C: town


Ueno-zoo in Tokyo Japan

Ueno-zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan. It was opened in 1882.


You can see giant panda, okapi and pigmy hippopotamus in this zoo,

these animals are called the three rarest animals in the world.



giant panda




pigmy hippopotamus


Ueno-zoo website


Access map


photo: October 2013


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT "DOHYO-IRI"

This is a scene of "DOHYO-IRI", it means "enter the ring".


They are high ranking wrestlers,

but Yokozuna wrestlers, highest ranking wrestlers, do "Yokozuna dohyo-iri",

so they don't join this ceremony.

The ceremony is done for purifying the area.


They put on beautiful aprons. It's called "Kesho Mawashi",

it means "an apron decorated beautifully".

They are made of silk and are very expensive.

It is said that the cost of an apron is over ten thousand dollars.

"Kesho mawashi" is usually given to wrestlers by sponsors.

Therefore the names of the wrestler and his sponsor are embroidered on the aprons.

photo: September 2013


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT YUMITORISIKI

A sumo wrestler gives a performance with a long bow

after the last match of the day.


The performance used to be given by a champion wrestler of the grand sumo

tournament as "a winner's performance".


However, nowadays it is given by a wrestler who belongs to the sumo stable

which  has a Yokozuna rank wrestler.


In addition, it used to be performed at the end of the tournament,

but now it is performed after the last match of each day.


If the wrestler drops the bow in the performance, he needs to pick it up with his feet,

because  touching the ground with his hand means "defeat" in sumo rules.

Actually, however, performers are well trained, so I have never seen a wrestler drops

the bow in his performance.


This wrestler is SATONOFUJI. He belong to the sumo stable

which has a YOKOZUNA rank wrestler, "HARUMAFUJI".

He performed the with the bow very well.

photo: September 17


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT SALT

Sumo wrestlers scatter salt before their matches.


They do it for purifying the sumo ring.

↓This wrestler scatters more salt than other wrestlers.


Each wrestler scatters salt by his own style.

Some of them scatters a lot salt in distinctive ways,

other wrestlers scatter a little salt quietly.


photo: September 2013


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT SHIKO

Sumo wrestlers often do these movements.


Wrestlers open their legs and put their hands around their knees and lift up their leg, then stamp the ground with their feet strongly.


A series of these movements is called SHIKO.


Sumo is a part of a Shinto ritual.


Shiko is done for purifying the area and pouring gods' energy into the land.


In addition, Shiko is regarded as a basic training for Sumo wrestlers.


It doesn't look so hard, but actually the movements are very tough.

It helps strengthen the lower half of your body, if you keep on doing this exercise regularly.

photo: September 2013


Tokyo tourist information centre at Tokyo metropolitan government in Tokyo Japan

This is an information centre for tourists.


They provide information about tourism.


I belong to the office as a volunteer guide.

Staff are very friendly and supportive, so I recommend you stop by the centre.

This centre is at the 1st floor of the main building of Tokyo metropolitan government building.

There are other two Tokyo tourist information centers.

One is at the second floor of Haneda airport International terminal.

The other is at Keisei Ueno station, in front of the ticket gate.

Tokyo Tourist Information Centers


Kumade at Tokyo metropolitan government in Tokyo Japan


This is a Kumade.

Kumade is a rake that can gather up a large amount of fallen leaves.

Kazari Kumade is an ornament. It is often handmade by traditional craftsmen.

Kazari Kumade is believed to gather up fortune, wealth, business success and family


You can obtain Kazari Kumade at Torinoichi, which are held in various places

including Asakusa in November.

Torinoichi are regarded as seasonal festivals announcing the arrival of winter.

You can see this Kazari Kumade at the second floor of

Tokyo metropolitan government building.


The view from Tokyo metropolitan government building at Shinjuku in Tokyo Japan

You can see the wide area of Tokyo from the 45th floor of

Tokyo metropolitan government building.

This prospect hall is about 202 meter from the ground.


↑The prominent building at the center of the photo is Shinjuku  Park Tower.

Park Hyatt Tokyo is in the building.

Sofia Coppola's movie "Lost in translation" was filmed in the luxury hotel.

The building was designed by Kenzo Tange who designed Tokyo metropolitan

government building.



↑The green area at the right side of this photo is Meiji Shrine.

↓There are horribly many buildings.


You can go to the hall by the elevator from the ground floor of the main building.

The hall opens from 9:30 a.m. to 23:00 p.m.


Tokyo metropolitan government building at Shinjuku in Tokyo Japan

This is the Tokyo metropolitan government building.


It is 243 metre tall.

It is three underground stories and 48 stories above the ground.

It was completed in 1991.


↓This space is called "the Tokyo citizens' square".


This place is  in front of the building entrance.

Map and information


Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower at Shinjuku in Tokyo Japan


There are many skyscrapers in Shinjuku area.

Above all, this building very stands out because of the shape.

This is called "Mode Gakuen Cocoon tower".

A company who runs schools owns the building.

It is  home to three educational institutions.

Tokyo Mode Gakuen (fashion vocational school),

HAL Tokyo (special technology and design college),

and Shuto Ikō (medical college).


It was completed in 2008.

The height is about 204 metre.

It is the second tallest educational building in the world.

The building's cocoon shape symbolizes a building that nurtures the students inside.


1-7-3 Nishi-Shinjuku Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

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About me

  • Hi there! I'm Lala. I'm a Japanese living in Tokyo. I'm an English speaking licensed guide and authorized tour conductor. If you have questions, please leave comments on this blog or send me e-mails. lalalamumin☆yahoo.co.jp (please replace ☆ with @ when you send me e-mails)

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