This Week in Tokyo – 5 March 2019
The latest edition of This Week in Tokyo – a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in and beyond the city. 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’s edition is hosted by Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide. This week: Hinamatsuri; Jun Inagawa and the Anarchist Magical Girls; Koto in the Capitol; Kawazu in Ueno and Ginza Line Reborn!
Featured image – Hinamatsuri: 3 March was the culmination of the Hinamatsuri (雛祭り), literally the Doll Festival but commonly known as Girl’s Day. It’s the day when families pray for and celebrate the happiness and prosperity of their girls. Families with girls set up a special step-altar called a hinadan (雛壇), a tiered stand or platform covered with a red carpet. On it are placed hina ningyo (雛人形), a set of ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, court officials and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period. One of my favourite displays this year was at Hoshinoya. To learn more about this festival, check out our post about the look history, customs and foods surrounding Hinamatsuri.
Jun Inagawa and the Anarchist Magical Girls: I was honoured to be invited to the opening of Jun Inagawa’s first solo exhbition in Japan “Magical Girl DESTROYERS (Moe)”. An incredible talent at only 19 years old, Jun Inagawa has already had some high-profile ccollaborations with fashion brands VLONE, AGWE and DIESEL. He is definitely one to watch. I have been following Jun’s work for a while so it was an honour to meet him. We met over our shared love of Stanley Kubrick; Jun has peppered a few Easter Eggs in the exhbition for fans of the great filmmaker. I then got some great insights into the philosophy behind the exhibition and its Magical Girl characters Anarchy, Destroy and Blue which I look forward to sharing with my guests on their Tokyo Art Tours!
Koto at the Capitol: I snapped this shot after dropping my guests Neil and Sue back at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, one of the most underrated hotels in the city. The koto playing was magical and the setting in front of this incredible ikebana display from the Sogetsu school was simply divine.
Kawazu in Ueno: We have several species of early-blooming sakura in Japan, getting everyone in the mood for the explosion of Somei Yoshino due in a couple of weeks. Here is some Kawazu Sakura in Ueno Park, one the Top 100 Cherry Blossom viewing spots in the country.
Speaking of Sakura, tickets are still on sale for the Maction Planet x Shochu Pro Hanami 2019. We are collaborating once again with Baird Beer and shochu expert Chris Pellegrini to hold an exclusive cherry blossom party in Yoyogi Park on Sunday 31 March 2019. You can get yourself in the mood for Hanami 2019 by watching this incredible video of Hanami 2017. More info can be found here and tickets are available for purchase here.
Ginza Line Reborn: The Shibuya transformation project is over the halfway point. On February 7 this year a 22-metre section of M-shaped roof was placed over the new Ginza Line platforms that Tokyo Metro will open to passengers by the end of March 2020. When finished the structure, designed by architect Hiroshi Naito, will be 110 meters in length, 28 meters wide and 9 meters tall. The ¥29bn project is scheduled for completion in August 2019, 79 years after the station’s Ginza Line stop first opened. Here’s an aerial shot I took showing the scale of this epic development.