WE ARE BACK!!! Reserve your spot in our next tour from our new Tour Calendar!

Tour Report of Meiji shrine & Harajuku: Jan. 21, 2024

  • 2024.01.27

Thank you so much for coming our tour of Meiji Shrine & Harajuku on Jan. 21, even though we had a cold rain at that morning. We 4 guides wecomed 2 guests groups from United Kingdom and Australia. Thanks to both groups that had a great interest about that place which was one of the biggest shrine and our culture, we all guides think we could try to do our best to introduce our traditional and modern culture to all. We felt happy that the guests were also fond of our Japanese traditional sweets such as “Mitarashi-Dango”, dumpling, or “Wata-gashi”, cotton candy! “Mitarashi-Dango” is a dumpling made from rice flour coated with saulty-sweet sauce. Cotton candy is called “Wata-gashi” by Japanese, and one of the typical sweets sold at the Japanese traditional festival. And this way to big rainbow coloered cotten candy is very popular at the Takeshita-dori shopping street of Harajuku. Each different colors has different tastes! Why not come our next tour and try these tastes? Once again, thank you so much for joining us on our tour. We always make efforts to improve our tours and highly appreciate your feedback on our TripAdvisor/Facebook etc. Your comments motivate […]

Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 23,2024

  • 2024.01.24

Thank you so much joining our tour at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on Jan.23! We welcomed 3 guests from Germany and UK. I hope you all had a good time and enjoyed interesting conversation with us during the tour. As promised, some photos are attached to remember the fun times we had. The day of the tour was a little cold but the weather was fine and we were able to enjoy the plum blossoms that were beginning to bloom. Let me introduce one unique ceremony. This Shinto ceremony held each year in Tenmangu shrines across Japan. USO is a bird of the sparrow family which was believed to bring luck by turning bad things into “fiction.” Worshippers exchange carved wooden USO with each other on the days of the ceremony, transferring their sins and impurities to the wood carvings. In Tokyo this ceremony held on the 24ch and 25ch of January each year in Kameido Tosmangu shrine. Please check it. We always strive to give high-quality tours. Your feedback is very important and useful to us. If you have a moment, please consider posting comments about tours on TripAdvisor / Facebook, etc. Also, please tell your […]

Daikan: Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 20, 2024

  • 2024.01.21

Thank you for choosing our tour at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 20, 2024. We welcomed 20 guests from UK and Australia. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. Despite the chilly weather and rain, we thoroughly enjoyed the tour with our guests. The period of 15 days from January 20th to February 3rd is known as “Daikan.” But what exactly is “Daikan”? It is considered the coldest period of the year. During our tour, we observed the early blooming of plums, possibly influenced by global warming. In recent times, the Japan Meteorological Agency has faced challenges in accurately predicting the peak blooming season for plums, peaches, and cherry blossoms in the spring. Customary practices are conducted during the “Daikan” period. “Kangeiko” or “Kansyugyo” involves martial arts training aimed at enhancing mental health and skill improvement. It is believed that consuming “Kannomizu,” water with spiritual properties, during this period is beneficial for maintaining good health. Japanese sake and soy sauce are produced using “Kannomizu,” known for its absence of bacteria and impurities, ensuring […]

Looking for Heart shape in Shrines and Temples is fun! Tour Report of Asakusa and Ueno Park on January 14, 2024

  • 2024.01.15

Thank you for choosing our tour at Asakusa and Ueno Park on January 14. We welcomed 13 people from U.S.A., Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Philippines, Malasia and Japan. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had.    By the way, when you visit shrines or temples, you may see the shape of heart on the metal fittings etc. of shrines or temples buildings. Heart shape is generally used as the symbol of heart, mind or spirit and so on. In addition, it is also known that the shape of the heart is used as a pattern called “INOME” since ancient times in Japan. For example, it is known that a heart shape was used for the sword guard in the 6th century. The heart shape has been used long before Japan came into contact with Western culture. “INOME” means boar’s eye. The eyes of the wild boar look like the shape of a heart. Literally “INOME” is named after the shape of boar’s eye.  For example, as the picture shown below, you can see heart shape on the metal […]

New Year’s Resolution: Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 13, 2024

  • 2024.01.13

Thank you for choosing our tour at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace on January 13, 2024. We welcomed 10 guests from US, Canada and Germany. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. We, Tokyo Free Walking Tour, extend our condolences to the victims of the Noto Peninsula Earthquake that struck on January 1st. We hope for a swift recovery and a return to their normal lives. What is your New Year’s resolution? Mine is to enhance my guiding skills to better satisfy our guests. A friend who is a native English speaker suggested writing resolutions on paper. Initially, I wrote ‘I want to -,’ but she recommended using ‘I will -‘ instead, as ‘want’ might leave room for escape from the resolution. Now, I have it hanging on the wall at my home. Many Japanese students are interested in traveling and studying abroad, and older couples also hope to enjoy international travel. They may have resolutions to go abroad in 2024. As you may know, the Japanese passport is one of the most powerful, offering […]

New Year : Tour Report of Meiji Shrine and Harajuku on January 7th, 2024

  • 2024.01.07

Thank you for choosing our Meiji Shrine and Harajuku tour on January 7th, 2024.We welcomed 7 guests from Germany, Australia, US and Greece. I hope all of you enjoyedand shared interesting conversations with us during the tour.As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. GR A GR B GR C GR D The number of worshipers for Hatsumode in Meiji Shrine is the largest in Japan every year.Hatsumode is the first visit of the year to a shrine and is Japan’s original custom.It is over three million people from 1st to 3rd of Jan. At that time it was too much crowded.And today lots of people came to shrine. Do you know osechi that are Japanese New Year Food. “Osechi” are traditional foodswhich are eaten by a lot of Japanese on New Year’s Day. It includes many kinds ofJapanese traditional foods, and they are packed together in “Jubako”,which is a special box that resembles bento boxes. The representative food is Kuromame, Kazunoko, and Tazukuri.Kuromame is sweet black soybeans. Eating Kuromame means that you can stay healthy and strong.Kazunoko is herring roe. Kazunoko is a lot of roe, so it means “descendants prosperity”.Tazukuri is […]

East Garden of Imperial Palace tour on January 6

  • 2024.01.07

Thank you for choosing our tour at East Garden of Imperial Palace on January 6. We welcomed 11 guests from Germany, Greece, Italy and US. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. Have you noticed the decoration at the entrance of Tokyo Station, the meeting place? This is called ” Kadomatsu ” in Japanese, and it is displayed at the gate or entrance on New Year period to mark invitation of the deities to the house. It is made up of evergreen pine, which symbolizes vitality, bamboo, which grows straight and fast, and Ume plum knots. It is usually decorated from late December to January. We always strive to give high-quality tours. Your feedback is very important and useful to us. If you have a moment, please consider posting comments about the tour on our TripAdvisor/Facebook etc. Your remarks will certainly help us improve and continue developing our tours. Also, please tell your family and friends about us. Next time you’re in Tokyo, please come to another one of our tours. Once again thank you very much. […]

Merry Christmas!! Tour Report of Asakusa and Ueno Park on December 24, 2023

  • 2023.12.24

Many thanks for joining our tours at Asakusa and Ueno Park on December 24, 2023. We welcomed 15 guests from the US, Portugal, India, Malaysia, and Turkey. It was a tremendous opportunity for us to meet wonderful guests from many countries and share interesting conversations. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached so that you can remember the fun times we had during the tour. <Asakusa> It was a really cold but typical Japanese winter, with a maximum temperature of around 10 degrees Celsius. There were reports on TV news of frozen road surfaces and a car slipping, but despite that, we enjoyed heartwarming conversations with our guests. This tour was the final one of Tokyo Free Walking Tour in 2023. While it’s common to enjoy turkey on Christmas Day in Western countries, it’s intriguing why there are long lines at KFC in Japan during Christmas. It’s rumored that sales on December 24 are 10 times higher than the yearly average. KFC, the American fried chicken chain, made its debut in Japan in 1970 and reportedly initiated its Christmas campaign. A foreign visitor, finding no turkey available on Christmas in Tokyo, remarked, “I’ll celebrate Christmas with Kentucky’s fried chicken […]

East Garden of Imperial Palace tour on December 23

  • 2023.12.24

Thank you for choosing our tour at East Garden of Imperial Palace on December 23. We welcomed 3 of guests from US, Canada and Germany. I hope all of you enjoyed and shared interesting conversations with us during the tour. As promised, group photos and snapshots are attached to remember the fun times we had. On December 23, it’s a 90th birthday of our former Emperor.Do you know he is a biologist?In the pond at the East Garden of Imperial Palace, there are special carps called Hirenaga-nishikigoi in Japanese. It has both of Japanese colorful body and Indonesian long fin. The idea to combine two species comes from our former Emperor. Actually, I’ve never seen same type of carps any other place. It’s worth watching in our tour! “One touch KIMONO” is temporally appeared in the tour. You can put on Japanese Kimono in 30 seconds and take photo in front of Edo castle site. Today new model was just prepared. Our guest kindly tried it on, which is arranged with lily flower. Please come, join and try it! Your feedback is important and helpful to us. If you enjoyed our tour, please considerposting a review on our TripAdvisor/Facebook etc. […]

【外国人観光客向けボランティアガイド活動にご興味のある方へ】

  • 2023.12.22

2024年1月の新規会員の募集にあたり、オリエンテーション(説明会)を開催致します。 当会では、皇居東御苑、浅草、上野公園、明治神宮・原宿の4コースにおいて、英語によるボランティアガイド活動を行っています。外国からのお客様に、日本文化や歴史について理解を深めていただき、日本に親しみを持っていただくことを第一の目的として活動しております。そのための基本的な英語力や、日本文化、歴史の知識は必要ですが、外国のお客様への「おもてなしのこころ」を何よりも大切にしています。まずは「習うより慣れろ」ですので、お気軽にご参加いただければと思います。 <応募資格>1.当会の活動にご賛同いただき、ツアーへの参加および運営活動を含めたボランティア活動に参加いただける方。2.年齢18歳以上(高校生を除く) <申込期間>2023年11月1日(水)~2024年1月15日(月) <会費等>入会金:1,000円年会費:2,000円 <オリエンテーション実施要領>日時: 2024年1月27日(土)10:00~12:00(予定)会場: Zoom開催(接続先はお申し込みをいただいた方に開催日1週間前を目途にご連絡します) *オリエンテーション参加により必ず入会しなければならないというものではありません。活動内容をお聞きいただいた上でご判断いただけます。*ご入会検討の一助としていただくため、オリエンテーション開催前に体験ツアーを1月20日(土)に開催予定です。 詳細につきましては、当団体のHPトップ上段のグリーンのバナーからご確認いただき、お申込みをお願いします。 当会HP:Free walking tours for foreign tourists and residents│Tokyo Free Walking Tour (tfwt.jp)

1 2 61