Monthly Archives: April 2014

29 April 2014: Travel Stand Japan closed for Showa Day

Travel Stand Japan will be closed on Tuesday 29 April 2014, which is a national holiday in Japan (Showa Day = birthday of the Showa Emperor a.k.a. Hirohito, who reigned over Japan during World War 2). Many Japanese restaurants and banks will close; plan accordingly… and tell us before Monday if you want us to organize a special tour or activity for you on Tuesday in Tokyo or nearby e.g. Kamakura to see its Big Buddha statue or Hakone to see Mount Fuji. You can also visit our travel agency in Suidobashi today or on Monday for sightseeing tips or help to prepare a trip on Showa Day :)

We enjoy various flowers in Tokyo these warm days. No more cherry blossoms but nice purple wisteria flowers at some public parks, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Enjoy the Golden Week and your Spring holidays too!

Purple wisteria flowers and roof of Kanda shrine (Tokyo, Japan) in April 2014.

Yes in Japan private tours in English/French in Tokyo area (half day, 1 day or more)

For the convenience of foreigners travelling or living in Japan, our Japanese travel agency Travel Stand Japan now proposes private tours (half day, 1 day or several days) with tour conductor/guide speaking English or French in addition to local walks and traditional activities. We can meet you at your hotel or ryokan early in the morning if necessary :)

For a tour conductor/guide in Tokyo area, you pay the same basic price whether you are alone or come as a group (family, friends…):

This service is convenient and quite cheap if you spend holidays in Japan with your family or friends, do a business trip in Asia with colleagues who do not speak the Japanese language, attend an international conference in Tokyo with researchers or students… Besides, we highly recommend you to join a Yes in Japan private tour if you have only one day in Tokyo and are not sure how to get the best from it.

Family looking at carps in a pond at Happo-en (Tokyo, Japan) in April 2014.

During a 1-day private tour in Tokyo, you could for example eat great sushi at Tsukiji fish market, discover the recently renovated Kabuki-za theatre, savour a green tea in a nice tea house surrounded by trees and flowers, walk in small streets, meet shopkeepers, and end the day with a great night view or even live music! If the weather is not so good, you could instead admire Japanese samurai swords, traditional kimono dresses, Buddhist statues, Shinto lanterns at night, and the interior of a gorgeous wedding centre…

Kabuki-za theatre (Tokyo, Japan) in April 2014.

During a 1-day private tour near Tokyo, you can for example leave early for Hakone to see Mount Fuji, enjoy Japanese art, drink green tea while looking at a lake then relax at a hot spring. You could also enter a bamboo grove, see an impressive statue of Buddha and write a sutra in Kamakura! Of course, we can also accompany you to a Japanese festival or other special event.

Mount Fuji seen from Hakone (Japan) in April 2014.

Try to make early reservations for private tours, especially if you wish a tour conductor/guide at night, on week-ends, public holidays, or busy periods: New year (first week of January), cherry blossoms (March/April), Golden Week (end of April and beginning of May), and autumn leaves (October/November).

Enjoy Japan!

Purple wisteria flowers in Tokyo at Kanda shrine and Zenkoku-ji

In Tokyo today, we enjoyed the sight of purple wisteria flowers hanging on a terrace (easy to miss) beside Kanda shrine in Chiyoda area then at the Buddhist temple Zenkoku-ji of Shinjuku area. As wisteria is considered a flower of May in Japan, it was a good surprise to see these flowers so early in April during our walking tours “Insight Into Art: Origami? Shinto?” and “Kagurazaka, Charming Tokyo” with a traveller from Australia :)

Tour photo 1: Purple wisteria at Kanda shrine.
Purple wisteria flowers and roof of Kanda shrine (Tokyo, Japan) in April 2014.

Tour photo 2: Purple wisteria at Zenkoku-ji.
Purple wisteria flowers at Zenkoku-ji (Tokyo, Japan) in April 2014.

Enjoy beautiful nature in Japan :)

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Kanda shrine = 神田明神 (Kanda-myojin), Zenkoku-ji = 善國寺.
  • Tokyo = 東京, Chiyoda ward = 千代田区 (Chiyoda-ku), Shinjuku ward = 新宿区 (Shinjuku-ku).

New tour in Tokyo: “Insight Into Art: Origami? Shinto?”

We launched the Yes in Japan original walking tour in TokyoInsight Into Art: Origami? Shinto?” (reference W14B) without introducing it in this travel blog. Today is the day :) Our team strongly recommends you this new 2~2½ hours walk in English if you love Japanese art, traditions and religion.

Insight Into Art: Roof of a Shinto shrine, statue of a guardian dog and lanterns in Tokyo.

Feel the Japanese artistic sense through traditional and modern paper-based creations and through diverse religious designs… We will visit a dedicated centre and an exciting Shinto shrine where you may see many types of colourful “Washi” handmade paper, origami, Japanese paper dolls, Asian cut paper, statues of gods and horses, translucent and golden lanterns (wonderful when lit up at night)…

Insight into art: Crane-shaped origami at an origami centre in Tokyo in 2014.

Calendar for April 2014: Monday (09:30), Tuesday (16:30) and Thursday (16:30) with departures from the nice Hotel Niwa Tokyo. Please follow the link below to get up-to-date information and book this tour online.

Enjoy beautiful Japan while feeling its deep culture!

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Art of paper folding = 折り紙 (Origami), Japanese paper = 和紙 (Washi).
  • Shinto shrine = 神社 (jinja).
  • Hotel Niwa Tokyo = 庭のホテル東京 (Niwa-no-hotelu-Tokyo), Tokyo = 東京.

Get ready for our activities and walks in Tokyo!

We prepare our activities and walks with care to make them fun and interesting for you as well as authentic and beneficial to the locals. Still, we may have to adapt them due to the weather, religious/special events, busyness at shops… Your understanding will be greatly appreciated.

Our walks in Tokyo last 2~2½ hours. Please wear comfortable shoes and clothes adapted to the weather and suitable for walks. Japan has no special dress code for its streets, Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines but avoid big bags for narrow/crowded places. Do not forget your camera and wallet :)

Japanese Gods Grand Tour: Shinto gates and foxes at Takuzosu-inari (Tokyo, Japan) in February 2014.

Our activities in Tokyo last 1~1½ hours. We may remove our shoes and sit on tatami mats so please wear socks matching the season and clothes letting you sit comfortably without a chair. Also avoid strong perfume just before the activity. Thanks!

Washi Paper Time in Tokyo: diverse Japanese paper, collage illustrating Mount Fuji...

If you have any question, do not hesitate to e-mail, call or visit the Yes in Japan team in Tokyo.

Reservations and payments (Japanese activities & walks in Tokyo by Yes in Japan)

For practical reasons, we require reservations for all our Japanese activities and walks in Tokyo. Please read our latest Terms & Conditions before booking and contact us if you have any question.

You can book at our travel agency, by phone, by e-mail or on our Yes in Japan English Website until 18:30 on the last business day before the activity/walk. You can check the dates of the Japanese public holidays on our site if needed.

Our prices are in yens, all taxes included. You can pay at the gathering spot just before the activity/walk or earlier at our agency. Please prepare the exact amount in cash: payments by card or in foreign money are unavailable at the moment.

If you wish to join a walk/activity normally planned on a different day or hour, please contact us to check availability. We will be glad to make your trip in Japan a greater experience :)

Yes in Japan!

Terms & Conditions (Japanese activities & walks in Tokyo by Yes in Japan)

We have updated our Yes in Japan terms and conditions.

The Yes in Japan activities, walks and explanations are thought for foreign travellers and residents in Japan but Japanese citizens wishing to join are welcome. A legal representative must accompany children and teenagers (18 years old or less).

We prepare our activities and walks in Tokyo for small groups and give priority by order of registration if too many participants register for the same walk/activity on the same day.

Our walks include: all entrance fees and an English speaker knowing the area and Japanese culture. Our walks do not include: food and drinks (unless specified), souvenirs and other personal purchases… To know what our diverse Japanese activities include or not, please read their specific description.

The activities/walks in Tokyo are maintained in case of reasonable rain but may be cancelled if there is heavy rain, strong wind… Contact us to check in such a case.

Cancellation is possible free of charge until 18:00 on the last business day before the activity/walk. In case of later cancellation, we will charge 1.000 yens per person as “late cancellation fee”. We will not refund money if a participant does not complete an activity/walk for personal reasons.

Our staff may take photos of participants during activities/walks. Please write on our form how to give you access to them. We will not use or share these photos without your permission.

Please let us know any physical condition, allergy, religious restriction… that may influence your ability to complete an activity or walk. We may adapt our services for your convenience.

We look forward to meeting you. Enjoy your travel in Japan, enjoy your stay in Tokyo!

Yes in Japan

2013/2014 most popular walk in Japan: “Insight Into Art: Origami? Shinto?” in Tokyo

Our most popular Yes in Japan walk since 2013 is “Insight Into Art: Origami? Shinto?” in Tokyo (walk W14B)! From France, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden, the Philippines and the USA… everybody looked happy :) If you are interested in Japanese art, traditions and religion, you can join this walk in English 3 mornings/evenings every week in April, and probably every week of 2014/2015.

Insight into art: Crane-shaped origami at an origami centre in Tokyo in 2014.

We typically see many types of Washi handmade paper, origami, Japanese paper dolls, lucky charms, prayer plaques, statues of gods such as Ebisu, golden lanterns (wonderful when lit up at night), holy trees, a holy rock, and the inside of a colourful Shinto shrine… If you are lucky, you may also see a very cute holy horse, see a paper folding demonstration by a cheerful Japanese master, and meet artists! One of our American customers could even try a gorgeous samurai helmet made from paper at the workshop of the origami centre; this was a great sight :)

Kanda-myojin at night: statue of the god Daikoku.

Unexpectedly, most participants do shopping during this walk, buying beautiful Japanese paper, cute prayer plaques or unique lucky charms! This walk is really nice in any season, with a blue sky, rain or snow. When you stay in Tokyo, consider joining this walk starting at Hotel Niwa Tokyo (near Suidobashi station).

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Art of paper folding = 折り紙 (Origami), Japanese paper = 和紙 (Washi).
  • Shinto shrine = 神社 (jinja).
  • Suidobashi station = 水道橋駅 (Suidobashi-eki), Tokyo = 東京.
  • Hotel Niwa Tokyo = 庭のホテル東京 (Niwa-no-hotelu-Tokyo).

Pink cherry blossoms and Japanese bride in kimono at Tokyo-daijingu on 11 April 2014

This morning, we admired pink cherry blossoms and a charming Japanese bride in white kimono (traditional dress) at the peaceful Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine. The nice couple of travellers from Sweden that joined this “Kagurazaka, Charming Tokyo” walking tour in Tokyo was delighted :)

Most cherry trees in Tokyo have already lost their petals due to the rain but this cherry tree of the Yae-zakura species is in full bloom. With good travel tips or a guide, you can see beautiful cherry blossoms in Tokyo even after the peak of March/April!

Pink cherry blossoms at Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine (Tokyo, Japan) on 11 April 2014.

Tokyo-daijingu is known as the Shinto shrine that held the first Shinto wedding ceremony in Japan so it is the most traditional destination in Japan to see (and take a picture of) a Japanese bride in kimono…

Japanese bride in white kimono at Tokyo-daijingu (Tokyo, Japan) on 11 April 2014.

We exceptionally started this Yes in Japan 2014 tour at Hotel Niwa Tokyo (near Suidobashi station) for the convenience of our customers. The walk was longer than usual but it was a pleasure with this beautiful Spring weather :)

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Yae-zakura = 八重桜, Kimono = 着物.
  • Tokyo = 東京, Tokyo-daijingu = 東京大神宮.
  • Hotel Niwa Tokyo = 庭のホテル東京 (Niwa-no-hotelu-Tokyo).