• 03/06/2011
  • 02/25/2021

Tour to Bank of Japan

The Bank of Japan is located in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.? Currently, the new wing, which is a modern building, is used for?most the operations.? The old wing, designated as important cultural property, can be visited as a guided tour.? The tour includes an introductory video about the Bank and a visit to exhibits of historical interest and the underground vault of the Old Building, which is registered as an important cultural property. The old wing of the Bank of Japan was completed in 1896.? In the Edo period, there was a gold mint in the site. The building was very modern for that age.? It was the first building in Japan to install a flush toilet, and the 2nd elevator made in Japan was used. In the basement is a vault, which was used for more than a hundred years from 1896 to 2004.? Expansion work was made in the early Showa period, which?expanded the width of the?vault to about 1426 sqm.? The door is 90cm thick, and weighs 25t.? It takes 2 men to open the door.? Inside the?vault are rails, which were used for lorries. English guided tours of the Bank of Japan are available free of charge.? Reservations […]

  • 03/01/2011
  • 02/25/2021

Traditional Technique Museums in Sumida-ku

There are many small museums in Sumida-ku, Tokyo.? Most of these museums are ran by old shops and craft centers, willing to show their techniques from hundreds of years ago.? They are very small, and not so popular, but the exhibitions are very unique.? Most of the shops are still open, so if you are interested, you can purchase a souvenir 🙂 Below are some of the relatively-well-known museums. Bekko Museum (??鴻?g?画?????蕕?) Bekko (藜????) is?a material produced mainly from the shell of hawksbill turtle. It was widely used in the 1960s and 1970s in the manufacture of items such as combs, guitar picks, and?sunglasses.? It is a translucent material with red and yellow colors, and is much more light than plastic.? Many accessories are shown and sold at the museum. Location: 5-5-2, Yokozuna, Sumida-ku Open Hours: 10:00-17:30 Shop closed on Sundays, holidays. Nomen Museum (??初?√?????え) Nomen is a mask used in Noh (???), one of the oldest Japanese theatrical arts. At this museum, about 50 Nomen are displayed.? You will see that every one of them have different expressions.? You can also look around the manufacturing process of Nomen. Location: 5-10-5, Narihira, Sumida-ku Open Hours: 9:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00 Closed on Tuesdays, […]

  • 02/19/2011
  • 02/25/2021

Nezu Museum, Aoyama

Nezu Museum is a museum located in Aoyama, exhibiting its collection of?Japanese and Oriental art. The museum opened to the public in 1940 and escaped the destruction suffered by the estate property in the bombing of May 1945. Closed due to large-scale renovation and renewal from 2006 onwards, it re-opened in fall 2009 with a completely new museum building by the Japanese architect?Kuma Kengo (?????????). Included in the collection are a pair of Edo period folding-screens of Irises by Ogata Korin. It also includes other paintings of renown, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and archaeological materials, as well as objects in lacquer, metal, and wood. The collection also consists of Chinese bronzes of the Shang and Zhou dynasties. The Nezu Museum is also known for its vast, Japanese-style garden.? This garden is dotted with?tea ceremony houses.? Nezu Kaichiro (??号乾???筝????), the founder of this museum, spent his afterlife in tea ceremony, and his collection of tea paraphernalia is exhibited in the museum.If you are interested in Oriental art, especially concerning tea ceremony, Nezu Museum is worth a visit 🙂 — Higherground Co.,Ltd. 2-8-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan TEL:03-6459-2230 HP:http://www.higherground.co.jp/ TOP PAGE:?https://livingtokyo.net/

  • 01/01/2011
  • 02/27/2021

Japanese New Year’s Sport – Hanetsuki

A popular sport to do in the new year in Japan is Hanetsuki (臂醇?合?????). Hanetsuki is like badminton without a net, played with a square-shaped wooden racket and a birdie made with Sapindaceae seed.? Two players continue a rally, and the one who fails to hit back loses.? The winner can draw paintings on the losers face with Sumi (紜?, Japanese ink used for calligraphy) Actually, Hanetsuki is not as popular as it used to be, alike many other traditions.? However,?the wooden racket, Hagoita (臂遵?????), is still popular for displaying?at home. Hagoita is usually decorated beautifully.? Most of them are painted with lacqer, and some have steric silk collages (these tend to be expensive, so probably no one will use it for playing Hanetsuki). Hagoita are generally sold at?Hagoita-ichi (臂遵????水??, Hagoita fair),? in December. In?Tokyo, Sensoji (羌????絲?) is famous for its Hagoita-ichi, which had been held every year since the Edo period. If you are interested in the history of Hagoita, there is a small museum in Tokyo, which displays Hagoita from the Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa period. Hagoita Shiryokan (臂遵????粋?????蕕?) Address: 25-43-5, Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo Open: 10:00-17:00 on Thur., Fri., Sat. (Closed period Oct.1-Jan.20) — Higherground Co.,Ltd. 2-8-3 Minami-Aoyama, […]

  • 12/11/2010
  • 02/27/2021

Tobacco & Salt Museum, Shibuya

The Tobacco and Salt Museum is a many-sided institution that specializes in the collection and study of materials relating to tobacco and salt, which were?monopoly goods in Japan.? Many tools and ads, and replicas of people’s living are displayed. Tobacco arived in Japan?around 1600,?and led to the creation of new and artistically significant forms of material culture.? First, shredded tobacco was smoked in long, slender kiseru pipes; after the late 19th century renewal of contact with the West, cigarettes came into favor. Since Japan has no viable natural sources of salt, the early inhabitants were forced to use their ingenuity in producing sea salt. Over the centuries, this disadvantage resulted in a sophisticated, unique salt technology. To know more about tobacco and salt in the history of Japan, visit the museum! Museum of Tabacco & Salt Location: Shibuya Open Hours: 10:00-18:00 Entrance Fee: JPY100 Web Site: http://www.jti.co.jp/Culture/museum/Welcome.html (Eng) — Higherground Co.,Ltd. 2-8-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan TEL:03-6459-2230 HP:http://www.higherground.co.jp/ TOP PAGE:?https://livingtokyo.net/

  • 11/30/2010
  • 02/27/2021

Gallery Dojunkai, Omotesando

Have you visited Omotesando Hills in Tokyo?? If so, the?architecture designed by Tadao Ando (絎???ゅ?????) must have caught you eyes. Before this modern building was built, there was an apartment in this place.? The name of the apartment was Dojunkai Aoyama Apart?(???羹や?????絮宴?≪????若??), which was an old building completed in 1927. This apartment is not completely gone.? Did you notice?that the eastern edge of Omotesando Hills is not covered with glass?? This?part is?the reused Dojunkai Aoyama Apart. The 2nd floor of this rebirthed Dojunkai is used as an art gallery.? It is a small gallery that exhibits modern arts, which goes very well with the stylish city of Omotesando. Boutiques are of course attractive, but finding other charms of Omotesando is amusing too 🙂 Gallery Dojunkai Location: Omotesando Hills Website: http://www.gallerydojunkai.com/gallery.htm (Jap) — Higherground Co.,Ltd. 2-8-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan TEL:03-6459-2230 HP:http://www.higherground.co.jp/ TOP PAGE:?https://livingtokyo.net/

  • 11/28/2010
  • 02/27/2021

Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Museum (??延根??遵梱???臂?茵?蕕?) is a museum in Meguro, Tokyo.? There?are temporary?exhibitions 5-6 times an year, but the main exhibition of this museum is the building and the garden itself. The building of the museum was built in 1933, as the mansion of Asakanomiya (???薤?絎?), member of the Imperial family.? The style is Art Deco, which stormed Europe in the 1920s to 30s. The building was mainly designed by a French designer, and many of the interior accessories are from France and other countries.??Parts of the building were designed by a Japanese architect who belonged to the Imperial Household Ministry, and added some Japanese touch. Teien (綺???), of Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Museum, means garden.? This fact shows that the garden is the main attraction. The garden consists of the grass garden, Japanese garden, and Western garden.? Various flowers will amuse you throughout the seasons.? There are outdoor exhibitions, such as carvings, and a tea cermony house too. Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Museum Location: Meguro Website: http://www.teien-art-museum.ne.jp/info/e_index.html (Eng) — Higherground Co.,Ltd. 2-8-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan TEL:03-6459-2230 HP:http://www.higherground.co.jp/ TOP PAGE:?https://livingtokyo.net/

  • 11/23/2010
  • 02/27/2021

Okura Museum of Art, Akasaka

Okura Museum of Art (紊у???????え), is a museum in Akasaka, right in front of Hotel Okura.? This museum exhibits Japanese and oriental arts, which was collected by Okura Kihachiro (紊у??????????), an entrepreneur.? His son, Kishichiro (???筝????), is the founder of Okura Hotel. Okura Museum of Art opened in 1917, as the first proprietary museum in Japan.? After the building and some arts were lost in the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, the museum once closed, but reopened in 1928. In 1997, the original building was rebuilt for the 80th anniversary event.? The building has classic Chinese taste, and has been selected as the natinal cultural heritage. Okura Museum of Art owns about 2500 arts, and 1000 writings from ancient China.? The arts have a range in drawings, carvings, calligraphies, etc., and includes 3 national treasures. Exhibitions differ from time to time.? For inforation of what is on now, check out the website 🙂 Okura Museum of Art Location: Akasaka, Tokyo Website: http://www.shukokan.org/english/index.html (Eng) — Higherground Co.,Ltd. 2-8-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan TEL:03-6459-2230 HP:http://www.higherground.co.jp/ TOP PAGE:?https://livingtokyo.net/

  • 11/13/2010
  • 02/27/2021

Shimbashi and the Japanese Railways

Have you seen the steam train in front of Shimbashi station?? The steam train and the square around it is often shown on TV. Of course it is not active today, but this steam train shows the history of Shimbashi station. Shimbashi was the first railway station in Japan, which opened in 1872.? The first travel of freight trains was in 1873, between Shimbashi and Yokohama. Shimbashi was the terminal station of Tokyo, until the function was moved to Tokyo station in 1914. The first post-house was located?near the present Shiodome station.? After the building collapsed by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, it was moved to the present location. Today, a reproduction of the first post-house is built where it used to stand.? This replication is used as a museum.? Here, we can know the modernizaion of Japan through and the role of railways. Former Shimbashi Station (??ф?井?????荵????) Open Hours: 11:00-18:00 Website: http://www.ejrcf.or.jp/shinbashi/index.html (Jap) — Higherground Co.,Ltd. 2-8-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan TEL:03-6459-2230 HP:http://www.higherground.co.jp/ TOP PAGE:?https://livingtokyo.net/

  • 11/04/2010
  • 02/27/2021

Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum, Aoyama, Tokyo

Taro Okamoto (絏≧?? 紊???) was a Japanese artist noted for his abstract and?avant-garde paintings and sculpture. He was known for the quote, “Art is Magic” and “Art is Explosion.” He studied at Panth辿on-Sorbonne in the 1930s, and made many great art works after WW2. He was a prolific artist and writer until his death in 1996, and has exerted considerable influence on Japanese society. One of his most famous works?is?Tower of the Sun (紊??純????), in the picture above.? This became the symbol of Expo ’70, a World’s Fair?held?in Suita, Osaka, 1970. It shows the past (lower part), present (middle part), and future (the face) of the human race. It still stands in the center of the Expo Memorial Park. Okamoto lived and had his atelier in Aoyama?for 50 years, until he died at age 84.? The place where he lived is now used as his memorial museum. The rooms and garden are left as it was when Okamoto lived there.? Arts are displayed, and there are documents by Okamoto which his wife preserved. Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum is only a few minutes walk from Omotesando station.? How about dropping by after shopping? Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum Location: Omotesando, Tokyo Open […]