Archive for 'Tokyo' Category
JNTO (http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/) lauchned a new prize system to promote inbound tourism, called “JAPAN Incentive Travel Awards” on Dec.21st. And three travel agents have been conferred the first awards and ceremony was held at the International Meeting Expo 2016 on Dec.7th(http://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/ime/2016/eng/index.html) .
The grand prix was given to a tour of 6500 participants visiting Hokkaido hosted by LionTravel in Taiwan(http://www.liontravel.com/). The planning award was given to “Chaumet – Hurry up for sales” hosted by teamtravel premium GmbH in Germany. That tour included 55 participants visiting spots related to jewelry using ipad services in Tokyo in style of a rally competition. And the Contribution award was given to “Millennium Achievers Tour” hosted by JTB Australia Pty Ltd. including 25 participants visiting Tokyo,Okayama,Kagawa, enjoying cultural activities of each local areas.
A new hotel grandly opened near Tokyo Sky Tree on Dec.23rd. This hotel “Budo- no Nagaya(/The Terraced House of Grapes)” is equipped with a special outer bath facility on its roof so that guests can command the breathtakinbg view of Tokyo Sky Tree while soaking. (https://www.facebook.com/%E8%91%A1%E8%90%84%E3%81%AE%E9%95%B7%E5%B1%8B-1414142378884322/)
The hotel is located near Hikifune station where you take about 5 minutes from Asakusa by train and is alos near popular shopping streets.So, the hotel is quite convenient for sightseeing and shopping as well. A mascot cat Hokuto is ready to welcome you at the reception of the hotel as an “animal receptionist”.
The hotel charges are 10,000 yen for one guest and 12,000 for two includng bath fee for one night but also you can take bath without staying the hotel in certain limited time slots. the guest rooms are decorated in a mixed style of oblects of both western and Japanese. The each facilities don’t have level gaps on the same floors so that even the older people or young children can enjoy staying at this hotel.
An special exhibition about Zen Buddhism was held at Tokyo National Museum in Ueno park in Tokyo Oct.18-Nov. 27 (http://zen.exhn.jp/en/).
This exhibition is “The Art of Zen~ from mind to form” ,commemorating some historical zen monks birth anniverssaries. Zen Buddhisim is one denomination of Mahayana Buddhis which prevailed 6~12 centuries in China and introduced in Japan in 12 century. The essential idea is purifying your spirit to find out simple and fundamental yourself through meditations. The concept was welcomed and accepted by Japanese especially Samurai warriers in the Kamura Period (1192-1333) mainly due to the similarity between Zen and the warriers’ Bushiod or Japanese chivalry. So, Zen has given huge influences on generatiosn and developments of Japanese culture and art, such as tea ceremony, pottery, Indian ink paintings, dry landscape gardens and so forth.
Tokyo Metro hosted a mystery rally event of quiz concerning Zen in collaboration with the exhibition at its subway stations during the same period.
A talk show event related to Japanese culture is being held Nov.24-27 at Tokyo Taiikukan(Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnagium) in Tokyo. (http://fes16.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/about.php)(http://www.tef.or.jp/tmg/en_index.jsp)
At the event, various celebrities, officials of big businesses, artisits and so forth give lectures and discussions of how people should promote Japanese art, culture and young peoples’ potential to the world.
A new skyscraper of commercial and office complex opened in Kyobashi, a central area so close to Tokyo station and Ginza on Nov.25th. This is “Kyobashi Edogrand” that is 170m high and has 32 floors groend and 3 floors underground, provided with 34 renowned shops of foods and stuff. (http://www.edogrand.tokyo/en)
Kyobashi Edogrand consists of newly built part of the higher rises and old Meijiya Kyobashi Building which has old history. This facility’s building project started 15 years ago as a redevelopping plan of the area led by owners of shops and lands of the area to reinvigorate the old office and shopping streets. The building has the state-of-the-art technology of quakeproof systems to keep things very safe and secure. the new building is expected to draw a lot of attention from people both in Japan and overseas.
JR group announced their new policy of starting tentative sales of Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) from the next March for one year even after foreign tourists arriving in Japan on this 11th. (http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/)(http://japanrailpass.net/en/index.html)
JRPass is a very convenient pass service that is able to be received only by a short- stay foreign tourist to Japan. You can buy various JR train and bus service tickets at discounted prices using this pass. If you would like to get one, you have to buy a coupon of the pass from your tarvel agents in your own countries before you leave for Japan and you will have to exchange the coupon at Japanese airports or majoy JR stations after you have arrived in Japan. Currently, you cannot buy the pass after you have aarived in thsi country, but in order to increase international visitors to Japan for inbound industry, JR has decided to change its policy for a while and, now starting the new service of avilability of the pass even after your arrival in Japan March 2017- March 2018. The transporting services for foreign travelers to Japan is highly expected to improve due to this big change.
Tokyu group(http://www.tokyu-fudosan-hd.co.jp/english/) that owns the lands in the central areas of Shibuya holds six huge redevelopping projects of the Shibuya area and the new skyscraper plan is one of them. The name of the building will be “Shibuya Stream” and is to be a highrise of 180 m and the total floor squares will be 116,700 ㎡. According to Tokyu, 1~3 rd floors will be for commercial facilities,4th floor is for incubation offices, 6th is for conference rooms, 9-13rd are for hotel, and 14-35 floors are for office areas. The developper says, the new building is expected to make dedications and contributions for promoting the unique culture being born in Shibuya. The project is to finish its first stage in 2019 and all stages will be finished and open to public in 2027.
The reasons of this postponement are environmental conditions, costs, and questionable points in the plan. according to Koike. Now the relocation time will be in Feburuary 2017 ,but sources have not been solved and the real moving time has not been decided yet. Meantime, people can enjoy visiting the world’s biggest fish and other foods market in the central part in Tokyo.
“Pokemon Pikapika Festival” is being held at Decks Tokyo Bay in odaiba,Tokyo Jul.12-Aug.31st. (http://www.pokemon-movie.jp/decks/)
This festival is held as a tie-up between Pokemon and decks Tokyo in token of Decks’ 20th anniversary. At the venue there is Illusion Dome where visitors can take a walk and see projected Pokemons’ images and footages at 360 degree. Visitors also can enjoy some special games and facilities, and meals at the restaurant and other attractions.
A special exhibition of “Louvre No,9” is being held Jul.22-Sep.25th at Mori Arts Center Gallery in Roppongi, Tokyo. (http://manga-9art.com/)
“No,9” means “the ninth category of art” in the French society and implies French style cartoons called “bande dessinée” influenced by Japanese Manga and subculture of the kind. In other words, bande dessinée might be called “the hybrid between traditional French paintings and the Japanese cartoon culture”. For example, Katsuhiro Ohtomo, the creator of “Akira”, one of popular manga works worldwide is said to have given huge influence on the generation of bande dessinée now.
There was an election of Tokyo Metropilitan Govenor on Jul.31, and Yuriko Koike has been chosen as the 20th Tokyo Govenor. She is the very first female Tokyo Govenor in the history of Tokyo Metropolice of 70 years (or about 150 year history since the very first year of the modernization of Japan as Edo Metropolice, Tokyo City,and Tokyo Prefecture).
Originally,she was a TV castor and an interpreter of Arabic language, and conducted a lot of coverages and interviews with people in the international community. And she served as a Diet member and Minister of Environment, Minister of National Defense and other cabinet member’s posts for years. Now she is a proponent of the “Non-pole” movement,which is clearing streets of electric poles and put electric wires underground in order to enhance scenic attractions of streets and improve secure and comfortable environments in society. In addition, she made remarks in which she expressed her eagerness of preparing and organizing upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Therefore, some positive changes in tourism- related environments in Tokyo area and circumstances of hosting the huge international sport events in four years may take place from now on.
The popular annual summer event of the fireworks display festival at one of the main rivers of Tokyo, Sumida River was held Jul.30th.
Totally, various fireworks of 20,000 were displayed with various colors and types, some of which were related to sports such as upcoming Olympic games. There were no panic or any accident and visitors there enjoyed the huge summer event.
Tha National Museum of Western Art (NMWA) in Ueno Park in Taito-kum Tokyo was designated as a World Vultural Heritage Site at the UNESCO’s committee in Turkey on Jul.17th.(http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/)
NMWS was establish in 1959 and designed by Le Corbusier ,a Swiss architect who was said to be “the grand master of 20 century’s modern architecture”.
NMWA contains various western art works especially modern or 20 centurys masterpieces and the basic collections are of “Matsukata Collections”. KOjiro Matuskata was a influential business person running major businesses in Meji -early Showa era and collected more than 10 thousand works mainly fron Europe, but some of them were lost in condusions of wars. Still France gave back some of his lost art properties and thus the museum was able to start with old collections. This time, NMWA has become the “first” buildings to be registered as a heritage site, “first” jointly registerated site of more trhan one country (transborder site) ,and “first” such a site in the area of central area of Tokyo (in the scope of the 23 wards of the city). For those remarkable points, the museum is expected to draw attention of a lot of tourists even more from now on.
“Dragon Quest”, the nationwide or even worldwide famousrole playing game series is now celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
The first game of Dragon Quest or in “Dorakue”(its Japanese abbreviation),”DQ1” was released in 1986. Since then 10 main games and some spinoff works have been released. And some cartoon ,animation, toy products also have been released and now almost every Japanese knows the game series.
“Dragon Quest Museum”, the special related exhibition to show the history and concept of Dragon Quest will be held Jul.24- Sep.11 at Hikarie Hall in Shibuya Hikarie in Shibuya,Tokyo. (https://dqmuseum.jp/) As a relevant event, the game’s theme music is played as a train melody at the Toyoko lines’ platforms in Shibuya station Jul.5-Sep.12.
The first two days were for business meetings and stage shows and the latter days were for open for public and lay visitors and shows, such as concerts and release of new information about new toy products or TV anime programs.
About 30 toy related businesses,such as toy manufacturers, animation studios, amusement parks, and so forth particiated in the show preparing booths to promote their products and activities. And totally about 160,000 people visited this event.