Tour Report on August 20 , Asakusa areas

Thank you for coming Asakusa areas. We welcomed several guests on that day and briefly introduced ourselves. Right after that, we started our tour with climbing the roof top of Asakusa Tourist Information Center, where we enjoyed seeing the breathtaking views of these historical areas.

 

Normally, we visit seven spots in this Asakusa strolling and conclude at Asakusa Shinto Shrine.

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Recently, rainy and overcast conditions have prevailed and lasted a half month in most of Japan.
It has highly likely made the unprecedented records in Japanese weather forecast.
Although the weather was not perfect, we were truly honored to make tours for enthusiastic travelers in this historical place, Asakusa.

 

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The scene, lined up with “The Five Men of Thefts”, are the highlights of this story.

 

On the way, while strolling along the roads of Asakusa, you will see some Buddhist buildings and retailer shops selling traditional food, clothing and other souvenirs.
It will effectively make you, Asakusa lovers, feel fully immersed in the atmosphere of old Tokyo.
Moreover, you would probably be enthusiastic in viewing Kabuki, after you successfully find statues of five men in this historical site. These attractive objects can be found on different shop’s roofs, wearing the clothing of typical town people from the Edo period.
They are called “Shiranami Gonin Otoko”, which can be translated to “The Five Men of Thefts”

The stories about these men have been popular and is one of the highlights of Kabuki plays in Japan since the Edo era.
Folk tales about these group of men depict them as a unique group of thieves, who are following a policy of being “Gizoku” like “Robin Hood” in England.
A “Gizoku” or a gentleman thief, never commits theft for their own material wealth or greed. On the other hand, they steal from wealthy people and distribute their stolen goods among the poor members of the society.
Additionally, they proudly follow and advocate certain rules, where they prohibit themselves from afflicting physical damage and avoiding mental intimidation to steal.
Anyways, it is our great pleasure to introduce this historical town, and help them find traditional Japan.
See you soon in Asakusa.

(By Arac)

Tour Report on August 19

Thank you so much for joining our tour on August 19 in muggy weather. I sincerely appreciate the participation of 31 friendly guests from almost all the continents and hope some of you enjoyed the instant kimono afterwards. Also it was lucky that we could complete the tour before heavy rain.

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There is a small museum of the Imperial collection(Sannomaru Shozokan)at the East Gardens on our walking tour route. They have nearly 10,000 priceless treasures such as the pictures and art products which have been inherited as the Imperial collection for a long time. Some of them are considered a national treasure class.
The art products held by the Imperial Family were donated to the government in 1989 when the Showa Emperior passed away. This museum was open in 1993 as a facility to preserve, study and display those collections. Many pieces were created by the Imperial Household artists.

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The museum is currently showing bonbonniere items (palm-sized candy boxes) until September 10th. In the Imperial Family there is a tradition to present a small confectionary box called bonbonniere since the late 1880’s as a souvenir to the guests to commemorate the auspicious occasions such as the enthronements, weddings of the Imperial Family and also the receptions of the foreign state guests. This custom has been passed down to the present day.

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All the items are elaborately designed with the high craft technique by using the materials mostly made of silver, Japanese lacquer and porcelain. Each item can tell the days, features and deep culture from their forms and patterns when they were produced.
This museum is relatively small but worthwhile to visit once. Please be careful of the opening time/hours. Monday/Friday are closed. Opening hours are 9am to 4:45pm now but vary depending upon the time. Making sure of their HP in advance is recommendable.
Perhaps it may be convenient for you to visit the museum before our tour or afterwards.
Free admission!!!

(posted by Yoshi)

Tour Report: August 12, 2017

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Japan enters the “bon” summer vacation week when people return to their hometowns and get together with their families and friends. It is one of the busiest times of the year for public transport, when highways are clogged and train reservations are near impossible, so good luck to our 36 guests for their remainder of their stay in Japan!

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The weather forecast for Saturday was initially very tricky, but it turned out to be one of the better days, cloudy with occasional sunshine. I went with a group of 9. Our guests included those who have visited, lived and worked in Japan before. This was a challenging but interesting experience. Hopefully I was able to add new insight for them.

Then we had a handsome young guest. He was particularly popular among our ladies!

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Below is a slideshow of our group photos. Thank you for choosing to join our tour. Enjoy your stay in Japan!

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(Yohei)

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Tour Report on 5 August 2017, Saturday

Many thanks for 35 guests who joined this tour from Canada, Bermuda, USA, Taiwan, Argentina, Netherland, Australia, Slovenia, Poland, Ukraina, Germany, Urguay, France, Nepal, Austria, Mexico, Belgium, and so on. We divided into 4 groups.

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The weather was partly cloudy but very hot. On such a weather, bringing water and a hand-blowing fan is highly recommended. Otherwise, you might get sick.

For Japanese, it may be best season to bathe in hot spring. Hot spring bath in hot climate might sound strange but it is customery in Japan because Japan’s hot summer comes with high humidity. So people get so much sweat that they want to wipe out sweat and feel fresh by bathing. If bathed in naturally welled-up hot spring water, that is excellent.

Even within Tokyo city, there is a great natural hot spring public bath facility with recreation and entertainment. In Odaiba district by the Tokyo bay, the facility named Oedo Onsen Monogatari, there used natural hot spring dug and elevated from thousands meter deep underground.

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Great feature of the place is that bathers change clothes to Yukata which they can rent from the facility and can enjoy eating meals, play games, view shows before bathing like fesitivity. After bathing in big and various indoor and outdoor hot bath tubs, they can have massage.

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If one does not like full-body bathing, she or he can bathe only feet and even heal the body by having fish eat your rotten part of the skin. It looks like a Japanese Anime film “Sprited Away.”

But that might not be satifsfactory for guests who want to enjoy truly natural hot spring. If one can spare a day trip from Tokyo, there are many natural hot spring resorts around Tokyo. One of very unique places is Shiriyaki Onsen in Gunma Prefecture, which is in fact extraordinary natural. Because natural hot spring is in the river. The river itself is hot spring meaning hot spring water wells up from the bottom of the river. So one can not only bathe but swim in the natural hot spring water mixing with a mountain river current.

Why not enjoy Japan’s hot and humid summer by bathing in natural hot springs? That is the very natural way of enjoying Japan!

 

Tour Report on July 29, 2017

We would like to thank all of our guests choosing us TFWT to spend their own precious time and exploring around the central Tokyo, Marunouchi with us. We always feel so honored to take and show our guests around the beautiful garden fulfilled by the hospitality of our Imperor and Impress. This day, we welcomed 28 guests from 12 countries as Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Austria, U.S.A., Columbia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, India, Nepal, Needless to say, it was an hot day, but we were delightful to stroll around the “summer-mode” garden with our friendly guests.
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This day, a big firework event was to be held at night. The most common and most traditional one, known as “Sumida-River firework festival”. It is said that this firework event originates from the memorial service held in 1732 around this Sumida-River. The 8th Tokugawa shogunate named Yoshimune held this service to mourn the spirits of the countless dead whom suffered from famine and cholera, losing their life’s at last.

Sumida-River firework became an annual event since 1978. 2017 year festival event just counted the 40th festival. To celebrate its own anniversary, the number of the fireworks increased up to 22,000 while 20,000 were the familiar figures for this festival.
Since this Sumida-River firework is a megaton range, the viewers counts over 980,000 every year. Though, this years’ viewers were 748,000 according to the research . (except the viewers watching the TV broadcast! ) Well, still incredible figures, aren’t they? It was because of heavy rain that started to pour from the evening and kept raining till the end of the festival. More to say, other firework festivals were held around Tokyo as Urayasu (Chiba, near Tokyo Disneyland) and Tachikawa(in the West side of Tokyo) on the same day,
and to our surprise, none of them were postponed. Most of us recognized at this time that firework events could be continued no matter of rain. (On the other hand, if Lightning strikes somewhere, the event would be stopped or canceled).

Many Japanese women prefer to wear “yukata” (a sort of summer kimono) to firework events and this could make you feel more summer feature of our country. More to say, you can experience the “kimono” wearing at the end of our tour also. Why not you just join us in all means? Your participant is always welcome!

(posted by Nori)