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Private Tokyo Custom Half-Day Tour by Chartered Vehicle
"This is a private tour by a chartered vehicle. Using this service you can charter your vehicle Limousine Van or Bus which is most suitable for your group and visit many attractive sightseeing spots. You don't have to hurry for any other tourist. This tour is only for your group!Tour route is flexible and can be arranged upon your request.Recomme Empress Shoken.- The Imperial PalaceThe Imperial Palace has been the home of Japan's Imperial Family since 1888. It is built on the same location Edo Castle.- AsakusaWhen approaching the temple visitors first enter through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) the outer gate of the Sensoji and one of the most popular sights of traditional Tokyo."
From JPY45,454.00
 
Private Tokyo Custom Full-Day Tour by Chartered Vehicle
"The ultimate tour of Tokyo! You can see all of the interesting places in Tokyo area. The capital Tokyo has the beautiful contrast between metropolitan skyscrapers and traditional culturre!Tour route can be arranged upon your request.R visitors first enter through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) the outer gate of the Sensoji and one of the most popular sights of traditional Tokyo.Option: (We will be able to arrange an custom-made itinerary for you. Please inform us at least 2 weeks in advance. )- Edo Tokyo MuseumPreserves the historical heritage of Edo-Tokyo displaying the original town with their lifestyle and culture of all eras. (Closed on every Mondays)- Tokyo Sky TreeThe tallest tower in the world (634m) has just opened on May 22 2012. The landscape from the top is outstanding.- Odaiba areaRainbow Bridge
From JPY89,286.00
 
1-Day Tokyo Bus Tour
"During your 8.5-hour tour in an air-conditioned coach you will have the chance to experience a great number of must-see landmarks in Tokyo such as the Imperial Palace Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa Tsukiji Fish Market and a Tokyo Bay Cruise. A fluent English-speaking tour assistant will escort you and the coach also has an audio guide in English Spanish
From JPY8,000.00

Tradition Tips (33)

Automated food ordering machine

Of our first night in Tokyo, due to late arrival, and in the dark, we didn't bother of walking any further to search for restaurant. The first restaurant we found is this one, just nearby from our hotel. We went inside and there was only one customer.

We took immediately a place in the table, and a guy who work inside came to us and ask if we already made an order? he speak English though. We say what order? and so he show us how to order. He went with us outside to the machine. We were laughing, (giggle).

Insert the money, the machine accept bills and coins, since this our first night in the city, we only have bills. But the machine give a change back. Choose the photos of dish you want, and price is also stated. After choosing dish you receive a receipt and bring this inside and give to the chef cook. It didn't take long our order arrived. It was a simple dish, but delicious and wasn't expensive.

There were a few of this restaurants in Tokyo, I think is made for people who doesn't have much time. It is a good idea in this city. We haven't seen this kind of restaurant yet, this is the first time in Tokyo. In the restaurant inside there weren't much tables, so I called this an express restaurant.

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shavy
Feb 19, 2015

Buddhist Temples

The Buddhist religion has been observed in Japan since the Sixth Century and possibly earlier. About 70 percent of Japan's population claims to be Buddhist, but many are also Shinto, as the two religions have much overlap in beliefs. Buddhist temples are plentiful around Japan, and are primarily used to store sacred relics rather than as a place of collective worship. There are about 77,000 Buddhist temples in Japan, but they have been closing at a rate of 100 per year since World War II.

The entrance to a Buddhist temple complex is usually marked by a wooden gate with doors and a large wooden roof, but the entrance could also have a simple torii gate of Shinto origin. The gates typically have a pair of guardian statues. Most temples are constructed of wood, and dominated by a huge roof. Around the outside of the temple you will often find a wide veranda covered by the roof, but distinctly separate from the interior.

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Ewingjr98
Nov 03, 2012

Mikoshi shrine festival in Shibuya neighborhood

One recent Sunday, I was wandering around the city and I ended up in the neighborhood of Shibuya, which is maybe not quite a high-end as Ginza, but it is more neon and more popular among the young crowd.

While wandering around Shibuya, I heard whistles, drums, and chants, so I had to check it out. I wandered over to one of the side streets, and there was a mob of Japanese men and women, all dressed in similar shirts carrying a gold shrine, kind of like the ark of the covenant. I watched until it passed, then a few minutes later, I saw another similar group, also hauling a little shrine. Of course, little is a relative term, the shrine itself was probably five feet by five feet at the base and perhaps five feet tall, supported on four 20-foot poles resting on about 40 people's shoulders. I wanted to get a good photo, so I got close, just as they stopped for a quick break.

I hung out for a few minutes snapping photos, until I noticed one of the guys in the crew was a westerner. After verifying that he was an English-speaking westerner (an Australian to be exact), I asked what was going on. He said the shrines, called mikoshi, carry the spirits of a Japanese deity who was worshiped at a local Shinto temple. He said the shrine weighed about 400 kg (almost 900 pounds), but again this spread out among about 40 people at any one time. In a casual Australian way, he said to me, "would you like to give it a go?" I kind of looked at him funny, especially after he said I would have to remove my shoes to partake. He offered me his cotton happi coat (that is really what it's called; Google it), and I handed him my backpack now loaded with my shoes. He said the break would last just another few minutes, then we had a 20 minute trek up the hill to one of the love hotels. He also offered me a towel that he used to pad his shoulder (which was very important, though I still ended up with a bruised and sore shoulder).

I grabbed one of the positions on one of the outer beams, and dozens of people crowded around to help lift the shrine. The up and down motion of the group kind of forced us to slowly jog in place as we moved the shrine around town. During our journey to the love hotel (rest 3000 Yen, all night 5000 Yen), we stopped occasionally to point the shrine at various business and homes, as if to bless the buildings and their occupants. Finally, we made it to the love hotel, where they set out wooden saw horses in the middle of the street to park the shrine. Parking turned out to be quite an ordeal, and the drill sergeant made us back up and realign on the horses a number of times before we was satisfied. He blew his whistle and clapped his wooden blocks together to let us know we were in place. The front was slowly lowered, all of the people under the middle of the mikoshi scurried out, and we lowered the back on another saw horse. Next we did the ritual clapping (clap, clap, clap…. clap, clap, clap… clap, clap, clap… clap!), then I exchanged the happi coat for my shoes, and I enjoyed a beer provided by the sponsor business. They also had soup, noodles, corn on the cob, soft drinks, and candies. This was really a family event, both wives and children in tow, though a few of the women even helped carry the shrine.

My next challenge was finding my way out of the love hotel district and back to Shibuya Crossing.

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Ewingjr98
Sep 17, 2012

See the pageantry of a Shinto wedding

On a beautiful Saturday in March, we decided to visit General Nogi's house and its attached Shinto shrine. The General was a count who was involved in the battle for Port Arthur, losing many of his men in the process. Apparently, he sought permission to commit ritual suicide to atone for the defeat, but his emperor refused. A decade or so later, as the emperor's funeral cortege was leaving the palace grounds, the general and his wife killed themselves. Their devotion to the emperor and each other was honored by creating a shrine particularly devoted to happy marriage. We wandered around, simply enjoying the beauty of the site. The landscaping was so exquisite, with many sakura and other ancient trees and tremendous use of moss and shrubbery to delineate various areas of the grounds. After we'd looked at the house and stables, we went down the hill to the shrine itself and were incredibly fortunate to find that a wedding was about to take place. The bride and groom were posing for traditional photographs as we arrived, but shortly thereafter they each went to be dressed in special clothing. A shrine attendant swept the granite walk with a twig broom. Then there was the sound of a taiko drum, which marked the beginning of the procession -- other musicians, the groom and his attendants followed by the bride with her parents, a factotum dogging her footsteps in order to keep a large red parasol over her head. A large party of what were presumably family members tagged along behind the group. The guests had been instructed to stand on either side of the walk and clap as the bridal party passed, but so many of them were taking photographs that the applause was tepid. (Wasn't I fortunate to have Mishu with me to translate all this? It made for such a rich experience!)

I'll say more about Japanese wedding traditions when I write about the Meiji Jinju.

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Bunsch
Sep 29, 2010
 
 
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Girls Dress Up for 7th Birthday

The 7th birthday marks an important year in a girls life, according to Japanese tradition, and no better place exists in Tokyo than the Meiji Shrne for observing this. Apparently, the seventh year can be dangerous for young girls, so they should visit a shrine to pray for protection during the next 365 potentially hazardous days. Some girls do their best to ensure this protection by dressing in elaborate kimonos and have their picture taken by various family members (as well as passing tourists like me!). It's quite a colorful sight!

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AKtravelers
Oct 23, 2009

Women in Traditional Dress

It is possible to see women wearing tradtional clothing wandering the streets of Tokyo. In fact, if you want, you can even buy kimonos in stores (see me shopping tip). That's because many Japanese people still will wear traditional clothing on ceremonial or festive occassions. I saw these two women in line for something appararently important in Asakusa. Even though it was a Saturday morning, all of the men were in suits and a few of the women were in kimonos (others were dressed very nicely). In the Ginza, you can see other traditionally-dressed women whose mployment might require it -- maybe they're geishas! However, if you want to see real geishas with their faces painted while, Kyoto's Gion is a better place.

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AKtravelers
Mar 09, 2009

Shibuya meeting place

We were missing our pets back home when we got out of the station at Shibuya, and found the statute of Hachiko, the "most loyal dog in Japan" -- an akita whose master was lost in the war, but who waited patiently for his return. The statue is a great place for meeting people in case you get separated! As an aside, Richard Gere was recently in my home state, Rhode Island, filming a movie about Hachiko. I somehow doubt it will resonate! The surrounding district is full of shops, many youth-friendly restaurants, and interesting sights.

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Bunsch
Dec 13, 2008

Sticky rice

Rice is consummed in Japan for more than 2000 years. Even the word used for "rice" means also "meal". Well..everyone is familiar with rice, the only difference in Japan it's quite sticky, but from the other hand it's easier to pick it up with chopsticks. Please never pour soy sauce into the rice, it's not japanese tradition, it's chinese. Also when you eat sushi, better before dumping it into soy sauce turn it upside down, that keeps the rice from crumbling.

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angelochka
Nov 19, 2006
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o00o

"T o k y o"
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Bunsch

"Tragedy in Japan"
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dennisKL

"Tokyo"
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Wild_Orchid

"Tokyo - I love this place ! Old, New, & Happening"
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kdoc13

"Tokyo"
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Summer Matsuri

Tokyo in summer is facinated with all sorts of Matsuri.
you can simply enjoy Hanabi (Fire Crackers) at Sumida River and then to other Matsuri elsewhere in Tokyo.

Came and exploring yourself in this wonderful city.

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o00o
Jul 23, 2006

The Shrine's wishing plate - 'Ema'

Shrine visitors write their wishes on these wooden plates and then leave them at the shrine in the hope that their wishes come true. Most people wish for good health, success in business, passing entrance exams, love or wealth. You may write in any language from English, Chinese to Japanese.

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dennisKL
Oct 07, 2004

Visiting Japanese Shrine(Purification through)

Before you entering a shrine in Japan, you must get yourself clean before doing the prayer. Refer to my cutie face picture you will know what should you do before you entering. You can find this on every entry of the shrine....is a Japanese culture. Found near the entrance, the water of these fountains is used for purification. You are supposed to clean your hands and mouth before approaching the main hall.

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dennisKL
Oct 07, 2004

How to visit a temple II

Put the incense into the incense burner and fan some smoke towards yourself as the smoke is believed to have healing power. For example, fan some smoke towards your shoulder if you have an injured shoulder.

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dennisKL
Oct 07, 2004

Things to Do Near Tokyo

Things to Do

Imperial Palace(Kokyo Gaien National Garden)

This is a photo of one the guardhouses that surround the palace grounds. These used to be used to keep the imperial family in splendid isolation maintaining a aurora of deity. Today the grounds are...
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Things to Do

Chidorigafuchi

Chidorigafuchi is a section of Second Moat of former Edo Castle characterized by its width exceeding 100 meters, so much so it looks more like a dike pond. The moat is best known as one of the most...
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Things to Do

Kitanomaru Park and Budokan

Originally built as the stadium for Martial Arts Events for 1964 Olympics, the stadium is often the very reason Tokyo tourists visit this park. Budokan is better known as the venue for the concerts...
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Things to Do

Science Museum (Kagaku-gijutsu-kan)

Science Museum, also known as Kagaku-gijutsu-kan (literally the museum of science and technology) is one of the most popular hands-on science and technology museums targeted for children. It is...
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Things to Do

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Crafts Gallery

Also known as Kogeikan, this detached gallery of National Museum of Modern Art, about 400 meters west of the main building is one of the rare architectural properties in Tokyo which survived the...
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Things to Do

Wadakura Fountain Park

Wadakura Fountain Park is located at the far corner of Kokyo Gaien National Garden and east of Imperial Palace East Gardens. It is noted for the fountain show which has the fixed pattern according to...
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