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Category Archive for: ‘Life in Tokyo’

Shichi-Go-San (“7 – 5 – 3”): Celebrating little kids becoming big kids

Starting to see lots of beaming children clad in colorful kimono (girls) or hakama (boys), often clutching sticks of red and white candy, wandering around shrines and temples? Is it late October to mid-November? If so, then it must be  “Shichi-Go-San” – a very special time for children and parents in Japan. “Shichi-Go-San” may seem like a coming-of-age ceremony, and …

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Making Sense of Tokyo

One of the most common refrains I hear from people, both online and from clients directly, is that “Tokyo is so overwhelming.” A frequent second is “I don’t think that I can navigate Tokyo on my own.” While Tokyo can seem overwhelming in the scale of its activity and the multitude of areas and neighborhoods, it is possible to get …

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Tips to make your visit to Tsukiji Market more enjoyable

  The Central Wholesale Market, more commonly known as Tsukiji Market, is one of Tokyo’s most popular destinations, and for good reason. It is the world’s largest fish market, its vendors selling more than 500 varieties of seafood from 700 stalls. Mountains of Styrofoam boxes greet the visitor prior to entering the market. Men with cigarettes dangling from lips or …

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Cherry blossoms in Ueno: more than 380 years of history and revelry

  After a long, cold winter the sight of the first cherry blossoms are a welcome sign of spring in Tokyo. Soon after the petals open to the sunlight, hordes of people come to camp out under the blossoms and one soon learns that the old saying hana yori dango (lit. “dumplings rather than flowers” – Better fill a man’s …

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What’s wrong with this picture?

For the average resident of Tokyo, they are invisible – seen so often that they become visual white noise, scrubbed from the conscious mind, but noted if absent.  For the visitor, their presence is ubiquitous, inescapeable and everywhere, marring any scene and impossible to ignore. They are of course the electric power lines skeining their way among and between buildings, …

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Neighborhood Watch – Tokyo style

 Out and about the other day scouting a new route and new sights for a new tour, I came across the following sign in one of the back streets of the Nezu-Sendagi-Yanaka area:  Signs like this are not uncommon, especially in the shita-machi (low city) parts of Tokyo, but they are usually more circumspect in the wording – most tend …

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