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Tokyo Now #23: The flowers during rainy season are in full bloom

  • 2021.06.19

The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace has just resumed the public opening since June 8. It can be reached in a 10-15 minute walk from JR Tokyo Station, the gateway to Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Originally there was Edo Castle, and now the whole area of Edo Castle is called the Imperial Palace. There is a lot of nature around the Imperial Palace and a valuable ecosystem is maintained. I have brought my portable maccha green tea basket. Let’s take a good rest tasting green tea viewing the base of Edo Castle tower. “Tsuyu”, early summer rainy season, has just started around Tokyo metropolitan area. Seasonal flowers are in full bloom. Best time to see iris gardens in Ninomaru Gardens. Before leaving this gardens, why don’t we take a seat on the bench and sip another cup of maccha. Strolling, reading books, drawing or just taking a nap? You can just enjoy this gardens as you like if your schedule allow you.

Tokyo Now #21: March 14, Somei Yoshino front has come to Tokyo

  • 2021.03.16

Somei-Yoshino Sakura, the most popular cherry trees, have come into bloom in Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Sunday, March 14, a few weeks earlier than usual. The Japan Meteorological Agency is responsible for declaring the official opening of the season, which is a kind of annual rite of spring. In each prefecture,  a specified cherry tree is observed as the standard tree.  There is a very careful watching of the tree for measurement  twice a day so as not to miss the five or six flowers that open to define the transition of seasons. The agency even releases maps of the cherry blossom front, which is similar to weather fronts. Full bloom is forecasted around March 22.す Let me also tell you that Somei-Yoshino is not the only cherry blossom in Japan. There are more than 200 types of cherry blossoms in Japan.  Earliest one starts blooming in autumn and latest comes end of April. We will keep you updated by posting various photos of beautiful Somei Yoshino.

Tokyo Now #20: One day in early spring “Asakusa”

  • 2021.03.08

Quite recently the state of emergency has been extended for two weeks till late March in the greater Tokyo area. Late March… it will be almost the beginning of the season “Somei Yoshino Sakura”, the most popular cherry blossom in Japan. We will introduce you the beauty of Sakura in Japan through Tokyo Now in April. This issue is focused on “one day in early spring at Asakusa” when I enjoyed a stroll from Kuramae to Asakusa in Tokyo. Asakusa is still far less crowded. For example, the observatory deck of Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center was empty when I drop in at. I felt I charted there exclusively for me. By the way, do you happen to know “DORAYAKI of Kameju – the famous confectionery in Asakusa. Many people used to line up long for “Dorayaki”. It was really short on the day thus for the first time I could buy and enjoyed one. Pancake of the Dorayaki is soft & fluffy. Anko (sweet azuki beans paste) is not too sweet. Dorayaki of Kameju is just one of many famous & popular confectioneries in Asakusa. I also bought “Ningyo-yaki (doll shaped baked cake)”. It is a soft sweet cake with anko (sweet azuki beans) […]

Tokyo Now#19- Will the KIRIN come? 2020 NHK period drama

  • 2021.01.28

Happy winter!! From the Jan.8, and for the 2nd time, the Greater Tokyo area and 10 prefectures are under the state of emergency again.Therefore, we have much more spare time at home now. The biggest entertainment for me is to watch “KIRIN GA KURU”, 2020, NHK period drama, It is the 59th NHK long-run drama. Especially samurai dramas are popular among them. “KIRIN GA KURU” means “KIRIN, the Messenger of Good Luck would finally come to our place”. It would come to us as an identity to let us know that our world has become quite safe and peaceful.Then, what kind of appearance does a KIRIN have? – Well, the answer is quite easy, I can show you a design of a KIRIN BEER can. There he is! How cool!! KIRIN BEER is one of the major beer brand in our country. You bet try it if you are thinking to come to Japan. About 400 to 500 years ago, there were many powerful Sengoku(=Provincial ) warlords . During this era, one of the most well known warlords would be Oda Nobunaga. Nobunaga is such famous for being so charismatic and progressive, sometimes behaving like a dictator. Although, Nobunaga was […]

Tokyo Now #18 Happy New Year 2021

  • 2021.01.07

Year 2021 begins. How did you spend your holidays? Last year was one of the troubling years in history. The pandemic changed our lifestyle drastically. Our activity was suspended since then. We cannot meet any more guests from abroad. This year, we are hoping things turn out better and to meet wonderful people again. To wish for betterment of the world we usually visit shrines or temples on new year’s holidays to pray, but in this season much less people went to these places due to public warning of crowd risk. Instead, some people pray to Mt. Fuji or great nature for the good new year. Japanese believe gods reside in nature around you. Gods are everywhere and come near you whenever you need her or him. In early January ornaments made of bamboo, crops, and grass called Kadomatsu are placed at gates of the buildings or houses to invite gods who bring happiness. We are living in difficult time but, we must move forward. If this year turns a happy year, we can meet wonderful guests again and share our histories to overcome this pandemic. Imagine you are in front of Tokyo Station building where guides and guests meet […]