The wonderful side of summer in Tokyo has started, when we have temperatures around the mid 20C and a nice constant breeze. Soon “tsuyu” the Japanese rainy season in early June will start and afterwards the summer will shift to hot and humid temperatures. Potentially with all the needed electricity conservation demands, traveling on trains and being inside department stores or shopping malls will be a bit hotter than in the past. Therefore even though it might rain, June is now the perfect season to explore Tokyo. According to the Enjoy Tokyo magazine Tokyo Trend Ranking the top 5 recommended spots are as following:
1. Bunkyo Ward “Ajisai-Matsuri” (Hydrangea Festival):
In Japanese hydrangea is called “ajisai”, which can be seen as a symbol of the rainy season in Japan. The beauty of the flower lies in its changes in color depending on the time or climate of the day.
2. Enjoying fireflies outside:
I have heard that fireflies have as well some romantic meaning, but it seems to me much more connected with Japan then with name giving. According to the Japan Times there are two predominant varieties of fireflies in Japan are known as genji-botaru and heike-botaru. The larger and brighter is a genji variety (Luciola cruciata) named after the character from the 11th-century novel “The Tale of Genji” by Murasaki Shikibu, and the smaller heike variety (Luciola lateralis) named after the almost-as-famous 14th-century “The Tale of Heike.”
3. Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse (Aka Renga):
Celebrating the 100 year festival: Aka Renga are actually two historical buildings, officially known in the past as the Newport Pier Tax Keeping Warehouse (新港埠頭保税倉庫), which were originally used as customs buildings. The building number 2 had been set up 100 years ago.
4. Namco Namja Town:
It is actually an indoor theme park with Namco character mascots exclusive to the park in the Sunshine City shopping complex in Ikebukuro. Originally the park opened in 1996 by Namco (Japanese video game producer). One of the attraction for hot summer temperature is “ice cream city”.
5. Charity Japan: Beer Festival Tokyo 2011 (Ebisu Garden Place):
About 150 different Japanese beers will be available for degustation, when you can do at the same time a good deed, because 100 yen of the entry charge will go to Tohoku Recovery. Note it will be held only on June 4th to 5th.
For sure there is a variety of attractions to enjoy before true summer heat kicks in. Let’s enjoy the time outside now, heaven knows whether we will set a foot outdoor during this summer.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)