Yokoso Everyone (Welcome in Japanese) to our staff blog that we are launching by today!
Anything about Japan you would like to share with us or simply to know, go ahead blogging with us through our staff blog! Yep, you get it...Numerous travel tips out off the beaten track on a word by mouth spreading basis and for sure out of what travel books usually offer! Not only blogging as we will also frequently post articles on any aspect of Japan and try to bring you to exquisite memorable moments and places.
Come to visit us often!
Cherry blossom flower viewing is not only extremely popular during a normal and sunny daily light but also very appreciated during the nighttime as most viewing places have a light-up allowing to keep the fun and sake flowing on for a long hanami party!
Smiley Kashiwagi, a tour guide, is actually giving an interesting anecdote on how hanami parties are planned within companies in Japan. Enjoy & kampai!
Smiley's Travel Tips
Cherries in Tokyo start blossoming forth.
Japanese people enjoy cherry this way. First they send a freshman to the company
to cherry place. He must go there extremely early as 5am or 6am and spread plastic sheet under the cherry tree. All day long he stays there, drinks beers, takes a nap or
reads magazines but he is paid for this, because he is working for his colleagues.
5pm when the company finishes the work, the company people come and join him.
They take off their shoes sit on the plastic sheets on their knees and drink sake or beer. Some of them sing songs and make a very noisy sake-party. If the freshman is too late in coming and get the sheet far away from cherry blossoms, his popularity will go down in his company.
If you want to see the blossoms, you can find it in Ueno Park, Chidorigafichi, Sumida park and so on. There are many Cherry spots. If you are in Kyoto, riverside of Kamo-river near the botanical garden, you can have a wonderful view of the cherry.
They say there are 340 kinds of cherries if we go on a very fine classification.
There is even a green cherry which is not too good looking.
One problem about cherry viewing is that they do not last long. Normally after a week they are apt to scatter to the ground. One good way to see them is to plan your travel in Japan from north to south. By this way you will come across the cherry front some place.
Japanese cherries are mostly for viewing not for eating. One area named Yamagata can produce extra-fine cherry for eating but they are quite expensive so we buy black cherry for eating from USA.
If you miss right time for cherry by 1-2 weeks try a high place like Nikko or Takayama. They may be in bloom yet in these places. Also try the passage between the New Otani Hotel and the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, in Tokyo.
There they have double peｔal cherries which blossoms forth after normal cherries are over. If you can be in Osaka the Mint Bureau has a beautiful passage of double pedal cherries. They open this passage for about one week to the public. (The passage is one-way so check right entrance at your hotel).
Wish you all good luck.
- Tour guide, Smiley Kashiwagi
When the "someiyoshino" type of cherry trees start blossoming at Yasukuni Shrine, usually we can say that the beginning of cherry blossom season in Tokyo is just kicking off!
Although there are various kinds of cherry trees, the "someiyoshino" type is hugely the most appreciated among Japanese due to its pretty light pink tone.
Wanna know more? Just get on board on our special JAPANiCAN cherry flower edition that will introduce you to most famous spots with a real-time forecast blossom status ...Just overhere!
During mid-March, I went to Mito-Kairakuen Park to admire a great plum blossom. Mito-Kairakuen Park is known for one of the three best Japanese-style gardens (other two gardens are Kenrokuen, Kanazawa and Korakuen, Okayama).
It is not only famous for its Asian plum blossom viewing between February and March but also because you can enjoy the park all year along for which I especially recommend you its unique preserved bamboo forest.
Mito-Kairakuen which means in Japanese "enjoying together" is totally free of entrance.
Mito, which is the name of the location where you can find Kairakuen, is easily accessible within 1 hour from Tokyo Ueno Station by taking the express limited "Super Hitachi" on the Joban Line and is perfect for one day trip journey plenty of fun!
On Sep. 2, 2007, it still remains the same hot like summer at the metropolis, I ignited the engine of my Bonneville '03. So much heat from the road and riding jacket for north area made me sweated if cruising at high speed.
8:00 AM., you might have asked me why I drove into the parking area of Seisho Bypass. Actually, a meeting of "Triumph Sagamihara" shop was held.
Being surprised at my words "I'm going to Hokkaido today." , they went to run through "Hakone skyline". Either did I, because of enough time for the ferry.
Taking Tomei highway from Numazu, I ran to Oarai, Ibaraki directly. Because of no traffic jam, I arrived at an outlet mall, had a break. Then I bought Sushi and beer close to the terminal. So many riders had been gathered at the waiting point. This feeling of departure is really something for trip on a ship.
It was 5 years since I had gotten on the ferry, bathroom and restrooms were renewed. You could find a small theater or a restaurant. When I go on a ferry, I usually take a bath and drink up a beer. On 18:30, the ferry-boat left Oarai terminal as scheduled. They say it will be rainy in Tomakomai. It doesn't matter.
Seisho Bypass... a famous driveway from Shonan Area to Odawara, had been destroyed by Typhoon a week later. (Now repaired)
Ferry to Hokkaido...Most riders around Tokyo use ferry to go to Hokkaido that you will be wait on a list in July and August. Airplane cargo service have recently been launched by All Nippon Airways.
To be continued...