TOKYO NOW―Email Newsletter from TOKYO to you

Vol.129, December 2021

A Placid Atmosphere to Set Pace for Tokyo's Winter

From Editor


2021, the year of the historic Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, is coming to a close. Although it was unfortunate that Japan was unable to welcome in-person spectators to the Games, Athletes and staff who visited Japan gushed, “I was treated with such hospitality.” Tokyo will continue push the boundaries of hospitality and find new ways to please each and every visitor.
While reflecting on the year, I also have some cleaning to do! “Year-end cleaning” is a traditional event in the Japanese new year to welcome the gods into a nice, clean home, in hopes of receiving good health and fortune in return. With every scrub, I’ll be wholeheartedly wishing that everyone has a wonderful new year!

Kyoko Higashi / TOKYO NOW Editorial staff

News & Topics

  • Walk & Tours

One of the best ways to enjoy Tokyo, and stay safe from COVID-19, is with a sightseeing taxi or hired chauffeur service. You can travel in a private space away from the crowds in a vehicle that’s ventilated and disinfected. Your driver, who also serves as your tour guide, shows you the most fascinating areas in Tokyo. You can choose courses that have you stop at the usual sightseeing spots like Asakusa, but more creative tours are becoming available. Take for example the popular Kengo Kuma Architecture Tour in Tokyo guided tour from taxi and hired chauffeur service Nihon Kotsu. Drivers of this tour hold an Expert Driver Service, Nihon Kotsu’s specialized Tokyo sightseeing qualification for offering a high level of expertise and hospitality. Outech, another hired chauffeur service and limousine company, is offering their Edo & Tokyo Good Luck Power Spot Tour. This tour will help you boost your happiness in 2022 and let you taste some of Japan’s most famous sweets (served to you in the car). As the year continues, more unique courses are sure to appear.

  • Culture
  • Central

Haruki Murakami is a Japanese literary genius whose fans know no borders, and with the opening of the Waseda International House of Literature (Murakami Haruki Library), fans will now have a place dedicated to his works. The basement of the library has a space inspired by Murakami’s study and a student-run café called Orange Cat. The first floor has an audio room where you can fully immerse yourself in the mind of the popular writer, and the third floor will soon open as a research library for students. The building was designed by famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The melding of Kengo’s sleek designs and Haruki’s imaginary worlds makes for a breathtaking aesthetic that must be seen to be believed. The library plans to house Murakami’s works in more than fifty languages. The Waseda International House of Literature is set to become a sacred place for Haruki Murakami lovers from all over the world.

  • Attraction
  • Southern

Next April, Tokyo Tower, the symbol of the capital city, is going to be home to the largest eSports park in Japan. Tokyo Tower isn’t a theme park or game center, but all that’s going to change with the opening of RED° TOKYO TOWER, transforming Tokyo Tower into a futuristic entertainment facility packed with attractions. The main arena of the RED° TOKYO TOWER won’t just feature an eSports park but will also host a variety of live events such as music and fashion shows and the RED° TOKYO TOWER SKY STADIUM, Japan’s first-ever hybrid area for live streaming XR video.

  • Walk & Tours
  • Central

A on-hands test run of how tuk-tuks contribute to the prevention of the Covid-19 is underway. With the use of VR goggles and a Cyclopolitan electric power-assisted bicycle, you can now go on the Akihabara Hybrid Experience Tour. The tour offers a historical and cultural course and a gourmet course. While a driver moves you remotely through Akihabara, a National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter will also guide you along the way, creating a completely new kind of tour experience where you can visit maid cafes and other interesting stores in Akihabara via your VR goggles. You experience this new style of Akihabara tour by riding an electric power-assisted passenger tricycle. With an English version tour available for reservation online, no matter where you are in the world, you can easily join the tour. You can also watch the tour on YouTube. After its third test run in February 2022, the English site will be ready for full-scale operation and will be ready for launching during the middle of next year.

  • Attractions
  • Central

Tokyo Dome City’s TeNQ Space Museum is a fun interactive place where you can experience the awe and wonder of the universe with its eleven-meter-wide 4K theater, discover the latest in scientific research and discoveries, and geek out at its space-inspired exhibits. They have provided a new service in the museum with Cruzr, an AI-guided robot that moves around the Science section of the museum providing audio commentary about the exhibits. Only available in Japanese at this time.
The AI-guided robot Cruzr was featured in the Tokyo Robot Collection held by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

  • Festivals

The season of light displays has begun again in “SNOW&BLUE” display, a 400-meter-long light display along Keyakizaka and will dazzle passersby with the area’s well-known including with lights from Tokyo Tower as well. Tokyo Midtown, on the other hand, will showcase vivid and exciting tree illuminations just in time for the winter holidays. Attractions will include snow globes, with beautiful moments from all four seasons frozen inside of them, and colorfully decorated Christmas trees. Winter light displays in Omotesando, Marunouchi, and other areas of Tokyo are all scheduled to be held this year. These elaborately designed displays are sure to bring smiles and comfort to many who’ve been dealing with a difficult year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get Inquisitive by Kyoko Higashi

  TOKYO NOW Original Video

The Ever-Evolving Metropolis:

Haneda Airport–Visitors to Tokyo know it as the “Gateway to the Skies,” but if you look beyond the airport, you can see that this area is an industrial town made up of small factories. You may know of or have seen the movie Cool Runnings. It’s about a Jamaican team that tried out for the Winter Olympics. What you might not know, though, was that small factories in Ota City played a major role in providing the Jamaican team with the finest bobsleigh to compete against the best bobsleigh teams in the world in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics . The industrial area around Haneda Airport is also a gateway to the world for Tokyo’s technological prowess. This area is now undergoing many urban redevelopment projects which will allow for even more Japanese innovation to take off from Haneda to the world. We invite you to take an early look at the base of these projects.

Pick up Movies

Tokyo Craft: Tokyo Kumihimo ~Braided Cords~

Video Projection Mapping at Tokyo Big Sight ~Tokyo Tourist attractions video~

SHIBUYA FASHION WEEK 2021 AUTUMN “Story x Story SHIBUYA”The digital lookbook

The Zukan Museum Ginza is a new form of museum that uses digital technology to bring you into a world of encyclopedias.

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