Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo’

What a Universal design

April 2, 2015

Hi there. I am Masa. Today’s story is also about monkeys. That is Chimpanzee.

You may know well , if you have once been to Japan, there are so many vending machines. Especially in the center of Tokyo we feel we can find them every 50 steps.

Then, in Japan not only people but also Chimpanzee know how to use vending machine. You can see Chimpanzee using them in order to get canned drink at Tama zoo in Hino city. And they also know how to recycle the can. Please take look at these pictures.

mash the can
 First a Chimpanzee smash a can that he(or she) drank up.

putting in box

Next he drop it in the recycle box and get a coin.

putting a coin

Then he put a coin in the vending machine and got to get canned drink he want to drink.

got a drink can

Tama zoo is located west of Shinjuku. It takes about 1 hour from Shinjuku. You can take Keio-line from Shinjuku station and get off at Tamadobutsu-koen. Tama zoo is wide and a bit mountainous. I sometimes go there with my children and spend whole a day. There are some food shop but we usually enjoy picnic lunch.

Tama zoo is also famous by Lion bus.

http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/tama/index.html

Enjoy!!

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Cherry blossoms forecast 2015 – Vol. 1

January 29, 2015

sakura_front_1440x1080

Japanese weather forecast company, Weather Map announced today that they forecast the cherry blossoms may start to bloom in March 24 in Tokyo. Maybe it is too hasty to react nervously to this kind of announcement. Tomorrow’s weather forecast says it will SNOW in Tokyo !(@_@;).

But anyway we are such looking forward to cherry blossoms!! The tour in this season becomes very popular and easily becomes full. So if you are considering to join our bike tour, it is better to fix your schedule and book the tour 😉

Autumn Festival

September 19, 2013

As we wrote on our blog before, we have many Natsumatsuri (Summer Festival) in Japan, but Autumn is also a season to see lots of Akimatsuri (Autumn Festival) in the towns. Local shrines hold the festivals to thank gods for the harvest, so the significance is almost same as that of  Thanksgiving.

Here are some of the festivals holding Akimatsuri in this weekend. If you have a chance, please stop and have a look at them.

 

*Nezu Shrine   (5 min. walk from Nezu station on Chiyoda Line)   : Sep. 21- 22

*Atago Shrine (5 min. walk from Kamiyacho station on hibiya line) : Sep. 22-24

*Akagi Shrine (1 min. walk from Kagurazaka station on Tozai Line) : Sep 21-22

 

Enjoy long weekend in Tokyo!

Free Wifi spots in Tokyo – Update and wifi friendly hotel

June 21, 2013

wifi-icon11

There are more and more places starting to offer a free Wifi service these days compared to the time when we posted our blog last time about free Wifi spots in Tokyo.

[Convenience Store]

Seven Eleven : Seven Spot

Family Mart : Famima_Wi-fi

[Cafe]

Starbuck : at_Starbuck_Wi2

Denny’s : Seven Spot (Same as Seven Eleven)

[Subway]

Tokyo Metro : Manta

[Other]

Marunouchi Cafe Seek    1 min. from Tokyo sta., 5 min. from Yurakucho st.

Seibu department store   (Ikebukuro, Shibuya)   : Seven Spot

And of course   TGCT office  3 min. from Kayabacho sta.

 

And below is the list of hotels in Tokyo where you can use wifi in your room.

Keio Plaza Hotel  (will be available from the end of July ’13)
Jal City Yotsuya
Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premium 
Royal Park Shiodome
Shinjuku Washington Hotel 
Kanda Grand Central Hotel
Toyoko-Inn hotel chaine

 

Celebrate the 3000th. Guest since 2006!

June 27, 2012

This is the picture of our first tour in November 2006.  I still remember how I was excited when I found a new booking request e-mail arrived into my e-mail account! I had one couple from USA and one Canadian guest on that tour, and three guides (Masa, Carlos and I) wanted join the tour. So three guides for three guests 🙂 We didn’t have any cycling uniforms.

In 2006, we had 50 guests in one year. I had fun time on every tour. I sometime went out for beer together with the guests or even asked the guests to come to my place to have dinner together after the tour. Our guides (all are my friends) were enjoying the tour and enjoying to make friends from all over the world. Our tour operation was maybe still very immature and inexperienced but the guests are very patient and broad-minded.

In 2007, we had 103 guests in one year. Probably our tour operation was improved a little bit, but still we were enjoying the tour very much. At that time, we had only one tour (Route A) on Saturday only.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the number of the guests got increased a lot. We were all very surprised but very happy. We were of course enjoying the tour. With requests from the guests, we started different route, Route B on Sunday and finally on weekdays as well. In 2010, we had the 1000th. guest from Australia!

In 2011, until March 11th., everything went very well same as the previous year. But then that disaster occurred. All the reservation we had at that moment were cancelled. In April 2011, in such a circumstances, we still had 19 guests who still came to Japan and took our tour. We were so moved and cried happily. We enjoyed the tour with those amazing guests! We released and started Route C, although nobody had asked us 🙂 Actually we must have had the 2000th. guest in 2011, but did not notice. We were so empty-headed…

In 2012, the number of the visitors to Japan is gradually going back to normal. And…. finally we had the 3000th. guest. Originally we had estimated that the 3000th. guest might come in July or August this year judging from the record of the booking status. But actually “he” joined the tour on June 27th. We are so — excited and filled with deep emotions to think back that we enjoyed the tours with 3000 cyclists!!

I and other guides are enjoying the tour. We are often asked by our guests that aren’t we got bored as the tour routes are all same, but our answer is “NO, not at all” (so far!). We’re waiting you to join our tour, and please be our the 4000th. guest 😉 And of course I’m still very happy to go out for drink with you after the tour!

Thank you, Mark from Chicago, the 3000th. guest. Photo taken in the office after the tour with Mark (with our TGCT uniform), Alex, Erica, Sam, Jac, Palle, Sam and Angela!

Matsuri- Festivals held this weekend in Tokyo

June 6, 2012

Sanno Matsuri

A few major festivals will be held in Tokyo this weekend. As those festivals were cancelled last year because of the disaster happened in March, Japanese people are looking forward to those festivals especially this year.

1. Sanno Matsuri  at Hie Shrine

June 7 (Thu.) – 17(Sun.) 

Main Event :  Jinko Matsuri on June 8th. (Fri.)   :  This festival was originally started in Edo period, more than 380 years ago.  The three biggest festivals in Tokyo. Hundreds of people dressed in historical costumes will set off in a procession and parade in the center of Tokyo.<image> The scene is very gorgeous and very special, too.

– what time and where you can see the procession?

7:45  depart from Hie Shrine at Akasaka  >  10:10  Yasukuni Shrine  >  11:45  The Imperial Palace (Sakashita Gate) > 12:20  Tokyo Station (Marunouchi exit) > 13:25  Nihombashi Hie Shrine > 15:15  Ginza 4-Chome intersection >  16:15 Imperial Hotel > 17:00 Return Hie Shrine   Detail PDF

2. Tsukiji Lion Matsuri at Namiyoke Shrine, Tsukiji

June 7 (Thu.)  –  10 (Sun.)

Main Event :  Togyo on June 9 (Sat.). This year people’s passion and enthusiasm  are very special. The shrine’s name, ‘Namiyoke” literary means “keeping away from the wave”, because this shrine was originally established for fishermen. But this year everyone wants to commemorate for the victims from Tsunami and pray for the safety from the wave.

– what time and where you can see the Omikoshi (portable shrine)?

12:55 Depart from the shrine > 17:00 Tsukiji station > 21:00 Return to the shrine    Detail PDF

 

Don’t miss this chance if you are in Tokyo this time. Please don’t forget to bring your camera with you!

Annular Eclipse Observation Tour – May 21st. 2012

May 16, 2012

ImageThose who are lucky enough to be going to stay in Tokyo next Monday, will have a chance to enjoy observe annular eclipse if the weather is OK. (Explanation about annular eclipse, you can read here.) Last chance of annular eclipse in Japan was Sep. 23, 1987 and happened only in Okinawa and next chance will be Jun. 1, 2030 and we have to go to Hokkaido to ovserve it. But this time we don’t need to go anywhere, we can watch it here in Tokyo, that’s why it is so precious occasion and many people in Japan are looking forward to this great event.

Image

According to the forecast, the Sun will start to disappear at 6:19 am and annular eclipse will occur from 7:31 am for three minutes in Tokyo next Monday, May 21st, 2012.

We would like to take this opportunity to operate a special bike tour – “Annular Eclipse Observation + Early Sushi Breakfast at Tsukiji Tour”,and here is the program.

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Tour name :   Annular Eclipse Observation + Early Sushi Breakfast at Tsukiji Tour

Date  :   May 21st., 2012

Time  :  6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Four hours)

Tour Fee :  7,000 yen per an adult  (including observation glasses and Sushi breakfast at Tsukiji fish market)

Route  :  See below map

Reservation :  Prior reservation is needed. Please send us a booking request to info at tokyocycling.jp putting the title as “Eclipse Tour” We’ll send you back the confirmation.

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Tokyo Transport Pass is now available!

December 1, 2011

In Tokyo public transportation system is very extensive and convenient, but there are three companies to operate – Tokyo Metro, Toei and JR- and sometime that is very complicated especially for foreign tourists.

Adding to the current “Tokyo Tour Ticket”, new ticket  “Tokyo Transport Pass” is now available from December 1st. for a limited time only (Until the end of January).

A ticket valid for 2 days costs 2,500 yen, same that valid for 3 days costs 3,000 yen

Tickets are sold at JR East VIEW counter (1) Narita Airport no.1 terminal Basement, (2) Narita Airport no.2 terminal (3) Haneda Airport  2F.

This is available only for foreign visitors with foreign passport, so you should present your passport when you purchase it!

 

Summer festivals in Tokyo – 2011

July 13, 2011

Although lots of summer festivals are cancelled this year due to the tragic disaster in Tohoku area, still some of the festivals are scheduled to be held.  Some are especially for the memorial to the victims.

———————

July 13  – 15   7:00 pm —   Tsukuda Island Bon Dance Festival     @Tsukuda Island  (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho line  Tsukishima station  7 min.)

July 13 – 16  6:00 pm —  Yasukuni Shrine Mitama Festival  @Yasukuni Shrine (Metro Tozai line Kudanshita station 5 min.)

July 20 – 23   5:30 pm —  Kagurazaka Festival  @ Kagurazaka (JR / Metro Tozai line Iidabashi station  2 min.)

July 21 – 22  3:00 pm —   Shimbashi Koichi Festival  @ Shimbashi SL square (JR/Metro Ginza line/ Toei Asakusa line  Shimbashi station 1 min.)

July 23- 24 10:00 am- 5:00 pm  Edogawa ward Golden Fish festival @3-2-1, Kita Kasai, Edogawa-ku  ( Metro Tozai line Nishi Kasai station 10 min.)

July 26 7:20 – 8:00 pm   Katsushika Firework Festival  @ 7-17-13, Shibamata, Katsushika-ku  (Keisei Kanamachi line  Shibamata station 10 min.)

July 30  1:30 – 7:00 pm   Shinjuku Eisa (okinawa dance) Festival , Shinjuku  (JR, Metro, Keio, Odakyu line)

July 29 and 30  6:30 pm – 9:00 pm  Jizoson Bon Dance Festival @ Zojoji temple (JR Hamamatsucho station 10 min., Shiba Koen station of Toei Mita line 3 min. Daimon station of Toei Oedo line, Toei Asakusa line 5 min.)

Aug 3-6  7:00 – 9:00 pm  Tsukiji Honganji Bon Dance Festival  @Tsukiji Honganji temple (Metro Honganji station 1 min.)

Aug 6 7:30 – 8:30 pm  Jingu Gaien Firework Festival  @Jingu baseball stadium (Metro Ginza line Gaienmae station 7 min.)  *Need to buy the ticket http://jinguhanabi.nikkansports.com/

Aug 13    6:30 – 8:00 pm   Asakusa Lantern Festival @Sensoji temple – Sumida river park (Metro Ginza line/Toei Asakusa line  Asakusa station 3 min.)

Aug 27   7:00 – 8:30 pm   Sumida River Firework Festival @Asaskusa ( same as above)

Aug 27,28  3:00 – 6:00 pm    Koenji Awa dance Festival @Koenji (JR Koenji station 1 min.)

Aug 27, 28  10:00 am- 6:00 pm  Super Yosakoi Festival  @Harajuku (JR Harajuku station 1 mim.)

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On our bike tours, we sometimes come across those local festivals. Enjoy bike tour and you’ll feel as if you are locals!

GAMBARO NIPPON!   がんばろう日本!!


Summer Evening Tour will start on July 4th!

June 24, 2011

 We are still in the middle of the rainy season in Tokyo, but it is a break today and it’s very hot and humid already…

We’ll operate the evening tour this year again. This seasonal special tour is available on weekday during July 4th until September 30th. Please join us and enjoy nice and cool evening by bike!

You can check the details here!