Tag Archives: Japanese people

“World War 2” tour in Tokyo: Calendar for February 2015

Interested in Japanese history? Learn about World War 2 in Japan thanks to our original walking tour in Tokyo “After the War: Fighters and Civilians” in English or French on 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, or 27 February 2015. We usually gather around 09:30 near Kudanshita station at Hotel Grand Palace (Chiyoda ward).
Zero fighter plane from World War 2 in Tokyo (Japan).

This interesting tour includes a visit at Yasukuni Shrine and the National Showa Memorial Museum. Why? First, Yasukuni Shrine is one of the most important places related to war in Japan (although foreigners are more likely to think about Hiroshima and Nagasaki); it enshrines 2.466.000 souls of soldiers and ordinary citizens dead for Japan, and features unexpected statues! Second, the National Showa Memorial Museum has excellent exhibitions related to life in Japan around and during World War Two; we recommend you to visit this museum with Yes in Japan staff because explanations are almost only in Japanese language…

Check your calendar and make a reservation 🙂

Japanese culture in Japan at Yasukuni Shrine

At Yasukuni Shrine, you can have a glimpse into Shintoism (significant facet of the Japanese culture), examine Japanese religious architecture including impressive gates, visit an interesting military/war museum, occasionally see Japanese people in military uniform or students wearing the uniform of the National Defense Academy, and admire numerous cherry blossoms in Spring. In the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo, Yasukuni Shrine was founded by Emperor Meiji and enshrines 2.466.000 souls of soldiers and ordinary citizens dead for Japan… Visit this shrine if you go on a religious or historical tour of Japan!
Yasukuni Shrine (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan).

You can enter the sacred grounds of Yasukuni Shrine for free every day (weekends and Japanese national holidays included) from 06:00 to 17:00 in January and February but until 18:00 in March and April. Near Kudanshita subway station and the National Showa Memorial Museum, it is the Shinto shrine marked “17” on the Yes in Japan map of Tokyo Chiyoda (version autumn 2014 & winter 2014-2015).

Japanese culture in Japan at Tokyo Grand Shrine

At Tokyo Grand Shrine, you can discover the Shinto religion (important part of the Japanese culture), see traditional Japanese architecture, and meet many Japanese girls praying to find (or be happy with) their soulmate. Branch of Ise Grand Shrine in Tokyo Chiyoda ward, Tokyo Grand Shrine reputedly held the first Shinto wedding ceremony of Japan! It also sells diverse lucky charms with interesting designs 🙂 Do not miss this shrine if you go on a spiritual tour of Tokyo!
Tokyo Grand Shrine (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan).

The entrance to the sacred grounds of Tokyo Grand Shrine is free on weekdays and weekends (public holidays too). Near Iidabashi subway/train station, it is the Shinto shrine marked “16” on the Yes in Japan map of Tokyo Chiyoda (version autumn/winter 2014).

30 November 2014: Cheerful saxophone concert at Brasserie St. Bernardus!

Our French travel manager in Japan just enjoyed a cheerful live saxophone concert and delicious Belgian food with 2 friends at Brasserie St. Bernardus (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo). On this cold evening of autumn, the bar/restaurant was warm and full of Japanese people 🙂

The young but skilled musicians of the HotateQ group, 4 cute Japanese girls studying at Showa University of Music, played the saxophone from 19:00 to 20:45:
Saxophone concert at Brasserie St. Bernardus (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo) in November 2014.

As usual, the music was free 🙂 If you wish to enjoy such a concert in Tokyo, check the events schedule of Brasserie St. Bernardus, take the subway or train, get off at Kanda station, walk to Brasserie St. Bernardus, and take a good seat…

From Qatar for autumn photos in Tokyo, gifts made in Japan and a vegetarian buffet!

We guided a businessman from Qatar in Tokyo today, for the last day of his first stay in Japan. Leaving in a comfortable car from Tokyo Dome Hotel, we visited a Japanese garden, ate at a vegetarian restaurant, bought gifts at a shop owned by a couple of Japanese artisans, saw many tourist spots, and visited holy sites.

To make great photos of Japanese autumn with the morning light, we first strolled in the peaceful Rikugien garden (Bunkyo ward, Tokyo). Coming from Qatar, the traveller was particularly pleased with the seasonal yellow grass, trees with red leaves, green pine trees, and mirror-like pond, which were gorgeous under a big blue sky! The singing birds, lively carps, wooden bridge, lanterns, teahouse, and numerous Japanese grandmothers and grandfathers made this time very enjoyable 🙂
Tree with red leaves and yellow grass at Rikugien garden (Bunkyo ward, Tokyo, Japan).

Stone lantern and autumn leaves at Rikugien garden (Bunkyo ward, Tokyo, Japan).

We lunched early at Petit Bonheur in Chiyoda ward, enjoying a vegetarian buffet with fragrant and tasty vegetables and fruits from Japan. This popular restaurant was full but only two other men were in sight; we were surrounded by Japanese women!

After coffee, we looked at old buildings in the Kanda area of Chiyoda ward and went shopping at the wonderful shop Kanda Chonko to buy high-quality handmade gifts made in Japan for the businessman’s family: Japanese fans, bags, hairpins, a sumo wrestler kokeshi doll, a decoration made using rice grains, a miniature with a Japanese boy and girl in kimono…
Takemura (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan).

Our driver proposed a scenic tour to see and photograph important places in Tokyo before going to the Asakusa district: Tokyo train station, the fortifications of the Imperial Palace, the Ministry of Justice (old and new buildings), the National Diet Building, Tokyo Tower… and lines of beautiful trees with yellow leaves!
Tokyo Tower (Minato ward, Tokyo, Japan).

In Taito ward, we took an elevator for a great panoramic view of Asakusa: Asahi Breweries headquarters, Tokyo Skytree, Senso-ji Buddhist temple, the pagoda, the shopping street… We then entered the Thunder Gate, shopped lightly in the shopping street, received a handwritten document with a holy seal at Senso-ji Buddhist temple, visited Asakusa Shinto Shrine, and ate shrimp sushi 🙂 After that, it was time to go catch the flight back to Qatar at Narita international airport…

Update on 02 December 2014: A Japanese partner of the Qatari businessman called to thank us; our tour in Tokyo was praised 🙂 In fact, our English-speaking staff also spent a very pleasant autumn day thanks to this friendly visitor!

If you too wish to visit Tokyo with us, reserve a 1-day Yes in Japan private tour.

Yasukuni Shrine: Background, location, opening time, tour

Emperor Meiji founded the Yasukuni Shinto Shrine in 1869 to enshrine the soul of soldiers and ordinary citizens dead for Japan. It currently enshrines 2.466.000 souls including girls and women involved in relief operations on battlefields, students working in factories during wars… As you may know from international news, visits of Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese politicians are a major source of tension between Japan, China and South Korea!

Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo (Japan).

Yasukuni Shrine is in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo near Kudanshita subway station, Hotel Grand Palace, Tsukudo Shrine, and the Martial Arts Hall of Japan. In the second half of November, you can usually enjoy its beautiful alley of trees with autumn yellow leaves! Open for free from 06:00, it may close at 17:00, 18:00 or 19:00…

  • January, February: 06:00-17:00.
  • March, April: 06:00-18:00.
  • May, June, July, August: 06:00-19:00.
  • September, October: 06:00-18:00.
  • November, December: 06:00-17:00.

If you are interested in Asia or Japanese history, why not join the Yes in Japan tour “After the War: Fighters and Civilians“?

Yes, we make things happen in Japan!

Yes, we make great things happen in Japan! Join a holiday tour or traditional activity today or tomorrow, go shopping at exceptional specialist shops with a Yes in Japan interpreter (English-French-Japanese), learn about events, meet wonderful Japanese people, use our free map of Jimbocho area (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo city) with great hotels, restaurants and stores…

Free map of Jimbocho area in Chiyoda ward (Tokyo, Japan).

Any question? Do not hesitate to call, e-mail or visit our Japanese travel agency in Tokyo near Suidobashi station and Hotel Niwa Tokyo!