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  • 2018.03.31

Thank you for joining our weekday tour of East Garden of Imperial Palace on March 29th. We were so happy to have met all 18 guests from U.S.A., Philippines, Australia, France, Canada, Sweden and UK. It was the perfect day to watch cherry blossoms in full bloom. Many people came to East Garden of Imperial Palace. It was a bit hot like early summer. Not only the cherry blossoms but also the azalea came out earlier than we expected.     As you know, now we can enjoy “Hanami” at many places in Tokyo. Ueno, Chidorigafuchi, Nakameguro, so on. But if you want to enjoy “Hanami” in a relaxed atmosphere with your family or friends, try to go out from the center of Tokyo. I live in Ota-Ku, south district of Tokyo. Ota-Ku has Senzoku pond park. Senzoku pond park is at the 6th station from Gotanda Station on Tokyu Ikegami Line. Ikegami line is very short line. Senzoku pond park is suitable for strolling. It takes 15 minutes to walk around the pond. There are a lot of cherry trees along the pond. So people can see the beautiful pink cherry blossoms which look like pink crowds floating above […]

Tour report on March 24th (afternoon tour) Imperial Palace East Gardens

  • 2018.03.27

We appreciate you joined the tour of Imperial Palace East Gardens on March 24th (afternoon tour). Guides were really happy more than 65 people joined our tour, what a day ! I’ve never been so happy in my life.   A lot of visitors enjoyed taking photos with full-bloomed cherry blossoms and kimonos. We prepare simple kimono costumes to enjoy taking photo at the end of our tour. Weeping cherry called “Shidarezakura” and Yoshino cherry called “Someiyoshino” were fully bloomed on the day. Yoshino cherry is the most famous cherry blossom in Japan. It is said that the life span of the tree is about 50 to 60 years and so many trees in Japan will reach the end in a few years. Hence there is a risk to fall witches’ broom if we leave the dying tree as it is…Therefore so many trees might be hewed down after the full bloom season. Through short conversations with visitors, I received the similar questions that “what is the difference of role between Japanese emperor and prime minister?” To put it simplify, Japanese emperor has been designated as “Symbol of Japan”. Emperor Akihito is not in charge of politics actually. On the […]

Tour Report on 24 March 2018, Morning tour to the East Garden of the Imperial Palace

  • 2018.03.26

  We thank many guests joining the tour. On that day cherry blossoms were in full bloom, which was 9 days earlier than normal year. The weather was very fine and warm. We welcomed 19 guests from USA, UK, Mexico, Philippines, Nederland, Italy, Chile, Spain, Malaysia, New Zealand and Ireland. We divided into 3 groups.   Inside the East Garden we spared time to enjoy cherry blossoms viewing. For almost next 2 weeks, you can enjoy pink-white petal trees everywhere in the city. We are completely in spring season, so the winter ended already. During winter period we met tourists who came to Japan for snow sports now it turns out to be those who come to see the cherry blossoms. White snow to pink white flowers. But you can still enjoy snow in some highlands. You can take a day trip from Tokyo as described in other report. It is Spring skiing period. Snow still remains but the temperature rose and the weather is mild. Skiers and snowboarders can be naked on the snow. A lot of foreigners are skiing there just like cherry blossom viewering in the East Garden. In some ski resorts like Hakuba in Nagano Prefecture, […]

Tour Report on 19 March 2018, Asakusa

  • 2018.03.19

Many thanks to the guests joining the tour. On that day at Sensoji Temple we welcomed 12 guests from Mexico, Phillipines, Argentina, Malaysia, and Norway. We divided into 4 groups. The weather was cloudy but spring has already come. Some of cherry blossoms started to bloom. During the tour, you see statues halfway to the main temple hall, on back side of the entrance gate, Kaminari-mon there placed a couple statues. They are humanized dragon couple. One is male and the other is female. As a proof, both have tales in the back. Their original figure is flying snake with a scary head. They are the guardians of the Buddha in Sensoji temple. In the main hall, dragon figure is painted on the ceiling. Dragons were originally living in the Sumida River near the temple and appeared as guardians. We call them “Ryu.” There are many legends about dragons. The statues hold balls which can make any wish come true like Japan’s famous animation drama “Dragon Ball.” For ordinary citizens, dragons are good luck and hazard prevention charm because they can cause rainfall, which is good for farming in the sense they can prevent drought and are good for the […]


  • 2018.03.19

Thank you for joining our tour at Meiji Shrine and Harajuku on March 18. We had 22 guests  from America, Canada, Italy, Sweden, India and Malaysia. I hope all of you enjoyed our walking tour  in lovely Spring weather. Meiji Shrine is known for the most popular shrine with over three million visitors during the new year days. The shrine is dedicated to the souls of Emperior Meiji and Empress Shoken. The Shrine has unique omikuji. Omikuji is ramdomly drawn fortune-telling papers. However, Meiji shrine’s omikuji is different and particular. While other places provide with predictions ranging from the best luck to the worst luck, people here draw a poem composed by Emperior Meiji and Empress Shoken. Omikuji does not say anything good or bad and has waka in stead. Waka is the traditional Japanese poems of 31 syllables in the pattern 5-7-5-7-7. The Emperior and Empress are the experts of waka and left many poems to later generations. There are about 100,000 made by the Emperior and about 30,000 by the Empress. Although omikuji has over a millenium of history, Meiji Shrine had no omikuji until WWⅡ partly because it was a state owned entity but after the war the […]

Tour report on March 17th (afternoon tour) Imperial Palace East Gardens

  • 2018.03.18

Thank you very much for joining our tour to the Imperial Palace East Gardens on March 17th (afternoon tour). The tour welcomed 13 guests, including a cute little baby. The weather was nice for walking with a cool breeze. The excitement of early spring spread over the air. On the same day (March 17th), the Japan Meteorological Agency had just made an “official announcement” of cherry flowering in Tokyo. Spring is the good season to do activities outside. Being a horse lover, I acknowledge spring as the best season to enjoy riding in warm and fresh air! The interesting point of riding is how humans communicate with horses. Without exchanging any words, horses can follow humans’ intention and, in turn, riders can know how horses feel. This mutual trust and understanding has been the most difficult task throughout my 14-year-old riding experiences, but this is definitely what makes me delighted. https://ja.wikipedia.org Horse riding is rather minor activity in Japan, since horses need vast land to be kept. Even so, I personally want more people to spend a wonderful time with horses. If you could meet me in this tour, please tell me how you can get along with horses in […]


  • 2018.03.17

We thank guests from all over the world who joined the tour on Saturday morning. We welcomed 12 people from Malaysia, U.K., Philippines, China. We divided into 3 groups. I hope all of you enjoyed walking in lovely Spring weather. you are always welcomed to drop in this tour anywhere along the tour course. Find our flag and join us! The tour to the Imperial Palace East Gardens starts from TOKYO STATION MARUNOUCHI CENTRAL GATE. We are looking forward to seeing you!! ========== Tokyo Free Walking Tour holds regular tours every Saturday & Sunday, and irregular tours in weekdays. If you are in Tokyo, why not come and join us? Visit our website for the latest schedule!

East Gardens of the Imperial Palace ( Mar. 11th morning)

  • 2018.03.13

The plum blooms are almost over, and now we are counting down the days for the cherry blossoms. March 11th was a fine day and I went with a family of four from Singapore. There were two schoolboys, always a challenge for me because its now very difficult to remember what I was interested in back when I was their age. My sincere hopes that they found not only our tour but also their stay in Japan as something pleasant to remember! It was also a special tour in that our team was joined by members of Explore Japan – an organization run by high school students to  train volunteers and tour guides. They are quite impressive and they have custom tours, so I suggest you take a look at their website for your next visit to Japan. Visitors to Japan has steadily been growing over the past year with 28.7M in 2017, and the government has a goal of increasing the figure to  40M in 2020. As such, we are continuously trying to improve our tour. Sunday morning tour is such a trial, we are trying to figure out what day/time best suit travelers from abroad. Do you prefer Saturday mornings when […]


  • 2018.03.12

Thank you for joining our tour in Asakusa on March 11. We had the seven friendly guests from UK, Australia, America, Brazil and Columbia. I hope all of you enjoyed walking with us in comfortable Spring weather. There are plenty of great events and festivals in Asakusa throughout the year. March 18 is Honzon Jigen-e to celebrate the appearance of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy housed at Sensoji Temple. Three mikoshi (portable shrines) are carried out of Asakusa Shrine and various dances are performed at the temple precincts. On that day in the year of 628 two fishermen brothers were catching fish in the nearby Sumida River and caught a small wooden statue. Then they brought back to the village and the village chief recognized the significance of the find as the Goddess of Mercy and converted his house into a temple. This is the beginning of Sensoji Temple which is celebrated by the Honzon Jigen-e ritual. (Origin)                                     (Sensoji Temple)                   (Asakusa Shrine) Later adjoining Asakusa Shrine was built to honor the three men who were involved in the discovery of the statue. That’s why three mikoshi are housed in the storage. Although the famous Sanja Festival respecting the three men is now […]


  • 2018.03.11

Thank you all our guests who joined “March 10, 13:00 tour. We had 14 guests from Germany, USA, Mexico, India, UK, Canada, Israel and Argentina . We had nice time walking around in the garden.       Weatherforecast says that “Someiyoshino Sakura” major kind of cherry blossom may open next week in Tokyo . Oh I will be busy  to make many appointments of “Sakura” viewing parties with many friends. Let’s enjoy Japanese spring! ( reported by Keiko N)