Thank you for joining our Tokyo Free Walking Tour. On the day of our two-guided tours, the 25th of November, we welcomed 12 guests from, U.S.A., Canada, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Brazil, and Uzbekistan.
As usual, we started guiding people to Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center in order to see better views of Asakusa areas from its rooftop.
Right after we left the information building, we moved into Sensoji compounds by passing through the famous gates, Kaminariomon Gate (Thunder Gate) and Hozomon Gate (Treasure Gate), and there are vendors lined up called Nakamise Street.
Our tour ended at the Shinto establishment, Asakusa Shinto Shrine.

Just like a picture postcard of town areas, Tokyo Skytree, and its surrounding areas were seen on the backdrop of the blue sky from the rooftop of Asakusa Information building.
The scenery will immediately catch viewers’ attentions. The views often lead Asakusa tourists first to this memory location, which is more adorable than any other sights in this historical town.
It’s no wonder that this historical location, Asakusa, is one of the most remarkable spots in Tokyo.

December is fast approaching.
This season instantly drives the sense of restless in every household and workplace.
Many people have a strong commitment to finish workloads before the year ends.
Well, we’ll talk about one of the year-end events in Japan, “The Kanji of The Year”
The Kanji of The Year

It’s about time we welcome one of the much-awaited events happening each year, the
Kanji of the Year.
Kanji of the Year is one of the many year-end events that people celebrate, and in this particular event, a distinct kanji character is revealed to the people of Japan.
It is organized by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation, an institution that encourages people to enjoy learning kanji characters. They are also responsible for certifying people’s Kanji Proficiency Level in the country.

:———— 2014 “zei”                                          2016 “kin” ————:
(From the website of the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation)
This yearly celebration takes place in Kiyomizu Temple of Kyoto Prefecture, wherein the event organizers announce a specific kanji character that describes the social trends in Japan during the entire year.
This occasion is broadcasted by television stations all over Japan, and is seen as a very exciting moment because a senior monk reveals the selected the kanji  character of the year by creating a calligraphy of it in a huge canvas outside of the temple.
The process of selecting the kanji character for each year is decided through how a kanji character symbolizes the sense of social trends that happened in that year. Various aspects included in social trends are politics, society, entertainment, weather, and other happenings.
For instance, the character “税 (zei)” or tax in English, was selected as 2014’s Kanji of the Year, because it was the first time in 17 years that the government of Japan increased consumption tax from 5% to 8%.
It led to consumers’ immediate purchase before the tax hike.
Consequently, after this tax rise, people were discouraged to buy their ideal items.
Meanwhile, 2016 kanji of the year was determined as the word 金(kin), or gold in English because there a lot of money scandals among cooperate or private sectors in the year.
Additionally, the Japanese athletes won a lot of gold medals in London Olympic game.
This eye-catch calligraphy writing started in 1995 and signifies one of the year-end news in Japan.
We are looking forward to seeing  “The Kanji of The Year 2018”.

(By Arac)