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Tour Report on July 15, 2017

  • 2017.07.18

Thank you all the guests for joining our Tokyo Free Walking Tour. We are honored to have around 15 guests from the different corners of the world like Belgium, Hungary, and the U.S. We divided into 5 groups and took group photos below. It was so hot that a various kinds of living things in East Garden of the Imperial Palace as well as people were bathing in the sun and feeling oppressed by the heat. Which spot or topic was the most exciting or impressive for you? The number of residence in Marunouchi? A professional spy,”Ninja” and a throwing knife? The movie, 47 Ronin? Wearing instant kimono? Although it was a tour in the unbearable heat, we hope all of you enjoyed the tour. Lastly, we wish you all a safe and wonderful stay in Japan. P.S. Now in Japan, we can have fancy shaved ice and feel cool at some cafes!! How about trying Japanese shaved ice? (Posted by A. Kuno)

Tour Report on July 8, 2017

  • 2017.07.11

Thank you for joining our Tokyo Free Walking Tour. We are honored to have around 60 people from the different corners of the world come and join this tour. All of the participants were split into six groups and the tour was started. July 8 was a hot and humid day and at the time we were about to start the tour at around 1 in the afternoon, the temperature had already reached 30 degrees Celsius. This day truly characterized what a typical summer day is in Japan and it is predicted that the heat index, especially in cities, would be higher in the month of August.     Our guides were very responsive and engaging all throughout the tour. Halfway through our walking tour, we arrived at a refreshment stand, where certain beverages and treats were available for the guests and guides to comfort and refresh us from the humid and tiring walk. One of the treats that was a hit among the guests was the matcha-flavored ice cream. It is a kind of green tea flavored ice cream that promptly attracted the guests’ taste buds. Finally, we concluded our two and a half hours intensive but educational strolling […]

Tour Report on July 1, 2017

  • 2017.07.05

Today we welcomed 43 guests from Iceland, USA, Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore, Germany, Vietnam, Poland, Mexico, Russia and Lithuania. Japan is in the midst of the rainy season, which is expected to last until end July. With the high humidity and stickiness, this time is said to be the most hated season among Japanese. But looking at the bright side, this is the time when we could enjoy the bright colored iris & hydrangeas pop in the gloomy sky. Today I was asked by some guests the reason why it is not easy to find a trash bin on the streets of Japan. After browsing through some local authority websites, I have learned that many bins were taken off the streets since year 2001 due to below reasons. 1. Increase of people dumping household wastes 2. Increase of illegal dumping 3. Stray cats & crows pick through trash 4. Cost increase of trash bin management due to above 1.-3 5. Counter terrorism (as a result of a Japanese cult attack in 1994, the  9.11 attach in US 2001 ) None are positive… Although some local authorities are trying to bring the bins back on the streets, it looks like we must carry back our trash for the […]

Tour Report on Saturday, June 24

  • 2017.06.26

Many thanks for having participated in our tour at the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace on June 24. We welcomed 75 guests from 23 countries. In spite of hot and muggy weather, I hope you could enjoy the moment and the instant kimono afterwards.                      In the Japanese history there was the time when the government died during the Warring States period in the 15th to 16th century for about 140 years until the peaceful Edo period. There was a strong samurai feudal warlord, poet and a Buddhist monk named Dokan Ohta known for constructing the original Edo Castle at the age of 25. It was 150 years before the Tokugawa’s modern castle was built in the same place. The first Shogun of the Edo period, Ieyasu Tokugawa remodeled and expanded the castle over the foundation made by Dokan. Although Dokan’s castle was not as great as the Tokugawa’s exquisite one, the fortresses were considered to be sufficiently secure from every kind of attack from the enemies at that time. Apparently Dokan fought in about 30 battles and never failed in the Kanto region. There were about 200 fortified castles in the area […]

Tour Report on 17 June 2017, Saturday

  • 2017.06.18

On that day we welcomed around 45 people from Australia, U.K., Singapore, USA, Canada, Chile, Spain, Hong Kong, India, Denmark, France, Phillipines, Vietnam, Argentina, and Switzerland. We divided into 7 groups. It was sunny and hot in the afternoon. Recently, front square of Tokyo Station has become wide-open so we can have a better view of surrounding area including a white building just next to the Tokyo Station. The building is central post office, which was established in 1931. It looks simple but that was advanced-garde style in that era. It is called modernism style like BAUHAUS in Germany. Compared to Tokyo Station established in 1914, it is very simplified. It may be said that this style is basis for modern architecture, which emphasises functionality rather than goergeousness with decoration. One can learn history of architecture by standing on the square. The building was renovated in 2012 so that the white building is combined with high-rise glass building. Left side of the building turned to be shopping mall with stairwell from the ground to the top. The white building was preserved as a cultural heritage just as Tokyo Station building was. From rooftop of the white building one can view the Tokyo Station […]

Tour Report on Saturday, 10th June

  • 2017.06.14

Thank you for coming the regular tour of the Imperial Palace and the East garden.  We welcomed 55 guests from all around the world and divided into 4 groups on that day.  Even it has already started the rainy season this year since last week, it was nice and sunny early summer day which is good for the walking tour. June, the rainy season, is the best timing to see Japanese iris.  There are many place you can enjoy irises around Tokyo (eg. Meiji Jingu Shrine, Hama Rikyu Garden,  Kiyosumi Garden, etc), and my best recommendation is here, Ninomaru Garden, Imerial Palace. There are 4 fields of iris and 84 kinds of Japanese iris blooms from early to mid June. So many people come to the Ninomaru Garden with camera to enjoy these flowers. Some of them (including me!) tries to make this flower by Origami. 🙂 Hope all guests enjoy the rest of their days in Japan, and all guides always look forward to meeting them at the next tour!!  

Tour report on Saturday, June 11th, Asakuasa

  • 2017.06.13

Thank you for coming Asakusa areas. We welcomed around 20 guests on that day and briefly introduced ourselves. Right after that, we start 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.   We hope we can have a number of Asakusa tourists as well as the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace.   Are you looking for serene and historical sites in Asakusa? You can visit Sensoji Buddhist Temple, Asakusa Shinto Shrine or Kaminari Gate. These are certainly beautiful and appealing places but would you like to visit a hidden place? I think the Kumeno-Heinai Do will interest you. This is an amazing and fascinating spot in Asakusa. “Kumeno-Heinai” was a samurai in the early Edo period, at around 17th century. On the other hand, “Do” means a tiny temple. This small memorial building enshrines this samurai’s statue and there are many stories about him. One of the most popular stories about the samurai is the legend that Heinai was a great sword master and he was able to kill […]

Tour report on Saturday, June 3rd

  • 2017.06.04

 We welcomed around 50 guests from all over the world to our regular tour on Saturday, June 3rd. It was a beautiful sunny day for a tour. We enjoyed a wonderful walking tour in East Gardens of the Imperial Palace with our friendly and cheerful guests from all over the world. The starting point of our tour is Marunouchi Exit of Tokyo Station, JR. The front of the Marunouch Exit has been under construction for a long time. And we’ve found today that the part of area is now open towards the Imperial Palace. At the open space, we took a group photo with all our guests. The construction of Marunouch was planned to complete in spring this year, however, it looks like being delayed. According to the completion drawing, there will be a wide open space with greenery. Once the construction has been completed, we can enjoy more walking through Gyoko Dori towards Imperial Palace. During our tour at East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, we enjoy not only historical spots in Edo Castle but also beautiful gardens of roses, bamboos, cherry blossoms, tea trees, orchards of classical species and others in the four seasons. At the Ninomaru Garden, a […]

Tour report on 27th May, Saturday

  • 2017.05.31

Thank you for joining our tour. Although it was drizzling the previous day, the weather was very nice that day. We were honored to have around 60 people from the different corners of the world came and joined this tour. We split them into six groups and started our tour. The guides were very responsive to the inquiry of the guest because most of them were very attentive and curious at the same time. Normally, our strolling is two-hour long and it consists of two parts. The first locations are the modern Japan and its cultural assets like Tokyo Station. Next is to showcase the old Japan like the Edo Castle, which is now the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. We hope all of you can enjoy the view of these historical sites. Aside from explaining the historical background of each site, guides are talking about the relevant stories like anecdotes or new findings. Moreover, instant-kimono experience is one of the highlights in our tour. In Japan, Tsuyu season is coming soon. “Tsuyu” is referred to as the rainy season in the beginning of summertime in Japan that usually starts in early June and lasts until the middle of July. […]

Asakusa Tour Report on Sunday,28th May

  • 2017.05.30

Thank you so much for joining our tour in Asakusa on 28th May.We are glad to receive 20 friendly guests from eight countries. The weather was fine and the streets were congested with people as usual. Some of you might have seen a Shinto-style wedding ceremony at Asakusa shrine.I hope all of you enjoyed a short walking tour with us. Now the beautiful five-storied pagoda has just been uncovered. Renovation and repair works have been underway since June last year and almost completed. The height is about 53 meters or 15 to 20th floor of a building and it is the second tallest pagoda in Japan. We are pleased to get back the beautiful landmark of Asakusa. The current pagoda was built in 1973 and the former pagoda had been standing at the opposite side of the street for about 300 years.It was destroyed in the firebombings during WWⅡ in 1945. Some pagodas were destroyed by fires,typhoons and lightning. Currently there are approximately 80 five-storied pagodas existing in Japan and there is no record that pagodas have been broken down by earthquakes. Apparenty pagodas including this tower are an earthquake resistant structure with many flexible joints which resembles a snake […]

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