This Week in Tokyo, Kamakura and Kasumigaura – 9 August 2022
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: Tsubakuro’s 2000th home game; Kasumigaura Sunrise; Monozukuri – A Celebration of Japanese Artisanal Techniques 2022; International Cat Day 2022 and My 16th Japanniversary!
Tsubakuro’s 2000th home game: Friday 5 August was a momentous day in the history of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, and indeed the World’s Great Metropolis itself. Tsubakuro, the mascot of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, reached his 2000th home game.
Tsubakuro first appeared in 1994 and has never looked back. He is famous for his no-nonsense attitude, feuds with opposition mascots, his love of beer and many other positive traits. His popularity transcends loyalties – I’ve met many fans of other teams who port a Tsubakuro keyring on their person. He is the mascot of the people.
Not everyone wanted this day to happen. Earlier this year, boss Shingo Takatsu wrote out a wish as part of the Tanabata matsuri: “Stop Tsubakuro from reaching 2000 games.” Despite this, the NPB’s most popular mascot has achieved what many thought was impossible and made it to his 2000th home game.
The team celebrated by naming the 5-7 August series against the Yomiuri Giants ‘Tsubkauro Days’, with obligatory merchandise and a multitude of ceremonies to honour the big bird.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tsubakuro for his years of service. Here’s to the next 2000 games.
Kasumigaura Sunrise: I was honoured to be invited to a two-day retreat in Kasumigaura (霞ヶ浦), the second-largest lake in Japan, located 60 km north-east of Tokyo. Boating, swimming, tubing, cycling – and some great food and drink to replenish all that used-up energy – made for an exceptional 36 hours!
The most magical part of the trip was watching the sunrise over the lake. An awesome experience in the true sense of that adjective.
Monozukuri – A Celebration of Japanese Artisanal Techniques 2022: From 5 to 7 August 2022 you could learn about the manufacturing technology that has made Japan what it is today at ‘Monozukuri – A Celebration of Japanese Artisanal Techniques 2022’ at the Tokyo International Forum. It was a great opportunity to see and experience firsthand a variety of techniques in the fields of clothing, food, housing, and industry!
These techniques – carpentry, tatatmi, kumiko, shodo and much more – came together in Shoso-An, a tea room built especially for the event. Absolutely stunning!
International Cat Day 2022: Happy International Cat Day (on 8 August) from Maction Planet!
Cats are everywhere in Japan, and the country has an interesting relationship with the creatures. Preternatural cats are part of folk legend here, and not all of those are friendly. Conversely, they are front and centre of Japanese popular culture. Hello, Kitty!
In honour of our feline friends and frenemies here is a Seven Gods of Fortune Maneki Neko from Hasedera in Kamakura. ニャー, Meow and We continue…
My 16th Japanniversary: Last Thursday, 4 August, I celebrated my 16-year Japanniversary. It’s now been over a decade and a half since I moved to Tokyo! How has World’s Greatest Metropolis, and my relationship with the city, evolved over this time? Find out in my traditional anniversary post on the Maction Planet blog.
It was tough to decide on this year’s anniversary photo. I eventually went with a photo taken in Oga, Akita Prefecture at Dairyuji Temple of me in the main hall of the Honden along with a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch!
The photo above came a close second. It was taken at Kyotograhpie in Kyoto in April 2022. Click on that link and you can see a variant that made it into that week’s This Week in Tokyo!
Thank you for your support of me, Maction Planet and Kanpai Planet. We continue…