Vol.106 Dec 2019
Attention Hub
Join to “TOKYO HALF-DAY GUIDED WALKING TOURS” Walking Tours Offer the Best Views of Tokyo

For being the world’s largest metropolis, Tokyo surprisingly steps up as a pleasantly walkable city. Many tours take full advantage of the convenient layout and tightly packed hot spots to take visitors on a unique half-day journey through Tokyo on foot. Rather than viewing the city through a window, get a more intimate Tokyo experience on Tokyo Half-Day Guided Walking Tours sponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Tokyo shows its appreciation to people walking through its busy streets by closing sections of the city off to vehicles with weekly events called “Pedestrian Paradise.” Pedestrians strolling along the streets on foot are also rewarded with a closer look into Tokyo’s many charms. Almost by design, the lively Japanese capital has been built up like a labyrinth, hiding secrets from the unobservant passerby. Every turn reveals something new, so while all Tokyo’s landmarks certainly have a lot to offer, much of the city’s magic can be found in between each destination.

There are 12 unique routes guided in English and 35 in Japanese. Explore famous areas like the glamorous Ginza, Shibuya and the historic buildings around it, a Shinagawa snack tasting tour, and so much more. There is a guided tour for everyone, whether you are interested in Japanese food, architecture, culture or fashion. Walking tours will be in operation from September 14 to December 15, and you can apply through their official website.


Contact: https://burattokyosampo.com/contact-en/

Hayao Miyazaki’s “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” Premiers on the Kabuki Stage

Japan has become known all over the world for seamlessly blending its rich culture with the modern-day, and the new kabuki production of the classic animated film and graphic novel series “Kaze no tani no Naushika” (“Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”), is another example of the country’s creativity and passion for historical art forms. “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” takes the kabuki stage this December at the Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre.

Kabuki is a highly stylized form of classical Japanese dance and drama with a long history dating back to the early 1600s. A new kabuki adaptation of “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” the serial graphic novel by Hayao Miyazaki, will be captivating audiences at the Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre in December. The novels, which took 13 years to be completed from 1982, were given new life in the form of a beloved animated film of the same title, at the direction of Hayao Miyazaki himself in 1984. The production of the film started before the graphic novel series had concluded, but the final product have still impressed fans from all over the world with stunning visuals and moving musical pieces and has been admired ever since.

The show aspires to cover the drama of the graphic novels from beginning to end, so the kabuki play will use both the matinee and evening show to finish the story. Experience the magical world of Miyazaki's Nausicaä and traditional kabuki storytelling through this enchanting and highly anticipated collaborative event. Performances will run from December 6 to 25.

https://www.nausicaa-kabuki.com/ (Japanese)

Travel Tips & Key Information
Haneda Airport Transforms into Haneda Innovation City

For years, Haneda Airport has been the international gateway not just to Tokyo but all of Japan. Its opening brought untold numbers of people, cultures, and ideas to the country, marking the start of a new era. And now, Haneda Airport area is set to transform itself, and perhaps Japan, once again.

In May 2018, the construction of a new cultural and technological complex near Haneda Airport’s International Terminal, named “Haneda Innovation City,” was announced. It's set to become the premier destination for travelers to experience gourmet dining, traditional Japanese culture, and relax with fun activities like music concerts. But that’s not all, Haneda Innovation City will also house cutting-edge medical research facilities, business offices, and provide a hydrogen charging station. Parts of it will open in the summer of 2020, with its grand opening planned for 2022.

Every year, tens of millions of people visit Japan, and many of them pass through Haneda. With the development of Haneda Innovation City, they now can get a glance at the best that Tokyo has to offer from the moment they set foot on Japanese soil.

NEWS https://haneda-innovation-city.com/news/ (Japanese)

Visit new year J-CULTURE FEST: Nippon, Wagokoro, Hatsumode Dedicated to Japanese Culture at the Tokyo International Forum!

If you are familiar with Japanese culture, you'll know that festivals play a large part in it. The J-Culture Fest has taken this to the next level. Not content with simply just being a part of Japanese culture, it features a program that changes yearly, making every visit a brand-new experience. 

J-Culture Fest takes place over the New Year’s period at the Tokyo International Forum and boasts not only stunning performances but also the culture festival New Year’s Theme Park, where you can enjoy different aspects of Japanese culture. Last year, visitors had the chance to do exciting things like try on kimonos and samurai armor, play the Japanese tsuzumi hand-drum and popular games like kendama, do calligraphy, and, make traditional objects, such as fans, key rings, and hagoita paddles.

The festival also boasts performances by well-known Japanese actors. In 2019, it featured two kyogen (traditional Japanese comic plays) and a program that blended traditional acting with Japanese musical instruments and dancing, using elaborately designed costumes that were painstakingly recreated to be as accurate as possible.

The trend of spectacular performances is set to repeat in the next J-Culture Fest in 2020, with lively wadaiko (Japanese drum) performances and kyogen. In the same vein, the New Year's Theme Park will be bringing back old favorites such as kendama and flower arranging, as well as bringing a plethora of new activities, such as Japanese braiding, sweet-making, and tea ceremony.

https://j-cf.jp/2020/ (Japanese)

The Latest Shows & Event
Ako Gishisai Festival December 14, 2019
Ako Gishisai Festival
Hatsuhinode at Mt. Mitake, Mitake Valley, and Musashi Mitake Shrine January 1, 2020
Hatsuhinode at Mt. Mitake, Mitake Valley, and Musashi Mitake Shrine
Tondoyaki at Torikoe jinjya (Torikoe shrine) January 8, 2020
Tondoyaki at Torikoe jinjya (Torikoe shrine)
Usokae Shinji (Bullfinch exchange) at Kameido Tenjin Shrine January 24-25, 2020
Usokae Shinji (Bullfinch exchange) at Kameido Tenjin Shrine
New Year Grand Sumo Tournament January 12-26, 2020
New Year Grand Sumo Tournament
New Year Asakusa Kabuki January 2-26, 2020
New Year Asakusa Kabuki
Updates from TMG
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Yoyogi, Where Athletes Compete in Beautiful Surroundings

Most of the travelers are familiar with Yoyogi Park, that huge forest in the middle of Tokyo, but not far from there is the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. In 1964, it hosted two Olympic events; for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, it’s set to host the Olympic Handball event and the Paralympic Para Badminton and Wheelchair Rugby events.

Yoyogi National Gymnasium was built just before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. As an architect, Kenzo Tange felt that support pillars would block the view and obstruct the feeling of unity between the athletes and the spectators that he was trying to promote, thus he created something entirely new: a building with a vast suspension roof, a support technique which had hitherto only been used on bridges. The result could be considered futuristic even by today's standards and is only a few minutes' walk from popular spots such as Yoyogi Park.

The surrounding area also has a lot to offer. Meiji-Jingu Shrine is surrounded by 100,000 trees, which were donated from all over the country, and was built in 1920 to honor the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. If you fancy somewhere a little more trendy, you can go to the ever-popular Harajuku, a fashionable place popular both with tourists and young Japanese people. Finally, there's “Oku-Shibuya” or “Oku-Shibu” as it’s called by the locals. Oku-Shibuya means “inner Shibuya,” and although it may not be as famous as its counterpart with its scramble crossing, it's rapidly emerging as the latest trendy neighborhood, with plenty of cafes, unique shops, and even a movie theater specializing in international movies.

Monthly Video Spotlight
Fitness With a View
The Imperial Palace Run

With its rich history and beautiful gardens, many people are familiar with the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as both being a historical landmark and a major tourist attraction. But over the last 10 years, the area has developed a new kind of visitor in the form of runners. Anyone who approaches the place these days will quickly notice athletes and casual joggers alike, taking advantage of the convenient running path that circles the scenic location. With a running station for suiting up into your running gear and a team of Omotenashi (hospitality) running guides to help those who aren’t as familiar with the path and proper etiquette, the 5 kilometer run is both convenient and a lot of fun!


Issued by: Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Supported by: Tourism Division, Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

E-mail: info@tokyonowsignup.com