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East Gardens of the Imperial Palace

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Snowfall was expected in Tokyo: Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on February 10, 2024

  • 2024.02.11

Thank you for choosing our tour at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on February 10, 2024. We welcomed 15 guests from US, Mexico, and India. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. Heavy snow was expected from February 5th to 6th. Some sections of toll roads in Tokyo were closed as a precaution to prevent vehicles from being stuck due to snow and icy roads. It was the first time to do this measure in Tokyo. Many business people worked from home or left for home earlier. Snow and lighting occurred at the same time around 9 pm on February 5th, and it was a rare phenomenon worldwide. We heard our guest met snowfall during their stay in Japan. Today was a sunny day and we enjoyed a pleasant tour with our guests. There are three Japanese historical incidents related to heavy snow. These are “Ako incident”, “Sakuradamon incident”, and “February 26 incident”. The story of Ako incident is guided at Matsu-no-Oroka, Great Pine Corridor in the Edo castle area during our tour. The 47 […]

Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on 3 February 2024 – Wait for Spring time

  • 2024.02.04

Thank you for choosing our tour at East garden of Imperial Prerace on February 3rd 2024. We welcomed 5 guests from Germany, and India. Start with a family with 7month cutie kid from Berline/Germany, at Wadakura-mon gate we welcomed a Family from India. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. Feb 3rd, it is called “SETSUBUN” as a last day of winter, and now we are standing  just before Spring, “RISSHUN”, according to a Japanese luna calendar.  We could see a “Mamemaki” (throwing roasted soy beans) event at most Shrine and Temples, saying “Oni wa soto(Devils out), Fuku wa Uchi(Happiness in)” .  It is said people eat beans as many as your age, then you could alive more with happiness. How come if my age is 70 ? Also there is an old song, DODOITSU that initially introduced at late EDO Era. “UME WA SAITAKA? SAKURA WA MADKAINA?” mean Does Flower of Plume open ?  How about Cherry Blossom?”  It is really song of current time of season.  By the way , we could see Plume blossoms […]

Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on 27 January 2024, What do you expect from Japan in winter time?

  • 2024.01.28

Thank you very much for participating in the tour of that day. I’m Masa, one of the guides of the tour. We welcomed 19 guests from USA, Taiwan, UAE, Ireland, Mexico, India, Argentina, France, Turkey, New Zealand, Zambia, Jordan, and Japanese who accompanied some of others. 17 of them were young, energetic international tour group which was traveling around the world. It was a cold day but the sky was very clear and nice sunshine showered on us. Apricots, winter to early spring flowers started to bloom in the garden – were very beautiful and releasing the unique smell. Although it was a cold winter day, we could share wonderful moments during the tour. The below is the group photos of that day. Speaking of winter, many foreign tourists visit Japan for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Japan is in fact, ski paradise. I went to Togari Onsen Ski Resort in Nagano prefecture last weekend and stayed at Togari Inn managed by British-American couple, Lianne and Sam. The two met in Nagano when they were English teachers there, got married and decided to settled down in Togari district of Iiyama city, Nagano prefecture. They now manage the inn […]

Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 23,2024

  • 2024.01.24

Thank you so much joining our tour at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on Jan.23! We welcomed 3 guests from Germany and UK. I hope you all had a good time and enjoyed interesting conversation with us during the tour. As promised, some photos are attached to remember the fun times we had. The day of the tour was a little cold but the weather was fine and we were able to enjoy the plum blossoms that were beginning to bloom. Let me introduce one unique ceremony. This Shinto ceremony held each year in Tenmangu shrines across Japan. USO is a bird of the sparrow family which was believed to bring luck by turning bad things into “fiction.” Worshippers exchange carved wooden USO with each other on the days of the ceremony, transferring their sins and impurities to the wood carvings. In Tokyo this ceremony held on the 24ch and 25ch of January each year in Kameido Tosmangu shrine. Please check it. We always strive to give high-quality tours. Your feedback is very important and useful to us. If you have a moment, please consider posting comments about tours on TripAdvisor / Facebook, etc. Also, please tell your […]

Daikan: Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 20, 2024

  • 2024.01.21

Thank you for choosing our tour at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 20, 2024. We welcomed 20 guests from UK and Australia. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. Despite the chilly weather and rain, we thoroughly enjoyed the tour with our guests. The period of 15 days from January 20th to February 3rd is known as “Daikan.” But what exactly is “Daikan”? It is considered the coldest period of the year. During our tour, we observed the early blooming of plums, possibly influenced by global warming. In recent times, the Japan Meteorological Agency has faced challenges in accurately predicting the peak blooming season for plums, peaches, and cherry blossoms in the spring. Customary practices are conducted during the “Daikan” period. “Kangeiko” or “Kansyugyo” involves martial arts training aimed at enhancing mental health and skill improvement. It is believed that consuming “Kannomizu,” water with spiritual properties, during this period is beneficial for maintaining good health. Japanese sake and soy sauce are produced using “Kannomizu,” known for its absence of bacteria and impurities, ensuring […]

New Year’s Resolution: Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 13, 2024

  • 2024.01.13

Thank you for choosing our tour at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 13, 2024. We welcomed 10 guests from US, Canada and Germany. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. We, Tokyo Free Walking Tour, extend our condolences to the victims of the Noto Peninsula Earthquake that struck on January 1st. We hope for a swift recovery and a return to their normal lives. What is your New Year’s resolution? Mine is to enhance my guiding skills to better satisfy our guests. A friend who is a native English speaker suggested writing resolutions on paper. Initially, I wrote ‘I want to -,’ but she recommended using ‘I will -‘ instead, as ‘want’ might leave room for escape from the resolution. Now, I have it hanging on the wall at my home. Many Japanese students are interested in traveling and studying abroad, and older couples also hope to enjoy international travel. They may have resolutions to go abroad in 2024. As you may know, the Japanese passport is one of the most powerful, offering […]

East Garden of Imperial Palace tour on January 6

  • 2024.01.07

Thank you for choosing our tour at East Garden of Imperial Palace on January 6. We welcomed 11 guests from Germany, Greece, Italy and US. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. Have you noticed the decoration at the entrance of Tokyo Station, the meeting place? This is called ” Kadomatsu ” in Japanese, and it is displayed at the gate or entrance on New Year period to mark invitation of the deities to the house. It is made up of evergreen pine, which symbolizes vitality, bamboo, which grows straight and fast, and Ume plum knots. It is usually decorated from late December to January. We always strive to give high-quality tours. Your feedback is very important and useful to us. If you have a moment, please consider posting comments about the tour on our TripAdvisor/Facebook etc. Your remarks will certainly help us improve and continue developing our tours. Also, please tell your family and friends about us. Next time you’re in Tokyo, please come to another one of our tours. Once again thank you very much. […]

East Garden of Imperial Palace tour on December 23

  • 2023.12.24

Thank you for choosing our tour at East Garden of Imperial Palace on December 23. We welcomed 3 of guests from US, Canada and Germany. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. On December 23, it’s a 90th birthday of our former Emperor.Do you know he is a biologist?In the pond at the East Garden of Imperial Palace, there are special carps called Hirenaga-nishikigoi in Japanese. It has both of Japanese colorful body and Indonesian long fin. The idea to combine two species comes from our former Emperor. Actually, I’ve never seen same type of carps any other place. It’s worth watching in our tour! “One touch KIMONO” is temporally appeared in the tour. You can put on Japanese Kimono in 30 seconds and take photo in front of Edo castle site. Today new model was just prepared. Our guest kindly tried it on, which is arranged with lily flower. Please come, join and try it! Your feedback is important and helpful to us. If you enjoyed our tour, please considerposting a review on our TripAdvisor/Facebook etc. […]

Weekday Tour Report: East Garden of the Imperial Palace on 20 December 2023

  • 2023.12.21

Thank you for choosing our weekly tour at East Garden of the Imperial Palace on December 20. We welcomed 5guests from Singapore, U.S.A, Korea, and Philippines. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. It was the perfect day for the tour to stroll. We enjoyed last-colored leaves under the beautiful blue sky. By the way, Winter solstice is coming on December 22. We eat cooked pumpkins and take a bath with yuzu floating in it. We call Yuzuyu. On that day, most of the Japanese Onsen and Sentoh (public bath in towns) offer Yuzuyu. You can experience Yuzuyu if you would stay in Japan on winter solstice. As you know, Yuzu fragrance smells good. It will heal your soul and body. In addition, don’t eat used Yuzu in the bath. Now we can enjoy Christmas decorations all over Japan, but most of the decorations in Japan will completely change from those of Christmas to Japanese new years’ such as bamboo, pine trees, and zodiac sine of the next year “Dragons” after Christmas eve. Please enjoy these dramatic […]

Tour Report: East Garden of the Imperial Palace on 16 December 2023

  • 2023.12.18

Thank you very much for participating in the tour of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace. On that day we hosted 6 people from USA and Singapore in an unusual warm weather for this time of the year. December is a winter month but the temperature rose to 20 degree centigrade in the afternoon. Although we could view autumn scenes in the East Garden, anyone could go through the garden without wearing a jacket. It was like October. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. It was a warm day but one of the guides went skiing in Iwate prefecture. So we’re already in the winter season. Even you feel warm in a day but that can not continue for days. So please always prepare clothes for winter when going outside. This month December is called “Shiwasu” in Japan. It literally means “Monks running” because it is the most busiest time of the year to prepare for coming new year. Monks in the old days had to run around the towns to do their businesses. That is how the word “Shiwasu” was derived. People become very busy to write new year […]

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