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Report on 29 May 2018, Weekday Morning tour to The East Garden of the Imperial Palace

  • 2018.05.30

Many thanks to 18 guests who joined the tour from USA, Canada, Australia, Columbia, Vietnam, Portugal, and Germany. We divided into 4 groups. It was hot and humid morning as May is known to be beginning of summer season. In the East Garden, irises blossomed beautifully. Our guests enjoyed viewing the irises. The pond contains collection of various species of irises. That is treasure of the garden. Now is early summer in Tokyo, but in southernmost prefecture of Japan, Okinawa is already in mid-summer. I traveled to Okinawa, a few days before this tour. There beautiful flowers such as hibiscus bloomed. But not just flowers but corals were beautiful to look at. I joined boat tours to view corals in Oura Bay and adjoining Henoko coast. There I could view the world’s largest blue coral which has existed and continued to grow for 3000 years, and 300 year old stony corals. The tour was more like environmental study than sight-seeing because these are near ongoing landfill construction site for runways. It is concerned that the runways would change water current and eventually threaten lives of these corals. If corals die, tropical fish that inhabit in corals would disappear, so whole […]


  • 2018.05.29

Thank you for joining our Tokyo Free Walking Tour. On the day of our two-guided tours, 27th of May, with clear sunny skies, we welcomed 17 guests from Germany, U.S.A. Australia and Argentina. As usual, after greeting everyone and introducing ourselves, we made our tour in Asakusa for 90 minutes. Starting at the red painted gate, called Thunder Gate, we proceeded to the busy shopping street, Nakamise Street. Nakamise Street is the entrance to the main hall of Asakusa Buddhist Temple, which is the oldest temple in Tokyo. It is 250 meters long and has around 90 shopping booths along its both sides. Most of these small shops sell traditional Japanese items that serve as souvenirs like kimono, chopsticks, accessories and old toys. Like the Sensoji temple, this strip of road also has a rich history. The Nakamise shopping area is the forerunner of commercial streets that are now common in Japan. It has sustained its prosperous business for 400 years, ever since trading have started in this area, in the 17th century. Nowadays, this historical business-centered street strives to welcome flocks of foreign visitors to Tokyo, and their shopping needs. Speaking of business in Japan, a traditional fabric called […]


  • 2018.05.28

Thank you very much for joining our tour on May 26. We welcomed 21 guests from Argentina, US, UK, Malaysia, Philippines, France, Canada, Bulgaria and Australia. All of us enjoyed strolling in some groups in the East Gardens. The last guide point of our tour is Ninomaru Garden which is a part of  East Gardens. . In Tokugawa Shogunate time, this area used to be the second palace compound of Edo Castle  where Shogun`s family lived. Prior to the opening of  East Gardens of the Imperial Palace in 1968, only the garden of the second palace was reconstructed at the same place as the original (Edo period) garden referring to a diagram of the mid of 18th century. This Ninomaru Garden has a traditional Japanese garden style, so-called “a circuit style garden with central pond “ which highlights the natural landscape. Rocks, small hills, waterfalls and a wide variety of flowers and trees are arranged around a central pond. It shows different faces according to the season. From  late May to  early June, Japanese irises (Sward leaved irises) are in full bloom. 84 kinds of irises are planted in the field in front of the pond. They are very elegant and […]

East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (May 26 morning)

  • 2018.05.26

Thank you so much for joining TFWT for the morning tour on May 26th. We welcomed 8 guests from USA and India. A family, a lady and a group of three men. We enjoyed walking under the beautiful weather in May. Now irises were blooming in Ninomaru garden. For another month will be the best time to come and enjoy the irises. Hydrangeas are beginning to bloom in the Honmaru area. Even after the cherry blossoms, we can enjoy a lot of flowers in this Imperial palace garden. This is a place to enjoy fresh green in the middle of Tokyo. It is said that foreigners who visited Japan are amazed that there are many flower beds in town, and these flowers are well groomed and beautifully bloom. A friend from overseas once told me that flowers blooming like this will be stolen amazingly quickly in his country. Of course there are few outrageous person also in Japan, but most flowers are loved in the form of nature. It is being well maintained not only in private gardens but also in the corner of the sidewalk of the street. This may be called a unique culture in Japan. Japanese people gladly pay […]


  • 2018.05.25

  Thank you for your participation to “Tokyo Free Walking Tour – Asakusa Route” on May 21 Mon.  We welcomed 7 guests from Austria, Germany, USA & Ukraine.  As for May 23, it was a private tour based on the request from a guest from Toronto on the May 20 Meiji Jingu Shrine & Harajuku tour.   Monday tour was held under a lovely sunny sky though was rather hot.  But there was a light breeze which was very pleasant. Weather changed into cloudy on Wednesday, but still cozy for Asakusa exploring.   As guests’ size we had for both tour was not large, we could offer private tour for each groups. Our lovely guests enjoyed not only historical & cultural guiding but local sweets. Toward hot summer, one of the recommendations is “Maccha green tea drink with cube ice”. Sanja Matsuri, ne of the biggest events for Asakusa was held May 18-20. Sanja Matsuri or Sanja Festival is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo held annually for 3 days on the third weekend of May in Asakusa Shrine. The festival is held in honor of the three men who founded Senso-ji Temple. Sanja Matsuri is considered as one […]

Tour Report on May.20,2018 – Meiji Shrine and Harajuku

  • 2018.05.23

Today, we welcomed 10 guests from UK, Russia, Canada, and Australia. Everyone enjoyed the peaceful scenery of the Meiji Shrine before diving into the mayhem of Harajuku Takeshita street. Second half of this tour is about Harajuku. Takeshita street is a 400 meter long street starting from the JR Harajuku Station. It is particularly well known as a trendy shopping street lined with alternative colorful clothing stores, costumes, colorful fun food shops such as crepes, candies, and ice cream for trendy shoppers. It is also known for the huge crowd on weekends, as people come from both inside and outside of Japan. Up to 2 hour queue will instantly be formed in front of popular shops. If you look closely at these lines, you may notice that Japanese keep some sort of distance between them and the person in front on them. This may be due to an experience that comes from the lessons most Japanese learn in gym classes during their elementary school days. Teachers would demand strict discipline, and lining up properly on the call of sensei’s “line up!” , “attention!” “right face!” was one of them.    We thank all of our guest who have joined us today. We wish each and everyone a […]

Tour Report on 19 May 2018, East Garden of the Imperial Palace

  • 2018.05.21

We thank guests who participated in this tour. We welcomed 38 guests from USA, Ireland, U.K., Canada, Malaysia, India, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Austria, Singapore, South Africa, France, and China. Then we divided into 4 groups. That day was coincided with Royal Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding in U.K. That signifies our tour because our providing tour has a spot that memorises our imperial family’s marriages, called Wadakura Fountain Park that consists of two fountains. The park was established in 1961 containing one fountain to commemorate marriage between current Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko when they were crown prince and princess in 1959. Then 1993, the other one was established to commemorate marriage between current crown prince Naruhito and princess Masako. Two water structures behind this group form wedding cakes. These are symbol of celebration just like the world celebrated marriage between Prince Harry and Meghan. The Royal marriage is thought to be progressive in the sense Princess Meghan is divorcee and bi-racial American. Just like that, marriage between Emperor and Empress was progressive because Michiko was from commoners’ family, the first time in Japan’s history. So it was a symbol of Japan’s democracy after the second world war. Our nation, Japan […]

Tour Report on May 13 in Asakusa area

  • 2018.05.15

Thank you for joining our Tokyo Free Walking tour. On that day, May 13, we had two times of tour-10 A.M and 1 P.M. Although the weather condition was not so good, we welcomed totally around ten guests from the different corners of the world; U.S.A., Swiss, Poland, Rumania, Germany, Austria. We started by introducing ourselves and giving our brief orientation about this tour and went to Asakusa Information Center in order to see better views of the Asakusa areas. This is because the rooftop of this building is high enough for us to enjoy breathtaking views. We made time to stroll around 90 minutes in line with our tour route like this picture shows. Finally, the time for Golden Week in Japan, from the 29th of April to May 5, has come to an end, and most companies and schools in Japan are now back to their regular schedules. It seems like we will have to wait for a little longer before we can finally say that the summer season is here. In Asakusa, it is not an exaggeration to say that we are excited to welcome the most anticipated season this May, because there are tons of annual […]


  • 2018.05.14

Thank you so much for joining Tokyo Free Walking Tour on May 12th afternoon.  We welcomed 26 guests from U.S.A., Singapore, Uruguay, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, U.K. and Romania.  We enjoyed walking while watching the beautiful green trees. During the tour, I was asked from our guest what kind of Japanese food we eat every day.  The guest was wondering why Japanese women are slim.  If you think of Japanese food, what comes to your mind?  Sushi and Tempura are well known as Japanese food, however, we don’t eat Sushi and Tempura every day in general.  We eat various kind of Japanese food.  A basic arrangement of a Japanese meal consists of one kind of soup and three side dishes.  Japanese-style set menu meal is one main dish with small side dishes, a rice as staple diet and miso-soup.  You can have good balanced food. Small portion of dishes can be avoid overeating. In addition to that, most of Japanese girls believe thinner is better figure.  When you calculate BMI (Body mass index ⁼ Weight(kg) ÷Height(m) ÷Height(m) ), between 18.5 and 25 is categorized healthy weight.  However, many young Japanese girls want to be underweight.  Recently low carb restriction diet is […]


  • 2018.05.13

We would like to thank all of our guests showing up from the morning this day. For this week, most of the days were covered with thick cloud and raining has lasted for long, but this day was just like a miracle. We could enjoy a comfortable walk under a blue blue sky. We welcomed energetic 8 guests from Venezuela, Chile, Croatia this day. All the talk we had with our guests was quite interesting!! After our group had passed a tea-house next to the Ninomaru-garden, there was a simple discussion about Japanese-tea. Generally speaking, we have 3 types of tea, Green-tea, Hoji-tea, Genmai-tea. The first green tea is very common. They pick fresh leaf and steam, then dried and crumpled. You may be served everywhere in Japanese-style restaurants. Each bending machines are also ready to serve you green tea anytime. The Hoji-tea is originally green tea but is roasted. The colour of the tea is brown. The taste, it depends on each individual since it could be described as “black tea” or “smoky” and so on. Gemma’s tea is a brend of green tea and roasted brown rice, and the colour of the tea is rather yellow. The taste […]