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East Gardens of the Imperial Palace


Tour Report January 13, 2016(Weekday Tour)

  • 2016.01.15

Today we welcomed 7 guests from Finland, Australia and Canada. We all enjoyed the pleasant walk under the clear blue sky. Many guests mentioned that they would go see the Sumo tournament during their stay. So here is a quick introduction of Sumo. Sumo is Japanese style of wrestling and Japan’s national sport. It goes back to ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto gods. Therefore many pre-match rituals are involved. Here is the standard ritual: 1) Both wrestlers welcome each other when sitting crouched. 2) They look each other in the eye (sometimes escalates into challenging eye contact towards the end of ritual). 3) They rub their hands, and clap them once (by doing this, they ask for the attention     of the gods). Then they move their arms horizontally sideways, the palms of their hands     facing up. Later they turn their hands of the palm facing down, then put their hands on      their knees. 4) They lift each of their feet. Wrestlers wear only “Mawashi belt”, and practice above arm/leg movements to show the Shinto Gods that they are unarmed. Over the course of the ritual, salts are sprinkled on the ring by wrestlers to purify themselves […]

Tour Report: January 9th, 2016

  • 2016.01.14

Happy New Year and thank you for joining our first tour of the year! It has been a relatively warm winter in Tokyo so far, so much that plum trees at the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace are beginning to bloom – which we usually expect some time around early February. I went with a group of six with guests from Germany, Hong Kong and Vietnam. As my partner guide and I explained about historical sites of interest, our conversation wandered off to various topics from seniority systems in different countries to where to fetch dashi soup stocks. I was surprised when one of our guests told me she intended to visit the Parliamentary Museum, which is not a common tourist destination. Then she explained that she majored in the field, and how the constitution in her country is subject for discussion very much like ours. I found this conversation very interesting, and decided I should revisit how our constitution came to be. Meanwhile I sincerely hope she found her way to the museum, and that the visit was worthwhile. My personal resolution for this year is to improve as a volunteer tour guide and provide useful and interesting information […]

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