Archive for '50 reasons why Tokyo is the greatest city in the world | Map' Category

Kyobashi Edogrand grand open

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 11月 30, 2016

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)

 

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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.

 

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Tsukiji Fishmarket postponed relocation

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 9月 18, 2016

Tsukiji, the world famous fish market in Tokyo was to be relocated to Toyosu on Nov.7 2016, but now Yuriko Koike, the new Tokyo Governer delared the plan being postponed on Oct.31. tsukijifishmarketimages300x199x156f3348608f0a65319e2dc33a43d0bc_s-300x199_jpg_pagespeed_ic_cvzbopgeuf

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.

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no need for booking in advance of the Imeprial Palace tour course visit

By TERRY - Last updated: 木曜日, 6月 30, 2016

A  tour course in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo has changed its policy and now you don’t have to book prior to the date in advance anymore. The Imperial  Household Agency declared and actually started this new policy since this June 25th. (http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/index.html)

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Now you can make a on-the-day booking for the tour and the palace started hosting such a tour even on Saturdays (the tour used to be available on only weekdays). In addition, the number and capacity of the tour has increased; a current-day registration is available twice a day for the both of the two tours.  One is for the tour in the morning (starts at 10:00am) and the other is for one in the afternoon (starts at 1:30pm). The capacity for current-day registration is 300 people, while that for advance registration is 200 people.  One tour takes about 75 minutes.   It is supposed  this new policy is arranged in order to increase foreign visitors to the palace as a part of promotion of  inbound tourism . Actually,  about 60% of the visitors to the palace are foreigners. So, the government is pareparing for starting  recoreded  guiding services coming in various languages as well.

 

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Tsukiji market opening time being changed

By TERRY - Last updated: 木曜日, 6月 30, 2016

Tsukiji market,one of the biggest food markets in the world, is nowadays worldwide famous as the central market of Tokyo dealing fish, vegetables, commodities, and having cafe, restaurants, and stuff.  The management of the market  declared the market’s opening time for lay visitors to the fish, fruit and vegetable market sections to change. Currently, the opening time is 9:00am and is going to be 10:00am on and from the coming July 1st.

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However, the opening time of other facility sections and corners, such as restraurants, sourvenir shops, and others will remain  the same as the current one of 9:00am.   Some main functions od the market are going to rerelocated to Toyosu this November, so, visiting some sections at the market at Tsukiji is highly advised  before the relocation.

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Grand opening of “NEWoMan”, department store complex in Shinjuku

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 3月 28, 2016

A major department store chain “Lumine” opened its new commercial facility complex called “NEWoman” at the south exit of Shinjuku station Tokyo on this Mar.25. (http://www.newoman.jp/)

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This new facility showed up in one of the busiest areas in Japan consists of 5600㎥of 6 floors and  2000㎥ of three floors just above the station areas connected to a part of the station facilities. NEWoMan provides about 100 shops and expected to make 20- billion- yen revenue in its first year. Foods , cosmetics, fashion shops, cafe, a daycare,  clinics, an event hall ,and so forth are there and mainly targetting working generations  of females in thier 30-40s.

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Hotel Okura’s renewal construction plan

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 8月 31, 2015

The main building of Hotel Okura in Tokyo is going to be closed at the end of thsi August and a reconstruction will take place which will have finished by the coming spring in 2019 in order to meet the timing of preparation for the Tokyo Olympic games in 2020. (http://www.hotelokura.co.jp/tokyo/en/)

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The current main building of 11 floors with 408 guest rooms will be replaced by two new buildings of  41 floors and 16 floors with 510 guest rooms due to  decrepitude.  The current one was open n 1962, two years before the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964 as its preparatory inflastructure and now the new ones will be created as a preparation for another Tokyo Olympics in 2020. However, a lot of  people including foreign celebrities who have stayed at the hotel are reluctant to accept the reconstruction and against the plan of  demolision because  of  their sweet memories with building of  the beautiful conbinations of traditional Japanese artistic  and western modernism.  Famous writers,  foreign monarchs, well-known business people and so forth enjoyed the lavish stays at the hotel in the past 50-year history and some of those influential foreign visitors  even conduct protest sign-in campaigns against the demolision plan.  The culturally important asset of the hotel building might be spared and might be preserved in some other way due to the passions of  those who love those works and facilities.

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At any rate, the hotel will remain open in business operation even during the reconstruction utilizing its annex building.

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Tokyo Governor announces launching “Omotenashi Tokyo”

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 5月 31, 2015

Masuzoe Tokyo Governor hosted a regular press conference at the Tokyo metropolitan Government and announced the government launched a plan of volunteer city guide services called “Omotenashi Tokyo” to help foreign visitors to Tokyo as a part of special services in preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020 on this May 29th. (http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/ENGLISH/index.htm)

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Masuzoe also introduced and showed the blue uniform of  Omotenashi Tokyo, the volunteer city guide groups.  He told he had impressed by the Korean volunteer guides’ warm services he had received during his stay in Soul, Korea. The Korean volunteer guides wore red uniforms and now he has chosen “blue” ones for the Tokyo guide groups, expressing the similar hospitality of the volunteer guides.  He says  he expects the new system’s volunteer guides will be a good help speaking foreign laungages for foreign tourists to Tokyo.   Omotenashi Tokyo will start its services on Jun. 19 at Shinjuku station West Exit area and area of Ueno station, with about 1,000 enrolled member guides who are housewives, students and others that meet conditions such as a ceratain English proficiency. The services hours are 11:00-17:00 on Friday,Saturday,and Sunday and services will expand to 10 venue areas withen 5 years.

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The first Tokyo My Matsuri at Ueno park

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 4月 29, 2015

The first Tokyo My Matsuri was held April.25-26 at Ueno park, which is quite famous as one of the best sites to appreciate beautiful cherryblossoms in spring in Tokyo. (http://tokyo-dance.jp/yousu)

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This was a dancing festival and competitions of children’ dance teams supported by educational organizations and local commericial associations. About 50 teams joined the event and two teams of “SAKADO WINDS” and “dancecompanyREIKA組” won grandprix.  I wass there on the 26th and ate some food at  stall shops in the venue, The atmosphere there was quite lively and a lot of people were enjoying the festival. The second Matsuri is going to be held in Shinjuku on Oct.3-4.

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A blue cave illumination over Meguro River

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 11月 30, 2014

Meguro River, which runs through Nakameguro area that is a sophisticated bustling district in Tokyo popular among young people, now has a special illumination service for the first time Nov.23-Dec.25.

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In this service the the roads along the riverbank are all decorated with special blue lights all the course of about 500 m long. The illuminated areas look like fantastic  “Grotta Azzurra”, the Blue Cave on Capri Island in Italy.   Meguro River is very popular in spring for the cherry avenue along the river provides breathtaking beauty of  the cherry blossoms, So, this time Pink in spring and blue in late autumn-early winter can make a coloful contrast to make visitors there relaxed and comfortable.

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BRT will be introduced in Tokyo for Olympics 2020

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 8月 31, 2014

Tokyo Metropolis announced a new plan of introducing a BRT(bus rapid transit ) system in the central areas of Tokyo and its waterfront areas  in preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020 on 29th.

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The first od series of new bus routes will be one between Shinbashi and Toranomon this year, and the total plan is scheduled to be finished in 2019.  The central areas, such as Toranomon and Ginza and will be connected to the waterfront ones,such as Harumi and Ariake,and Odaiba where the Olympic village is to be built, with about 4 km distances in about 10 miutes by bus due to the new BRT using the Beltline No.2. The public traffic and transportation services are expected to be much more convenient to move around in polular  parts in Tokyo in coming years.

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Tokyo is elected as the host of the Olympic & Paralympic Games in 2020

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 9月 9, 2013

Tokyo was elected as the host of the Olympic Games by IOC at its general meeting held in Buenos Aaires on Sep.7th. (http://www.olympic.org/ioc)

Tokyo was elected  defeating other two candidates of  Madrid and Istanbul.At the first vote, Tokyo got 42 votes while the other two both got 26 each, which caused the second and third place decision vote. At that decision vote, Istanbul defeated Madrid  by  49 to 45 and  in such, the final vote was done to choose Tokyo or Istanbul. And Tokyo won by 60 to 36 in the final.  A lot of  people watching the live broadcast of the course of the meeting on TV gave exultant cries in many places all over Japan or even overseas, when the IOC president Jacques Rogge declared Tokyo was elected saying, “Tokyo !” producing the document with the name of the successful bidder “TOKYO 2020”.

Tokyo will have hosted Olympic and Paralympic games for the first time in 56 years in coming 2020. Personally, I have a “bond” with the last Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games  back in 1964 which was the first Games in Japan.  I was born on the closing day of the events and now I live near Komazawa Olympic Park which was one of the venues of  the events 49 years ago. In addition, at the presentation time for the candidates, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Tokyo Governer Naoki Inose, Christel Takigawa, a popular newscaster, and  HRH Princess Takamado, all of  whom made passionate and persuasive addresses in either English or French respectively. HRH Princess Takamado’s late husband HRH Prince Takamado made dedications in nature conservation activities where he helped my father.

This election is a proof that the international community now has recognized Japan’s good recovery from the aftermaths of  the earthquake and tsunami disaster in the northeast part of the country in 2011. Before the vote was done, PM Abe  assured the safety  answering a question about the worries of crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima and leakage of contaminated  water near there. He said,”Let me assure you the situation is under control,”  “It has never done or will do any damage to Tokyo.”, “You should read past the headlines and look at the facts,”  “The contaminated water has been contained in an area of the harbour only 0.3 square kilometres big,”  “There have been no health problems and nor will there be. I will be taking responsibility for all the programmes with regard to the plant and the leaks.”

Rogge said, “Tokyo is the most reliable bidder in committe members opinions that is expected to deliver safe and elaborately planned Games in order to pass on the sigificance of  sports to next generations.”

With those strong supports, expectations, and recognitions of  the  safety and reliability of  Tokyo or Japan by the international community,  it is highly expected that foreign visitors to Japan and Tokyo will  surely increase  even more from now on.

 

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“TOKYO LINE SHIBUYA station park~Three Days of Arigato and Sayounara”

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 3月 31, 2013
  As I wrote here before,  Shibuya station’s  Toyoko line building put an end to its 85-year history on March 15th.  Tokyu Corportaion  hosted a special event of  “TOKYO SHIBUYA station park~Three days of Arigato and Sayounara” March 22-24.(http://www.tokyu.co.jp/contents_index/guide/pdf/130308-1.pdf)

In the event the ex-Tokyo Line’s building was decorated as a festvitie’s venue of a “green park”, hosting  various programs such as jazz live concerts,  exhibitions of plarail  dioramas, and others.  the area was regarded as a green park and  visitors were allowed to pick stones used for the railroad tracks in token. A lot of  visitors including  fans of  Toyoko line, railroads, Shibuya and others enjoyed themselves with the items and events for a salute to the old Toyoko line building with “Arigato”(thank you) and “Sayounara”(good bye).

some rails and parts of the old tracks actually used were sold. Memorial plaques of old parts were made as well.

a memorial cut rail
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The 120th anniversary of pearl- cuturing technology

By TERRY - Last updated: 木曜日, 1月 31, 2013

This year 2013, the pearl industry commemorates the 120th anniversary of  pearl-culturing technology. 

 

Koukichi Mikimoto, the founder of  MIKIMOTO (http://www.mikimoto.com/jp/) whose flagship store is located in Ginza Tokyo succeeded in culturing pearls as the first case in the world in 1893.  Since then Koukichi was called “The King of Pearl”.

On this 30th  MIKIMOTO released a special accessory with pearls and jewels called “MIKIMOTO Pearl Crown “DREAMS&PEARLS”- twelve pearls and dreams”.

the item can change its form between a “crown” and a” necklace” and  has a shape of  12 flower blossoms made of big natural pearls of 5 different types and 3400 diamonds.  The designers took more than 2 years to complete this breathtaking and splendid pearl treasure.

To tell the truth, I am a distant relative of koukichi Mikimoto and recently on 18th this month, I learned a basic concept of pearls  at a  lecture program for tour guides jointly hosted by JGA(Japan Guide Association), the oldest and biggest guide- interpreters organization, and  TASAKI, a major pearl and jewelry store company like MIKIMOTO.  (http://www.tasaki.co.jp/)

Therefore, I am so happy I learned ABC of the concept of pearls in this special year to pearl industry.

 

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IMF/WBG Annual Meetings in Tokyo

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 10月 31, 2012

IMF(International Monetary Fund) and WBG(World bank Group) Annual meetings were held in Tokyo  for the first time in 48 years Oct.9-14.(http://www.imf-wb.2012tokyo.mof.go.jp/en/index.html)

Japan hosted such meetings 48 years ago which was the very same year that Japan  hosted Tokyo Olympics, which was a remarkable symbolic event of Japan’s successful recovery form the economic recession due to the post war aftermaths of WW2. Now, the Japan’s economic, political, and social positions and international community’s situations have drastically changed as well. This time the second  time’s phases have shown the historic exaltation of the country.

There were four venues of the event, namely, TIF(Tokyo International Forum),IM(Imperial Hotel),Hotel Okura, and  TCCI (Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry), all of which are located in the very center of this capital of Japan .    Totally official participants were from 187 countries and registered visitors and participants , their dependents amounted to about 20,000.   Top economic leaders of the world got together and Tokyo soaked in the heat and excitement of  the great festivity.  On the 12th, the plenary and official banquet hosted by Noda, the prime minister of Japan were held.

There were about 20 official hotels designated as official accommodation for the participants and dependents and  special hospitality programs were prepared which provided them with  various short trips such as on-day visit to Yokohama,  visiting Tsukiji  Fish Market,  Tokyo Sky Tree just built in this year, shopping at depachika (basement floors in  department stores ),cultural experience tour such as a tea ceremony,  learning how to wear kimono, and so forth. A lot of  participants and other registered visitors enjoyed those short tours or traditional Japanese cultural experiencing events.

The local host of the Annual Meetings were MOF (Minister of Finance) and Bank of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Government ,and so many people including volunteer staffers,  pro tour guides, escorts and others attended the visitors from all over the world.  The hosts, the government, and  others say more than 10 billion yen  revenue can be expected from this greatly worldwide financial series of events.  We hope this has influenced  betterment of Japanese economy, tourism, and society as a whole.

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Tokyo Sky Tree Grand Open today !

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 5月 22, 2012

Tokyo Sky Tree , the newest popular tourists’ destination of Japan at the moment finally hosted its Grand Opening  and started its operation today May 22nd 2012.http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/

 

Lucky 9,000 winners of the admission tickets of the obsevatories and other visitors visited the highestand newest tower in Japan.  Only one out of 335 applicants won the ticket to the First Obsevatory(350m high) for the entry there in daytime of the 22nd.

All the tickets to the First Observatory(/天望デッキ, Tenbou Deck) up to those for  Jul.10th can be purchased by advance reservation only.  The reserved tickets prices are;  Adult: 2,500 yen, Junior or Senior high school student: 2,000 yen, Elementary pupil: 1,400 yen, and  Infant: 1,100. From the Jul.11th and on, current- day tickets will be available and the prices will be;  Adult:2,000 yen,  Junior or Senior Student: 1,500 yen, Elementary Pupil:900 yen, and Infant: 600 yen. (1$≒80 yen, 1€≒102 yen)  In order to go up to the Second Obsevatory(/天望回廊, Tenbou Kairou) , surcharges are necessary (Adult:1,000 yen, Junior or Senior Student:800 yen, Elementary Pupil:500 yen, and Infant:300 yen).

It was, unfortunately, raining today 22nd, and as  strong winds began to blow in the evening, the elevator between the two observatories suspended its operation temporarily at around 17:30 and the Second Obsevatory closed at 19:30, which had orginally been planned to keep open until 22:00. Still, the illumination service started at 7:00 as originally planned.

The Tokyo Sky Tree started its history with huge enthusiasm and popularity supporeted by  people, and is expected to function as a new symbol of Japan.

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