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Tokyo Now #30 : Sanctuary and Source of Trend

  • 2022.04.28

Tokyo has many aspects and it is constantly changing. You can observe a good example at Harajuku, two stops from JR Shinjuku St. Across the railroad track, a vast sanctuary forest and a source of the latest trends are facing each other.  They are Meiji Jingu Shrine and Harajuku/Omotesando. Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken and celebrated a centennial anniversary in 2020.  It is one of the most popular shrines in Japan, especially during the new year holidays. Over 100,000 trees, many rare birds and insects, and a fascinating part of Japan’s history will make you freshen up and give you relaxation.  Harajuku is famous for its unique youth fashion represented by “kawaii.” There are many reasonably priced and unique clothing stores for middle school to high school students, mainly on Takeshita Street in Harajuku. On the other hand, Omotesando, a neighbor of Harajuku,  is a most pleasant and luxurious street lined with Zelkova trees. Over these 3 years, there have been lots of changes.  Not a few popular shops were impacted by the epidemic.  The lovely old JR Harajuku station building was transformed into a modern building. A new complex facility now […]

Tokyo Now #29: Step by step, preparing for the resumption of walking tours

  • 2022.04.25

TFWT has just started on-site warming up training on all 4 routes for our members. Let us introduce you the scene from the Ueno Park route training held on last Sunday.   Ueno Park, one of the first public parks in Japan, was designated as such in 1873.  It locates between popular tourist sites in the downtown area, i.e. Asakusa and Yanaka. Ueno Park is a treasure house of timeless history and culture & art.  You can enjoy plenty of cultures like temples, museums, performances, the zoo, and other attractions in this beautiful greenery place. Just strolling around this park could be good relaxation but you are also able to focus on your interests, say 400 years of history, architecture, painting and sculpture or nature. Ueno Park is especially popular during Hanami – viewing of 1200 Sakura cherry trees of 50 types.

Tokyo Now #28: Sakura Sakura

  • 2022.03.31

Sakura, the cherry blossoms were almost in full bloom in Tokyo last weekend. And now its petals are dancing in the air and floating on the water. It’s like raft. Shidare-zakura, weeping cherry trees. Just beautiful. Lovely spring flowers follow.

Tokyo Now #27: Speaking of spring fun…

  • 2022.03.18

The weather is getting more & more spring-like. I can feel spring in the air as I’m allergic to cedar pollen. It is not quite poetic to see beautiful scenery with a running nose (sigh). According to the 8th forecast released by JMC ( Japan Meteorological Corporation),  cherry blossoms will start to flower on March 22 and reach full bloom around March 30.  JMC’s cherry blossoms forecast is for famous & popular Somei Yoshino. Early this week I enjoyed my 1st Hanami and Obento (lunch box) this spring but not seeing Sakura but admiring Ume (Japanese Plum) in Inogashira Park which is known with Ghibli Museum.  Inogashira Park is located about a 5-minute walk from Kichijoji station, just a 20min. by JR Chuo line and has a lot of things to offer such as a temple, a pond, a zoo, an aquarium, museums, and a wide greenery area. The Ghibli Museum showcases the work of Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio, The cherry blossoms of Inogashira Park are famous, and many people come here every spring to view them.

Tokyo Now #26: Ume, Japanese Plum, in full bloom

  • 2022.03.12

Plum Blossom are messengers of Spring at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace As of today, Tokyo is under pre-emergency measures for Covid 19 pandemic. Number of newly infected person has sharply increased since the end of the last year, and is still high but getting peak out. Feb 23rd is the Emperor’s birthday and a National Holiday in Japan. Normally, many people gather at the Imperial Palace to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday, but this year the ceremony was canceled and the area around the Imperial Palace was quiet. The people of the East Garden of the Imperial palace were also sparse and the time was going by very slowly. In the garden, there is the place where about 50 plum trees are planted. Like pine and bamboo, plum is considered to be an auspicious tree in Japan. And above all, Plum Blossom is a messenger of spring in Japan. We enjoy them in February, then welcome Cherry Blossom from late March through beginning of April. Spring will come soon in this garden.

Tokyo Now #25: March 3rd, The Dolls’ Festival for Girls and The Peach Festival

  • 2022.03.04

Are there any celebration days for girls’ growth and development in your country?  On March 3rd, Japan holds the Peach Festival (Hina Matsuri). It’s the day to pray for healthy growth and happiness for young children. On this day, families set up unique ornaments to arrange tiny dolls, called “Hina dolls” in Japanese. Hina dolls, which represent the Emperor, the Empress, their servants and musicians, are usually placed on a seven-step platform. They are dressed in imperial ancient costumes. Then, why is the Peach festival held on March 3rd? In the beginning of spring under rapid temperature changes, we are likely to fall sick even nowadays. Especially in ancient times in Japan, due to underdeveloped medical conditions, many little children lost their lives during this season.  Therefore, in March, old Japanese people had the purification custom of floating paper dolls into rivers or in the sea to drive away evil spirits with them. After the medieval era, wealthy samurai or aristocrats began to make the costly and valuable dolls, then they started displaying them once a year instead of setting them afloat. This is the origin of the Peach Festival (Hina Matsuri). In the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, […]

Tokyo Now #24 Greeting from Asakusa

  • 2022.03.02

Hello  Greeting from Asakusa first time this year and after 9 months good rest! March began with warm weather like April here in Tokyo. It will take several months before on-site tour resumes. But we will be keeping you posted with latest views and movements in Tokyo. Our new project is now underway something related to on-line tour… Hope we will soon welcome you to our tours. See you soon! By TFWT PA&C

Tokyo Now #23: The flowers during rainy season are in full bloom

  • 2021.06.19

The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace has just resumed the public opening since June 8. It can be reached in a 10-15 minute walk from JR Tokyo Station, the gateway to Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Originally there was Edo Castle, and now the whole area of Edo Castle is called the Imperial Palace. There is a lot of nature around the Imperial Palace and a valuable ecosystem is maintained. I have brought my portable maccha green tea basket. Let’s take a good rest tasting green tea viewing the base of Edo Castle tower. “Tsuyu”, early summer rainy season, has just started around Tokyo metropolitan area. Seasonal flowers are in full bloom. Best time to see iris gardens in Ninomaru Gardens. Before leaving this gardens, why don’t we take a seat on the bench and sip another cup of maccha. Strolling, reading books, drawing or just taking a nap? You can just enjoy this gardens as you like if your schedule allow you.

Tokyo Now #21: March 14, Somei Yoshino front has come to Tokyo

  • 2021.03.16

Somei-Yoshino Sakura, the most popular cherry trees, have come into bloom in Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Sunday, March 14, a few weeks earlier than usual. The Japan Meteorological Agency is responsible for declaring the official opening of the season, which is a kind of annual rite of spring. In each prefecture,  a specified cherry tree is observed as the standard tree.  There is a very careful watching of the tree for measurement  twice a day so as not to miss the five or six flowers that open to define the transition of seasons. The agency even releases maps of the cherry blossom front, which is similar to weather fronts. Full bloom is forecasted around March 22.す Let me also tell you that Somei-Yoshino is not the only cherry blossom in Japan. There are more than 200 types of cherry blossoms in Japan.  Earliest one starts blooming in autumn and latest comes end of April. We will keep you updated by posting various photos of beautiful Somei Yoshino.

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