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East Gardens of the Imperial Palace


Tour Report: May 14, 2016

  • 2016.05.16

Thank you for joining our tour! On that day, we welcomed 70 guests and divided into 6 groups. The weather was perfect and there was a nice breeze. I hope you all enjoyed the nice weather. Bletilla striata are in full bloom at Ninomaru Japanese Garden. You can enjoy different flowers depending on the seasons there. Irises bloom between late May and Jun at their peak. Joining a walking tour is a great opportunity to meet fellow travellers. For many, travelling alone is an exciting adventure with a great sense of freedom. However, it can also get lonely from time to time. Adventure into the unknown and make small talk with others on the tour traveling like yourself where many friendships can be made and travel partners found.  I’m always happy when I see that guests are interacting and sharing their trip experiences each other. By the way, have you ever been to any World Natural Heritage Site in Japan? We have 4 natural sites, Shiretoko(Hokkaido), Shirakami-Sanchi(Aomori/Akita Prefecture), Ogasawara Islands(Tokyo) and Yakushima(Kagoshima Prefecture). Don’t be confused, the famous mountain Mt.Fuji is listed for “cultural” heritage site, rather than a natural heritage site. It is said Mt.Fuji has nurtured Japan’s unique art […]

Tour Report: May 7, 2016

  • 2016.05.12

Sumo season is on in Tokyo! The 15 day summer tournament in Tokyo started last Sunday. This is one of the three tournaments held in Tokyo throughout the year (The other three are held elsewhere in Japan). One of the guests told me she was interested in going to see the Sumo match. The reserved seats are all gone, but if you are willing to stand in line early in the morning, you may be able to get the non-reserved seats for the day. It was quite recent that I first saw sumo live, and I can tell you it is much more exciting than seeing it on TV. If you have a chance, I definitely suggest you go for it. Sumo recently has become more globalized than ever. Of the Makuuchi, or the top 42 ranking wrestlers, 16 are from outside Japan.  Mongolia is known to be home of many good wrestlers, but there are wrestlers from other countries such as Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Georgia and Russia. It might be interesting to go find wrestlers from your country. Well, so much about sumo, we were joined by 46 guests on Saturday. None from the said sumo countries, but thank you all the same! […]

Tour Report on May 4, 2016(Holiday tour)

  • 2016.05.04

We welcomed 11 guests from Italy, Australia, U.S.A., Canada, Brazil and Philippines. We divided the guests into 3 groups and started our tour at 10:00 am from Tokyo Station. Today was very hot day with strong wind . Luckly the rain was stopped early in the morning.       Thanks to all the guests for joining and having a good time with us. Please enjoy the rest of your stay in Japan. TFWT’s regular walking tour is held on Saturdays 13:00-15:00. If you are in Tokyo on the day, why not come and join us? Please check the tour calender on our website. And also please visit facebook and tripadvisor. (Posted by Keiko.N)

Tour Report on 30 April 2016

  • 2016.05.03

  Thank you for joining our tour on April 30th. Now, Japanese are enjoying Golden Week holidays. Many Japanese have looked forward to this week, because we have a long holiday, and moreover the weather is usually nice during this week, so it is really good season for going out. On the day of tour, it was also perfect weather. We welcomed 70 guests from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, US and so on. We divided into 7 groups. We strolled and had relaxing afternoon in the fresh green leaves, and some guests were sitting verdant lawn as they listened our explanation about the Edo history.   Edo castle used to be built at the east garden of imperial palace, but now only stone base remains. We cannot enjoy watching powerful and magnificent castle unfortunately. Do you know the closest castle from Tokyo? Whenever our guests ask me this question, I always answer “Odawara Castle is the closest castle from Tokyo”. It is located in Odawara City in Kanagawa Prefecture. It takes 1 hour and a half by train. From the beginning of 15 to the end of […]

Tour Report on 23 April 2016

  • 2016.04.24

Thank you for joining us. On that day we welcomed 55 guests from Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Austria, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, USA, Lithuania, India, Russia, and Norway. We divided into 6 groups. The weather was cloudy at the beginning but turned sunny in later time. In the East Garden, spring flowers after Sakura, such as azaleas and wisteria are appearing. In this tour, we are always worried that if the flat turf in the East Garden, where the feudal lord, Tokugawa Shoguns’ castle existed disappoints the guests. The wooden castle buildings were all burnt down. Only stone bases and a stone warehouse are architectual remains. If you are interested in imagining what the castle as a whole looked like, there is a 3 dimensional miniture recreation exhibit at EDO-TOKYO Museum near Ryogoku Station in Tokyo. But that may not satisfy your expectation. So we advise you to see real castles in existence, which are similar to the castle we need to imagine. There are two places we recommend. One is Nijo-Castle in Kyoto. That was actually a second house of the Tokugawa Shogun. When he visited Kyoto to meet with Emperor, the castle was used. That is similar to Honmaru area, […]

Tour Report on 16 April 2016

  • 2016.04.22

Thank you for joining us. On that day we welcomed 56 people from USA, Australia, Singapore, Phillipines, Israel, Poland, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Malaysia, UK, Ireland, Korea, Taiwan, Belgium, and France. We divided into 5 groups. The main Sakura season, which the most popular cherryblossoms with pale white-pink petals called Someiyoshino were in full bloom was over but one can still enjoy other specie of Sakura, called Satozakura. It was a very good day for viewing it. The petals of the flowers are bigger and the color is more pink. Along with Sakura, the guests could enjoy getting along with kimono guides and wearing kimono. Speaking of kimono, what one can easily come up with is Geisha. Geisha literally means “Artist” or “Entertainers.” In Tokyo Mukojima, Asakusa, Shinbashi, Kagurazaka are the famous spots. They dance, sing and pour sake to their guests in a party room. The below photo was taken in Mukojima. A woman on the left in pink kimono is younger Geisha and apprentice, called Maiko or Hangyoku, the other is the pro Geisha. They not only have good skills of dancing or singing but art of conversation. Geisha is not only an occupation for women but men. Male Geisha is called Taiko-mochi […]

Tour Report:April 13,2016(Weekday Tour)

  • 2016.04.16

The peak season of cherry blossoms is almost over. Now young green leaves started to come out. The most pleasant season in Japan has started. In spite of bad weather, we welcomed 15 Guests from the U.S, Bergius, Canada, Singapore, Australia, U.K., and New Zealand today. Although it rained on and off, we were able to enjoy various flowers such as azalea, rhododendron, and iris. By the way, do you know ” Yabusame ” , Japanese horseback archery ceremony? (Images taken from Taito City website) Yabusame is one of the symbol of Japanese martial arts. From the 12th century to the 16th century, cavalry battle was the most common method of warfare. Yabusame take place at Sumida Park in Asakusa on every third Saturday in April and this year it will fall on April 16th. In the ceremony, three targets are arranged in the course. Archers in historical costumes on running horses draw their arrows and shoot at the targets. The archers run the path from one after another and every tome an arrow hits the target, spectators applaud!  If you are in Tokyo on that day, why don’t you visit Asakusa and experience this Japanese historical ceremony? It will fascinate […]

Tour Report: April 9, 2016

  • 2016.04.16

  In Japan, many people relate the cherry blossoms with the coming and going of friends and colleagues. This is because the season falls on the end/beginning of the academic and fiscal year. Graduation ceremonies commonly take place at the end of March and newly grads start their professional career in April. No wonder there are countless pop songs about farewell under the cherry tree. We were able to enjoy the final days of the cherry blossoms with over 60 guests at the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. The cherries were nearing their end, but various flowers were coming up. ===== Please visit our website and Facebook, and drop your comments on our TripAdvisor page! # A series of large earthquakes have occurred around Kumamoto in the Southern island of Kyushu. There is confusion among transport and other services. It is best to stay away from the area. Those of you  already in the area please follow instructions by local authorities.

Tour Report: April 2, 2016

  • 2016.04.03

Thanks to all the guests for joining and having a good time with us! It’s cloudy and chilly day, but cherry blossoms are in full bloom. We welcomed over 100 guests 2 weeks in a row and we divided into 7 groups. It’s natural that most of the groups took their group photo at the front of cherry blossom trees. Some guest told me they already visited famous place of cherry blossom, ex. Ueno-park, Meguro-river. I recommended Chidorigafuchi to those who are searching famous cherry blossom place close to the Imperial palace area. Then during this tour I noticed that famous picture work “Setsugekka (Snow, moon and flower)” will be displayed at the Sannomaru Shozokan (the Museum of the Imperial Collection) in next exhibition term (29th Apr – 22nd May). This Museum is also free! <Setsugekka (Snow, moon and flower)> Artist of this work is Uemura Shoen, she is a famous artist of Japanese style painting in beautiful women and first woman who received the Order of Culture in 1948. This picture was ordered by Teimei Empress( Empress of TaishoEmperor) at the end of 19th century. At that time she was already famous artist, so she had a lot of […]

Tour Report: March 26, 2016

  • 2016.03.31

There is an urban legend in Japan that under each beautiful Sakura, or cherry tree, are corpses of the dead and the tree feeds on them. This originates from a short story written in 1928 by the famous writer Motojiro Kajii*. The story takes the form of a monologue by a seemingly deranged protagonist, explaining how he finally figured out this secret. * “Lemon” is another famous work by Kajii, in which the main character places a lemon on top of a pile of art books at a bookstore as an act of revolt against daily routine life. The story is a common high school textbook material, and even today inspires students to procure the citrus fruit and raid nearby bookstores. Of course the story is a work of fiction, but I do sometimes feel eerie when I see cherry blossoms in the moonlight. On the other hand, Sakura in daylight is nothing but festive. It attracts visitors from around the world, and perhaps this explains why we had over 100 guests for our tour on Saturday, a record high for our organization. I went with a group of 18 with my partner guide. I was pleasantly surprised when I was informed that a […]

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