TOKYO NOW―Email Newsletter from TOKYO to you

Vol.133, April, 2022

A Gentle Spring Breeze Welcomes Tokyo Anew

From Editor


The year 2020 signaled a period where cherry blossoms budded amidst a pandemic, past a time where we traditionally gathered under the umbrella of cherry blossoms (sakura), celebrating our merry time among friends and loved-ones, exchanging pleasantries over a cup of sake and fancy feast delights while admiring their parade of views. Today marks the third budding season for these cherry blossoms. I may not be able to share stories in person; I am hopefully wishing to admire these views of sakura in full bloom with everyone. But rest assured, they too will blossom ever beautifully than anywhere else, here at Tokyo for everyone. Are you fond of cherry blossoms sitting in moats across the Imperial Palace? or coveted views from a boat down the Sumida River? How about cherry blossoms dancing along the late-night silhouettes of Roppongi and Shinjuku? The list goes on and on. I would sure love to show you these spots! Hopefully we'll chance upon the cherry blossoms greeting us by next spring, here, in Tokyo!

Kyoko Higashi / TOKYO NOW Editorial staff

We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the victims of the war and to those who have had to evacuate their homes.

News & Topics

  • Attraction

The Tokyo Tourism Connection (TTC) has been created to serve as an online business matching platform for Tokyo and overseas tourism-related businesses. When you register with the TTC, you can search for tourism-related businesses in Tokyo, and contact with the desirable ones 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also join online business meetings and seminars for overseas markets held by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau. The TTC is a great new service to aid your promotional and marketing activities.

  • Culture
  • Western Tokyo

The New National Theatre, Tokyo, located near Shinjuku, Tokyo, has begun to make its stage-related materials available to view online on Google Arts & Culture. While the National Theatre, Tokyo is a home for traditional Japanese performing arts such as Kabuki, Bunraku, and Nihon-buyou (classical Japanese dance), it also specializes in opera, ballet, dance, and theater. The theatre opened in October 1997 and is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. You can view the history of the New National Theatre, Tokyo, along with valuable historical documents in a storybook-style online exhibition on Google Arts & Culture, or take a virtual walk around the theatre via Google Street View. A wonderful opportunity to explore the world of different performing arts, not just traditional ones, in Tokyo.

  • Walks & Tours
  • Southern Tokyo

Tokyo is no stranger to furnishing settings to anime/s itself, or those related ones. The Tokyo Waterfront City area was the grand stage for the exciting Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and, in line with this, new initiatives to generate future tourism in the area are already underway. In January, an original tour bus called “TOKIMEKI ♪ ODAIBA BUS ~With You~” had its dry run and took passengers to locations that have been used in anime TV shows surrounding Odaiba. With this new and convenient way of seeing the waterfront, Tokyo Waterfront City hopes anime-related tourist attractions will help draw more visitors to the area.

  • Culture
  • Outlying Area

Last February 1 to March 27, the Tokyo Gas “Gas Museum” had featured the exhibition “Scenes of Tokyo Decorated with Cherry Blossoms.” The exhibition had held views of Tokyo and its people with cherry blossoms from the museum’s proud collection of Meiji era (1868-1912) nishiki-e prints(brocade pictures). The museum introduces the history of gas in Japan since the start of the Meiji era, but it’s also known for its large collection of wonderful nishiki-e prints, which differ from ukiyo-e prints in the Edo Period. At the Gas Museum, you can experience the world of Meiji nishiki-e that vividly showcases Japan’s era of modernization and the opening of the country to the outside world. Nishiki-e are available for viewing during special exhibitions.

  • Food & Drink
  • Western Tokyo

A new section of the retro-style back alley restaurant district of the Hobo Shinjuku Norengai is now open for business. The new addition, "Soko Annex," has the warehouse completely transformed into a yokocho (side street eateries). The annex has seven restaurants, including a larger diner, a sushi tavern, and an oyster and wine restaurant. It’s like an adult theme park where you can experience Tokyo’s unique yokocho nightlife culture of eating, drinking, and friendly conversation with strangers.

  • Time Trip Tokyo
  • Eastern Tokyo

To prepare for the post-COVID increase in tourism, a new tour that lets you enjoy the scenery of the Edo era (1603-1868) through AR while riding a yakatabune boat cruise will be available soon. By combining the traditional Tokyo culture of yakatabune boat cruises with AR technology, you can experience the modern scenery of Asakusa, with its downtown atmosphere, and the vastness of Tokyo Bay, and also slip back in time to see the hustle and bustle of the Edo era.

Get Inquisitive by Kyoko Higashi

A Tranquil Pink Trails Across the Tama Area

There are essentially two Tokyos: the one of concrete and steel everybody knows, and the real Tokyo, which notably includes Tama. The sprawling area located west of the city’s 23 wards is where people go to enjoy the serene side of Japan’s capital with hikes through unspoiled nature landscapes, camping, stays at traditional inns, contact with traditional Japanese crafts like fabric dyeing, and coveted views of budding Sakura flowers. In this January, Tama also started producing craft gin at the Tokyo Hachioji Distillery, the first facility of its kind in the area. In short, without a visit to Tama, you won’t get the full story of Tokyo.

Tama is also one of the best places in Tokyo to visit during spring because of its amazing cherry blossom-viewing spots without crowds. Koganei Park boasts over 1,700 cherry trees spread across 80 hectares, making it the fifth largest park in all of Tokyo. The actual largest national government park in Tokyo, the Showa Kinen Park, is also located in Tama, and houses 1,500 cherry trees spanning 30 different varieties, including a rare one that produces green flowers. To enjoy cherry blossoms from chic cafes, visit Kunitachi City when the trees lining the Daigaku Dori Street start to bloom. And, to step into a world straight out of a Ghibli movie, visit Tama City’s cherry tree-covered Irohazaka Slope, which served as an inspiration for key scenes from Whisper of the Heart.

Fans of hiking and cherry blossoms will definitely want to climb Tama’s Mt. Takao to reach the Takaosan Senbonzakura area, whose name translates to “1,000 cherry trees of Mt. Takao.” Also recommended are the cherry trees around Lake Okutama, one of the largest water supply reservoirs in all of Japan. Finally, there’s the Otsu Hana-no-sato (Flower Garden) in Akiruno city that has, well, everything: old cherry trees, access to traditional craft workshops, temples, cafes, and even a hot spring facility. If you’re looking for leisure within Tokyo’s borders, there’s no better place than Tama area.


Pick up Movies

Monozukuri Series
【Murayama-Oshima Tsumugi~Textured Silk Pongee】Traditional Crafts of Tokyo

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Official Video Channel
Cultural video of Japan/Tokyo

Showa Kinen Park - Somei Yoshino Cherry Blossoms 2020
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of daytime and nighttime Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms at Showa Kinen Park from 2020.


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