News & Announcements
Q-pot CAFE. : Mysterious Candy House opened in Omotesando
Q-pot CAFE.
Designed with sweets motifs, Q-pot. has become popular for its loveliness in Japan and Asian countries, especially among young girls, and now these accessories have become edible sweets.
The cafe itself is just like a candy house we used to imagine when little. There's a biscuit room, a chocolate room...and "seQret" room. While offering set menus in the cafe and some take-away options, they also have full course of sweets (on a reservation basis only) in the hidden room, somewhere in the cafe. See and enjoy the edible accessories just like enjoying fashion!
Q-pot CAFE.

TOKYO YOKOCHO Week: great night out option for this winter
TOKYO YOKOCHO Week -A "soul place" where our night begins
Do you have an impression that Tokyo has few options for night out? It's not true. We have "hashigo" bar-hopping culture and there are "yokocho" all over Tokyo. TOKYO YOKOCHO Week offers an ideal opportunity for you to see and experience what they are.
Yokocho literally means "alleyways off the main street" and includes the small pubs and bars that are found on these narrow streets, and we enjoy "yokocho" doing "hashigo" from one bar to another.
The campaign is held at the yokocho called Yurakucho Sanchoku Inshokugai. During the period from January 15 through March 15, 2013, get a free giveaway upon the completion of the questionnaire and 2 bar hoppings. Those who post photos at yokocho or other nightlife spots to our "Tokyo Fan Club" page by February 15 can receive lucky prizes, like limited Tokyo goods and traveling gear. English menus? No problem.
To get to know yokocho better, please check our website.
GOTOKYO (details on the campaign available from December 10)

Toyokan (Oriental Art Hall) of Tokyo National Museum Reopens
Toyokan of the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park will reopen on January 2, 2013, after completion of earthquake-proofing construction that began June 2009. It houses about 20,000 pieces including Chinese calligraphic works, paintings, and ceramics from the Sung and Yuan dynasty eras that are world-renowned works. The information map for the hall and descriptions of the works will be available in English, simplified Chinese and Korean.
Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo City Promotion in Germany
Tokyo City Promotion in Germany
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will conduct city promotional campaigns in two German cities, Berlin and Frankfurt. Local travel agencies and businesses will interact with their counterparts from Tokyo to exchange information and promote Tokyo as a tour destination for people in Germany.
http://www.promotion-tokyo2013.com (German only)

Getting to Know Tokyo Through Ukiyo-e
Ukiyo-e and Edo
Utamaro, Sharaku, Hokusai, and Hiroshige... If you are familiar with these names, you are a real Japan expert. They are the big names in the world of ukiyo-e of the Edo period (1603-1867).
Ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints, are a representative art of Japanese traditional culture that is considered to be a catalyst of the "Japonism" that largely influenced Western arts, mainly inspiring many European impressionist painters. However, ukiyo-e originally served as media, too, that reported all kinds of information to the urban residents of Edo times, rather than as a fine art to be appreciated as such. People were able to get information about trendy spots, favorite kabuki actors, and popular places to visit in Edo (current Tokyo), through ukiyo-e. Let’s go into the world of ukiyo-e!
(Click the ukiyo-e below to enlarge)

Popular Sightseeing Places depicted in Ukiyo-e
Even in Tokyo, an ever-changing metropolitan city, there remain some things that are unchanged. Here are some of these places, which used to be and still are popular places to visit among locals and tourists, and appear in ukiyo-e.
Kinryuzan Temple, Asakusa   Kaminarimon
"Kinryuzan Temple,
(Asakusa Kinryuzan
from One Hundred
Famous Views of Edo)
by Utagawa Hiroshige,
stored at Brooklyn Museum
Asakusa, which has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, prospered as a temple town of Senso-ji Temple from the old days. Its origin dates back to 628, when a temple was made for the statue of Goddess of Mercy that was found in the Sumida River. As time went by it attracted a lot of ordinary and noble people alike, and after being designated as a prayer place of the Tokugawa government in the beginning of the Edo period, it attracted even more people.
The large lantern at the Kaminari-mon gate in the front and the approach stretching to Senso-ji Temple and its five-storied pagoda are seen in the block print. By the way, do you notice the difference on the lantern between past and present? The actual lantern at the Kaminari-mon is marked as "雷門" (kaminarimon). Meanwhile, the lantern in the ukiyo-e is marked as "志ん橋" (shimbashi), which was dedicated by an association of Japanese restaurants and geishas in Shimbashi, one of the entertainment districts in Edo. Now, the lantern with "shimbashi" is hung at the main building of the temple instead.

Suruga-chō   Nihombashi
(Suruga-cho from
One Hundred Famous
Views of Edo)
by Utagawa Hiroshige,
stored at
Isetan Mitsukoshi
Surugacho was the name of an area and now a corner of Nihombashi Muromachi. At that time, Surugacho was a special place for people in Edo, as they could see both Edo Castle (the palace of the Shogun of the Edo government of those days) and Mount Fuji in a single view.
The town was named after Suruga-no-kuni (Suruga domain, current Shizuoka Prefecture). Known as the birthplace of the first Shogun in the Edo period, Tokugawa Ieyasu, as well as the area where Mount Fuji is located, Suruga domain was a special location for many Japanese.
Wide Perspective View of    
"Wide Perspective View of
the Interior of Echigoya in Surugacho"
by Okumura Masanobu,
stored at Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings
A sketch of the Mitsui  
"A sketch of the Mitsui
shop in Suruga in Edo"
by Katsushika Hokusai,
stored at Tokyo National Museum
Image:TNM Image Archives
Both sides of the main street in Surugacho were lined with Echigoya, a kimono store that is the origin of Mitsukoshi Department Store. Today the left side has Mitsukoshi Department Store and the right side has Mitsui Main Building, which was the home of the Mitsui Zaibatsu (financial group) before WWII and which also got its start with Echigoya.
Echigoya was established by a talented merchant, Mitsui Takatoshi. He opened a shop selling kimono and dealing with money exchange in Edo. He pioneered a series of new business methods, including a cash sale system instead of the traditional credit system. He moved the shop to Surugacho in 1681, and it became the Shogunate’s designated kimono store as well as an official government bank. Wide Perspective View of the Interior of Echigoya in Surugacho tells us much about the great success of Echigoya.
In Hokusai’s woodblock print, you can tell it is the New Year holiday by the kites in the sky. People working on the roof seem to be tilers.

Kameido Tenjin   Kameido Tenjin
"Kameido Tenjin Keidai"
(Kameido Tenjin Shrine from
One Hundred Famous
Views of Edo)
by Utagawa Hiroshige
Kameido Tenjin Shrine in Koto ward, which is also called Tenman-gu, enshrines Sugawara Michizane, popularly known as the God of Learning. He was a politician and also an excellent poet in the 9th century. After his death in Fukuoka, where he was sent for demotion following the political conflict he had been involved in, a series of natural disasters struck the then-capital Kyoto, and people thought the city was haunted by his angry spirit. So people started to enshrine him to calm and comfort his soul.
There are many Tenman-gu in Japan, with all of them enshrining Michizane. While most of them are famous for plum blossoms, the flower he loved most, Kameido Tenjin, has been famous as Japanese wisteria blossom since the Edo period. Go on the Taikobashi Bridge, and you can look down on a carpet of beautiful wisteria on the trellises in late April to early May.
The woodblock print depicts the Taikobashi Bridge, wisteria blossoms surrounding the pond, and people enjoying the blossoms under the trellises just as we do with cherry blossoms. There used to be tearooms and sake-serving restaurants in the precincts, and now there are old-style high-class Japanese restaurants around the shrine in a well-preserved Edo atmosphere.
Kameido Tenjin

Festivals in Ukiyo-e

Sanno Matsuri
Sanno Matsuri from Edo Meisho   Sanno Matsuri
"Chiyoda no On-Omote,
View of Sanno Matsuri"
by Yoshu Chikanobu,
stored at Hie Shrine
  "Sanno Matsuri from Edo Meisho"
(Sanno Festival from Famous
Views of Edo)
by Utagawa Shigenobu,
stored at Edo-Tokyo Museum
Tokyo locals were more enthusiastic and even frenzied about their annual festivals than you can imagine. Among a number of festivals in Edo, Sanno Matsuri of Hie Shrine in June and Kanda Matsuri of Kanda Shrine in May were very special ones.
These shrines were regarded as the dwelling of the tutelary deity of the Tokugawa Shogun family and the guardian deity of Edo, respectively, so it was natural they were so much respected and worshipped, and their annual festivals were called Tenka Matsuri (Shogun’s festivals) and their floats were allowed to enter Edo castle and received in audience by the Shogun. We can see floats in these two ukiyo-e woodblock prints. Flags held by people in "Sanno Matsuri from Edo Meisho" tell you that they belonged to Koji-machi, one of the shrine’s parish towns. It is said that each parish town had its own float.

"Kanjin Ozumo Dohyoiri no Zu"
(View of the Dohyo-iri
Ceremony at Kanjin Sumo)
by Utagawa Kuniyoshi,
stored at National Diet Library
Sumo is both one of Japan’s ancient Shinto rituals and festivals and a martial art and wrestling sport. The current grand sumo originated from kanjin (temple solicitation) sumo, which began in the early Edo period for the purpose of fund raising to get money for renovation and construction of shrines and temples. Sumo and theatrical shows were the two most popular entertainments in Edo.
This piece can tell a lot about difference and similarity between today’s sumo and that of the Edo period.
It depicts dohyo-iri ("entering the ring"), a ceremony to introduce sumo wrestlers before top division bouts. Wrestlers on the left side (Western side) were about to mount the ring while the Eastern side wrestlers had just finished the ceremony. Today dohyo-iri is still held in a simplified manner.
In the Edo period, sumo was held outside because there was no particular stadium, and mostly held at Eko-in Temple. The four pillars of the ring represent the Four Symbols of the four mythological creatures of the four directions (north, south, east and west). In the current Grand Sumo Tournaments held six times a year, the pillars are replaced by tassels that have been hung from the ceiling since 1952. But the biggest difference was that only men were allowed to be in the audience for kanjin sumo. However, the gallant appearance of popular sumo wrestlers gathering at the dohyo-iri ceremony surrounded by a huge audience remains the same.
Grand Sumo

Where to Appreciate and Buy Ukiyo-e

Places to Appreciate Ukiyo-e
Tokyo National Museum
Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art
Sumo Museum
Due to changing of displays that takes place six times a year, there may be no display of ukiyo-e during some periods. Ukiyo-e of the end of the Edo period will be exhibited from October 23 through December 24, 2012.

Places to Buy Ukiyo-e
Original Ukiyoe Gallery Toshusai
Ohya Shobo Book Store
Mita Arts Gallery
The Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints: The company has a showroom as well as a studio, and sells reprints of ukiyo-e.

Useful Tips for Having Fun in Tokyo on a Budget: Noodle Stand
Noodle StandIf you find a shop where people slurp noodles while standing, it's "tachigui soba-ya," standing noodle stand.
This kind of noodle shops is commonly in and around train stations and office districts, and serves buckwheat noodles and udon noodles. As a Japanese version of fast food shops, they are convenient for travelers to get a quick meal at an affordable price - often less than 300 yen (US$ 3.75).
Most shops use a self-service style. Buy tickets at the vending machine, which is usually set up at the entrance, hand them to the staff, and wait for a while near the counter, with a number plate at some shops. Try and experience tachigui soba-ya!

Event Information
Kanda Matsuri
Kanda Matsuri
As mentioned in the ukiyo-e article, the Kanda Matsuri of Kanda Myojin Shrine was one of the Tenka Matsuri (Shogun's festivals) during the Edo period along with the Sanno Matsuri of Hie Shrine. For the year 2013, however, Kanda Matsuri is more worth seeing. Because the Kanda Matsuri is held on odd-numbered years and Sanno Matsuri on even-numbered years, 2013 is the year of the Kanda honmatsuri. By order of the Edo government in 1615 and continuing today, large-scale festivals (honmatsuri) are held on alternating years.

On May 11, a splendid procession of about 2,000 people will parade through central Tokyo including Kanda, Nihombashi, Marunouchi, and Akihabara. On the 12th, about 100 miniature shrines will be carried into the shrine one after the other from morning to evening as the festival’s dramatic climax.

Access: 5 min from Ochanomizu Station on the JR Chuo/Sobu lines or Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, 5 min from Shin-Ochanomizu Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, 7 min from Akihabara Station on the JR Yamanote and Keihin Tohoku lines or Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, or 5 min from Suehirocho Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line on foot.
Kanda Myojin Shrine (Japanese only)

Sanno Matsuri
Sanno Matsuri
Sanno Matsuri, another Tenka Matsuri and one of the three big festivals in Tokyo, is an event of the Hie Shrine in Akasaka. Its honmatsuri gorgeously takes place on even-numbered years. Since 2013 is an odd-numbered year of the small festival (kagematsuri), there is no big parade held but the reitaisai (the annual and most important celebration) will be held in the grounds of the shrine on June 15.

Access: 5 min from Kokkai-gijidomae Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, or 3 min from Tameike-sannno Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza and Namboku lines on foot.
Hie Shrine

Did you Know? Fun Facts About Tokyo: Mystery of the Tower
Toto Mitsumata no Zu"Toto Mitsumata no Zu" by Utagawa Kuniyoshi
This tower-like building may be the TOKYO SKYTREE®!?
Do you find anything puzzling in this ukiyo-e by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, a popular artist in the Edo period? The woodblock print has been attracting much attention of late because of the mysterious and unknown tower that, though drawn in the past, looks like the TOKYO SKYTREE® completed this spring in 2012. Some say it is a tower symbolizing sumo tournaments, some say it's a fire tower, and others have other opinions. So far, what it was remains inconclusive.
However, does the true identity matter? Can we imagine that a genius artist somehow predicted the appearance of the tower 180 years in the future? What do you think?

No Negative Impact on Our Health: Updated Radiation-related Information in Tokyo
Radiation dose after touring Tokyo for one day (July 9, 2012) Report on field measurements (Japan Tourism Agency)
According to the survey on radioactivity in Tokyo conducted by the Japanese Tourism Agency, the measured air dose was below the global average.
Radiation dose after touring Tokyo for one day (July 9, 2012) Report on field measurements

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)
No radioactive substances have been detected either from raw water or at the water purification plants of Tokyo since April 2011.
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

Q&A on Foods and Fishery products
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: FAQ on mushrooms, edible wild plants, rice, milk, dairy products, meat and eggs (as of June 13, 2012)
Fisheries Agency: Questions and answers on fishery products

To access the previous edition of e-Tokyo Today and our printed newsletter, Tokyo Today,
please visit: e-Tokyo Today back number.

If at any time you wish to stop receiving our emails, Please email to news@tcvb.or.jp.
Issued by: Tourism Division, Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Planning / Editing: Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau
E-mail: news@tcvb.or.jp Tel: +81-3-5840-8892 Fax: +81-3-5840-8895.