Monthly Archives: February 2014

DUVAL Sébastien at a seminar in Tokyo about Japan’s tourism industry

Our inbound travel manager, Mr. Sébastien DUVAL, attended this Saturday an interesting seminar about the future of Japan’s tourism industry organized in Tokyo by the Japanese Business School of Travel Industry. The participants discussed domestic, inbound and outbound travel. To know more, read Mr. Duval’s short note “BSTI & JAPAN’S TRAVEL INDUSTRY seminar at Trajal Hospitality & Tourism College“.

BSTi Business School of Travel Industry in Tokyo

Piano & song concert at Horizon, Italian restaurant in Tokyo

Café & Dining Horizon (Tokyo) holds special live music events such as Chika and Mary’s relaxing piano and song concert tonight. From 20:00 to 21:00, they performed alone then as a duo. Respectively from Tokyo and Yamagata prefecture, these two charming Japanese girls sang in Japanese language, which had a sweet feeling 🙂

Chika and Mary during a piano and song concert at Horizon.

Our inbound travel manager, Sébastien, savoured delicious pasta with Gorgonzola sauce while listening to the songs. His evaluation: nice food, evening, singers, and songs! His advice: reserve in advance because the entrance fee is only 500 yens (very cheap for Japan) and the restaurant was full tonight!

Gorgonzola pasta at Horizon.

To know about upcoming concerts at this Italian restaurant, check its Facebook page in Japanese or our dedicated page in English.

Thanks to Mary and Chika for allowing us to use their photos, and good luck for their next concert in Tokyo!

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Horizon = ホライズン, Tokyo = 東京.
  • Yamagata prefecture = 山形県 (Yamagata-ken).

Seashell decorations at Nago café, Okinawan restaurant in Tokyo

In addition to savoury Okinawan food, Nago café (Tokyo) features relaxing artworks such as the cute seashell decorations made by MIYAGI Sanami, Japanese artist from Chiba prefecture whom we met today. What do you think of them?

Seashell decorations at Nago café.

MIYAGI Sanami and her seashell decorations at Nago café.

Thanks to Ms. Miyagi for allowing us to use her photo, and good luck for her upcoming exhibition in Tokyo!

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Nago café = なごかふぇ, Tokyo = 東京.
  • Chiba prefecture = 千葉県 (Chiba-ken).

Good news: Online reservations for organized tours in Japan!

Good news! To help you prepare your travel to Japan, we have created a page for each organized tour/service and enabled online reservations on our Website. You can for example already reserve/buy walking tours with English-speaking guides including a visit at the charming Kagurazaka district of Tokyo or at the Shinto shrine Kanda-myojin.

Like in 2013, you can still directly e-mail us if you have questions. If you already visit or live in Japan, you are also welcome for a face-to-face discussion at our travel agency in Tokyo!

Note: We will soon improve our reservation interface but you can already tell the good news to your friends and colleagues 🙂

Enjoy organized tours in Japan!

Enjoy your Japanese holidays!

Admire, feel, hear & learn about summer/winter kimono fabrics in Kagurazaka (Tokyo)!

While preparing a walking tour in the Kagurazaka district of Tokyo yesterday, we discovered by chance the beautiful shop Kimono-hanabusa selling kimono fabrics near Iidabashi station.

The shop staff kindly showed us fabrics of many colours and patterns to tailor winter kimonos, even opening drawers to reveal out-of-season fabrics for summer kimonos. The kimono fabrics were light, soft, pleasant to touch, and made the faintest sounds; the fabrics designed for the hot and humid Japanese summers contained tiny holes to lighten the fabric and let air flow. These few minutes of explanation (in Japanese language) were pleasant and quite interesting.

Winter kimono fabrics in Kagurazaka district.

Making traditional Japanese clothes “kimono” remains a big business all over Japan, not just in Kyoto. Geisha/maiko and the female staff of Japanese inns “ryokan” typically wear a kimono every day. Many ordinary Japanese girls/women and a few foreigners also wear a kimono in everyday life or during a special event: Coming of Age Day (20 y.o.), one’s Shinto wedding ceremony, somebody else’s wedding ceremony (Shinto or not), a Japanese tea ceremony, a iaido practice (Japanese martial art with a sword)…

If you stay in Japan for several weeks and can afford it, you can even get your own tailored kimono dress in Kagurazaka!

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Kimono-hanabusa = きもの英.
  • Kimono = 着物.
  • Kagurazaka = 神楽坂, Tokyo = 東京, Iidabashi station = 飯田橋駅 (Iidabashi-eki).

Find true love at Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine with Japanese girls!

Natural and mystic island in a modern district of Tokyo, Tokyo-daijingu is reputedly the shrine where the first Shinto wedding occurred. We arrived there under a blue sky this warm afternoon (15℃) to celebrate Spring (traditionally starting today in Japan) and the Year of the Horse!

Entrance of Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine.

Among the trees near the entrance, a pink-blue-green dragon greeted us for the purification ritual, providing holy water to cleanse our hands and mouth. Next, we glanced at the red and purple flags, climbed a few steps then stepped through wooden-golden gates. The wooden roof immediately caught our attention with its characteristic shape and golden ornaments shining over the blue sky.

Japanese girl drinking holy water before Tokyo-daijingu's dragon.

Quietly queueing behind numerous Japanese girls come to pray to find true love, we had the time to examine votive plaques decorated with horses; some beautifully reflected the sunlight!

Horse on a votive plaque at Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine.

Approaching the main hall, we could hear coins thrown into wooden boxes as offerings and hand claps preceding or following silent prayers. Our turn came, we glimpsed a few Japanese attending a Shinto ceremony in the hall, bowed, clapped our hands, prayed, clapped and bowed again…

Japanese girls praying to find true love at Tokyo-daijingu.

Afterwards, we joined a crowd of Japanese girls gathered around diverse colourful lucky charms (local speciality: find true love) and fortune slips. Sébastien left Tokyo-daijingu shrine with a light transparent lucky charm featuring a 3D horse; may it protect him well in 2014 🙂

Lucky charms at Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine.

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Tokyo = 東京, Tokyo-daijingu = 東京大神宮.