Christmas and New Year’s is coming! Have you decided how to spend your break in Tokyo? In recent years, winter illumination shows and displays have become must-see attractions to visit during this season in Tokyo. WAttention brings you 6 illumination spots in Tokyo that will leave you in awe.
In order to celebrate its 15th anniversary, Caretta Shiodome shopping complex prepared a special illumination show this 2017. The theme is “Beauty and the Beast”, which was decided through a vote on Twitter. The site is decorated with 250 thousand LED lights and features a special show going on three times per hour, from 5 pm to 21 pm. Enjoy the fantastic illumination, singing along the melody of “The Beauty and the Beast” for the ultimate romantic Christmas.
Date: November 16th – February 14th 2018 (closed on January 1st and 2nd) Hours: 5 pm – 11 pm (January 3rd – February 14th 6pm – 11pm) Place: Caretta Shiodome Address:1-8-2 Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, 105-7090 Tokyo URL:http://www.caretta.jp/Illumination/ Access:5-minute walk from Shimbashi Station; 2-minnute walk from Shiodome Station Admission: free
As the quintessential Japanese symbol, Mt. Fuji often evokes quiet and peaceful imagery. That’s why it’s hard to think of it as home to some of the highest, steepest and scariest roller coasters in the world. However, it’s precisely this contrast along with its proximity to Tokyo that makes Fuji-Q Highland amusement park a unique place to visit and a must for all thrill seekers.
The park is located in the foothills of Mt. Fuji in Yamanashi prefecture and can be reached by the Fujikyu express bus in approximately an hour and a half from Tokyo, Shinjuku and Shibuya stations. Fuji-Q features roller coasters such as Takabisha, with the steepest drop in the world at 121° degrees, Eejanaika, the so-called 4th dimension coaster with endless turns and spins and of course, the Fujiyama, dubbed “the king of coasters” with a maximum speed of 130 km/h and a maximum height of 79 m. However, if heart-pounding rides are not your thing, Fuji-Q offers great alternatives, such as Fuji Airways, a virtual flight around Mt. Fuji in high definition, or Thomas Land, an area filled with exciting rides for small children. Visitors can also enjoy taking on the Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear, the Ferris Wheel, or even visit the nearby Fujiyama Onsen, featuring Japan’s largest wooden bathroom with an exclusive pipeline that feeds the facilities with a stream of water packed with minerals. It is said that after soaking for a while in this onsen’s miraculous waters, your skin will feel smooth and beautiful.
Three of our WAttention Ninja had the opportunity to experience all Fuji-Q Highland has to offer and this is what they had to say:
Our day started at Tokyo Station where we took the bus to Fuji-Q Highland. As soon as we got there we couldn’t resist the urge to take a ton of pictures. Honestly, if you have the opportunity to behold such a beautiful landscape as Mt. Fuji, you want to show it off to your friends on social media. We enjoyed everything, from the soaring roller coasters to the cute “La ville de Gaspard et Lisa”, an area that looks like a small French town where you can find many food stalls and nice souvenir shops. The three of us were very scared of the most thrilling roller coasters, but I’m glad to say that we conquered our fear and had the time of our lives. Lastly but definitely not least, we visited Fujiyama Onsen, which offers a great variety of baths. I personally loved the outdoor Onsen, because even though it was quite cold when I first stepped outside, I found that nothing can beat the feeling of dipping into the hot water and instantly feel your body warm up and your troubles wash away.
We started an amazing day at Tokyo Station, where we rode the bus heading to Fuji-Q Highland. When we got there, we didn’t have to wait long before entering the park. We were already a bit hungry, but we were so excited to get on the rides that we headed straight to the most challenging roller coaster: “Eejanaika”. It was amazing, it was the most intense ride I had ever experienced. After eating a much-deserved lunch, we decided to ride our second roller coaster: “Fujiyama”, which offered amazing views of Mt. Fuji. We also tried other attractions like the teacup ride, and the amazing Fuji Airways, a virtual tour of Japan’s tallest mountain with amazing special effects and a huge screen. We also took the time to walk around Fuji-Q Highland and visit the onsen. We had an amazing day!
As soon as we arrived to Fuji-Q, we took on the most intense rollercoaster: the 4th dimension coaster “Eejanaika”, which turns riders upside down a whooping 14 times and holds the Guinness World record for the most inversions in a roller coaster. I was quite scared at first but when everything was over, I thought the experience was really worth it. After pumping so much adrenaline, we decided to take a break to eat lunch and recharge batteries with a hearty meal of pizza, fries and soup. Our second ride was the “Fujiyama”, the tallest complete-circuit rollercoaster measuring 79 m at its highest point. This awesome ride became my favorite in the whole park. Around 5 pm we headed to Fujiyama Onsen. Since it was our first time in an onsen, we were feeling a little bit shy but I knew I had to change my mind and give it a try. After a while, I became used to it and ended up really enjoying it.
Sample schedule for a day in Fuji-Q Highland
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday from 9am to 17pm. Operation hours vary according to the season. Admission: Park admission is 1,500 JPY for adults and high school students, 900 JPY for children. One-day free pass ticket is 5700 JPY for adults, 5200 JPY for high school students and 4300 JPY for children. Address: 5-6-1 Shin-Nishihara, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture Access: Take the Fujikyu Express bus at Tokyo Station bound for Mt. Fuji and get off at Fuji-Q Highland. Direct buses also operate from Shinjuku and Shibuya station, while daily night buses from Osaka and Kyoto are also available. URL:https://www.fujiq.jp/en/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the Mt. Fuji Area to the fullest with this useful tool
・Mt. Fuji PassThis is a tourist pass especially made for foreigners visiting Japan. Save on sightseeing and transportation and get preferential access to different tourists facilities, including Fuji Q Highland.
Find out more here: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
Japan’s popular lazy egg, Gudetama, is lost in the Edo period! This autumn and winter only you can visit Gudetama world at the Toei Kyoto Studio Park.
Born in 2013, Gudetama’s name is a play on gude gude, meaning someone without strength or spunk, and tamago, meaning egg. He has a negative attitude towards most things and spends his days lazing around, believing that some day he will be eaten. Of course Gudetama has no drive at all to return to the current times on his own, so you have to guide him. Go on a playful travel from the Edo period all the way to the modern Gudetama World.
We don’t know how Gudetama managed to become a lord, but he did it. Enjoy these funny photo opportunities and become a lazy egg yourself.
Afterwards, get on your feet and learn the Gudetama dance. You can already practice it at home using this video.
After dancing, go back to a Gudetama lifestyle by relaxing in the Gudetama ballpit or resting on a giant Gudetama…yolk?
This special event also has limited edition goodies such as the Gudetama Edo Lord plushie.
Try some of the Gudetama Edo specials which may or may not contain egg. Special dishes include Gudetama shuriken curry, Gudetama parfait and more.
If Gudetama isn’t your thing, the Kyoto Studio Park is still worth a visit. The area is a frequently used set for actual Japanese period dramas and movies. During the day samurai, geisha and townsfolk wander around the Edo style village and give performances. You can also visit the ninja show or ninja trick house and if you’re really brave, the haunted house.
Dates: Sept. 10, 2016 – Dec. 4, 2016 Hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon. – Sun., Sept., Oct., Nov.), 9am – 6pm (Sat.,Sun.& Holidays, only in Sept.) / December: 9:30am – 4:30pm (Mon.-Fri.) 9:30am – 5pm (Sat.,Sun.& Holidays) Admission: 2,200 yen (adults) / 1,300 yen (junior high & high school students) / 1,100 yen (children) Location Toei Kyoto Studio Park Access: 5-min walk from JR Uzumasa Station / 5-min walk from Randen Katabiranotsuji Station / 12-min walk from Subway Uzumasa Tenjingawa Station on the Tozai Line Address: 10 Uzumasa Higashihachiokacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8161
I guess there are just a few people left who haven´t heard about the white fluffy cat with its big round eyes which enchants her fans since 1974!
In the western part of Tokyo you can find an indoor theme park dedicated to Hello Kitty and her friends. Opened in 1990, Sanrio Puroland attracts more than 1.5 million visitors a year.
If you want to treat your kids to a magical experience, or if you are curious about Japan´s popular characters itself, don´t hold back and immerse yourself into a whole new world full of cute adventures.
The entrance is a huge hall decorated with lovely artwork featuring the main characters of Sanrio Puroland.
After entering the park you will be welcomed by one of the many characters which whom you can take a memorial picture with. Further, at the merchandise and souvenir booth located near the entrance, you can transform yourself into one of your beloved characters while purchasing its characters hairband with attached ears.
Now you will take the escalator and reach Hello Kitty´s magical world.
Beside having the chance to take a sneak peek inside Hello Kitty´s and Little Twin Stars house, you can also make a trip through Mariland with My Melody´s newest ride attraction.
While Cinnamoroll invites you to an exciting boat ride through the world of Sanrio Characters….
….Hello Kitty takes you to see her fantastic musical at the “Märchen Theater”.
It´s a magical place not only for families and children, also couples and friends can enjoy a pleasant day at Santrio Puroland.
Sanrio Puroland Info:
Hours: The opening hours and closing days differ from month to month, please check the website in advance.
Address: 1-32 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo 〒206-8588
Access: 5min-walk from Tama Center Station, Keio Line
Keio Line: Central Exit / Odakyu Line: West Exit
Last week Tokyo organized a new event called the Tokyo Edo Week to promote traditional Japanese dress. There were definitely more people out in kimono than usual and Wattention was there to catch them all on photo.
The stands were laid out like a traditional festival with places to sit in the middle. There were kimono shops, kimono photo studios (even a samurai one) and accessory shops. The highlight of the event was the main stage where performers showed tricks and kimono makers showed their latest creations.
The workshops were given in both English and Japanese, making it easy for foreigners to participate. With easy to understand instructions everyone was able to create a beautiful souvenir to take home. The ladies here are using traditional materials to make beautiful hairpins.
Guests in kimono received one of these traditional sake cups made from cypress wood. The smell of the wood was amazing and it makes for a beautiful souvenir. You could use the cup to try some of the vintage sake brought all the way from Nara. This sake is brewed with a traditional recipe, ensuring that you could drink the same sake as they did during the Edo period.
After having drunk sake from the cypress wooden cup, the smell became even stronger and sweeter.
On the main stage there was a kimono show, the miss Tokyo Edo beauty peageant and a sword demonstration. All three events were very entertaining to watch. It was very interesting to see furisode (long sleeve kimono) in one single color.
The sword show was a mix between modern dance and acted fights. It all seemed very serious at first but at the end everyone broke down in a synchronized dance. The actors looked like they were having a lot of fun on stage.
Our last stop before it became completely dark was the Kabuki experience stand. There were various masks on display showcasing all the different types of makeup a Kabuki actor can use. The choice depends on the type of role and character.
The Tokyo Edo Week was a great event to revive traditional Japanese culture. I was happy to see many happy foreigners at the event who enjoyed the food, workshops and shows. Here’s to hoping they organize a second edition next year.
The kimono is making a comeback with a modern twist and both young and old are wearing it more than ever. Tokyo wants to encourage you to try this timeless garment by organizing the Tokyo Edo Week duringSeptember 22nd～25th at Ueno Park.
The goal of this event is to show Japanese culture to the world in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The whole venue will be modeled after a street from the Edo period (1603-1868) and you can even pay in traditional Edo currency. If you don`t have a kimono to show off , you can rent one at the event. Everyone who comes dressed in kimono will get a free limited gift at almost every stand. If you bought a kimono or yukata but don’t know how to put it on, use this tutorial made by Tokyo Edo Week.
Tokyo Edo Week is the world`s biggest festival that celebrates traditional Japanese culture. Here are some of the festival`s highlights!
Go Kimono Shopping
Various kimono designers from all over Japan will be displaying their latest creations as well as recycle shops with unique vintage kimono. If you would like to know more about kitsuke (着付け), the art of kimono dressing, you can see a demonstration by one of the attending kimono schools.
If you`re not into trying a kimono yourself, you can visit one of the antique kimono exhibitions or the unique Kabuki exhibition. This interactive ICT event will be open for free to the public for the first time.
Now that you’ve completely immersed yourself in the world of kimono, it’s time to admire some traditional crafts. The Edo period was an amazing time for craftsmen as they enjoyed a relative nationwide peace at the start and were influenced by foreign crafts at the end. The result of years of perfection can be seen in crafts such as glassware, hairpins, kokeshi dolls, traditional dyeing techniques and more. Why not take home a piece of Edo?
Meet Miss Sake Tokyo
The Tokyo Edo Week includes a special appearance by none other than the real Miss Sake. Ando Yumi proved she can be Japan’s sake ambassador with both brains and beauty. Who knows, this might be the only time in your life that you get to meet a real Miss.
See Japanese Sword Arts and Plays
To top it all off, there are many amazing performers coming from all over Japan to show their talents. For those who like excitement there are samurai sword performances, a ninja show and even a DJ. If you like to have a more relaxed atmosphere, attend one of the traditional plays or comedy shows.
Enjoy Edo-style food with top class entertainment
The food stands are well equipped to give every visitor a taste of historical Japan. Try some Edo classics and Western-inspired food while listening to a shamisen, classic Japanese three-stringed instrument, performance.
Not only food, but also sake is available at the Tokyo Edo Week. Micro breweries and local sake brewers worked hard to bring you the best they have to offer.
It would take a while to sum up all of the amazing activities the Tokyo Edo Week has to offer, but we hope these highlights convinced you to visit. Check out the Edo Week website for more information.
Event Information Date: Sep 22 – 25, 2016 Hours: 11am – 8pm (22nd to 24th, last entry 7:30pm), 11am – 6pm (25th, last entry 5pm) Where: Ueno Park Takenodai Square Admission: Free (but you need to buy tickets for the food stands and the kimono exhibition). URL:https://edoweek.com