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  • News & Announcements
  • Featured Event - Tokyo Marathon & Tokyo Anime Fair
  • Featured Museum - Kagaku Miraikan (Odaiba)
  • Budget Tokyo
  • Upcoming Events
  • Online Resources

Michelin Book - Tokyo named culinary capital of the world
French gastronomy authority Michelin, has awarded Tokyo with more stars than any other city in the world, with 191 stars given to 150 restaurants. Michelin Guides Director Jean-Luc Naret called Tokyo “a shining star in the world of cuisine”.

Tokyo station’s new restaurant complex - GranAge
Opened in November, GranAge is a collection of six restaurants and a convenience store in the basement of Grand Tokyo South Tower. It connects to the underground passage of the station and targets those transferring through the passage, and businesspeople around the station. The complex is part of the station redevelopment concept “Tokyo station becomes a town”.
http://www.tokyoinfo.com/granage/index.html (Japanese)

Tokyo City Promotion
In an effort to boost the number of foreign visitors to Tokyo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has been conducting promotional campaigns in 14 cities since 2002. Join us in Amsterdam (Netherlands) on Feb 8th or Paris (France) on Feb 12th for trade fair and tourism industry seminars on visiting Tokyo, For details, please visit:

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Tokyo Marathon 2008
February 17, 2008 (Shinjuku to Odaiba)
Tokyo's large-scale city marathon kicks off at 9:00 AM from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. Runners then make their way past the Imperial Palace, through Ginza and Asakusa before completing the course at Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba. Registration has closed for 2008, but spectators are welcome. For details on the 2009 event, please visit the Tokyo Marathon website for updates.

Access: JR Shinjuku Station

The Tokyo International Anime Fair
March 27 - 30, 2008 (Odaiba)
The world's largest anime exhibition is held every spring at Tokyo Big Sight. The exhibition features booth exhibits by anime-related companies, events such as spectacular stage performances and theater movie showings, and the "Tokyo Anime Awards" in which outstanding anime works are presented with awards.

Access: Rinkai Line Kokusai-Tenjijo Station

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National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Kagaku Miraikan)
The futuristic National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Kagaku Miraikan) was launched in 2001 under the watchful eye of Japanese astronaut Dr. Mamoru Mohri and provides interactive attractions to engage visitors of all ages.

There are four exhibition themes: The Earth Environment and Frontiers, Life Science, Innovation and the Future, and Information Science and Technology for Society.

Highlights include Asimo, the Honda robot, MEGASTAR-II cosmos, a planetarium projecting the most fixed stars in the world, and the Miraikan Maglev train model.

The exhibits all have guides called ‘interpreters’, many of whom speak English and explain the latest science and research demonstrations to visitors in understandable terms. The Miraikan website also allows visitors to print out their own floor map and visit plan, or select one of their prepared plans to help one make the most of their visit - particularly useful if one has a specific interest or your time is limited.

Access: The museum can be reached by the Yurikamome or Rinkai line. See the museum site for detailed directions.

Tokyo Miraikan

Nippori Textile Town
There used to be several similar neighborhoods around Tokyo, but today this district is truly unique. For all kinds of fabrics, ranging from silks to leather, Nippori Textile Town has a collection of specialized textile and craft stores.

Access: Accessible by Sendagi and Nezu stations on the Chiyoda line or Nippori and Nishi-Nippori stations on the Keihin-Tohoku line.
http://www.e-higurashi.com/data/0301/0301_001/0301_001.html (Japanese)

Asakusabashi - Handicrafts/Handmade Items
From Asakusabashi to Asakusa, you will find many shops open to the public selling all sorts of products including Japanese dolls, toys, clothing, stationary, and industrial tools and materials. Rent a bicycle to really explore and enjoy this fairly large concentration of wholesalers.

Access: Tokyo Metro Asakusa Station (Ginza Line)
Access: JR Harajuku Station, Tokyo Metro Meiji-Jingumae & Omotesando Stations

Kappabashi is close to Asakusa, the center of Tokyo's old downtown and is Tokyo’s restaurant wholesale district, it is the perfect place to pick up uniquely Japanese souvenirs, from fake plastic sushi samples to a variety of Japanese crockery.

Access: Tokyo Metro Tawaramachi Station (Ginza Line)
http://www.kappabashi.or.jp/ (Japanese)

If you like discount stores, take a visit to Ameyoko ? a group of busy streets between Ueno Station and Okachimachi Station. You can buy inexpensive clothes as well as cosmetics, and food from the many food stores lining the streets.

Access: JR line Ueno Station; or Tokyo Metro Hibiya line and Ginza line



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March 2008 (Sensoji Temple, Asakusa)
Sensoji is Tokyo’s oldest temple where the image of the temple’s gold Goddess of Mercy (Kannon) is enshrined. According to legend, on the Sumida River nearby two brothers discovered the image and upon the discovery golden dragons were seen flying towards heaven. The festival is held annually and is marked by the Golden Dragon Dance (kinryu-no-mai) outside the temple which is also said to attract good fortune.

Hina Matsuri
March, 2008 (Meiji Jingu, Harajuku)
Originating from the Heian period, dolls’ houses are set up across Japan for this annual festival, and paper dolls sent drifting down-river. You can visit the Meiji Shrine to see ornate dolls and houses, and families who come for the Nagashi-bina doll-floating ceremony. Floating the dolls down the pond is representative of washing away misfortune and ill-health for daughters.

Takaosan Hiwatari Matsuri
March 9, 2008 (Takaosan Yakuoin Temple, Takao)
Visitors are welcome to participate in this traditional ritual at the base of Mount Takao. Hiwatari (fire-crossing) is an ascetic display by the mountain priests who walk on hot coals.

Heiwajima Antique Fair
March, 2008 (Tokyo Ryutu Center, Heiwajima)
250 antique dealers gather in this 4,300 square-meter center to sell all kinds of old folk utensils and antiques. For no entry fee, you can see thousands of interesting cultural artifacts including pottery, lacquer, prints, and jewelry; all ranging in price from 100 yen to over 1 million yen.

La Folle Journee au Japon
April 29 - May 6, 2008 (Tokyo International Forum, Yurakucho)
Originating from France, this classical music festival has had Tokyo transformed into a musical hall for all ages to enjoy. A different composer is featured each year and around 300 concerts in total include world-class presentations of the great masterpieces. Previous attendance records have overshadowed any other classical music event attendance figures.
http://www.t-i-forum.co.jp/lfj_2008/ (Japanese)
http://www.t-i-forum.co.jp/lfj_2007e/index.html (2007)

April 19, 2008 (Sumida-koen Park, Asakusa)
Impressive horseback archery skills are displayed by the Asakusa School of Yabusame; all done in traditional dress.

Sanja Festival
May 15 - 16, 2008 (Asakusa Jinja Shrine, Asakusa)
One of the three great festivals of Edo (now Tokyo) features portable shrines (mikoshi) that are paraded in honour of the 3 deities of the shrine. The three main temple mikoshi will not be paraded this year but the 44 town (choukai) mikoshi will be.

Kanda Festival
May 11, 2008 (Kanda Jinja Shrine)
Portable shrines (mikoshi) are carried through the streets by local residents in traditional outfits. On the 14th, tea ceremonies and Takigi Noh will be performed and on May 15th the festival will be held in the temple grounds.




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Experience Cherry Blossom Viewing in Tokyo
At the start of spring it is customary for people to gather in parks and along riverbanks to view the cherry blossoms, whilst drinking and chatting with friends or colleagues. This custom is called hanami (lit. flower viewing) and listed below are some of the most popular places to enjoy hanami around Tokyo.

Ueno Park
1 minute from Ueno Station
Ueno Park has long been considered one of the best places to hold a cherry blossom viewing party, and is a firm favorite of company employees and families alike. The park can accommodate many large groups, and there is no shortage of great viewing spots thanks to the vast number of cherry trees (over 1,000). You may take your own food and drink, or else purchase from the plethora of yatai (stalls) selling traditional festival food. The park also boasts a beautiful lake and contains Japan's oldest zoo.

Chidori-ga-fuchi Minakami Park
5 minutes from Kudanshita Station
Chidori-ga-fuchi is a unique spot in that you can enjoy some 260 cherry trees alongside the moat of the Imperial Palace, either on foot or by boat. Feel a sense of Edo Japan, as you enjoy the spectacular scenery in this tranquil setting. Note that it is prohibited to hold drinking parties at this site.

Hama-Rikyu Garden
10~15 minutes walk from Shimbashi Station
Considered one of the prime examples of a traditional public park, Hamarikyu offers a real sense of tranquility, allowing you to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take in the cherry blossom against a variety of backdrops as you stroll around this beautiful garden. There is also a traditional tea house in the center of the pond, where you can stop for a refreshing cup of green tea served with Japanese sweets.

Tokyo has many other great cherry blossom-viewing spots. For more details please visit the following websites (2007):

Those looking for different ways to celebrate the cherry blossoms may be interested in cruising the Tokyo Mizube Line & viewing the Fukagawa Cherry Blossom Festival, both of which took place last year and will be repeated in 2008.

Tokyo's Waterfront
From late March to the middle of April the Tokyo Mizube Cruising Line offers visitors the chance to cruise along the Sumida and Arakawa rivers around the Odaiba area and enjoy the cherry blossoms from the water. The pleasure boats provide a unique way to marvel at the beauty of the cherry blossom, whilst at the same time taking in the sites of the city. The course lasts 50 minutes on weekdays and 2 hours on weekends, with boats also available for private charter.
The Tokyo Water Cruise (Sujijo-bus) also operates popular cruises in the Tokyo Bay area that are ideal for making the most of the cherry blossom season.

Fukagawa Cherry Blossoms Festival
The area around Monzen-nakacho Station to Takabashi has many riverbanks lined with cherry trees, allowing visitors the chance to enjoy the cherry blossom by boat and on foot. The boat course is usually a 40-minute round trip, taking in the most spectacular spots and runs from late March to mid-April.
http://www.fukagawa-kanko.com/ (Japanese)

Other Flower Events
The spring in Tokyo is more than cherry blossoms, below are other popular annual flower events:

Azalea Festival (Nedu Shrine)
Held from early April to the beginning of May, the grounds contain some 3000 trees and over 50 varieties of azaleas. There are both early and late bloomers, so there are plenty of azaleas to enjoy throughout the whole period. The event also has some shows and performances over the weekend, such as taiko drumming, tea ceremony and koto harp music.
http://www.nedujinja.or.jp/tutuji/t.html (Japanese)

Wisteria Festival (Kameido Shrine)
Kameido has been considered a major wisteria viewing site since the Edo period, and the place still has a sense of those times gone by. The festival features over 100 trees spanning more than 600 square meters, and in full bloom the 10,000 flowers light up the grounds in a myriad of color.
http://www.kameidotenjin.or.jp/koyomi/index.html (Japanese)

For information on other spring flower events, please check out the following link (2007):







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Eating Out
Gourmet Navigator: http://www.gnavi.co.jp/en/

English OK! Directory: http://www.englishok.jp/

Tokyo Food Page: http://www.bento.com/tokyofood.html


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Issued by: Tourism Division, Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Planning / Editing: Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau
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