Things to do in Tokyo

Things to do in Tokyo

Tokyo is an extravagant amalgam of the old and the new. Traditional temples and markets stand side by side high-tech gadgets and skyscrapers. There are, for instance, stone lanterns scattered among the most modern buildings.

As the streets in Tokyo are terribly crowded, you will find people in the streets dressed in all sorts of styles. Traditions, variety and craziness bring this city to life which has an infinite activities to offer. Here are some suggestions of things you can do in Tokyo:

Tsujiji Fish Market: Don't miss the opportunity to visit the world's largest and busiest fish market. It handles more than 400 different types of seafood from cheap seaweed to the most expensive caviar, and from sardines to tuna and whales. The most interesting part is the Tuna Auction, though tickets are issued on a first come, first serve basis. Check their website to see if public access is permitted during the day you want to visit. In the market, you will see fishmongers filleting the day's catch or have a succulent sushi breakfast. Also, there is an alternative to the wholesale market which is the Tsukiji's outer market. This is a warren of narrow streets packed with stalls selling fresh seafood and even wasabi.

Sumo: this is how Japanese people have fun. If you happen to be in Tokyo during one of the three gran tournaments in January, May and September, you will see more action at Ryogoky Kokugikan, Tokyo's National Sumo Hall, than you would expect from Weezer's video "Hash Pipe".

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden: This is the most beautiful green space in Tokyo. If you want to escape the crowds, this is the place for you. Get a map in English and as you stroll, visit the major gardens: English Landscape, French Formal, Japanese Traditional space with teahouse and the Mother and Child Forest. Don't miss the Taiwan Pavilion, enter and look out the second-story windows. In this garden, you can also have a picnic or buy take-away items at the gourmet food hall in the basement level of Takashimaya department store. You can also shop in a massive department store in the mega-mall complex called Times Square, where you will find anything from gold body stockings to Japanese tea sets and stationary.

Tokyo Superstitions

Tokyo Superstitions

Supernatural forces also dwell in modern cities such as Tokyo. If you visit the city, make sure you are aware of locals’ superstitions, so you can take advantage of the city’s good fortune or at least avoid bad luck.

The curse of Roppingi Hills: According to a recent urban legend, Roppongi Hills is cursed. People say that residents of Roppongi Hills are doomed. The building opened in 2003, and has since seen a number of its residents fall from grace, related businesses become embroiled in scandal and one child died in gruesome circumstances.

The curse has become something of an urban legend. There are a few reasons attributed to the building’s bad luck. First, its address since there are three sixes in Roppongi 6-chome Roppongi Hills. Second, the building looks like a grave stone. Historically, the idea that it was built on the very ground that witnessed the deaths of some of the 47 Ronin in the Ako Vendetta legend committed ritual suicide after avenging their master’s honour.

Such are the repercussions of the superstition that the property management company imposes many regulations on the owners of the residence to prevent them from performing harmless hobbies like gardening on the balcony.

Love and the lights of Tokyo Tower: People of Tokyo believe that your love will last longer if you watch the lights of Tokyo Tower get turned off with your partner.

In contrast, Tokyo can also break couples apart. Legend tells that couples who take a boat ride on the pond at Inokashira Park might break up prematurely. According to the superstition, Benzaiten (the Buddhist goddess of wealth and carer of the pond) gets jealous watching happy couples. Well, don’t we all?

Love lost while queuing... This belief might cross the threshold from superstition to science. It is believed that new couples visiting Tokyo Disney Land will suffer a short romance. This is because the length of the queues tests their chemistry and many discover they don’t have much in common.

Sanja Festival

Sanja Festival

Sanja Festival is one of the widest and largest festivals in Tokyo, which takes place every May at Asakusa Shrine and attracts 1.5 to 2 million locals and tourists every year.

The festival is celebrated over the course of three days and features notable parades which revolve around three mikoshi (three portable shrines referenced in the festival’s name), as well as traditional music and dancing.

In the same line of many Japanese festivals, Sanja Matsuri is a religious celebration. This weekend-long Shinto festival is dedicated to the spirits of Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari and Hajino Nakatomo, the three men who established and founded Senso-ji. Legend tells that two fishermen - brothers named Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari - found a statuette of the Bodhisattva Kannon caught in a fishing net in the Sumida River on May 17, 628. The third man, a wealthy landlord named Hajino Nakatomo, came to know about the discovery, spoke to the brothers and converted them to Buddhism.

The three men dedicated their lives to the Buddhist faith and sanctified the statue in a small temple. Today, this temple still stands and is known as the Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo, which is home to the Kannon statue.

The atmosphere around Asakusa during the festival is very lively. People crowd the streets surrounding the Senso-ji while the sound of flutes, whistles, chanting and traditional Japanese drums bring the district to life.

The festival’s main attractions are three Asakusa Shrine-owned mikoshi that make their appearance on the third and final day of the festival. These three intricate black lacquered-wood shrines are conceived to act as miniature versions of Asakusa Shrine. Each mikoshi is decorated with gold sculptures and painted with gold leaf.

Even though the three main mikoshi are the most important objects roaming the streets during the Sanja Matsuri, about 100 other smaller mikoshi are paraded through the neighbourhood on Saturday.

Bon Jovi is coming to Japan

Bon Jovi is coming to Japan

Who can ever have a enough of the rocker cowboy that lives on a prayer? With their ecstatic tunes, the 80s band from New Jersey Bon Jovi is going to rock Japan this December.

Music lovers, rejoice! Bon Jovi will perform in two cities of the country: Osaka and Japan. The concerts will take place in December 3rd in Osaka - Osaka Dome venue - and December 4th in Tokyo - Tokyo Dome venue.

Both gigs are part of the band's tour titled "Because We Can". Fans will be able to enjoy classic tunes such as "Runaway", "Livin' on a Prayer", "You Give Love a Bad Name", "I'll Be There For You", "Bed of Roses", "This ain't a Love Song", "It's My Life", "Born to be My Baby", "Bad Medicine", plus new songs such as "Have a Nice Day", "That's What the Water Made Me", "Lost Highway", "What About Now" and "You want to Make a Memory".

"Because We Can: The Tour" is a concert tour in support of Bon Jovi's twelfth studio album "What About Now". The tour is named after the lead single from "What About Now". The tour has has embarked the band on a journey through all five major continents, including places never visited before such as Bulgaria and Poland, where the tour ranked 1st on Pollstar's annual "Top 100 Mid Year Worldwide Tours".

The concerts in Japan are very promising as the tour has received amazing reviews so far. The legendary singer Jon Bon Jovi usually opens the shows with "What's What the Water Made Me" with a unbelievable energy that resembles the Boss.The song "You Give Love a Bad Name" sends the audience out of this world in an ecstasy. And the rest of the show proves Bon Jovi to be the mythical band they are with 30 years of trajectory.