Tokyo Now NewsLetter from Tokyo to you

Vol.142 January 2023

【From Editor】

Welcome to the Tokyo Now Newsletter.

Our goal is to help you enjoy the high-tech urban atmosphere of Tokyo combined with ancient shrines, festivals and old-fashioned manners.

Prepare to discover Tokyo you have never seen before!


January means new years celebrations and family time in Japan.
New years is a very special and peaceful time resembling christmas time elsewhere. Enjoy visiting Tokyo’s famous shrines and mochi making. Make sure to bundle up as you might even encounter snow.

  • PEOPLE - Mayuko’s Little Kitchen - The taste of Japan


    Mayuko’s Little Kitchen - The taste of Japan

    people people people people people
    Born and raised in Choshi City in Chiba city, Mayuko was strongly influenced by her mother, who was a professional cooking teacher.
    After a chance encounter with a couple who kept returning to Japan because they fell in love with the country and the cuisine, Mayuko was inspired to introduce the flavors and manners of Japanese home cooking to visitors, then she has been managing her cooking classes in TOKYO since 2015.
    The cooking classes at Mayuko’s Little Kitchen are held in English and teach how to prepare Japanese everyday meals, the basics of Japanese food, seasonings, and table customs in a warm, friendly atmosphere.
  • EXPERIENCE - The Suyari Table - Learn how to make Authentic Mochi


    The Suyari Table - Learn how to make Authentic Mochi

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    Mochi making is an essential part of Japanese New Years. It is traditionally eaten as part of the new years food in Ozoni, or new years mochi soup.

    The Suyari Table is an English-language class for traditional and contemporary Japanese confectionery - wagashi. Since 2014 Miyuki Suyari, a bilingual teacher, holds the classes at her home in Tokyo for foreign residents and tourists in Tokyo. The lessons are designed to be fun and enjoyable in an at-home atmosphere. She tries to keep the recipes as simple as possible so that you can easily reproduce them at home! In the mochi making class you can learn how to create several different kinds of mochi from sweet to savory and you can even learn how to make breathtakingly beautiful traditional wagashi sweets.
  • PAST - Hatsumode - Tradtional New Year`s Shrine Visit at Meiji Shrine


    Hatsumode - Tradtional New Year`s Shrine Visit at Meiji Shrine

    Hatsumode is a traditional Japanese event to visit shrines and temples at the beginning of the New Year.
    While you can visit any shrine for Hatsumoude, Meiji Shrine sitting in Yoyogi, Shibuya Ward is one of the most popular destinations for many Tokyo citizens. Normally, the shrine has clearly set opening hours, but from New Year's Eve to New Year's Day it stays open all night long to accomodate the yearly flood of people who want to make their first and last wishes of the year.
    Many people gather for Hatsumode at Meiji Shrine, but it is worth the experience. If you do stay in Tokyo during the new year’s, make sure to visit one of the big Shrines, such as Meiji Shrine, to feel the atmosphere of the Tokyo`s New Year.
  • TREND - Ema - Unique shrine plaques across Tokyo


    Ema - Unique shrine plaques across Tokyo

    During your temple or shrine in Japan you will probably recognize the wooden praying plaques called ema. These are traditionally used to write prayers or wishes on, but people also have gotten more creative in recent years by drawing pictures or decorating them to make them stand out more. Most ema are very simple in design, but several shrines have started to create their unique designs which often makes visitors traveling to several different shrines to collect the most unique ones.

    From the creative drawings on the ema of the Kanda Shrine in Akihabara, over the Geta※ ema of Koenji Hikawa Shrine to the variety of beckoning cat related ema at the many Tokyo shrines and temples dedicated to cats, there is always much to see and read on these traditional wishing plates. Make a wish and leave your ema at the shrine or take it home with you as keepsake. the choice is yours. ※Geta: is a traditional Japanese footwear
  • TOKYO DIVERSITY - Shin-Okubo - Tokyo's Korea Town


    Shin-Okubo - Tokyo's Korea Town

    Tokyo has various international areas that incorporate foreign cultures.
    Located in close proximity to Shinjuku on the JR Yamanote Line, Shin-Okubo is known as Korean Town. Stepping into the lively streets lined with authentic Korean restaurants and import stores while Korean music is blasting from the screens makes you feel like you just left Japan. Shin-Okubo is a place where even Korean people go if they are homesick and want to enjoy the taste and feel of Korea.

    One might think that the Korean Town in Shin-Okubo is a result of the Korea boom that has also a hold on Japan for several years. However, this assumption would not be right as Korean Town has a long tradition and developed through Korean immigrants settling in the area a long time ago. Enjoy authentic Korean food and shop for unique gifts in Shin-Okubo while visiting Tokyo. This unique area in the heart of Tokyo is worth a visit for the fun atmosphere and tasty treats.


Finally, on October 11th, 2022, the ban on entry from abroad, including FIT, has been fully lifted.
To make it easier for you to find exciting places to visit during your stay, we have prepared a variety of movies to help you to enjoy this magical country to the fullest!
Cool Hatsumode in Tokyo
Japanese New Year at Meiji Shrine, Tokyo

Information (update: 2022 October 21)

In order to offer travelers a safe and fun experience in Tokyo, do not forget to check the information on COVID-19 provided by the Japanese government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government here.


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

Check Calender


Coming up on the "TOKYO NOW" newsletter next month:
The foreign traveler ban to Japan has been fully lifted as of October 11th, 2022. Finally, you can freely come to Tokyo again and enjoy this sparkling city to its fullest!
Looking for places to spend time in Tokyo during 2023 February? We’ve got lots of suggestions for you, so stay tuned and look forward to your visit to Tokyo! If you missed last month's letter, you can catch up here. If you have not subscribed to the newsletter yet, please do so here. See you in Tokyo next month!

Issue by: Tokyo Convention & Visitor Bureau
Support by: Tourism Division, Bureau of
Industry and Labor Affairs, Tokyo
Metropolitan Government
E-mail: tokyonownewsletter2023@gmail.com