TOKYO NOW―Email Newsletter from TOKYO to you

Vol.128, November 2021

Take a Breather with Tokyo's Crisp and Festive Fall !

From Editor (Kyoko Higashi)


When I think of autumn and winter, the scenery of irresistible food comes to mind. For example, autumn fruits and chestnuts are transformed into beautiful cakes and sweets, tempting us from the windows of pastry shops and cafes. Also, fresh seasonal fruit like persimmons never disappoint! In October, department stores start to take reservations for special, luxurious “osechi” dishes that are traditionally enjoyed during the New Year’s celebrations. While walking around Tokyo hunting for delicious food, trees lining the streets of Roppongi and Omotesando cling to their golden colors as the city prepares for the seasonal illuminations.

Kyoko Higashi / TOKYO NOW Editorial staff

News & Topics

  • Central Tokyo

The Nihonbashi area is a symbol of the history and culture that make up the city of Tokyo. Over the years, it’s undergone many phases of redevelopment, with its most recent changes aiming to quickly transform Nihonbashi into a city where all people can visit and enjoy it comfortably. Some of these changes include the introduction of Inclusive Navigation, Japan’s first high-precision voice navigation system for large indoor areas, a baby stroller rental service (offering advance reservations), and the opening of the Avatar Robot Café DAWN ver. β (“β” read as “beta”). As the host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, Tokyo has been transforming itself into a city of diversity and inclusion, and it’s looking to continue that trend for years to come.

  • Walks & Tours
  • Central Tokyo

The Chuo City Tourism Association and Time Out Tokyo, the well-known bilingual media source for international tourism in Japan, have partnered to release an English version of The Ultimate Guide to the HEART OF TOKYO for the city of Chuo. Chuo is a sophisticated and lively multifaceted city filled with diversity, traditions, and innovation. The guidebook helps you experience these sides of the city by taking you through its five areas, including Tsukiji, Ginza, Tsukishima, and Harumi, with unique things for you to do like “Dance in the shadow of Fuji” and “Ask a lion for guidance.” A digital version is also available for download.
Click here for more English information about The Ultimate Guide to the HEART OF TOKYO.

  • Attractions
  • Eastern Tokyo

As Tokyoites are looking for ways to relieve stress while avoiding the dangers of COVID-19, more and more people are turning to camping and outdoor sports for enjoyment. Western Tokyo is full of wonderful camping sites and hiking trails surrounded by nature, but in the heart of the city, there’s an increasing number of rooftop facilities where you can casually enjoy glamping after work. TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN® has two glamping areas, Farm Garden and Dome Garden, where guest can enjoy an outdoor atmosphere at the foot of Tokyo’s tallest tower with delicious food prepared by TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN® no niwa. In Toyosu, “WILD MAGIC” offers an urban type outdoor park where you can grill to your heart’s content at its “FIRE PIT AREA.” Shibuya’s even got a spot with the new “urban outdoor zone” at the city’s trendsetting shopping center, Shibuya PARCO
※Contact1: TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN® no niwa, Contact2: WILD MAGIC

  • Southern Tokyo

Preparations are steadily underway to resume overseas travel at the international terminal of Haneda Airport. The action taken includes ensuring the safety and security of all travelers prior to the resumption of tours to Japan starting at its boarding gate. Thorough countermeasures against the spread of infectious diseases are being taken past all routes, from entrances to restaurants/stores inside the airport terminal. Visit Haneda Airport's YouTube channel for a more detailed look unto how such preventive measures are taken.

  • Western Tokyo

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween in Tokyo was known as a worldwide event that attracted people of all nationalities. Last year, as COVID-19 infections rose in Tokyo, Shibuya City held its first ever online “Virtual Shibuya” event attended by a whopping 400,000 people. This year, the event is back with its “Virtual Shibuya au 5G Halloween Fest 2021 ~Fun For Good~.” In addition to sports, music, and comedy performances on the event’s virtual stage, anyone can dress their avatar in a special Halloween costume and enjoy the festivities in the virtual Shibuya.

  • Culture
  • Eastern Tokyo

The Edo-Tokyo Museum has been popular not only for its exhibitions but for its many museum seminars and events geared toward Tokyo’s international community. In the face of the COVID-19, the museum has continued to support this, holding different exhibitions on Tokyo’s history and culture notwithstanding the pandemic. One of them includes an exhibit that provides an insight into Tokyo's roots, namely "Memories of the City: A Thirty Thousand Year History of Tokyo." Tokyo has been the destination of such, very rare exhibitions from time to time, and while the Edo-Tokyo Museum is scheduled for a large-scale renovation and will be closed from April 1, 2022 until the end of 2025, it’ll be fun to see what kind of fascinating exhibitions the museum will hold next afterwards. During the renovation, make sure to check the English language Edo-Tokyo Museum News web page. It’ll be regularly updated with the latest information on events happening at the museum. Keep an eye out for updates on this renovation. Details will be announced as soon as they become available.

Get Inquisitive by Kyoko Higashi

Autumn Walks in Tokyo: The Quirky and Traditional Side of Japan that You Can Only Find at Yanesen

When you put together Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi, you get Yanesen, a Tokyo area whose name comes from the first letters of the neighborhoods that comprise it. Do you remember the name of this area? Yanesen was visited by many people around the world. There are many famous tourist attractions such as Nezu-jinja Shrine.

But you also get so much more. Yanesen is still one of the most fascinating parts of Japan’s capital, which is evident as soon as you step outside the West Exit of Nippori Station and look up to see the station name written in a fun and quirky way, with cat ears, paws, and a tail incorporated into the sign design.

Yanesen is known for its street cats, but more so for its historical buildings. If you’re in a hurry, you can soak up a lot of the local history at Ueno Sakuragi Atari. Built over 80 years ago, this complex of three traditional buildings today houses a bakery, a beer hall, and specialty shops. But if you want to take your time to get to know Yanesen better, consider spending the night there by booking a room at the YANAKA SOW, a hotel that describes itself as "a place between living and staying" where you can feel at home even if it’s for just one night. YANAKA SOW takes pride in various artists and how their works, which are in line with said concept, adorn the lounge and the guest rooms.

If you’re serious about art, you’ll want to hit the University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts. The Tokyo University of the Arts was established in 1949 and is the only national art university in Japan. Today, it houses over 30,000 pieces of art: a number of which include works prior to the establishment of its predecessor, the Tokyo Fine Arts School, in 1887. If you prefer the art of the common man, also worth checking out is the Shokichi Hand Puppet Theatre where you can catch a performance of handcrafted traditional puppets. The show features no dialogue so you can enjoy it even if you can’t speak Japanese. You can even enjoy it on YouTube now! All that and more awaits you in Yanesen.

Ueno Sakuragi Atari


The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts

Shokichi Hand Puppet Theatre

Pick up Movies

Tsumami Zaiku ―a traditional Japanese craft

Come visit!! The Landmarks of Tokyo Waterworks

Let's go and find autumn! ~Yanagisawa Pass Zone in Autumn~

Historical & Classical Like a Tokyo Local: Ogikubo

Tokyo Event Calendar

Check out these annual festivals and events held in Tokyo. You can see the list of all major festivals, fireworks, parades, religious events, and other events in Greater Tokyo.
*Depending on the situation, festivals and events scheduled in 2021 may be canceled. Please check the official website for the latest information.

Download for This Month

Please click on the links below to download the photos, press releases and new opening accommodation list

* [Update] Useful information on COVID-19 in Tokyo

Issue by: Tokyo Convention & Visitor Bureau
Support by: Tourism Division, Bureau of Industry and Labor Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government