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Tokyo Now #28: Sakura Sakura

  • 2022.03.31

Sakura, the cherry blossoms were almost in full bloom in Tokyo last weekend. And now its petals are dancing in the air and floating on the water. It’s like raft. Shidare-zakura, weeping cherry trees. Just beautiful. Lovely spring flowers follow.

Tokyo Now #27: Speaking of spring fun…

  • 2022.03.18

The weather is getting more & more spring-like. I can feel spring in the air as I’m allergic to cedar pollen. It is not quite poetic to see beautiful scenery with a running nose (sigh). According to the 8th forecast released by JMC ( Japan Meteorological Corporation),  cherry blossoms will start to flower on March 22 and reach full bloom around March 30.  JMC’s cherry blossoms forecast is for famous & popular Somei Yoshino. Early this week I enjoyed my 1st Hanami and Obento (lunch box) this spring but not seeing Sakura but admiring Ume (Japanese Plum) in Inogashira Park which is known with Ghibli Museum.  Inogashira Park is located about a 5-minute walk from Kichijoji station, just a 20min. by JR Chuo line and has a lot of things to offer such as a temple, a pond, a zoo, an aquarium, museums, and a wide greenery area. The Ghibli Museum showcases the work of Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio, The cherry blossoms of Inogashira Park are famous, and many people come here every spring to view them.

Tokyo Now #26: Ume, Japanese Plum, in full bloom

  • 2022.03.12

Plum Blossom are messengers of Spring at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace As of today, Tokyo is under pre-emergency measures for Covid 19 pandemic. Number of newly infected person has sharply increased since the end of the last year, and is still high but getting peak out. Feb 23rd is the Emperor’s birthday and a National Holiday in Japan. Normally, many people gather at the Imperial Palace to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday, but this year the ceremony was canceled and the area around the Imperial Palace was quiet. The people of the East Garden of the Imperial palace were also sparse and the time was going by very slowly. In the garden, there is the place where about 50 plum trees are planted. Like pine and bamboo, plum is considered to be an auspicious tree in Japan. And above all, Plum Blossom is a messenger of spring in Japan. We enjoy them in February, then welcome Cherry Blossom from late March through beginning of April. Spring will come soon in this garden.

Tokyo Now #25: March 3rd, The Dolls’ Festival for Girls and The Peach Festival

  • 2022.03.04

Are there any celebration days for girls’ growth and development in your country?  On March 3rd, Japan holds the Peach Festival (Hina Matsuri). It’s the day to pray for healthy growth and happiness for young children. On this day, families set up unique ornaments to arrange tiny dolls, called “Hina dolls” in Japanese. Hina dolls, which represent the Emperor, the Empress, their servants and musicians, are usually placed on a seven-step platform. They are dressed in imperial ancient costumes. Then, why is the Peach festival held on March 3rd? In the beginning of spring under rapid temperature changes, we are likely to fall sick even nowadays. Especially in ancient times in Japan, due to underdeveloped medical conditions, many little children lost their lives during this season.  Therefore, in March, old Japanese people had the purification custom of floating paper dolls into rivers or in the sea to drive away evil spirits with them. After the medieval era, wealthy samurai or aristocrats began to make the costly and valuable dolls, then they started displaying them once a year instead of setting them afloat. This is the origin of the Peach Festival (Hina Matsuri). In the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, […]

Tokyo Now #24 Greeting from Asakusa

  • 2022.03.02

Hello  Greeting from Asakusa first time this year and after 9 months good rest! March began with warm weather like April here in Tokyo. It will take several months before on-site tour resumes. But we will be keeping you posted with latest views and movements in Tokyo. Our new project is now underway something related to on-line tour… Hope we will soon welcome you to our tours. See you soon! By TFWT PA&C