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Tour report, February 13, 2016

  • 2016.02.14

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming. It was very warm day, even in the middle of winter season. We enjoyed our tour with 30 or more foreign visitors. Let me attach some photos of today’s participants. Near the rest house in the East garden of imperial palace, there are some MITSUMATA trees planted which are used as raw material of Japanese bill paper. And MITSUMATA means “pronged to three” in Japanese. Can you see the branches are forked into three in this photo? By the way, 14th Feb. is St. Valentine’s Day. In Japan, – Girl or lady hands chocolate to boy or gentleman. – In place boy or gentleman will give back anything after a month (which is called “white day”.) -Lady in the office serves obligatory-gift chocolate to colleagues or bosses. (although it has been decreasing lately.) -School girls exchange the chocolate with many girl (same gender) friends just for pleasure ( which is increasing as our new trend) I have investigated each situation in other countries from our guests. From Canada: Man hands chocolate to woman only if he really loves her. From Singapore guy: Only from man to woman, no return, no way! From American lady: It […]

Tour Report on 11 February 2016, National Foundation Day

  • 2016.02.12

Thank you for joining us on the national holiday, called “National Foundation Day.” On that day we welcomed 19 guests from USA, Australia and Spain. It was cold but the sky was very clear. We were divided into 3 groups. Why this day is called “National Foundation Day” is that it is believed that first emperor in history was inagurated on that day more than 2600 years ago. The name of first emperor was Jinmu. Some scholars claim it was a legendary figure. Current emperor Akihito, is 125th from Jinmu. To commemorate this day, one group of the guests were escorted to Nijubashi, which is irregular tour route. Nijubashi is on west side of the imperial palace. It is the main entrance to the imperial palace, emperor’s residence. Many foreign guests want to know how we view emperor these days. Emperor is symbol of national unity. In the old days he was worshipped as a god but now he is considered a human-being. But he is still most respectable person in this country. When you hear about emperor, he might look charismatic and very nationalist. But current emperor has rather soft image among us. In 2004 he met with a conservative member of Tokyo education board, Mr. Yonenaga at a garden party. Mr. Yonenaga said to His […]

Tour Report on 6-February, 2016, Saturday

  • 2016.02.09

Thank you for the guests kindly joined our tour on 6-Feb. We had 21 guests from 6 countries such as U.S.A. Australia, U.K., Finland, Singapore, and Thailand. Some guests came to Japan to enjoy skiing, although it was Super bowl weekend, and in the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere. We realized ski is Hot!! We formed 4 groups and each group had 9-10 people including our newly joined members. The # of the newly joined member exceeds 50, and last week all of them had classroom orientation. From this time on, some of them join the first on site training with us, and quite soon they will make debut as this tour guides. As usual, we walked from Tokyo Station to the Imperial Place East Garden. The sky was grey and it was chilly these days, but early-blooming cherry trees were already flowering. Please come to join us, we always welcome you.

Tour Report on 4-February, 2016, Thursday (Weekday Tour)

  • 2016.02.05

Thank you for the guests kindly joined our weekday tour on 4th -Feb. We totally had 4 guests from USA, Canada and Germany. Since we only had four guests, the tour itself became very cozy and friendly, like a private tour. For example, a guide prepared “Charm in the Park Hunting” game, or another guide made “Origami” balloon with our 12-years-old guest. After the tour in East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, we went to Asakusa (Please note this Asakusa tour is our special tour so far, subject to the guides’ schedule). We had a lunch at Udon (Japanese noodle) shop, walked Nakamise (main shopping arcade at Asakusa), dropped at Ningyo-yaki (doll shaped cake with bean paste inside) shop, did Omikuji (a fortune written on a piece of paper) etc. It was soooo fun! By the way, we have some annual events based on Chinese calendar or Japanese old calendar. One example is “Setsubun” on Feb-3. This festival takes place on the day before Risshun, the first day of spring on the Chinese calendar. Roasted soybeans are scattered in and around the house to drive out sickness and misfortune represented by a demon (this custom is called “mame-maki”). Recently, some […]

Tour Report on 30-January, 2016, Saturday

  • 2016.02.01

Thank you for the guests kindly joined our tour on 30-Jan. We totally had 23 guests from several countries, divided three groups. It was very cold & gray day on last Saturday. Weather forecast said we would have snow here, but fortunately (unfortunately? for some people), we didn’t. Usually we have snow once or twice in a year here in Tokyo. It means Tokyo people are not good at snowy weather and have unusual problem EVERY TIME, like subway/railway delay or suspension, some fractured people by slippery snow etc. I love a day with snow, if I can stay home and keep warm, but otherwise, I don’t like it. However, we had relatively warm days by mid-January, so the plum tree bloomed already. Unbelievable! It usually blooms in late-February, but we can enjoy the plum flower this year already.     By the way, we had an orientation for incoming guides in the afternoon on the same day. We had almost 50 new joiners. They had a lecture about the tour from experienced guide, including the history of Edo, an imperial family, each monument in the garden etc. Each guide has each script, so if you kindly join our tour […]

Tour Report, January 23,2016

  • 2016.01.23

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming! We could share our precious time with 18 foreign visitors from all over the world. Let me introduce our many participants with the following photos.   In Edo castle site, there are three houses to guard each gate on the way to castle palace. Second one is called Hyakunin Bansho in Japanese. As it was very important to guard, special force team at that time was assigned. Can you guess? It is Ninja! Special Iga or Koga family members were in shift. We hear Ninja is getting popular globally. Their specific weapon is Shuriken, a kind of blade. When I was a kid, I folded Origami paper, prepared Shuriken and played Ninja because it was also cool for me. Do you know it is combined with two pieces of Origami paper? Winter weather brings us majestic taste on our East Garden of Imperial Palace. Contrary, we can also feel early spring with plum flowers which are already blooming.     Please come and join us! Y.A.  

Tour Report January 19, 2016(Weekday Tour)

  • 2016.01.23

We welcomed 7 guests from Germany, The U.S. and England. The sky was blue, but it was very cold day. It snowed on the day before in Tokyo. Snow disrupted train services and people couldn’t go to offices. Tokyo is really weak against snow. But snow makes things beautiful. We enjoyed the combination of snow and Japanese traditional things. I hope all guests to enjoy their stay. Please visit our website, Facebook and TripAdvisor page!!

Tour Report January 17,2016

  • 2016.01.17

Today we welcomed 5 guests from Australia,Taiwan, and Germany.TFWT guides were 5 people,and we walked in a group.We explained at the guide points in turns and enjoyed talking to each other.                     I heard that 4 people of the guests were going to skiing to Hokkaido or Nagano. They are known for high quality snow,thus they are attracting skiers and snowboarders from around the world.Especially, Niseko ski resort in Hokkaido is very popular among Australian people.Hokkaido and Nagano are also famous for hot springs,so tourists can enjoy them after skiing.I want to go there too! Speaking of a ski resort, they usually serve “curry and rice” and “ramen” at the restaurant in the skiing ground.The smell of the foods always make me want to eat them so much. Feeling cold and thirsty, I want something hot and salty to eat. I always really enjoy one of them after thinking deeply about which I have. Anyway, I hope all guests to enjoy their stay! Reported by Yuriko Higo

Tour Report ,January 16, 2016

  • 2016.01.17

Today we welcomed 8 guests from many countries. Today’s guests were very few ,but this is rare case. Another guide says there happened same thing  last same season.          We divided them in 2 groups ,and started from the Tokyo station. Until several days ago warm days had continued in our country , but recently the cold of winter  has come. But it was sunny daytime , so it was very comfortable to walk.       In the garden visitors were few ,so we could see and explain many sights freely without annoying to others. Though it’s not flower season now ,we could enjoy 2 plum trees blooming at the slope with plum tree view.          As today’s group was small and cozy, we could have familiar relation with all of guests. Tank you for joining our tour and having a pleasure time. Please have a fun  for the rest of your stay in Japan. TFWT  is hold every Saturday 13:00 ~15:30. If you are in Tokyo at that time, please join us. Please check our website. (posted by masahiko  sato)  

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 […]

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