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Important notice on our East Gardens of the Imperial Palace tour

  • 2019.09.17

Please be advised of the recent situations that may affect our tour. The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace is being prepared for a once-in-a-reign Ceremony in November by the new Emperor. Some areas of the Gardens are closed down to erect a special ceremonial complex built just for this occasion. As the Ceremony nears and the construction progresses, these close-downs may necessitate us to modify or cancel our East Gardens tour. We will keep you posted on the developments. Please also refer to our terms and conditions. Thank you for your understanding!

Important Notice regarding Our Tours

  • 2019.08.11

Please be advised of the recent situations that may affect our tour. Tokyo is experiencing an unprecedented heat wave this summer with temperatures nearing 40 degrees celcius (100 fahrenheit). Our tours may be modified or canceled without prior notice in order to protect the health of our guests and guides. The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace is being prepared for the Ceremony by the new Emperor in November. The Gardens are currently partially closed down; as the Ceremony nears and the construction progresses, we may modify or cancel our East Gardens tour. Please also refer to our terms and conditions. Thank you for your understanding!

On Bushido, or the Samurai Way (June 2nd)

  • 2018.06.03

It was a pleasant day just before the start of the rain season. I had just finished sharing the story of the 47 samurais who willingly gave up their lives for the honor of their master. A guest from the UK asked a question – “When did such ideals of the samurai way come about? Is such mentality still common in the society?” There is a perfect book on this subject. It is Bushido: The Soul of Japan, originally written in English in 1899 (text available online). The book was written by the Japanese educator Inazo Nitobe, and is his response to a question he received from his Belgian friend – what is the moral backbone of the Japanese people? In the book Nitobe elaborates on how the virtues of his time actually derives from the code of the samurai warriors that was refined through the history of Japan. He draws historical examples of acts and deeds typically praised in bushido, or the samurai way. In the end he concludes that although the samurais are gone, the mentality is deeply rooted in the people and the society. Going back to answer the second part of the original question, I think yes, the mentality still lives on even a century after Nitobe wrote Bushido. We sometimes relate ourselves to samurais as a symbol of courage […]

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 […]

Tour Report on August 20 , Asakusa areas

  • 2017.08.22

Thank you for coming Asakusa areas. We welcomed several guests on that day and briefly introduced ourselves. Right after that, we started our tour with climbing the roof top of Asakusa Tourist Information Center, where we enjoyed seeing the breathtaking views of these historical areas.   Normally, we visit seven spots in this Asakusa strolling and conclude at Asakusa Shinto Shrine. Recently, rainy and overcast conditions have prevailed and lasted a half month in most of Japan. It has highly likely made the unprecedented records in Japanese weather forecast. Although the weather was not perfect, we were truly honored to make tours for enthusiastic travelers in this historical place, Asakusa.     On the way, while strolling along the roads of Asakusa, you will see some Buddhist buildings and retailer shops selling traditional food, clothing and other souvenirs. It will effectively make you, Asakusa lovers, feel fully immersed in the atmosphere of old Tokyo. Moreover, you would probably be enthusiastic in viewing Kabuki, after you successfully find statues of five men in this historical site. These attractive objects can be found on different shop’s roofs, wearing the clothing of typical town people from the Edo period. They are called “Shiranami […]

Tour Report on August 19

  • 2017.08.21

Thank you so much for joining our tour on August 19 in muggy weather. I sincerely appreciate the participation of 31 friendly guests from almost all the continents and hope some of you enjoyed the instant kimono afterwards. Also it was lucky that we could complete the tour before heavy rain. There is a small museum of the Imperial collection(Sannomaru Shozokan)at the East Gardens on our walking tour route. They have nearly 10,000 priceless treasures such as the pictures and art products which have been inherited as the Imperial collection for a long time. Some of them are considered a national treasure class. The art products held by the Imperial Family were donated to the government in 1989 when the Showa Emperior passed away. This museum was open in 1993 as a facility to preserve, study and display those collections. Many pieces were created by the Imperial Household artists. The museum is currently showing bonbonniere items (palm-sized candy boxes) until September 10th. In the Imperial Family there is a tradition to present a small confectionary box called bonbonniere since the late 1880’s as a souvenir to the guests to commemorate the auspicious occasions such as the enthronements, weddings of the […]

Tour Report: August 12, 2017

  • 2017.08.14

] Japan enters the “bon” summer vacation week when people return to their hometowns and get together with their families and friends. It is one of the busiest times of the year for public transport, when highways are clogged and train reservations are near impossible, so good luck to our 36 guests for their remainder of their stay in Japan! The weather forecast for Saturday was initially very tricky, but it turned out to be one of the better days, cloudy with occasional sunshine. I went with a group of 9. Our guests included those who have visited, lived and worked in Japan before. This was a challenging but interesting experience. Hopefully I was able to add new insight for them. Then we had a handsome young guest. He was particularly popular among our ladies!   Below is a slideshow of our group photos. Thank you for choosing to join our tour. Enjoy your stay in Japan! (Yohei) ===== Please also visit our Facebook, and drop your comments on our TripAdvisor page!

Tour Report on 5 August 2017, Saturday

  • 2017.08.06

Many thanks for 35 guests who joined this tour from Canada, Bermuda, USA, Taiwan, Argentina, Netherland, Australia, Slovenia, Poland, Ukraina, Germany, Urguay, France, Nepal, Austria, Mexico, Belgium, and so on. We divided into 4 groups. The weather was partly cloudy but very hot. On such a weather, bringing water and a hand-blowing fan is highly recommended. Otherwise, you might get sick. For Japanese, it may be best season to bathe in hot spring. Hot spring bath in hot climate might sound strange but it is customery in Japan because Japan’s hot summer comes with high humidity. So people get so much sweat that they want to wipe out sweat and feel fresh by bathing. If bathed in naturally welled-up hot spring water, that is excellent. Even within Tokyo city, there is a great natural hot spring public bath facility with recreation and entertainment. In Odaiba district by the Tokyo bay, the facility named Oedo Onsen Monogatari, there used natural hot spring dug and elevated from thousands meter deep underground. Great feature of the place is that bathers change clothes to Yukata which they can rent from the facility and can enjoy eating meals, play games, view shows before bathing like fesitivity. After bathing in […]

Tour Report on July 29, 2017

  • 2017.08.03

We would like to thank all of our guests choosing us TFWT to spend their own precious time and exploring around the central Tokyo, Marunouchi with us. We always feel so honored to take and show our guests around the beautiful garden fulfilled by the hospitality of our Imperor and Impress. This day, we welcomed 28 guests from 12 countries as Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Austria, U.S.A., Columbia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, India, Nepal, Needless to say, it was an hot day, but we were delightful to stroll around the “summer-mode” garden with our friendly guests. This day, a big firework event was to be held at night. The most common and most traditional one, known as “Sumida-River firework festival”. It is said that this firework event originates from the memorial service held in 1732 around this Sumida-River. The 8th Tokugawa shogunate named Yoshimune held this service to mourn the spirits of the countless dead whom suffered from famine and cholera, losing their life’s at last. Sumida-River firework became an annual event since 1978. 2017 year festival event just counted the 40th festival. To celebrate its own anniversary, the number of the fireworks increased up to 22,000 while 20,000 were the […]

Tour report on July 22, 2017

  • 2017.07.24

Thank you so much for choosing our tour to the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace on July 22. It was fantastic weather but very hot. Nevertheless I hope you could walk over to the shade and enjoyed the tour. The number of participants were 37 from 16 countries.                     Some people may not be aware that there was a sophisticated Noh theater at the front area of the main compound of Edo Palace and most Shoguns(leaders) loved and patronized Noh during the Edo period. Noh means skill or talent and is the oldest form of theater mixing music, dance and drama completed in the 14th century by the men named Kan’ami and his son Ze’ami 200 years before Kabuki, and continues almost in the same manners and language until this day. It was unfortunate that Ze’ami was exiled to Sado island for an unknown reason. ( photo:Sado Tourism Association) The Edo Shoguns made Noh its official ceremonial art on the auspicious occasions such as the inauguration of Shogun, weddings and the birth of its successors. The 5th Shogun Tsunayoshi is well-known for its great lover. Moreover, some Daimyos(Feudal lords) had […]

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