Festivals are the best way to see the real Japan- they are not just tourist shows. try to gatecrash a local shrine or town festival in the summer. experience new year or , my favourite, hanabi. Hanabi are firework festivals held in summer. They are well planned, well attended and great. Pitch your riverside spot days in advance or just turn up a nudge in on someone elses. wear a yukata or jimbe and watch the fantastic displays. Edogawa was good last year.
The Tokyo Hanabi Festival, occurs annual during the summer months, is a great time and place to gather with friends and have a picnic with the firework show as a finale.
2003 commemorated the 400th anniversary of Shogunate Tokugawa making Edo, now called Tokyo, his
You'll notice the nice traditional robes (ukadas) worn by the locals (and foreigners alike) during these summer festivals.
Several times in history, Tokyo has been almost destroyed -- by fires, earthquakes, floods and war -- but it has always rebuilt itself. That might explain why it retains only vestiges of Old Japan. You'll find an amazing hodgepodge of old and modern architecture, often side by side, and a maze of streets where even taxi drivers lose their way. You can get utterly lost just a few moments' walk from your hotel. It is a safe place, however, and a relatively good city to be lost in, with kobans (police boxes) interspersed throughout the metropolis and shy but friendly people who almost always help if you ask.
Well, a Japanese convenience store (konbini) is part of modern Japanese culture and are very different from Western convenience stores. These days you can buy concert tickets there, pay all of your bills, do your banking, buy some lunch (with some beer), read a magazine or two, and buy a strawberry and cream sandwich (huh!!) or a yakisoba roll (double huh!!).
If you like traditional arts you must see this group, they describe themselves like this on their page: "Kodo is a group of japanese drummers that perform on a worlwide scale but remain rooted in the local comunity of Sado Island Japan"
It's amazing, if you hear about a KODO tour get a ticket, you will never see something like that if it's not in their shows.
For some high tech hysteria you have to go play some games in an arcade. I wouldn't blow my money on the games where you try to win a stuffed animal. But the ones for pure fun are amazing. The photo booths &
"neo printo" little sticker photo booths make great souvenirs.
Baseball games are great. The crowd has as much spirit as any American game and its hilarious seeing businessmen in suits screaming at the top of their lungs. In such an intimate setting, watching a great game and eating noodles is fantastic. Go to the fence and beg for a ball. Nothing better.
TEA CEREMONY is a cultural must!!! what would your voyage be without experiencing the preparation and tasting of green tea!!! see my tea ceremony travelogue for more pics:))
this one was an interactive ceremony where also i got to try out my tea whipping skills:)) the real formal ones may take several hours, so watch the way you sit!!! you might not be able to get up from that tatami mat having sat the traditional japanese style for hours!!! i had to correct my position already after 10 minutes:)))
Every stop of the metro must have something to see. Shopping is a must in those department stores. There are always some funny and interesting shops around the corner. Try to walk along the street and you can easily find something you never expect!
And very Japanese!! When a worker in Japan goes on a trip, (and in the case of where I work!) even a one day trip to another city, they are expected to bring back an 'omiyage' = souvenir. This is pretty organized, it means a box of crackers/cookies. The Japanese are not silly. Why lug around boxes of cookies etc. while sightseeing? So... buy them on the train on your way back! They are the same famous 'brand' cookies etc., the same price and you only need to carry them from the train to your door! Great!! EVERYONE DOES THIS!!! You'd be considered crazy NOT to!
Tokyo is a very clean and safe city. One of the tings that really amazed me were the vending machines that sell drinks and snacks. They are just kept in the street and no one seems to vandalise or steal from them.
Gadgets and Bits and Electronic Things
The locals in Tokyo really love new technology, but often it complicates life a lot more than you can expect. They have little buttons and controls for everything, and often the instructions are not in English. You have to be really careful when you use the toilet, as there are lots of controls to very the seat temperature, flush control and fountain control. My first trip to one of these toilets in Tokyo was very awkward, as I turned on the fountain and could not turn it off. The whole cubicle was flooded out - lucky there was no one around.
Just experience the bustle of the city...
Tokyo must be one of the biggest cities in the world, and it is probably safer than most cities. I really enjoy exploring all the little neighbourhoods, as there are so many little eating houses, pubs and interesting little tea houses - in some areas, there are big temples. The people are very hospitable. and I have not heard of anyway being in danger here... so it is quite fun.
i was walking by a temple neat the Tokyo Tower and i saw these little statues.. i wonder what they are.. but i like them
i thought it would be a cemetery or somethign
Facts: Bunraku is only performed by puppets.It takes three pupeteers to move each puppets.Two pupeteers wear a black hood while the other one exposes his face.