News & Announcements
Tokyo Joins the Bidding to Host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020
Tokyo has been put forward as the host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games by the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Other applicant cities are Baku (Azerbaijan), Doha (Qatar), Istanbul (Turkey), Madrid (Spain), and Rome (Italy). The host city will be selected at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on September 7, 2013.
Six Applicant Cities for the 2020 Olympic Games

Sunshine Aquarium Resumed Operation on August 4
Sunshine AquariumSunshine Aquarium, in the vigorous area of Ikebukuro, resumed operating on August 4 after the renovation that began on September 1, 2010.
The new facility is divided into three sections: "Journey to the Ocean," "Journey to the Shore" and "Journey to the Sky." Performances by sea otters, penguins and sea lions are scheduled to be held daily.

Admission Fee
Adults (over 15 years of age) 1,800 yen
Elementary and junior high school students 900 yen
Children (over 4 years of age) 600 yen
Seniors (over 65 years of age) 1,500 yen
Sunshine Aquarium (Japanese only)

Three-Hour Free Wi-Fi Access Available at VenusFort
Free Wi-Fi access has been available at VenusFort, a theme park-like shopping mall in Odaiba, since August 15, 2011. To get a "guest code," go to the URL below.
Odaiba VenusFort

Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony 2011 to Be Held in October
Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony
This is a great opportunity to learn about the tea ceremony, an important Japanese cultural activity. Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony will be held at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum on October 1 and 2 and in Hama-rikyu Gardens on October 22 and 23.
Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony 2011

Tokyo Designers Week 2011 Held from November 1
Tokyo Designers Week
The show designer of this year's annual Tokyo Designer's Week event is architect Florian Busch, who has selected pink as the theme color. Tents and shipping containers will be dynamically placed in Jingu Gaien. The event will be held from November 1 to 6.

Washington Hotel to Open in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Spring 2015
A new Washington Group Hotel will open in the center of Kabukicho, the famous entertainment district in Shinjuku, in the spring of 2015. The hotel will have 1,030 rooms and is conveniently located for shopping, dining, amusement facilities, transportation and others.
Fujita Kanko
Press Release (Japanese only)

Water Bus "Kawasemi" Launches Regular Services in September

"Kawasemi" water bus will commence regular services on Sundays and holidays from September 4, 2011. The route of the boat runs between historical Asakusa and Nihombashi, a traditional yet modern area. This route was popular in the Edo period (1603-1867). This boat has only 42 seats and can traverse narrow riverways.

Fare (one way)
Adults: 700 yen, elementary school pupils: 350 yen
One preschool-aged child is free when accompanied by an adult. For two or more preschool children accompanied by an adult, the elementary school pupil’s fare is applied.

Operation Schedule Asakusa
Nihombashi Asakusa
Departure Arrival / Departure Arrival
1st 10:30 11:15 11:50
2nd 11:55 12:40 13:40
3rd 13:50 14:35 15:10
4th 15:20 16:05 16:40
5th 16:50 17:35 18:10
Note: Due to the small capacity, occupancy fills quickly. Service may be cancelled because of tides and inclement weather conditions.

JR Tokyo Station under Restoration Partly Open Next June
The Marunouchi Building of JR Tokyo Station, a National Important Cultural Property under restoration since May 2007, will partly open in June 2012. JR EAST Travel Service Center and Tokyo Station Gallery will open on October 1, 2012. The JR EAST Travel Service Center will provide services, including the issuance of JR train passes for tourists from overseas, information on tickets and accommodations, and ATM banking. THE TOKYO STATION HOTEL, with 150 rooms and a spa&fitness, will open on October 3, 2012.
Press Release (Japanese only)

Tokyo, Home of Pop Culture
Are you a fan of pop culture? If so, Tokyo is full of treasures, coveted shops and sacred spots of pop culture. Valuable goods and exciting experiences await you in Tokyo.

Topics - Hot Shops and Libraries
The fifth floor of the International Flight Passenger Terminal of Haneda Airport is home to Tokyo Pop Town, an area filled with pop culture-related shops. Among them, Hakuhinkan Toy Park has Japan's largest slot car racing course for enthusiasts to try their skills. At Design Japan Culture Store, variety goods and T-shirts with Japanese cartoon characters are available. Experience Japanese pop culture at the air gateway to Tokyo.
Hakuhinkan TOY PARK

Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library of Manga and Subculture
©Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library
of Manga and Subculture
Meiji University, one of Japan's prestigious private universities, will establish a Tokyo International Manga Library to collect and preserve manga (Japanese comic books or printed cartoons) and related materials. It will be one of the largest libraries in the world that specializes in manga and anime and will exhibit comic books, magazines, original cartoon manuscripts and artwork, dojin-shi (self-published comic magazines), game software, and cartoon character goods. Ahead of the opening of this library scheduled for 2014, was the Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library of Manga and Subculture which opened in October 2009, and exhibits the personal collections of the late manga critic Yoshihiro Yonezawa.
Tokyo International Manga Library

Akihabara - the Best "Sacred Spot"
Speaking of anime and pop culture, Akihabara, also called Akiba, is the most famous place in Japan, and maybe even in the world, for the latest in pop culture. Numerous shops allure otaku (nerds with obsessive interests) with every type of goods including rare figures, original pictures, dojin-shi, cosplay costumes, comics and cartoon character goods available there.

Hobby Lobby Tokyo in the First Building of Radio Kaikan is the only shop directly managed by Kaiyodo, the leading maker of capsule toys. Yellow Submarine G-Shop & Minto is a toy shop which boasts one of the largest selections of Gunpla, plastic models of Gundam.
Hobby Lobby Tokyo (Japanese only)
Yellow Submarine G-Shop & Minto (Japanese only)

In Akihabara at Gachapon Kaikan you can try your luck at gachapon (also called gashapon or gachagacha), a vending machine for capsule toys but you never know exactly which toy will come out. Finding out which toy and exchanging toys with other persons is the fun of gachapon. Gachapon Kaikan has about 430 gachapon machines from those with standard character goods to special goods. The price of a gachapon starts at 100 yen.
Gachapon Kaikan (Japanese only)

Railroad buffs should go to Little TGV. This railroad-themed izakaya (Japanese pub) is decorated like a train and filled with railroad goods, interesting for children and adults alike. For a railroad-themed stay in Akihabara, how about the Ku Ha Ne 1304 room of Akihabara Washington Hotel? This 'train' room is decorated with a large railroad diorama of the train around the town of Akiba. Reservations are mainly through the Internet (Japanese only) but e-mail responses are available in English.
Little TGV (Japanese only)
Akihabara Washington Hotel

Candy Fruit Optical
Candy Fruit Optical
Akihabara is also known for "maid cafés" where the waitresses are dressed in French maid costumes. One of the most popular is Cure Maid Café, which opened in March 2001 and is said to be the first maid café in Japan. Go and check it out for a trendy experience. At Candy Fruit Optical Akiba branch, "maids" wearing glasses welcome you and help you choose the perfect glasses.
Cure Maid Café (Japanese only)
Candy Fruit Optical (Japanese only)

Opened in 2009, Mogra is one of the famous DJ bars in Akiba. In addition to typical club music, the DJ spins anime songs and game music. Most anime songs are from the 1980s to the present. When popular songs are played, the fans go crazy. Why not come and sing along and dance to your favorite songs?
MOGRA (Japanese only)

Other "Sacred Spots" around Tokyo
Gundam monumentThere are many more attractions in Tokyo. Nakano is another extremely popular district for anime fans. Nakano Broadway near JR Nakano Station is crowded with small shops that sell celluloid pictures, anime figures, and other anime related items. One of the major shops is called Mandarake.
Nakano Broadway (Japanese only)

The 3-meter Gundam monument on the South Exit side of Kamiigusa Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line was built in 2008, under the supervision of Yoshiyuki Tomino, the director of the Gundam series.

Areas around Seiseki Sakuragaoka Station on Keio Line are dotted with spots depicted in "Whisper of the Heart," an anime film by Studio Ghibli, and have been becoming "sacred places" for anime fans.

Tokyo is a treasure town of pop culture. The Tokyo International Anime Fair, the biggest of such kinds of events in the world, is scheduled to be held next March. Come and experience a wide variety of pop culture in Tokyo!
Tokyo International Anime Fair 2012

Updated Radiation-related Information in Tokyo
Please be assured that the radiation levels are continuously being monitored and, to date, have no negative impact on one's health.

Radiation level in the air (Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health)
Environmental radiation levels in Tokyo

Radiation level in tap water (Bureau of Waterworks Tokyo Metropolitan Government)
As of today, no radioactive substances have been detected at the water purification plants of Tokyo Waterworks since April 5.
Latest information related to the effect on purified water by radioactivity

List of banned foods and shipping restrictions
Food products are monitored every day for radioactive materials. The Japanese government restricts distribution and consumption of food products containing any level of radiation that exceeds the regulatory standards.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: Information on the Great East Japan Earthquake

Event Information
Tokyo International Anime Fair 2012
Tokyo International Anime Fair
March 22-25, 2012
Tokyo Big Sight, Koto-ku, Tokyo
3 minutes on foot from Yurikamome Kokusai-Tenjijo-Seimon Station

The Tokyo International Anime Fair, a comprehensive international fair in which anime-related companies participate from Japan and abroad, started in 2002. Last year's fair was canceled due to the disaster in March but this year the fair will be held at Tokyo Big Sight from March 22 to 25, 2012. The fair is organized into three general components: the "Trade Fair" with all the latest information relating to anime, the "Competition" of outstanding anime works with awards given, and the "Events" including symposiums, stage shows and special exhibitions.
Tokyo International Anime Fair 2012

Takao-san Hiwatari Matsuri (Fire-walking Festival)
Takao-san Hiwatari MatsuriFrom 1 p.m. on March 11, 2012 (held annually on the 2nd Sunday of March)
Jidosha Kito-den Square at Takao-san Yakuo-in Temple
5 minutes on foot from Keio Takaosanguchi Station

For the Fire-walking Ritual, people's wishes are written small pieces of wood that are burned. When the fire dies down, yamabushi (mountain ascetics) bravely walk barefoot over the hot coals. The blazing fire and the amazing ritual are dynamic to watch. Ordinary people can also experience barefoot fire-walking if they so desire. (Please be careful because of the flying sparks from the fire.)
Takaosan Yakuo-in

Tokyo Metropolitan Government
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