This Week in Tokyo – 9 October 2018
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. This week’s edition is hosted by Mac, Founder and Lead Guide of Maction Planet. This week: Swallows clinch Second Place; Visible/Invisible Ikebana; Tokaido Shinkansen Ekiben; Chrysanthemums at the Imperial Hotel and Black Halloween 2018!
Featured image – Swallows clinch Second Place: October 2 2018 was a great day in the annals of Tokyo Yakult Swallows history as they secured second place in the Central League for the 2018 season, their highest finish since becoming champions in 2015… and Maction Planet guests were there to witness this historic moment with a 3-2 victory over the Yokohama Baystars. Tonight is the final regular season game and then it is onto the playoffs beginning on 13 October. I will be there to support the team as always.
Visible/Invisible Ikebana: When we say everything we do is custom, we mean it. That extends to our photography tours as well. Of course, keeping track of all the photogenic events in the world’s largest city is hard work, but it is worth it. We want to give our guests the most unique experiences possible. This photo was taken by Yayu Wang and comes from a special ‘Limited Edition: One Day Only’ tour that she hosted. Guests got to practice their photography in environments that will not be there if they came back to Tokyo next month. Even the food eaten on the tour is seasonal and limited. The Sogetsu Foundation are only an incredible ikebana/dance exhibition titled ‘Visible/Invisible’. Mind-blowing installations created from ten thousand thin bamboo strips by Kosen Yamada. Thank you to the Foundation for hosting us and this incredible event.
Tokaido Shinkansen Ekiben: Enjoying the limited-edition bento boxes on the Bullet Train is a huge tradition in Japan. ‘Ekiben’ comes from a portmanteau of the words ‘eki’ meaning station and ‘bento’ – the Japanese lunchbox. This is exactly what we did on the way back from Kyoto on Saturday. My 8 guests from Albury, Australia enjoyed a day trip from Tokyo to Kyoto. Despite having only 5 hours in Kyoto, we still managed to hit up 6 major sites without feeling rushed! That’s the Maction Planet efficiency we pride ourselves on. Our reward on the return was this Tokaido Shinkansen Ekiben: Tokaido Meat Assortment Bento – Yakitori from Tokyo, Misokatsu from Nagoya and Sukiyaki from Osaka. To accompany this feast I bought some Steak-flavoured Chipstar crisps, only available on the Tokaido Shinkansen, washed down with a bottle of Pepsi J-Cola – the J stands for ‘Japan & Joy’.
Chrysanthemums at the Imperial Hotel: Waiting to meet Ciaran and Elaine in the lobby of the Imperial Hotel, I snapped this shot of their current primary floral arrangement. Chrysanthemum season is starting in Tokyo. A flower imbued with huge significance in Japan, it is the seal of the Emperor and the Imperial family and various versions of it can be found on standards, official documents and Japanese Passports.
And finally – Black Halloween 2018: Tokyo is no in the throws of the build up to Halloween, with many eateries providing seasonal tie-ins. Croquant Chou Zaku Zaku, a firm favourite with our guests, is no exception. Until 31 October 2018 you can level up your Soft Cream gave by getting a ‘黒ザクソフト’ – a Black Zaku Soft. In the name of research I have personally taste-tested this for you all, and it is fantastic. Well worth the trip down Takeshita Dori in Harajuku to try it out.