Vol 109 Mar 2020
Attention Hub
Connect with Japanese Art and Music at Sumida River Storm and Urge Spring Session

The Sumida area of Tokyo has a long history as the city’s center for the arts. Therefore, it stands to reason that Sumida would be one of the best places to really understand Japanese culture and to touch its very soul. The upcoming Sumida River Storm and Urge Spring Session will allow you to experience Japan like never before.

The Sumida River Storm and Urge Spring Session is an interactive music and art festival that will be held this spring as part of Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL Special 13. This “Special 13” is a core program of Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL and were chosen from 2,436 proposals from around the world. It will last between April 13-19, and more than ten projects will take place around the vicinity of Sumida River, from its riverbeds to nearby parks, bridges, and other places where visitors will be able to appreciate Japanese art. From installations embodying the city’s spirit from 200 years ago to pieces paying respect to Sumida’s history, the festival is shaping up to be a journey leading into the very heart of Japanese culture.

The key visual of this project is also notable. Among the many Japanese artists who hailed from Sumida, there is probably none greater than the ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai, who was born in the Kamezawa area of Sumida. He also immortalized the area and its residents in a series of beautiful prints, which adds to one of the reasons why Sumida was chosen as the host of this festival, and to the reason for choosing this painting as a key visual.

An equally-big part of the Sumida River Storm and Urge will be music, with scheduled performances of such as a rap battle hosted by Seikou Ito, a musical parade by Seppuku Pistols, and a workshop and concert by Ei Wada. You would not want to miss out on what is going to be an unforgettable experience.

Contact: Public Relations, Inoue Naoko press@dotou.tokyo

Start off the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on a high note with the Berliner Philharmoniker

Like for one’s love of sports, music appreciation also has no boundaries. As people around the world prepare to travel to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Games, a celebration of music, led by Berliner Philharmoniker, is cued up for June 24-26 at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan and June 27 at Shinjuku Gyoen.

From June 24 to 26, the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan will be graced by three programs from Berliner Philharmoniker: "Special Concert for Tokyo 2020," Symphony No. 2 "Auferstehung" by Gustave Mahler, and Symphony No. 9 "Choral" by Ludwig van Beethoven. This is a special time for music lovers in Tokyo since this year will mark the 250th anniversary since the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven and will also be the first time Berliner Philharmoniker has performed in Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in 16 years, sparking interest from a diverse crowd of music lovers.

On June 27, what is shaping up to be Tokyo’s biggest ever outdoor performance, will be in the heart of the city at Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Tokyo’s most popular gardens. With spacious lawns, a variety of flowers and trees, and tranquil paths, it will be the perfect place for the estimated 10,000 people to come to the outdoor concert to hear Berliner Philharmoniker perform. Shinjuku Gyoen’s beautiful landscape will be wonderfully in tune with the soul-stirring sounds played by the orchestra. The orchestra will be composed of musicians from 28 countries, and it’s only fitting that such a diverse group of artists welcome visitors from around the world in celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Contact: Spring Festival in Tokyo Executive Committee press@tokyo-harusai.com

Travel Tips & Key Information
Announcing Two Brand-New Complexes: Toyosu Bayside Cross and Ariake Garden

With two new, huge complexes due to open in April 2020, visitors to Tokyo Water Front City and Bay Area are sure to find plenty of activities to do! Toyosu Bayside Cross and Ariake Garden boast beautiful parks, lots of shops, and stunning views. For those who want all of this within the convenience of their doorstep, they can also find hotels in both areas.

Toyosu Bayside Cross is due to open on 24 April, 2020. It's directly connected to Toyosu Station on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line, and is a very accessible. Built to take advantage of the green scenery and the beautiful water, there are shops and, for those who fancy a game, the aptly-named "Ping-Pong Forest." There's a terraced restaurant, and shops selling delicious bakery products for those looking for a tasty treat. If you're hoping to extend your stay, there's also a hotel with a public bath and stunning views.

Ariake Garden will open sequentially from April 2020 and is also accessible, as it's only a two minute' walk from Ariake Station on the New Transit Yurikamome Line, and four minutes from Kokusai-Tenjijo Station on the Rinkai Line. It's one of the biggest commercial facilities in the Tokyo Bay Area and, along with a wide variety of shops, has a theater-type hall and a hotel with five different hot springs for both guests and visitors to enjoy. There's a children’s indoor playground for children, beautiful greenery with more than forty species of flowering trees to enjoy, and spots where one can enjoy picnic as well.

Toyosu Bayside Cross https://www.mitsuifudosan.co.jp/corporate/news/2019/1129/ (Japanese)
Ariake Garden http://www.sumitomo-rd.co.jp/lp/ariake/ (Japanese)

Enjoy Small Worlds Tokyo – “the “world’s biggest miniature theme park!”

At Small Worlds, visitors of all ages can have fun in a "moving miniature world" featuring seven distinctive areas and themes, from the imaginary neighborhoods of “Evangelion” to “Sailor Moon.” Each exhibit features 1/80-scale precision models of people and vehicles, and Small Worlds’ expansive indoor surroundings make it an ideal year-round visit spot – rain or shine!

Scheduled to open in Ariake, Tokyo on 25 April 2020, Small Worlds Tokyo bills itself as the "biggest miniature theme park in the world" and, with its 8,000-meter site spread among four floors, it definitely warrants such an accolade!

Visitors can feel like giants as they wander around the scaled-down models, most of them smaller than a one-yen coin and some of which represent actual historical figures, both past and present. The miniature vehicles move – watch rockets being launched from the Space Center! – to add, the associated sounds have been also recreated precisely.

For anime (cartoon) and manga (comic book) lovers, there are both Evangelion and Sailor Moon areas to enjoy. In addition, all visitors are welcome to experience the Global Village Area, which blends elements of fantasy and “steampunk.” On-site car parking is unavailable, but the two nearest parking lots offers convenience One is roughly a three-minute walk from Ariake-tennis-no-mori Station (Yurikamome Line) and the other is about a nine-minute walk from Kokusai-Tenjijo Station (Rinkai Line).

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The Tokyo Islands: An Adventurous New Way to Experience Japan

The gateway to the Izu and Ogasawara Islands, the Takeshiba Passenger Ship Terminal, has been recently renovated, expanding the horizon for visitors for new ways to enjoy Tokyo. Surrounded by a lovely summer scenery, Tokyo’s islands host a variety of marine sports and more throughout the year. Paired with Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, it makes a great destination for an athletic-themed getaway.

When imagining the sites and attractions around Tokyo, scenic sandy beaches and water sports don’t immediately come to mind. However, the islands of Izu and Ogasawara offer just that, within the watery borders of Tokyo. The Ogasawara Islands are designated as a World Natural Heritage site, with fascinating wildlife and stunning waterfalls, perfect for hiking and sightseeing. Away from the busy downtown streets and crowded entertainment districts, the islands add some diversity and sunshine to the wide spectrum of activities available around Tokyo. From feats of endurance like triathlons to leisurely dolphin watching tours, anyone can enjoy Tokyo Islands. Programs like the Tokyo Island Series offer a range of thrilling sporting activities in the area for active adventurers and casual sightseers.

Monthly Video Spotlight
Navigating Tokyo Waterways
A Cruise Down the Sumida River

While modern Tokyo is well known for its railways, another form of transportation exists by way of water. The use of rivers and the Tokyo Bay as a means of transporting people and goods dates back to the Edo period and has helped the city flourish. These days anyone can experience this alternative form of travel via ferries or waterbuses such as the Tokyo Mizube Cruise Line. This is a wonderful way of travelling between two essential sightseeing spots, Asakusa and Odaiba, while taking in epic views of Tokyo landmarks such as Tokyo Skytree and Rainbow Bridge.


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

E-mail: info@tokyonowsignup.com

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