
Nowadays, people rarely play this traditional game, and paddles are drowned by celebrities’ images as sellable items.

By Arac

Tour Report on December 17

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.

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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 this week, you have chance for this occasion.   The Emperor’s Birthday is Dec 23, this Friday.  Appearances are Emperor and Empress, Crown Prince and Princess, Prince and Princess Akishino and Princess Mako and Kako.  Majority of  Japanese nation like and admire Imperial Family, many people visit on the day, so it is very crowded.  I think this could be very rare and honorable experience for foreigner as well.  If you are interested in this oppotuniry, please check website of Imperial Household agency.

(posted by Sachimi)

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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 on 10-December, 2016, Saturday

Thank you the guests who kindly joined our tour on 26th of November. We had totally 50 guests, divided by five groups.

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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.

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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.at-orientation

(Posted by Katsumi)

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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 on 8-December , 2016 Wednesday (Weekday Tour)

Thank you the guests who kindly joined our tour on 8th of December.

We had 2 guests from the USA and Hong Kong.

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It was a warm  and calm day.

We enjoyed walking through the gardens of colored leaves in the blue sky.

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We guides were surprised to hear that Japanese apples named

“FUJI” are  also popular in other countries.

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(Reported by Keiko N)

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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: December 3, 2016

img_3227The 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.

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Thank you for choosing to join us. Enjoy your stay in Japan!

(Yohei)

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