Tokyo Now NewsLetter from Tokyo to you

Vol.143 February 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!


In February you can enjoy the first signs of Spring in Tokyo. Even though it is a little too early for cherry blossoms, you can find delicate plum flowers and the first little birds singing their spring melodies. The overall weather is still very cold and it can even snow, so make sure to bundle up and take a hot beverage while exploring the town.

  • News & Topics


    The Hotels Villa Fontaine Grand Haneda Airport and Premier Haneda Airport have opened their doors on December 21, 2022. They offer a very unique and alluring large bathing area. There is a Onsen(hot spring) with a bedrock bath sauna. In addition, you can get a full view of Haneda Airport from the men's bath and Mt. Fuji from the women's bath on a sunny day.

    The two hotels have a combined capacity of 1,717 rooms. In addition, the adjacent Bellesalle Haneda Airport offers a 1109 square meter hall and 10 meeting rooms. The combined area makes for a complex facility that can accommodate even large MICE events.

  • PEOPLE - Keiko Seto - Vegan Food Entrepreneur


    Keiko Seto - Vegan Food Entrepreneur

    people people people people people
    Keiko Seto is a Vegan chef and owner of the recently closed Vegan restaurant "mique". However, she wasn’t always a Chef. Back in 2011 when the Great East Earthquake and nuclear disaster struck, she worked as an art director at an international advertising agency.
    Like so many, the incident changed her outlook about what she wants to do with her life and she decided to follow a new passion. Inspired by her extensive stays overseas in her youth, she decided to study health food and learn more about veganism and how the two go together.

    Recently, there has been a growing understanding of diverse foods, including Veganism. As a food lover herself, Keiko Seto has a passion of introducing people to new ways of eating. Many might be surprised by her choice to change her careers so drastically but she herself believes that both careers are highly creative and therefore not so different after all. The beautiful presentation of her food surely proves her point very well.
  • EXPERIENCE - Throw Beans at Evil Spirits at Zojoji Temple


    Throw Beans at Evil Spirits at Zojoji Temple

    experience experience experience
    Zojoji Temple is a long standing buddhism temple conveniently located next to Tokyo Tower. The temple grounds consist of some impressive structures as well as a mausoleum of the Tokugawa family and a small museum.Every February, Zojoji Temple holds a Mamemaki (bean throwing) ceremony as part of Setsubun festival.
    Setsubun is a japanese festival held around February 3. The day is decided by being one day before the start of spring according to the Japanese lunar calendar. For many centuries, people have been performing rituals with the purpose of chasing away evil spirits at the start of spring. This is also the main purpose of the Mamemaki ritual which can be enjoyed not only at many temples and shrines such as Zojoji but also at home.

    Setsubun Tsuina Shiki (Ceremony to drive away evil spirits)
    "Mamemaki" (bean-throwing ceremony)
    Friday, February 3, 2023, from around noon to 1:00 p.m.
    On a special stage in front of Zojoji Temple's Daiten (Main Hall)
  • PAST - Enjoy a Unique Black Water Onsen


    Enjoy a Unique Black Water Onsen

    Yumori no Sato is a hidden gem for onsen lovers in the middle of Tokyo. The spring water at this unique city oasis is pitch black and packed with nutrients promising healing benefits such as soothing itchy and dry skin.
    Black water hot springs, also known as Kuroyu, are actually a phenomenon unique to Tokyo. Humic acid, which is a substance that forms during the decaying process of organic matter, such as plants and trees, is the reason for the water's black appearance.

    The bathing area offers outdoor and indoor baths with a large variety of different bathing experiences from stone, over wood to relaxing light and sound focused baths as well as a sauna. Yumori no Sato is also recommended for lovers of healing crystals and delicious health conscious local food as both can be enjoyed and purchased and enjoyed here.
  • TREND - Setagaya Plum Blossom Festival


    Setagaya Plum Blossom Festival

    Hanegi Park is located in the Setagaya ward in Tokyo and famous for being lined with a large variety of plum trees. The Setagaya Plum Festival is one of the parks highlights every spring offering plum flavored delights, festival food and scheduled entertainment.

    Unfortunately, the Corona pandemic has hindered the festival from happening in the last two years but it is scheduled to be held in 2023. It is still the perfect place to see plum trees blossoming in different forms and colors and to enjoy an early “hanami” with some plum wine, which can also be enjoyed hot during this time of the year.
  • TOKYO DIVERSITY - Hanazono Shrine Antique Market


    Hanazono Shrine Antique Market

    Even though antique markets might not be a typical image of Japan, they are very fun to explore as Japanese antiques are very different compared the ones you can find overseas. With only around 25-30 stalls, the Hanazono Shrine Antique Market offers a relatively small but regular antique fair. It focuses on smaller antique items instead of big items like furniture which makes not too overwhelming to explore.

    The market is held almost every Sunday unless the shrine hosts other festivals or the weather is bad, which explains the translation of the name to Hanazono Shrine Blue Sky Antique Fair. The fair is open from sunrise to sunset, but most stalls usually close around 3pm.
    Please note that the market may be canceled on short notice, therefore it is better to check their Twitter for confirmation before attending.


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!
The Japanese festival where they throw beans at you - Setsubun
Early flowering cheryy blossoms & White-eye in Asakusa

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:
Looking for places to spend time in Tokyo during March 2023? 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 year!

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