Vol 110 Apr 2020

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), various facilities around Tokyo may change their operating days or hours. In addition, some events may be canceled or postponed. Please check official facility or event websites for the latest updates and information.
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Japanese Public Bathhouses and Art Come Together at the TOKYO SENTO Festival 2020

Sento public bathhouses are an integral part of Tokyo’s culture. Over the years, they served as a kind of public gathering place and even developed their own special art style: sento murals. So it’s fitting that sento were chosen as the venues for an upcoming festival showcasing contemporary Japanese art.

The TOKYO SENTO Festival 2020 is a project by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture that will transform four bathhouses into unique art galleries starting from May 26 to September 6. Japan’s leading artists, including manga (comic book) and graphic designers, will use the bathhouses to exhibit art pieces to get people excited and relaxed.

The inclusion of one artist, in particular, Mari Yamazaki, is appropriate. After all, Yamazaki is the author of the comedy manga “Thermae Romae” (later turned into a hit live-action movie) about an ancient Roman who travels to modern times through spas and bathhouses. The TOKYO SENTO Festival 2020 will also feature exhibitions of sento mural art supervised by the famous sento artist Mizuki Tanaka. It will also include noren art specially created for this festival. Noren are the short curtains found in front of bathhouses and stores, and during the festival, around 550 participating bathhouses will display their original noren.

A “stamp rally” will also be held wherein people will be able to collect stamps from the participating sento, and if they earn a specific number of stamps, they’ll win a commemorative towel!

Contact: press@shapewin.co.jp

HIBIYA OKUROJI Will Revitalize Tokyo’s Historic Brick Arch Viaduct in June 2020

Somewhere between Yurakucho and Shimbashi Stations, you'll find an over-300m-long elevated railway track bridge that dates back to 1910. Historic and beautiful, it’s become known for its red-brick archways that, over the years, have been home to casual bars. Soon, though, the space will transform into a sprawling commercial complex.

Named the HIBIYA OKUROJI (meaning “inside/hidden alley” to signify its unique location under bridge arches), the project aims to expand the space under the elevated tracks and turn it into a new symbol of Tokyo. Once completed in late June this year, HIBIYA OKUROJI will measure 10,000 square meters, all without demolishing the iconic brick structure. Rather, East Japan Railway, who own the space, aim to incorporate the new design into the old architecture, merging the old with the new in a way that only Tokyo can.

HIBIYA OKUROJI will open before the official start of the Tokyo 2020 and will likely attract many international tourists once it’s in full swing. After all, it will house about 50 shops, bars, cafes, and have access to exciting new restaurants. With all of these plus a taste of Tokyo’s genuine history and a great location, the HIBIYA OKUROJI will be an instant hit that people will be talking about for years to come. During your visit to Japan, discover what this hidden area of Tokyo is all about.

http://www.jrtk.jp/hibiya-okuroji/ (Japanese)

Travel Tips & Key Information
Harajuku changes with the times

Between the upcoming demolition and subsequent rebuilding of the historical Harajuku Station, and the nearby opening of a new commercial/residential development called WITH HARAJUKU, the trendy area of Harajuku in Tokyo is all set to get a complete makeover. Also the online cosmetic giant @cosme's brand-new flagship store has been already opened in front of the station.

The old Harajuku station will soon be demolished, but a new one will be built that will be much better equipped to deal with the ever-increasing flow of pedestrians. The old station, which has been a permanent fixture since 1924 and is Tokyo's oldest wooden landmark, will be removed after the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The changes don't stop there, however, as the new location WITH HARAJUKU is all set to open in April 2020. This stunning site is billed as "The Hangout Where The Future Is Made," and with everything from terraces, a hall, share spaces, shops to apartments, it's easy to see why. Designed with natural materials, such as wood and stone and several surrounding trees, this is all set to become one of the go-to places in Harajuku.

For those looking for cosmetics, @cosme's three-story flagship store in Harajuku is the place to go. Winning products of @cosme's annual "Best Cosmetics Awards" along with those products that score high in the weekly rankings throughout Japan are conveniently arranged near the entrance, with Tokyo-specific rankings on the second floor. For a quick, you can relax in the lounge areas on the third floor with free Wi-Fi. There are also plenty of tester bars for you to try before buying.


Old-style castle town meets fish market at Toyosu Market's new Edomae Jokamachi!

Toyosu Fish Market is famous not just for its size, but its quality produce. Not content with the old layout, it's been decided that a new, food-based attraction called Edomae Jokamachi that's designed to blend a castle town style with the well-known market itself. With plenty of shops and fascinating areas, this new concept offers something for everyone.

A huge number of people, both Japanese and international visitors, have heard of the famous Toyosu Fish Market, and also many have heard of Jokamachi (castle town) within Japan. The newly-opened area in Toyosu called Edomae Jokamachi is a brilliant fusion of the two, designed to share this aspect of Japanese culture with the world.

Built with the idea of "old Tokyo-style" in mind, Edomae Jokamachi has three separate areas for visitors to choose from: the Toyosu Jokamachi food hall building, where you can enjoy delicious meals of seafood, sushi, and anything else that can be bought from the fish market, as well as other Japanese foods such as udon and ramen; the Shijo Koji marketplace, which is a must for anyone looking to buy fish products and other kinds of souvenirs; and finally the Edomae Hiroba square, where you will occasionally find various events take place.

There are twenty-one shops and restaurants in total, so no matter what you're looking for, you're sure to find it in the lively bustle that makes up Edomae Jokamachi.

https://edomaejokamachi.com/ (Japanese)

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96th Azuma Odori May 23 – 26, 2020
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Updates from TMG
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Japan Sports Journey - A comprehensive guide to your Japan Sports https://www.sportsjourney.jp/
Visitor guide for the Tama area and islands of Tokyo https://tamashima.tokyo/en/
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Enjoy sports and the Imperial Palace Run in the center of Tokyo!

Thanks to its extensive facilities, such as Nippon Budokan and the Tokyo International Forum, central Tokyo is all set to be a fantastic venue for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Not only that, but both locals and visitors alike can enjoy the Imperial Palace Run, one of Tokyo's most popular jogging courses.

With the Tokyo 2020 Games just around the corner, the eyes of the world are set on Tokyo. There's no shortage of sporting facilities, but of special note is the Nippon Budokan in Kudanshita. The Nippon Budokan specializes in modern Japanese martial arts, such as judo, kendo, and karate. It also serves as a hub for all martial arts-related events. As you would expect, this is also the venue for the Paralympic judo, the Olympic judo, and karate events.

The other facility that visitors would surely to want to check out is the Tokyo International Forum. This iconic glass building is situated in Yurakucho, and has not just a huge variety of restaurants offering delicious food and shops with fun and interesting souvenirs, but has also been chosen as the venue for the Olympic weightlifting and the Paralympic powerlifting events.

For those looking to enjoy athletic activities, the Imperial Palace Run – a 5km jogging course around the outside of the palace – is popular with Japanese and visitors alike, with beautiful scenery, well-equipped running stations, and friendly guides. The Imperial Palace is still the go-to place for anyone visiting Tokyo.

Monthly Video Spotlight
Manga and Animation
Art Steeped in Tokyo Tradition

Japanese comics (manga) and animation have gained world recognition of the years and their humble beginnings can be found right in Tokyo. The Tokiwaso building was once home to some of the most famous manga artists including Osamu Tezuka, who is often considered the father of manga. And one of the most well-known Japanese animation companies can be found just a few train stops away. For over 60 years Toei Animation has been producing some of the most famous animation in the world and their museum gives patrons the opportunity to view the scope of their creations all in one place.


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

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