COOL “OMOTENASHI” (HOSPITALITY) IN SUMMER: The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace Tour on Aug. 17, 2019
- East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
Thank you for joining our tour to the East garden of the Imperial Palace on Aug 17th.
We welcomed 14 guests from USA, UK, Spain, Colombia and India, and made 2 groups with a few guides respectively. The weather was typical summer one, very hot (35℃/95℉). We really appreciate all guest for sharing your precious time together and enjoyed our tour with the guests.
As we reported, the construction in “Honmaru” area is under gong for the preparation of Grand Ceremony by new Emperor in Nov. We didn’t go to there but explained how looked like Edo Castle those days. We hope all guests enjoyed a short time-trip from Japanese modern era to Edo period in 17th through 19th.
According to the Japanese traditional calendar, “Risshu (beginning of autumn/fall)” was on August 7, but it is still hot and humid even in mid-August, this year. In the days when there were no air conditioners or electric fans, people were trying to cool down the hot and humid seasons. One of them is that the house was made of wooden structure with excellent ventilation. Also, in everyday life, various ideas were made, such as cooling in the evening while listening to insects’ voices in the riverside, and getting cool by hearing wind chimes (“Furin”) in the room. And “Uchimizu” is another example.
“Uchimizu” is watering roads and gardens. In the ancient times, “Uchimizu” had the meaning of purifying the path of Deities, but as a practical utility it has the effect of suppressing dust and easing the heat in summer. It can be said to be a hospitality (“Omotenashi”) that greets customers at the entrance.
In recent years, the government has encouraged “Uchimizu” as part of a campaign to address to heat islands in urban areas, including Tokyo, and to prevent global warming.
Tokyo Station has introduced a water cooling system (“Uchimizu” system) since last summer. The square in front of the meeting place for our tour is 22m x15m in size, and 5mm depth water is spread on two sides. According to a newspaper, it is said that the water can be circulated in consideration of the environment, and by this, the temperature od the surface can be lowered by nearly 10 ℃ compared to the surrounding road (Really?). A sparrow was bathing there so it must be cooler than the surroundings at least. When you visit Tokyo Station in Summer, please experience the hospitality that combines Japanese tradition and its latest technology.
During this season, we are trying to reduce the heat in our four tours, “East Gardens of the Imperial Palace”, “Asakusa”, “Ueno” and this “Meiji Shrine and Harajuku”, as much as possible. However we cannot defeat a nature power itself. In the sense, as we explain in our importance notification, our tours may be modified or canceled without prior notice in order to protect the health of our guests and guides.
Please check our tour information as well as get your physical condition and make your visit in Japan fruitful and enjoyable.
For more information about our tour, please visit our East Gardens of the Imperial Palace tour, Facebook, and TripAdvisor page!
(posted by Toyo)
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