This Week in Tokyo – 31 March 2020
Welcome to ‘This Week in Tokyo’, a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in the city. Hosted by Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide, you can check out photos from our tours and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis, and beyond! This week: Rebirth; Tokyo 2020 in 2021; COVID-19 and Japan Tourism; Maction Planet x Food Tours Bled and Having a Giraffe at the Tokyo Guest House Oji Music Lounge.
Featured image – Rebirth: Since the eighth century, the Japanese have heralded the start of spring with festivities under the flowering cherry blossom trees. The blooms’ arrival signifies the end of winter and that change is in the air. They serve as a symbol of the transience of existence and provide an excuse for a hanami party. Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cancelled the Maction Planet x Shochu.Pro Hanami Party which was scheduled for Sunday 29 March 2020. Furthermore, some of our tour guests have postponed their trip to Japan and are sadly missing out on viewing the Cherry Blossoms currently in bloom here. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy Hanami. In keeping with our philosophy of ‘NO FOMO’, we wrote about ways you can experience the Sakura Spirit from the comfort of your own home for thetokyolife.jp. Cherry blossoms aren’t just aesthetically beautiful. They represent finitude, the ephemerality of life and the interconnectedness of Everything. We need the spirit of hanami now more than ever. It can help put the pandemic, and our existence, into perspective. The sun always rises and sets. The seasons come and go. The sakura visit briefly each year. And the citizens of Earth will party under the blooms once again. We continue.…
COVID-19 and Japan Tourism: Speaking of the impact of the pandemic, I wrote about Japan Tourism and COVID-19 for The Tokyo Life, including ways you can help your travel agent and tour operator friends during this tough time. These suggestions can also be applied to many of the small businesses and freelancers who have seen much or all of their income disappear as a result of the current situation.
Tokyo 2020 in 2021: One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Olympics has been canceled only three times during war and never previously moved to a new date. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from Friday 23rd July to Sunday 8th August 2021. Tokyo’s second summer Olympic Games were originally scheduled for 24 July to 9 August 2020. The Paralympic Games, which were supposed to start 24 Aug 2020, will now take place in 2021 from 24 August to 5 September. Despite the date change, the 2021 Olympics will take place under the ‘Tokyo 2020’ brand, which means that his manhole cover, on the path through Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park, will remain valid along with a lot of merchandise! We believe when the Games do take place in Tokyo next year they will have extra meaning: a global celebration of humanity. We continue
Maction Planet x Food Tours Bled: With the emphasis on the Planet in Maction Planet, we were featured by our friends in Slovenia, Food Tour Bled. We showcased our entire offering of food and drink-related tours on their blog. Read more here!
Having a Giraffe at the Tokyo Guest House Oji Music Lounge: Tokyo Guest House Oji Music Lounge opened in 2017. The Guesthouse is situated approximately 3 minutes walk from JR Oji Station, near to Ueno, and is surrounded by parks and a more traditional Japanese townscape. The Guesthouse has different room types, both dormitory type rooms to private rooms. Whenever I am in the area I always visit their cafe, which is accessible to the public as well as guests, for some of their homemade hearth-baked pizza. Live concerts by host musicians and other artists are regularly held in the music lounge and budding performers also play the electric piano and the guitar! As a massive fan of giraffes I absolutely love the mural outside by Marie Ikura. As well as being an artist and live painter, she is also a talented taiko player and composer. You can check her other works on Instagram @ikura_marie. All the best to our friends at Tokyo Guest House Oji Music Lounge during this tough time for all in the travel and tourism industry.