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Meiji Shrine and Harajuku

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JAPANESE SPIRIT IN DOLL THANKSGIVING :Meiji Shrine and Harajuku Tour on Oct. 6, 2019

  • 2019.10.07

Thank you for joining our tour to Meiji Shrine and Harajuku on Oct. 6th. We welcomed 30 guests in total from Canada, Israel, USA, Australia, Philippines, Spain, UK, Italy and Germany. We really appreciate that some guests participated following East Gardens of the Imperial Palace the previous day. We made 4 groups to have mutual communication between guests and guides. It was rainy and a little chilly, 27℃ (81℉). We needed temporary suspending our tour under a roof to avoid strong rains, but all guest was cooperative and patient. We could not operate tours without their warm cooperation and understanding. Thank you very much! A lot of dolls were displayed in the corridor as we entered the main hall of Meiji Shrine during the rain. This day was the annual Meiji Shrine Doll Thanksgiving Day. There is a custom in Japan that believes that dolls have souls and values them. So many people feel reluctant to just throw away old and broken dolls as garbage. Meiji Jingu shrines holds every autumn this event as a festival of gratitude and farewell for such dolls. It is believed that Japanese people had animistic spirits in the symbiosis with nature since ancient times. […]

Tour Report for Meji Shrine and Harajuku on September 15th

  • 2019.09.16

Thank you for joining our Tokyo Free Walking Tour at Meiji Shrine and Harajuku on September 15th. We had guests from various countries such as Australia, US, India, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Singapore, Pakistan, and Germany. As always, we shared good atmosphere in a quiet forest and historical objects in Meiji Shrine. At this time of year, we have a lot of Typoon, but fortunately the weather was good, and temperature was just comfortable. This good condition is also good for a bride and groom who just started their new life from Meiji Shrine. Congratulations to the young couple! Just one block away from busy TAKESHITA street, there is a small facility called Ota Memorial Museum of Art, which has specialty in UKIYOE wood block print. It is amazing that such a quiet and pretty museum showing traditional Japanese art is located in the center of pop culture. The museum holds themed exhibition from time to time. You can obtain good knowledge of UKIYOE from a special angle in such exhibitions. This week’s exhibition is all about Utagawa Toyokuni who had his work in late 18th to early 19th century. If you are interested in UKIYOE, it’s surely worth while spending […]

Wall paintings and lunch at Cat Street in Ura Harajuku (September 1)

  • 2019.09.02

Thank you for choosing our tour among the many candidates in Meiji Shrine and Harajuku area on September 1. 12 guests kindly joined our tour from America, Britain, Ireland, France. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sudan. I hope all of you enjoyed walking with us in spite of muggy weather. Cat Street is a 1 kilometer-road between Harajuku and Shibuya, and crosses Omote Sando Avenue in the middle. The street is almost straight consisting of south part (Shibuya) and north part (toward Shinjuku) going deeper into Harajuku (“Ura Harajuku”). The narrow road seems to originate from many homeless cats basking in the sun in the old days. You may not be able to see them now. In fact, this road was made over the river prior to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964. Cat Street is one of the hot spots in Harajuku. There are a number of trendy shops and cafes including vintage clothing stores. However, it has much less teenagers in cosplay like Takeshita Street. People show more adult fashion. Since there is not that much traffic, it is an ideal place to go for a walk with your friends or family. In addition, you will see many outstanding mural arts […]

Tour Report: Meiji Shrine & Harajuku Tour on August 18, 2019

  • 2019.08.18

Thank you so much for joining our tour at Meiji Shrine & Harajuku Tour!  Even it was over 35℃, murderous heat in the morning, we welcomed 10 guests from the US, Italy, Columbia, and Spain. Meiji Shrine is one of the mecca of wedding.  If you are lucky, you can see the ceremony at the main hall. After 1 hour walking in the shrine, we headed to Harajuku area, where was the famous shopping area for young people.  There were so many teenagers enjoying shopping and eating out.  Some of the guest also enjoyed taking pictures at the famous instagram point! We have another four tours in this month, so please check our tour calendar.  We all hope you enjoy your days in Japan, and look forward to meeting you someday! (posted by Hisako)

PRICE OF CLOSE RELATIONSHIP? :Meiji Shrine and Harajuku Tour on Aug 4, 2019

  • 2019.08.05

Thank you for joining our tour to Meiji Shrine and Harajuku on Aug. 4th. We welcomed 8 guests in total from Australia, Canada, UK, Italy and Poland. We made 3 groups and had more mutual communication between guests and a guide. It was really hot, today. 32℃ (90℉), Summer sunshine, almost no wind. but we still could feel the cool forest in the morning, too. The tour started at the gate of Meiji Shrine, walked into its forest and arrived at Main Shrine Building. After the small rest, we moved to Harajuku area and reached out Omote Sando, Champs Elysees in Japan. We hope our guest enjoyed there 2 completely different attractive areas in the center of Tokyo metropolis. In addition, we exchanged a lot of questions and answers, and were inspired by some of them. I really love it. When visiting shrines and temples, including Meiji Jingu Shrine, we will make small offering. At that time, the famous thing as the auspicious amount is “5 yen”. One of our guests knew that. One reason is that “5 yen” is read as “Goen” in Japanese. Because this “Goen” has the same pronunciation as “Close relationship”, the 5 yen coin means that […]

Who drunk the liquer of the sake barrals? : Meiji-Jingu and Harajuku Tour on Jul 21th

  • 2019.07.22

Thanks to all of our guests energetic enough to plunge into the miracle forest  this morning. We could welcome 16 guests from U.S.A., CZECH, FRANCE,  MALAYSIA, INDIA. This year,  the rainy season is lasting very long.  The temperature for this day, did not go up so high so we could spend the day without sunbisers and suntans. It was a little bit humid but strolling around the precinct and Harajuku area including Takeshita-street was rather comfortable under a thick thick sky!!  It means that no matter what the weather was alike, we ourselves really enjoyed the time we could spend with you!! We just wish all of your  trips would  last  safe and  top memorial. We still have 4 left tours in this month. — 1 tour  to East Gardens of the Imperial Palace,  2  tours to Asakusa and  1 tour  to Ueno Park. We hope our tours could fit your schedule somewhere.  Please check our tour calendar  and we  look forward meeting you!! (posted by Nori)    

July 7 Meijijinngu and Harajuku tour: It rained here How was it at the Milky Way?

  • 2019.07.08

Today it rained continuously during the tour and we felt chilly for the month of July. Despite the weather we could welcome 11 guests at the starting point, the first Torii gate of the Meijijingu shrine. All the guests were from USA except for a guest from Germany. We divided the guests into four small groups, 2 or 3 guests for each, so that our guides could be as attentive as possible to each individual guest.   The shrine’s inner garden and the Takeshita-dori Street seemed to be a little bit less crowded than usual. That was good for us as we always held umbrellas during the tour. Meijijingu shrine: Harajuku  Takeshita-dori Street: We noticed a bamboo ornament for Tanabata festival at the Shrine gate and another at Takeshita-dori. Tanabata(七夕) festival, held on the 7th day of the 7th month, is one of the traditional five seasonal festivals. In the summer night sky you can see two bright stars, Vega and Altair, facing each other at the opposite side of the Milky Way. According to the legendary tale, Orihime-star(Weaving Princess, Vega) and Hikoboshi-star(Cowherd, Altair) once got married but were separated by the God of Heaven for some reason. After that […]

Sunny Day Tour During Rainy Season — @Meiji Jingu Shrine & Harajuku on June 16, 2019

  • 2019.06.17

Thank you so much for joining our tour at Meiji Jingu Shrine & Harajuku area on June 16.  We welcomed 12 guests from Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and France! The rainy season had already started in Tokyo, but we were blessed with sun during this tour.  We could enjoy to see the Japanese traditional wedding at the front of the main Pavilion of Shrine, or many young people enjoying playing dress-up at the Takeshita-dori Street! On June 16 was the Day of Japanese Confectionery, so the Shrine gave any visitors a Japanese traditional sweets and tea.  In 868, the Emperor supplied gods with the sweets or dumplings for preventing the epidemic from spreading further, then it worked well.   We have a Japanese garden inside of the Meiji Jingu shrine and anyone can enjoy watching Japanese irises with the admission fee.  One of our group visited there. Now is the flowers high season, we highly recommend to visit there ! (reported by Hisako)  

Tour report on 2 JUNE in Harajuku

  • 2019.06.02

I sincerely thank you for taking the time for joining the tour to Meiji Shrine and Harajuku. We had 12 guests from USA, Australia. 7 of the guests had participated in our tour to the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace on the previous day which we appreciate very much. The weather was perfect on this day. I hope all of you enjoyed walking with us. Ukiyo-e or woodblock printings have been very popular among common people since the Edo period. Ukiyo-e pictures were very reasonable in the Edo period so that people used them as one of daily life commodities such as wallpaper, fan, calendars and wrapping paper. Real Ukiyo-e pictures are very expensive now, but don’t worry. We can collect ‘Ukiyo-e‘ reasonably. For example, the following are the Playing Cards of Hiroshige’s “Fifty-three Stations on the Tokaido” which is one of the most famous Ukiyo-e picture series. Many people think that “Fifty-three Stations on the Tokaido” consisted of 53 pictures, but don’t forget the start point and the end point. 53 is the number of stations between Nihombashi and Kyoto. So there are 55 pictures. My most favorite picture is “Night Snow at Kambara”. posted by Maki

WALKING IN A LUSH GREEN FOREST RIGHT AT THE HEART OF TOKYO; HARAJUKU TOUR ON MAY 19TH

  • 2019.05.19

Today 10 guests from Canada, Spain, Philippines and USA joined our walking tour of Harajuku. The weather forecast said that we would have a cloudy day, turning into rain in the evening. But despite the forecast the weather has been nice, sunny and warm, since morning. I hope that all the guests enjoyed the tour.   At this time of the year the sunlight is already strong, and will get much stronger as summer approaches. But don’t worry. Lush green forest at Meiji-Shrine and many large zelkova trees lining the Omotesando Street will give us nice shades during the tour. It was the last day of Sanja Festival at Asakusa today, so it must have been lively but very crowded there. Here, in spite of large number of visitors coming to Meiji Shrine as usual, we still were able to conduct a calm and informative tour for visitors.   There is a large Iris Garden in the precinct of Meiji Shrine. The garden was originally designed by Emperor Meiji for his consort Empress Shoken. Since ancient times Japanese people continuously loved irises and created various kinds of breeds. The garden’s irises have started from 45 Edo-breeds. Now they have expanded […]

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