News & Announcements
OOTEMORI, a Commercial Facility and "Forest" Opens

A new commercial facility by the name of OOTEMORI opened on October 2, 2013, and as part of a first installment phase, 25 stores, including a high-end super market and a selection of gourmet restaurants have begun operating inside the premises. The facility location is highly convenient as the second floor basement connects to Otemachi Station on the Tokyo Metro subway Tozai and Marunouchi lines. At the top of Otemachi Tower, Amanresorts, a luxurious hotel chain, is scheduled to open in 2014.
http://www.ootemori.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Operating Hours Extension for Certain Tokyo Metropolitan Government Facilities
Some Tokyo Metropolitan Government-run facilities will be extending their opening hours during the coming autumn and winter seasons. Specific extension details are different for each facility. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatories will open at 7 a.m. (opening time is 9:30 a.m. during regular season) from January 10 through February 9, 2014. Tokyo Tourist Information Center on the 1st floor of Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No. 1 is extending the business hours to 11:00 p.m. (closing time is 6:30 p.m. during regular season) until March 31, 2014.
http://www.chijihon.metro.tokyo.jp/jikan/ (Japanese Only)

Tokyo Grand Shopping Week 2014 to Be Held in January
Tokyo Grand Shopping Week 2014

A shopping campaign for fashion, cosmetics, and other related items/products will take place in the Omotesando/Harajuku area from January 23 to February 5, accompanied by a Restaurant Week event. Heavy discounts and limited edition souvenirs will be available. Various programs and events are also scheduled to be held.

Asagaya Anime Street Will Open in March
Asagaya Anime Street

A new anime-focused shopping mall is scheduled to open in March 2014. Its 16 shops will include a figure studio, a made to order anime costume shop, and various character goods stores, with the underlying concept of the space being "the only place in the world where anime creators and fans gather together."

TAIKEN - Experience Japanese Culture in Tokyo!
Tokyo, the capital of business, fashion, shopping. While advanced technology is a large part of the cityscape, there are many places where you can still enjoy traditional Japanese culture. If you are among those who aren't just satisfied checking out the sights written down in your guidebook, why don't you try experiencing the culture yourself?

*All activities require reservations in advance.
*For activities led exclusively in Japanese language, you will generally need to be accompanied by an interpreter.

Traditional Arts
Tea ceremony, handcrafts, calligraphy, kimono wearing and Kabuki makeup experience are some of the activities available. Get closer to some of these traditional art forms and try aspects of them yourself.

Tea Ceremony
Sen No Rikyu (Tea master, 1522-1591) is the founder of this practice. There are many rules that come along with tea ceremony's 500 year history. The pouring of the tea, as well as its receiving have many detailed points one cannot go astray from. You can try these traditional methods for yourself and get a sense of the rich history of tea ceremony. You'll also get to try green tea and Japanese sweets.

Teahouse Muan
Name Happo-en
Program and price Surrounded by a large traditional Japanese garden, teahouse Muan offers two Japanese tea ceremony experiences. Tencha consists of a serving of matcha green tea along with seasonal Japanese sweets (840 yen, 8.4 USD). The second type of tea lesson, the reservation required Otemae, gives a lesson on the proper etiquette of enjoying Japanese tea (2,100 yen, 21 USD). Muan was built in the Meiji period (1868-1912) by Heihachi Tanaka, a merchant based in Yokohama. This prestigious teahouse was later relocated and reconstructed to preserve the appearance of the original.
Reservations Tel: 03-3443-3775 (Japanese, English available)
URL http://www.happo-en.com/english/garden/index.html

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
Formal Tea Ceremony
Name Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
Program Located in a large traditional Japanese garden, Zangetsu, a tea house that was built by imitating Zangetsutei, a building which was in Sen No Rikyu's residence, and recognized national tangible cultural property, offers tea ceremony experience. Those who wish can try the pouring of the tea themselves as well.
Price Formal tea ceremony: 5,000 yen (50 USD) and up
Reservations Tel: 03-3943-5489
E-mail: info@hotel-chinzanso.com
Guidance Primarily Japanese guides, English-speaking guides are also available at times (Please request when making reservation)
URL http://www.hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com/view-events/573

Edo-komon (dyeing with a fine pattern) / Edo-sarasa (Cotton dyeing)
Japanese handcrafts, which have in recent times become popular and fashionable, are also something you can try yourself. Edo-komon are known for their fine pattern and Edo-sarasa have exotic patterns of persons, birds and flowers.

Name Futaba-en
Program Get a chance to dye a table centerpiece. Using 10 sheets of paper, you can dye 5 different colors at once, giving your work an authentic variety of shade.
*This is a dyeing experience, so please bring an apron with you.
Price Edo cotton print dyeing experience: 2,500 yen (25 USD)
Reservations Tel: 03-3368-8133 (Japanese only)
Fax: 03-3362-3287 (Japanese only)
E-mail: info@futaba-en.jp (Japanese, English available)
Guidance Primarily Japanese guides, English-speaking guides are also available at times (Please request when making reservation)
URL http://www.futaba-en.jp/eng/

Various Cultural Experiences Complex
These are facilities where tea ceremony, calligraphy, kimono wearing, flower arrangement, Kabuki, origami folding paper and various other Japanese cultural activities can be experienced.

Tourist Information, YANESEN
Kabuki Makeup Experience
Name Tourist Information, YANESEN
Program This facility is located in Yanesen area, a popular place among people from overseas where old houses and alleys mostly remain intact. You can dress in real Kabuki costumes, have your face made up, and take souvenir pictures on stage. Tea ceremony, ink painting, calligraphy, flower arrangement, incense ceremony, taiko drumming, rakugo comedy, haiku, zen meditation, soba noodle making, kimono wearing, shamisen guitar, shakuhachi flute, cooking and others can be experienced as well.
Price Depends on activity chosen
Reservations Tel: 03-3828-7878 (Japanese, English available)
Online Reservations: http://www.ti-yanesen.jp/en/contact/index.shtml
URL http://www.ti-yanesen.jp/en/

Flower Arrangement
Name Koomon
Program Tea ceremony, calligraphy, kimono wearing and flower arrangement can be experienced here. Very easily accessible from Tokyo Station.
Price Depends on activity chosen
Reservations Tel: 03-5202-5737, E-mail: info@koomon.com (Japanese, English and others available)
URL http://www.koomon.com/e_culture.html

marunouchi cafe SEEK
Name marunouchi cafe SEEK
Program Located in the same building of JNTO, TIC (Tourist Information Center) in Marunouchi, a leading business district near Tokyo Station, this facility is a new center for international cultural exchange. Trying on a beautiful kimono is free and you can take a photo against a Japanese style backdrop. It also offers workshops of Japanese calligraphy, origami (paper folding), monkiri (paper cutting), and others.
Price Free
Reservations Reservations are not required, but if you have inquiries, contact here.
Tel: 03-3212-5025 (Japanese, English available)
E-mail: info@marunouchicafe.com (Japanese, English available)
URL http://www.marunouchicafe.com/english/

Did you Know? Fun Facts About Tokyo: Hanzo, Gate and Ninja
Ninja Experience
OOTEMORI, featured in this issue's News section, is located in Otemachi. This town's name comes from the fact it is situated in front of the Otemon (main gate) of the Imperial Palace (former Edo Castle). On the opposite side of the Imperial Palace stands Hanzomon, the back gate. There are two stories regarding the origin of this gate's name, one of them being related to Hattori Hanzo, the name of Japan's most famous ninja.
As you may know, ninjas were hired hands that served feudal lords as intelligence gatherers from the 12th to the 19th century, individually or in groups. In addition to the facilities we introduce in the above article, Tokyo also has a place where you can learn some of their hidden techniques and fighting arts. At "Musashi Ichizoku" (http://ninjawarriors.ninja-web.net/motenashi2.html) you can learn to use weapons such as shuriken throwing blades and blowguns as well as try meditation and wearing ninja clothing. English guidance is available and reservations are required via e-mail (urban-ninja@mail.goo.ne.jp) or phone (090-3691-8165 between 12:30-13:30, 17:00-19:00, after 23:00- ).

Event Information
Tokyo Minato Matsuri
Tokyo Minato Matsuri
Two days from mid to late May (tbd)

Tokyo Minato Matsuri is a festival held around Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal on Saturday and Sunday around May 20 each year, commemorating the opening of Tokyo Port on May 20, 1941. Though details of the 2014 version are mostly not yet determined, stage events and a bazar will be held on site. There have been also been talks that this year special dredging and research ships usually unavailable for viewing may be made open to the public, and dynamic fireboats and fire helicopter shows are sure to be featured as they are every year.

Sanja Matsuri
Sanja Matsuri
May 16-18, 2014

Sanja Matsuri is the main annual festival of Asakusa Shrine in Tokyo and is one of the three main festivals held in the old Tokyo area of Edo, along with Sanno Matsuri of Hie Shrine and Kanda Matsuri of Kanda Myojin Shrine. On its first day, the famous big official procession takes place , and on the second day, ujiko (local people) carry mikoshi (portable shrines) and parade around the surrounding area. The parade of about 100 mikoshi from 44 nearby neighborhoods is held on Saturday and the carrying of three very large mikoshi from the main shrine is held on Sunday. This is a colorful and boisterous event bursting with the energy of the traditional shitamachi "downtown" area of Tokyo. More than 1.5 million spectators come to watch every year as this one of the major festivals of Japan.

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: Questions and answers on rice, meat and eggs, milk, dairy products, mushrooms, and edible wild plants (as of December 19, 2012)
Fisheries Agency: Questions and answers on fishery products

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