Thank you for joining our Tokyo Free Walking Tour in Asakusa.
On the day of our two-guided tours, on the 27th of January, we welcomed 12 guests on our walking tour.
These people came from different regions of the world, including Uruguay, Australia, Argentina and U.K.

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Winter season has definitely come, and one of the signs of winter in Japan is the sub-zero temperature that Hokuriku and other northern areas have been experiencing everyday.
Meanwhile, on the Pacific side of Japan, areas including Tokyo have been subjected to an ideal winter weather.
The daytime temperatures around these stretches occasionally reach 10 degrees, and it is much warmer than what we have expected.
This is the seasonal atmosphere in Japan right now.
Under these circumstances, we met 12 friendly people who were our guests for our historical strolling tour of this town, that lasted for 90 minutes.


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All of the participants were divided into three groups and several guides were assigned to each group to accompany them.
The groups’ starting point was Asakusa Information Center and we climbed to the rooftop of this building so that we can see better views of Asakusa.


Going through Kaminarimon Gate, which is the entrance of the Buddhist temple, we were strolling five locations along with our tour routs.
Final attraction was Asakusa Shinto Shrine, which is the good subject to discussing what the Shintoism is,  and what the Buddhism is.
This is because both of the deities share the same compound and warmly welcome all of the visitors there.

As was notified and featured on our previous blog, Ueno park tour is coming soon.
We will briefly introduce this peaceful green as the new location for potential guests.

@@@ The Ueno Park @@@
Ueno park is part of the town of Ueno, located in the northeastern side of Tokyo. This place is accessible from major highly-urbanized areas like Ginza and Shinjuku, and historical districts of Asakusa and Yanaka.
The park was established in 1876 as the first park in Japan. Spanning 530, 000 square meters, the width of Ueno Park is equivalent to Tokyo Dome Stadium enlarged by 11 times.
This historical park is customarily referred to as “Ueno’s village of art and culture” because it nestles a lot of museums, religious structures and academic buildings in its huge space.
These establishments have greatly contributed to the introduction of the historical, cultural, and scientific understanding of Japan to other nations.
Aside from its extensive educational facilities, this large park also boasts two other attractions.
During springtime, this area becomes a natural feature that usually is one of the “top places to visit” for enthusiastic visitors who wants to see and admire cherry blossoms.
Aside from that, this peaceful park is also blessed to house a notable sanctuary for animals, the Ueno Zoo.
Along with the establishment of the park in 1882, Ueno Zoo, the first zoo in Japan, was also opened. It has since then captured the heart of animal lovers, who can visit this attraction all year round.
This zoo serves as a habitat for adorable animals like pandas, monkeys, and other admirable ones.
Come and explore the serenity, the culture and the history that is Ueno park.

(By Arac)


Thank you for joining our tour to the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 26. We welcomed 25 guests from Australia, Hungary, Israel, UK, Uruguay, and USA. The weather was fine with a little bit chilly. We enjoyed our walking tour and great conversation very much.

Our tour starts from Tokyo station and Marunouchi area followed by Edo Castle premises.

Entering the East Garden of the Imperial Palace.

Thank you for joining our tour. We will also start our walking tour at Ueno Park on February 11. Please join us!

(Posted by Tank)

Tour Report on Jan.22 The East Garden of the Imperial Palace Weekday Tour

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We had five guests joining our weekday tour at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on Jan.22.  They were from United Kingdom, Romania, France, Indonesia and Korea.

The sky was clear but a little bit chilly.  However some plum trees started to bloom and they have shown us the announcement of spring.

During the tour , we heard sounds of wind instruments.  It was the sound of Gagaku, the Japanese ancient court music.   Gagaku consists of the ceremonial music and dance of the imperial court of Japan.  It was completed by about 10th century and is designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Property.

We were so happy to share an enjoyable time with our guests in the peaceful surroundings.

We hope they add our tour on their memories of Japan.

( by Rei )


Tour Report on Jan. 20(Meiji Shrine and Harajuku)/Ueno Park Tour on Feb.11

Many thanks for joining our tour to Meiji Shrine and Harajuku area on January 20. Weather was perfect. We welcomed seven friendly guests from Australia,Portugal and America.I hope all of you refreshed your body and mind at the Shrine in the beginning of 2019.

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On our tour route there is Ota Memorial Museum of Art specializing in Ukiyo-e wood block printing between Takeshita Street and Omotesando street. They have 12,000 pieces and change the exhibition almost every month.
During the Edo period a variety of figures and trends were depicted in Ukiyo-e. They are beautiful landscapes, everyday life of commoners, actors and courtesans. Current performance displays many works of people, children and animals illustrating their cute(kawaii) and funny (Okashii) behaviors. We may be able to share the same feeling as the Edo people. The exhibition continues until January 27. In February the Museum will show Ohara Koson’s woodblock prints of birds and flowers.

Ukiyo-e is a style of woodblock printing created and developed in Japan about 300 years ago during the Edo period. The major artists are Utamaro,Hiroshige and Hokusai. The low price of the new artwork attracted customers. When Ukiyo-e printing was used as wrapping papers for the ceramics and lacquer ware Japan exported to Europe, people in Europe were amazed at the freshness of printing, bright multi-color and bold composition. Ukiyo-e impacted the painters such as van Gogh and the French Impressionists.
TFWT will have another walking tour at Ueno Park starting on February 11. Ueno Park is full of tourist attractions including trees, museums, monuments, statues, pagodas, temples and shrines. The tour will be held on a trial basis for the time being. Please visit our website and click the tour calendar for details. We will be looking forward to seeing you in Ueno as well.
(posted by Yoshi)

Tour to the East Garden, 19 January 2019, The Year of New Era

Many thanks to 29 guests who joined the tour from Singapore, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Indonesia, India, Italy, USA, Russia, and Portugal on that day.

The weather was fine and not too cold for 2 hour walking tour.

We are actually very proud of welcoming such wonderful guests from all over the world.

In this tour route we walk through Japan’s heart area like Capitol Hill in Washington, Kremlin in Moscow or Buckingham Palace & Westminster in London. The tour route is not just special for foreign tourists but all of Japanese.

This year is known to be a special year for Japanese nationals because 2019 is marked as last year of Heisei and the first year of new era whose name is yet announced. Heisei began with death of former late Emperor Hirohito who was father of current Emperor Akihoto. It was 1989 in the year of our Lord, 30 years ago. So this year is addressed Heisei 31 in Japanese official calendar.

In coming May, new Emperor Naruhito will ascend the throne and current Emperor will abdicate. He reigned for almost 30 years. Before Heisei, there were 3 eras in modern time Japan since 1868. Meiji (1968-1912), Taisho (1912-1926) and Showa (1926-1989).

In Kyoto at a lobby of Takashimaya department store, the actual carriage used for wedding ceremony of current Emperor and Empress  in 1959 when they were crown prince and princess was exhibited in memorial for Heisei Emperor and Empress.


For the brand new era, we, Tokyo Free Walking Tour is introducing a new guide tour, 4th tour route in our guide history. The walking tour to Ueno Park, which is famous not only for greenery and landscape but collection of museums and temples, a zoo and the statue of “The Last Samurai.”

The trial tour is scheduled on February 11, National Foundation Day. It surely marks a new era of our organization and Japan’s sight-seeing. Why not plan to join?


Tour Report on Jan. 12. 2019 (The East Garden of the Imperial Palace)

Thank you for joining our tour visiting the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace on January 12th. We welcomed 19 people from Australia (16), U.S.A.(1), Canada (1), Japan (1). This time we have a lot of Australian guests, who I hope enjoy Japan’s winter particularly skiing.

A_IMG_8757B_Group20190112Group-C_集合写真20190112_D_集合写真According to weather forecast it is bad weather, but we are not caught in the rain. Usually plum blossoms start to bloom in February and they are a symbol of coming the spring. Some of the plum trees in the Imperial Palace East Gardens are starting to bloom.

In Japan, the second Monday of January (this year it is 14th) is Coming-of-Age Day. On this day, youths who have reached the age of 20 are cerebrated. Municipal governments hold grand ceremonies. So you may see the young men and women dressed in formal wear such as kimono. They can legally drink alcohol and smoke.16078026959_dae435063a_o(posted by N)

Tour Report on January 13(Asakusa) . Ueno Park Tour kicks off soon

Thank you so much for your participation in our tour in Asakusa on January 13. This is our first Asakusa tour in 2019. We welcomed five people from Australia and Italy. I hope all of you enjoyed our walking tour in spite of the congestion of the worshippers visiting Sensoji Temple in the New Year period. Another walking tour at Ueno Park in Tokyo is scheduled on February 11 which will be referred at the end.

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Komagatado Hall is a vermillion building located within 7 to 8 minutes walk from Sensoji Temple Kaminari-mon gate to the southern edge of Asakusa beside the Sumida River. It is the spot where the principal image of Buddhist Kannon, Goddess of Mercy housed at the Sensoji Temple main hall was discovered by the two fishermen in the Sumida River and pulled up on land about 1400 years ago. Apparently Komagatado Hall is standing at the birthplace of Sensoji Temple.

The original building was built over a thousand years ago. During the Edo period the port was congested with ferryboats for pilgrims visiting Sensoji Temple every day from the early morning because its main gate is said to be located around the place. Before heading for Sensoji, the visitors paid tribute to Komagatado Hall. In fact this was the starting point of Sensoji pilgrimage. The entrance of the building originally faced the river but while the building was repeatedly fired like the buildings of Sensoji, the front door began to face behind the river over time. The current building was reconstructed in 2003.

Komagatado literally means a horse-shaped hall leading to the name of Komagata bridge within a stone’s throw and the nearby town. The enshrined image is Bato Kannon which means horse-headed Bodhisattva of Compassion holding a horse’s head on its head like a crown. Since horses were important for farming and an essential means of transportation in old times, the Bodhisattva is regarded as the god of traffic safety and beneficial to safe journey. If you are around Asakusa or the Sumida river area, it is highly recommendable to drop in Komagatado Hall.
PS TFWT will have another walking tour at Ueno Park starting on February 11. Ueno Park is one the first Japanese public parks and full of tourist attractions including trees, museums, monuments, statues, temples and shrines. It is known for the most popular spot for cherry-blossom viewing in Tokyo in spring but is beautiful no matter what season of the year you visit. The tour will be held on a trial basis for the time being. Please visit our website and click the tour calendar for details. We will be looking forward to seeing you in Ueno as well.
(posted by Yoshi)


Happy New Year to all of our friends in various places in the world. We appreciate your having keen interest in Japanese culture, history, customs, and people in 2018, and we hope you to have more in 2019.

Year 2019 has just started, and our free walking tour also stared its regular operation. January 5th is the day of our first tour in 2019, and we welcomed 24 guests from Australia, Argentina, Singapore, Canada, UK, Taiwan, Denmark, and US. Thank you for sharing good time with us in such a wonderful condition under clear sky and in warm climate.


It is often mentioned that a good thing about Japan is there are 4 distinct seasons, and every season appeals in its unique way. Winter season in Ninomaru Garden is excessive case. Please look at this breath taking photo. You may sense the sound of silence from the scene.


Look at the family below. It is our biggest pleasure to witness such a wonderful scene, like confirming strong family tie, and having fun with Instant Kimonos.

In 2019, there are many things going to happen in Japan. The new Emperor will take a position on May 1st, and many related events will be hold before and after the day. Count down to Tokyo Olympic Game keeps ticking, and many associated events will happen. Also Rugby Football World Cup will take place in autumn.

If you have been thinking of coming to Japan but not yet made it happen, it’s time to make up your mind. If you have already visited Japan before, you will find more next time. We welcome you all!

(By Takeshi)

Tour Report on Jan. 6 (Meiji Jingu Shrine and Harajuku Tour)

Thank you for joining our 1st Meiji Jingu Shrine & Harajuku Tour in 2019.   We welcomed 8 guests from Australia and Germany.

<Group A: 3 guests and 2 guides>


<Group B: 1 family and 4 guides>

From Jan 1st to 3rd, more than 300,000 people had visited the Meiji Jingu Shrine to make wishes for the coming year.  We could feel the special atmosphere of the busiest shrine in Japan.

We Tokyo Free Walking Tour is going to have the 10th anniversary in this year!  From now on, we will keep doing our best to provide the valuable tour for all of you, so why not come and join us?  Thank you!

(written by H.S)