Tokyo has been accepted as one of three cities to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, joining Madrid and Istanbul.
“It is a great pleasure and true honor that Tokyo has been accepted as a candidate city,” Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, chairman of the Tokyo 2020 bid committee, said at a news conference Thursday.
The final decision will be made in September 2013. Tokyo hosted the Olympics in 1964 and they made a failed bid for the 2016 Olympics.
The world’s tallest tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree Tower opened yesterday to the public. Around 200,000 people were expected to visit the tower on the first day alone.
About 8000 lucky people who had advance reservations were able to go up the tower to the observation decks.
“I left my house at 5 a.m. to get on the first shinkansen of the day,” said Norio Sone, a 77-year-old visitor from Niigata Prefecture, while waiting in a long line for an elevator up to the observation deck.
“I wanted to climb up the world’s tallest building,” Sone said, but he added that he was disappointed by the cloudy weather.
The tower is expected to bring in 32 million visitors in the first year of operation, bringing an economic boost to surrounding area.
Tokyo has breathed a sigh of relief as an escaped penguin has now been found swimming in Tokyo Bay. The penguin scaled a 13 foot wall and squeezed through a barbed wire fence to escape Tokyo Zoo.
“You can see it’s got the same ring around its flipper and identical facial patterns,” said Kazuhiro Sakamoto, deputy director of the Tokyo Sea Life Park, when shown footage of the tubby escapee taken by Japan’s Coast Guard.
“It didn’t look like it has gotten thinner over the past two months, or been without food. It doesn’t seem to be any weaker. So it looks as if it’s been living quite happily in the middle of Tokyo Bay.”
Read more here.
The Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower, is set to open in just 4 days on May 22. The 634 meter tower is double the height of the Eiffel Tower and 2nd highest structure in the world behind Burj Khalifa .
The tower is set to become a new tourist attraction in itself with more than 300 shops and restaurants, a planetarium and an aquarium. The tower will be used as a radio/television broadcast and communications tower.
“People will use the Tobu line to go to Tokyo Skytree and they will shop in Tobu shops when they get there,” said Masayuki Kubota, who oversees the equivalent of $2 billion in assets in Tokyo at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. “It’s a very good investment.” He doesn’t own Tobu shares, he said in this article by Bloomberg.
Built in one of the most earthquake prone places in the world, the tower stands on three legs with a central column, typical of a tripod.
The tower stands over the Asakusa district in Tokyo. It is one station away on the Tobu Skytree Line. The tower has its own station aptly named “Tokyo Skytree Station”.
Here is the official site for the Tokyo Skytree tower.
Our first post on the Tokyo Skytree in 2009.
Since Obama’s announcement that he supported same-sex marriage, gay couples around the world have started planning wedding ceremonies, whether it is legal in their country or not. It is likely to be a long time before same-sex marriages become legal in Japan, but it hasn’t stopped one lesbian couple from making plans to hold a “commitment ceremony” at Tokyo Disneyland.
“My partner and I just love going to Disneyland, so when we saw a pamphlet advertising wedding receptions by the Cinderella Castle in Tokyo Disneyland we called and asked if we could hold our wedding there,” Higashi told Reuters in a telephone interview.
But Higashi is openly lesbian and her upcoming commitment ceremony is being characterised in the media as the first “gay wedding” to be held at Japan’s Magic Kingdom.
When Higashi gave them details of her plans, the hotel initially had one request.
“When I explained it would be with my female partner they hesitated and asked that one of us wear a tuxedo as the sight of two people with the same wedding dress would make other visitors to the park uncomfortable,” Higashi said.
After she questioned this, the resort promised to check things out and get back to her. A week later, Higashi was told she and her partner would be allowed to both wear wedding dresses, or both tuxedos, if so inclined.
The Sanja Matsuri festival will be held this weekend from Friday May 18 to Sunday May 20. It is one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals with around 1,000 people participating in a parade down Nakamis-dori Street to Asakusa Shrine. The parade will go around 1-2 pm.
On the 19th at noon around 100 mikoshi or Japanese style floats will be paraded around Asakusa.
The festival is lively and a great way to experience Japanese culture first hand.
Lady Gaga posted a photo to her Twitter account on Monday of her wearing an outfit of cuts of beef while in Tokyo on the Asian leg of her “Born This Way Ball” tour.
Lada Gaga appeared in sell out concerts on May 10, 12 and 13 at the Saitama Super Arena. You can see more pictures and information on the event’s website: http://www.ladygagajapan2012.com/
Donald “Duck” Dunn, the bassist who helped create the gritty Memphis soul sound at Stax Records in the 1960s as part of the legendary group Booker T. and the MGs and contributed to such classics as “In the Midnight Hour,” ”Hold On, I’m Coming” and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” died Sunday at 70.
Dunn, whose legacy as one of the most respected session musicians in the business also included work with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd’s Blues Brothers as well as with Levon Helm, Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, died while on tour in Tokyo.
Johnny Depp arrived in Tokyo yesterday (May 12 2012) to promote his new movie Dark Shadows.
Depp was mobbed by fans at Narita International airport. The premiere was screened the same night at Roppongi Hills Arena.
You can see the Dark Shadows trailer here:
Any travel around the world would not be complete without a stay in ancient Tokyo. The ancient temples and shrines are awe-inspiring and the memories will last a lifetime. This history-rich region of the planet is well worth the visit for anyone who loves experiencing history. There are many temples in the city, and we will explore just five of the best-rated temples. Here are a few that you should check out if you ever visit Tokyo.
The Magic of Bentendo Hall Temple
Bentendo Hall Temple, a Benzaiten temple was built in the early part of the 17th century. The builder of this intriguing temple was a feudal lord known as Mizunoya Katsutaka. The original structure was destroyed during WWII by extensive bombing. A replacement structure was completed in 1958 and is what is now regarded as of Bentendo Hall Temple. The temple is actually located on an island in Shinobazu Pond, which is part of Ueno Park Tokyo.
Breathtaking Denzuin Temple
Denzuin Temple is a Buddhist temple that was built by Tokugawa Leyasu in dedication to his mother. The temple was originally known as Muryozan Denzuin Jikuji. The temple is situated in the Bunkyo region. The Denzuin Temple was the inspiration and story setting for the Japanese novelist Kafu Nagai.
The Wonder of Gokuku-ji Temple
Gokuku-ji is a located in Tokyo’s Bunkyo-ku. This is a Buddhist temple, first established by the mother of the Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. The temple is well known for being the central temple that presides over the practice of the Japanese tea ceremony throughout the country’s temples. Emperor Mejii, in 1873 declared the temple the imperial mausoleum. In fact several of his children and the emperor himself are buried within the temple. To this day it is still regarded as the Imperial mausoleum.
Intriguing Dempoin Temple
Another Buddhist temple, Dempoin is situated near to Sensoji Temple, within the Asakusa district of the Taito Ward of the city. There is a wonderful Japanese garden and pond that is free for the public to tour, but the temple itself is usually not open for public touring. The garden and pond site is similar in design to Katsura Imperial Villa located in Kyoto.
The Splendor of Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple
Centrally located in the Asakusa District, Taito Ward of the city is Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple. This Buddhist temple is of the Jodo Shinshu sect, and is defined as Jodoshin sect Higashi-honganji-ha Higashi-Honganji Temple. The Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple was first constructed by Kyonyo, the 12th Priest of Higashi-Honganji. During the period of around 1651it and was known as the Edo Gobo Kozuiji Temple. A fire destroyed the temple in 1657, forcing the temple to be relocated to the current location in Asakua, being then named Asakua Honganji Temple. In 1965 the name was again changed, now to Tokyo Higashi-Honganji Temple. In 1981 following a conflict known as ‘Ohigashi Sodo’, it became independent of the Otani sect.
When in Japan, a visit to ancient shrines and temples is a must. It will keep you spellbound and in a state of wonder long after returning to your home country. The country is rich in culture and history, but the biggest pleasure comes from the warm, friendly and welcoming people you will meet during your tour.
If you’re interested in visiting some of these amazing temples and shrines, Singapore Airlines offers flights from Los Angeles to Tokyo. For more information visit: