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Annual Events / Arts & Entertainment

Annual Events

January

Hatsumode "The first prayer at a shrine"
Hatsumode 'The first prayer at a shrine'

Many Japanese people visit a Shinto shrine during the first three days of January in order to make traditional New Year's wishes for health and happiness. This is called hatsumode, The first prayer at a shrine. Some shrines like Meiji Jingu attract more than three million worshippers every year. Since the shrine is opened specially on the night of New Year's Eve, some people arrive there to hear the joyanokane, the bell which rings out the old year. Hatsumode is one of the few occasions when many people wear kimonos.

Access to Meiji Jingu from IC Tokyo Bay
5 min to JR Hamamatsucho Station by our courtesy shuttle bus. Take JR Yamanote line to Harajuku Station. Meiji Jingu Shrine is behind the station.

Dezomeshiki "A new year fire fighting performance"
Dezomeshiki 'A new year fire fighting performance'

The New Year's parade of fire brigades. It is a fire fighting training undertaken by the fire department which is generally conducted in the early part of January as A new year fire fighting performance. At Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba, firemen in Edo-period costumes pull off dazzling stunts atop long bamboo ladders. It will be held on January 6th 2017.

Access to Tokyo Big Sight from IC Tokyo Bay
3 min walk to the Yurikamome Line at Takeshiba Station and a 20 min ride to Kokusaitenjijo Seimonmae Station.

February

Setsubun "Fortune in, devils out"
Setsubun ”Fortune in, devils out” Setsubun ”Fortune in, devils out”

Literally meaning “the day between two seasons.” People celebrate Setsubun on either the 3rd of February, the last day of winter, or the day before the spring season on the present calendar. On this day, bean throwing called mamemaki is done at home. People scatter roasted soy beans inside and outside their houses shouting, “Fortune in, devils out.” After throwing the beans, people eat the same number of beans as their age wishing for good health and praying for happiness throughout the year.
The liveliest festivities take place at Sensoji temple and Zojoji temple etc.

Access to Sensoji Temple from IC Tokyo Bay

  • 5 min walk to Hinode pier and 40 min cruise on the water bus to Asakusa.
  • 5 min to subway Daimon Stn. by our courtesy shuttle bus, Then take the Asakusa line to Asakusa Stn.

Access to Zojoji Temple from IC Tokyo Bay

  • 25 min walk
  • 10 min by Taxi
  • 5 min to JR Hamamatsucho Stn. by our courtesy shuttle bus and walk 10 min

March and April

Hanami "Spring cherry blossom viewing parties"
Hanami ”Spring cherry blossom viewing parties”

Spring cherry blossom viewing parties are in full effect. People spread mats on the ground under the blossoms and have parties with their family or co-workers. The best displays are at Chidorigafuchi Park nearby Yasukuni-jinja, the Aoyama Cemetery, Ueno-koen Park and Sumida-koen Park.

Access to Chidorigafuchi Park from IC Tokyo Bay
5 min to subway Daimon Stn. by our courtesy shuttle bus and take Asakusa Line to Nihonbashi Stn. Change to Tokyo metro Tozai Line headed for Kudanshita Stn.

Best view point for the blossoms in Sumida-koen Park
5 min walk to Hinode Pier and take the Tokyo river water bus to Asakusa. During the actual cruising on the water bus you can get advantageous view points of the cherry blossoms.

May

Koinobori (Carp-shaped Streamers)
Koinobori (Carp-shaped Streamers)

Koinobori traditions originated from the 18th century Edo era in samurai families with a wish that their sons would grow up to be healthy and strong. Along with Kazari-Kabuto ornamental war helmets, Koinobori are standard Japanese customs celebrated on May 5th, Children’s Day, the last national holiday of Golden Week. Since then it has become a nationwide custom including all families, samurai or otherwise. Carp has long been regarded in Japan as the bravest and strongest fish from ancient stories. The order of carp streamers from top to bottom consists of Yaguruma, a spinning wheel; Fukinagashi, a simple streamer; Magoi, a black carp indicating father; Higoi, a red carp indicating mother and Kogoi, blue carp(s), indicating boy(s). More recently we also see a variety of colorful carp-shaped streamers indicating girls as well.

Due to the decrease of individual houses with a garden, especially in the Tokyo area, we don’t often see Koinobori in the big city. However it is still very popular in more rural areas of Japan from the middle of April through May 5th. It’s quite a special sight to see Koinobori swaying in the breeze on a clear and sunny spring day.

June

Ajisai (Hydrangea) is one of the most popular and common June flowers in Japan.
Ajisai (Hydrangea) is one of the most popular and common June flowers in Japan. Ajisai (Hydrangea) is one of the most popular and common June flowers in Japan.

The month of June is well known for being the season with the most flowers in full bloom. Gardenia, Abelia, Lily, Evergreen Mangolia, Feijoa, Balloon flowers, Japanese Iris, Impatiens and so on. But above all, Ajisai (Hydrangea) is one of the most popular and common June flowers in Japan.

Ajisai is now widely cultivated in many countries outside Japan with advanced breeding, however, it originates from Japan and its history goes back to the late 8th century. We know this because it appears in the Manyoshu, the oldest Japanese Waka poetry book. As certain variety of Hydrangea changes its color during its life cycle, it is also known as the Nanahenge (Color Variation) Flower.

For about one month from the beginning of June, people can enjoy lovely but somewhat modest Ajisai of white, blue, purple and pink colors. There are many popular places in Tokyo for Ajisai such as Hakusan Park, Asukayama Park and Koiwa Shoubu Gardens; however, you can also see Ajisai’s beautiful view at Hama-Rikyu Gardens or Kyu-shiba- Rikyu Gardens which are very close to our hotel. Moreover, Ajisai is the official flower for Minato-Ku district in which our hotel is situated. If time allows we also recommend visiting Kamakura and/or Hakone where there are many temples and gardens and you can enjoy Ajisai as well.

Access to the suggested spots from IC Tokyo Bay

  • Hama-Rikyu Gardens and Kyu-shiba -Rikyu Gardens
    Both gardens are walking distance. It takes 20 minutes and 5 minutes respectively.
  • FANCL Ginza Square (Tokyo)
    Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Ginza Sta.No.A3 Exit 1 minutes walk
    --Hydrangea Garden--
    Date: 6/2~6/9
    Entrance fee: Free
    Hours: 11:30 – 18:30(Last day is closed at 16:30)
    Access: FANCL Ginza Square 10 F, 5-8-16 Ginza, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo.
  • Hakusan Park
    After taking the shuttle bus to the Hamamatsucho bus terminal, take the subway Oedo Line to Kasuga and change to the Mita Line to Hakusan station. Hakusan Park is just a three minute walk. It will take 45 minutes altogether.
    --Bunkyo Hydrangea Festival--
    Date: 6/10~6/18
    Entrance fee: Free
    Access: 5-31-26 Hakusan, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo.
  • Meigatsu-In (Kamakura)
    After taking the shuttle but to Shinagawa, take the JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura. It takes one hour altogether.
    --Place Famous for Hydrangea in Kamakura--
    Date: Mid of June - End of June
    Entrance fee: 500 JPY
    Hours: 8:30-17:00
    Access: 189 Yamanouchi, Kamakura-Shi, Kanagawa-Ken
  • Odawara Castle Park (Odawara)
    JR Odawara Sta. East Exit 10 minutes walk
    --Odawara Castle Hydrangea Festival--
    Date: 6/3~6/18
    Entrance fee: Free
    Hours: 10:00-17:00
    Light-up time / 19:00-20:00
    Access: Jonai, Odawara-Shi, Kanagawa-Ken

July

Yamabiraki (official opening day for mountain climbing)
Yamabiraki (official opening day for mountain climbing)

In Japan, Yamabiraki (official opening day for mountain climbing) is one of the typical signs telling us that midsummer has come.

In modern ages, Yamabiraki translates to the periods of the year in which the mountain climber is allowed to climb the mountain; most notably the very first day. There is still a ritual where people pray for the safety of the climbers and for good and stable weather. The Yamabiraki event for Mt. Fuji, the iconic Japanese mountain, usually takes place on July 1st . Several motor roads leading to the fifth station are open during this period so you can visit up to the half-way point very easily by car or by bus. In fact, there are several one-day bus tours from the Tokyo area as well.

We are more than happy to make individual tour plans for trekking and/or cycling, depending on your specific interests for you to enjoy midsummer in Japan.

Access to Mt. Fuji 5th Station
Take our courtesy shuttle bus to Shinagawa Station.
And take bullet train to either Mishima or Shin-Fuji Station.
Then, take local bus to 5th station.

Take the train from Hamamatsucho Station to either Shinjuku Station or Haneda Airport.
Then, take the direct bus to Mt. Fuji 5th station.

One-day bus tours from our hotel to the Mt. Fuji & Hakone areas are also available.
Contact the concierge for booking.

August

NATSU-MATSURI (Summer Festivals)

There are many NATSU-MATSURI (Summer Festivals) throughout Japan in the month of August, and Tokyo is no exception. MATSURI are native Japanese festivals with an origin in the Shinto belief. These festivals have many meanings such as prayer for prosperity, or an expression of gratitude after crop harvest. Often there are food stalls known as “Yatai” and various games like goldfish scooping available at Matsuri.
One well-known type of festival, “Noryosai”, is held for people who want to escape the summer heat and enjoy a cool evening. Azabu-Juban Noryo Matsuri is a popular Noryosai festival where you can enjoy various Japanese foods as well as other countries' local food offered by foreign embassies in the area. Other popular festivals in Tokyo include the traditional type Shinto festivals such as Sumiyoshi-Jinja Matsuri.
You may also join these festivals by wearing a YUKATA, a typical Japanese casual kimono for summer. “Yukata” and “Matsuri” are a perfect match for this season. We will also continue to offer “Yukata Rentals” for our hotel guests this year.
Besides the festivals above, there are many other summer events such as the “Noryo Boat Cruise”, “Bon-Odori” (Japanese folk dance) and various “Hanabi” (fireworks). August in Tokyo is truly an exciting time! For further details, please contact our concierge team.

Access to Sumiyoshi-Jinja Matsuri
Take our courtesy shuttle bus to Hamamatsucho Station and then walk to the Daimon Subway Station located around the corner. From Daimon, take the Oedo Line to Tsukishima Station. Travel time is about 25 minutes.

Access to Azabu-Juban Noryo Matsuri
Take our courtesy shuttle bus to Hamamatsucho Station and then walk to the Daimon Subway Station located around the corner. From Daimon, take the Oedo Line to Azabu Juban Station. Travel time is about 15 minutes.

September

Art and Entertainment in Autumn
Art and Entertainment in Autumn Art and Entertainment in Autumn

The climate in Japan in the autumn is much cooler and more comfortable than the summer time, and is very well suited for many activities taking place in the fall. Because of this, the Japanese have certain expressions that directly translate into phrases such as Autumn Appetites, Autumn Reading, Autumn Sports and Autumn Art and Entertainment.
One the many events held in the fall is the Tokyo Jazz Festival. With more than 200 artists from all over the world, many people come to join the festival and perform here in Tokyo. Another well known event is “Takigi-noh” held at the Zōjō-ji Temple, which is the oldest form of musical theater dating back to the 14th century. The word “takigi” means “firewood” in Japanese. During ceremonies which are held on stages with natural backdrops of trees and plants, the takigi is burnt at both ends of the stage to create a dynamic visual atmosphere for all to enjoy.
We hope you will enjoy autumn in Japan!

Access to the Tokyo Jazz Festival
Take our courtesy shuttle bus to Hamamatsucho Station.
Then take JR Yamanote Line to Yurakucho Station.
Walk 1 minute to the Tokyo International Forum.

Access to Zōjō-ji Temple
20 minute walk from our hotel, or take our courtesy shuttle bus to Hamamatsucho Station then walk 10 minutes.

October and November

Momiji-Gari (Autumn Maple Leaf Viewing)
Momiji-Gari (Autumn Maple Leaf Viewing)

As the Japanese word for autumn maple leaves, momiji, can be found in ancient haiku literature as far back as 1,300 years, we can understand that people have been delighted by and enamored by these autumn leaves for a very long time.
Momiji-Gari means to travel to the countryside for the purpose of viewing the autumn leaves, whose popularity seems to have risen from the late Edo-Period 200 years ago.
The momiji in Japan are rich in their colors partly due to the fact that there are a large variety of deciduous broad-leaved trees in Japan and also thanks to the extreme temperature difference between day and night, among other things.
The viewing of the leaves can be enjoyed for about 2 to 3 months throughout Japan because they are at full effect from the north of Japan in Hokkaido in October, to the south of Japan in Kagoshima in December.
So come and enjoy Japanese maple leaves in their many colors of the deepest reds, the brightest oranges and yellows and the freshest greens.

Access to Nikko (In Tochigi, from mid-October to mid-November)
Take our courtesy shuttle bus to Hamamatsucho Station and then walk to the Daimon Subway Station located around the corner. From Daimon, take the Oedo Line to Asakusa Station.
Then take the Kinu, limited express train to Shimo-Imaichi Station. Change to the Tobu-Nikko Line to Tobu-Nikko Station.
One-day bus tours from our hotel to the Nikko area are also available.
Please contact the concierge for booking.

Access to Shiba Park (In Tokyo, from mid-November to mid-December)
Take our courtesy shuttle bus to Hamamatsucho Station.
Then walk to Shiba Park in about 12 minutes.

December

December Illumination
December Illumination December Illumination

Day or night, Tokyo is always such a brightly lit city, and the holiday season illumination only serves to enhance this stand-out quality.
Millions of colorful LED lights can be enjoyed throughout Tokyo, however most notable around our hotel area include such locations as Tokyo Station, the Odaiba Island area, Tokyo Tower, and the Shiodome area.
During this special time of year, please enjoy the lights and festivities Tokyo has to offer.

Access to Tokyo Tower
20 minutes walk from our hotel, or take our courtesy shuttle bus to Hamamatsucho Station then walk 10 minutes.

Access to Odaiba
Please take the Yurikamome Line Monorail from Takeshiba Station which is located on the 3rd floor or our hotel's south tower. The monorail will take you all the way to Daiba Station. Approximate travel time is 20 minutes total.

Access to Shiodome
Please take the Yurikamome Line Monorail from Takeshiba Station which is located on the 3rd floor or our hotel's south tower. The Shiodome Station is just 1 station away from Takeshiba Station. Approximate travel time is 5 minutes total.

Access to Tokyo Station
Please take our hotel shuttle bus to Hamamatsucho Station. Then take the JR Yamanote Line train to Tokyo Station. Approximate travel time is 15 minutes total.

Arts & Entertainment

Mori Art Museum, Roppongi

Mori Art Museum, Roppongi

Located on the 53rd floor of the Mori Bldg in Roppongi, this art museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs that feature cutting-edge visual arts, architecture, and design in a global perspective.

From IC Tokyo Bay : 15mins by taxi

National Film Center

National Film Center

The National Film Center, opened in Kyobashi,Chuo-ku in 1970, is japan's only national organization dedicated to the collection, preservation,restoration,screening and exhibition of domestic and overseas films and related materials.

From IC Tokyo Bay : 20mins by taxi

official site

The National Art Center, Tokyo, Roppongi

The National Art Center, Tokyo, Roppongi

The National Art Center, Tokyo is a unique and innovative art exhibition facility. The center also promotes outreach activities through its educational programs, and the Art Library serves to collect and disseminate information related to art.

From IC Tokyo Bay : 15mins by taxi

official site

The National Museum of Western Art, Ueno

©The National Museum of Western Art
all rights reserved.

The National Museum of Western Art, Ueno

Established in 1959, the museum's original purpose was to provide the Japanese public with opportunities to appreciate western art. They are involved in exhibitions, art work and document acquisition, research, restoration and conservation, education and the publication of materials related to western art.

From IC Tokyo Bay : 25mins by taxi

official site

National Noh Theatre, Sendagaya

National Noh Theatre, Sendagaya

The main objective of the National Noh Theatre is to preserve, promote and popularize Noh & Kyogen in Japan. The styles of Noh were developed in 1333 during the Muromachi period, and is colored with a graceful aesthetic effect of quiet elegance that is expressed through the Japanese word “yugen”.

From IC Tokyo Bay : 25mins by taxi

official site

Kabuki Theatre, Kabuki-za, Ginza

Kabuki Theatre, Kabuki-za, Ginza

Originally opened in 1889, Kabuki-za is the principal theater in Tokyo for traditional kabuki drama performances. Kabuki style acting relies heavily on special acting techniques unique to Japan that are visually magnificent. Many performances combine dances with physical motion, music and acting.

From IC Tokyo Bay : 15mins by taxi

official site

COREDO Muromachi

COREDO Muromachi

Traditional Japanese products from the four different seasons and items to use for various situations in your everyday life are lined up to support your spiritually rich lifestyle.

From IC Tokyo Bay : 25mins by train

official site