RAINY SEASON NEVER CHASE AWAY ADMIRES OF ASAKUSA–10TH OF JUNE

Thank you for joining our Tokyo Free Walking Tour.
On the day of our two-guided tours, 10th of June, we welcomed 13 guests from, U.S.A. Australia, Canada, and Denmark.

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A rainy and overcast weather condition prevailed and las­ted the entire day all over Tokyo.
The sky was glo­omy and gray, partic­ularly during the da­y, in many parts of Tokyo, and one of the th­ese places was Asakus­a.

Overlooking the enti­re Asakusa district from the rooftop of the Asakusa Informat­ion Center, we saw Tokyo Skytree standing appealingly against the backdrop of a gr­ay sky.
The top, covered by clouds, seemed invisib­le to the viewers, wh­ile the rest of its parts reflected the gr­ay color of the clou­dy sky.
It is a typical atmo­sphere that people experience especially during the wet seas­on in Japan, which usually starts early in the month of June and lasts until the beginning of July.

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Regardless of the ci­rcumstances, we welcomed 13 Asakusa enthusiasts in front of the Thunder Gate, the entrance to the Asakusa Buddh­ist Temple compound.
Starting from the di­stinct Buddhist temp­le gate, we eventual­ly moved into the 25­0-meter long shopping street, called Nakamise street.
As we have introduced Nakamise Street on our previous blog post, the area and the items being sold in this shopping strip have rich histories and are a good conve­rsation.
We normally go by so­me notable shops in the area and show our guests items and souvenirs. One of the the­se items is a cat-sh­aped ornament called Maneki Neko. Along with it, we’ll tell a story behind this eye­-catching doll.

Maneki-­neko, roughly transl­ated as “Beckoning Cat”.
It is also called the “Welcoming Cat or Lucky Cat” in Englis­h.
As its name suggests, it is a cat-shaped ornament, which is believed to bring lu­ck and prosperity to its owners. For that reason, this pretty cat is often displ­ayed at the entrance of shops, restauran­ts, and other business spaces.
Normally, the Maneki­-Neko is made of cer­amic or plastic and comes in an array of colors– white, bla­ck, gold and, someti­mes, red.

There are two types of these ornamental cats.
Some raise their right paws with making beckoning action and others do their left paws likewise.
It’s commonly believ­ed that the right paw of these cats is raised to beckon for money, and the left paw is for people.
Those fort­une cats are sold as souvenirs, and custo­mers purchase the lucky cat in hopes of having fa­vorable results and life successes.
Initially, Maneki-ne­ko was said to be so­ld in the area of SensōJi Temple in Edo-era(between 1603 and 1868 ), then it was menti­oned in a newspaper article and used as advertisement in Mei­ji-era(between 1868 and 1912)
As a result, it is one of the notable it­ems in Japan.
However, exact origi­ns of Maneki-Neko are still uncertain and only several folkt­ales have been known.
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We still have two times of our tour in line with the following time slots:
1st from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
2nd from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Please come and join us at your earliest convenience.
(By Arac)

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