Asakusa Tatsumiya Kaminari-mon opening…

[EN] Waves of amazed & joyful faces at the OPENING of “Asakusa Tatsumiya Kaminari-mon” from 10:00, starting with Asian women wearing the hijab, Chinese girls, Japanese ladies in kimono… and me 🙂 While they purchased accessories, I bought the first Kimono Tumbler® with its wooden box as Christmas gift for my 80 y.o. French grandmother! She should appreciate the flowery silk (big irises) and easily use this model with revolving opening (recommended by the staff for elders). Fourth generation kimono specialist, SHIBUKAWA Norikazu opened this shop in Tokyo city near the famous Kaminari-mon Thunder Gate and Asakusa subway station to introduce his invention (Kimono Tumbler) to people from all over the world… and got a great start as a Japanese TV crew covered the event! Sold between 8.000 and 30.000 yens, each tumbler features a unique piece of pure-silk obi (kimono belt) handmade by artisans in Japan: Kyoto city…

[FR] Vagues de visages émerveillés et ravis à l’OUVERTURE de “Asakusa Tatsumiya Kaminari-mon” dès 10:00, en commençant par des femmes asiatiques avec hijab, des filles chinoises, des dames japonaises en kimono… et moi 🙂 Pendant qu’elles achetaient des accessoires, j’achetais le premier Kimono Tumbler® avec son coffret en bois comme cadeau de Noël pour ma grand-mère française de 80 ans ! Elle devrait apprécier la soie fleurie (gros iris) et utiliser facilement ce modèle à ouverture tournante (recommandé pour les personnes âgées par un employé). Spécialiste du kimono de quatrième génération, SHIBUKAWA Norikazu a ouvert ce magasin dans la ville de Tokyo près de la célèbre Porte Du Tonnerre Kaminari-mon et de la station de métro Asakusa afin de présenter son invention (Kimono Tumbler) aux gens du monde entier… et a commencé sur les chapeaux de roue car une équipe de télévision japonaise a couvert l’événement ! Vendu entre 8.000 et 30.000 yens, chaque tumbler est décoré d’un morceau unique d’obi (ceinture de kimono) en pure soie fait à la main par des artisans au Japon: ville de Kyoto…

[JP] 十時から浅草たつみやを「オープン」した!驚きと幸せな笑顔のお客の波、先ずはヒジャブを着たアジア人女性達、中国の女の子達、着物を着る日本人の御婦人…と私 🙂 彼女達がアクセサリーを買った時に、私は80歳のフランス人の祖母に、クリスマスプレゼントとして着物タンブラー®と専用木製箱を一番客として購入した。祖母はきっと、絹の花模様(大きいアイリス)が気にいるはずだし、回転式の開栓タイプだと使い易いはず(スタッフから高齢者におすすめ)。着物専門家四代目である澁川・智一は、彼が発明した着物タンブラーを世界中に紹介する為に、東京都の有名な浅草駅雷門の近くで開店した。素晴らしい開業を紹介する為に日本のテレビも取材に来た。各タンブラーは、日本(京都府等)の職人が作った正絹帯から作られていて、同じものが存在しない全てが独特の商品だ。値段は、八千~三万円です。

#japaneseshop #magasinjaponais #開店 #shopping

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Asakusa Tatsumiya:
Address – Adresse – 住所: (Japan/Japon) Tokyo 111-0032, Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-18-2
〒111-0032 東京都台東区浅草1-18-2

SHIBUKAWA Norikazu – 澁川・智一:

Written in Tokyo, Japan.

37 years old… 37 ans… 37歳…

[EN] Thanks for all the “Happy birthday Sébastien!” for my 37th anniversary 🙂 In Tokyo city (Japan), I walked with a friend from Takao station, along Minami-asa river, in Ryonan park (where kids enjoyed summer in the water), and in Musashi Imperial Graveyard, where we saw beautiful trees, lively lizards, and the mausoleums of Emperor Taisho (Yoshihito), his wife Empress Teimei, Emperor Showa (Hirohito), and his wife Empress Kojun. We then enjoyed cute decors & shows with Hello Kitty during my first visit of Sanrio Puroland theme park! Finally, we savoured a sukiyaki at the nearby Japanese restaurant Shabu-shabu Gyuta of Cocolia Tama Center: beef, tofu & vegetables simmered in soy sauce, sugar & rice wine then dipped in raw eggs… I’d love to enjoy the whole year like this with my friends from all over the world 😀

[FR] Merci pour tous les “Joyeux anniversaire Sébastien !” de mes 37 ans 🙂 A Tokyo (Japon), j’ai marché avec une amie depuis la gare de Takao, le long de la rivière Minami-asa, dans le parc Ryonan (où des enfants profitaient de l’été dans l’eau) et au cimetière impérial Musashi, où nous avons vu de beaux arbres, des lézards vivaces, et les mausolées de l’Empereur Taisho (Yoshihito), de sa femme Impératrice Teimei, de l’Empereur Showa (Hirohito), et de sa femme Impératrice Kojun. Ensuite, nous avons admiré de mignons décors & spectacles avec Hello Kitty lors de ma première visite au parc d’attractions Sanrio Puroland ! Finalement, nous avons savouré un sukiyaki non loin au restaurant japonais Shabu-shabu Gyuta de Cocolia Tama Center: boeuf, tofu & légumes préparés avec sauce de soja, sucre & vin de riz puis baignés dans des oeufs crus… J’adorerais profiter de toute l’année ainsi avec mes amis des 4 coins du monde 😀

[JP] 37才の「セバスチャン、誕生日おめでとう!」メッセージ、皆さんありがとうございました 🙂 東京都高尾駅から友達と散歩した:南浅川に沿って、子供が水で夏を楽しんだ陵南公園で、武蔵陵墓地で(綺麗な木、賑やかな蜥蜴、大正天皇の多摩陵、貞明皇后の多摩東陵、昭和天皇の武藏野陵、香淳皇后の武藏野東陵)。そして、初めてサンリオ・ピューロランド遊園地に行って可愛い装飾とハローキティ・ショーを観た。最後に、近いしゃぶしゃぶ牛太ココリア多摩センター店で美味しい鋤焼を食べた。世界中の友達と一年間こういう感じで過ごしたいな… 😀

[EN] Children at Ryonan park. [FR] Enfants au parc Ryonan. [JP] 陵南公園で子供。

[EN] Trees at Musashi Imperial Graveyard. [FR] Arbres au cimetière impérial Musashi. [JP] 武蔵陵墓地で木。

[EN] Lizard at Musashi Imperial Graveyard. [FR] Lézard au cimetière impérial Musashi. [JP] 武蔵陵墓地で蜥蜴。

[EN] Sébastien Duval at the mausoleum of Emperor Showa. [FR] Sébastien Duval au mausolée de l'Empereur Showa. [JP] 昭和天皇の武藏野陵で寿春セバスチャン。

[EN] Show at Sanrio Puroland. [FR] Spectacle à Sanrio Puroland. [JP] サンリオ・ピューロランドでショー。

[EN] Sukiyaki at Shabu-shabu Gyuta in Cocolia Tama Center. [FR] Sukiyaki à Shabu-shabu Gyuta dans Cocolia Tama Center. [JP] しゃぶしゃぶ牛太ココリア多摩センター店で鋤焼。

Musashi Imperial Graveyard – Cimetière Impérial Musashi – 武蔵陵墓地:
[JP] 大正天皇・多摩陵 –
[JP] 昭和天皇・武藏野陵 –

Sanrio Puroland – サンリオ・ピューロランド:

Shabu-shabu Gyuta – しゃぶしゃぶ牛太:
[JP] ブランド –
[JP] ココリア多摩センター店 –

New experience & 400-year festival: I carried an omikoshi during Kanda-matsuri in Tokyo (Japan)

As part of the biennial festival Kanda-matsuri entertaining Shinto gods and celebrating this year the move of Kanda Shrine to its current location in Chiyoda ward (Tokyo, Japan) 400 years ago, Eri and I watched a parade with horses and participants in traditional costumes around 09:00 near Jimbocho station.

Horse & costumes during Kanda-matsuri in Jimbocho area (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 09 May 2015.

Shishi-shaped float of Jimbocho-itchome during Kanda-matsuri in Jimbocho area (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 09 May 2015.

Invited by community leaders, I then carried a divine palanquin “omikoshi” for the first time, wearing the festival attire of Jimbocho-itchome district, in company of Japanese locals and of an American married to a local lady. We processed from and to Jinbocho Mitsui Building (16:00-19:00), singing to keep the rhythm on Yasukuni avenue and in small streets of Kanda Suzuran Shopping District, lighting lanterns up on our beautiful omikoshi at night 🙂

Small & big omikoshis of Jimbocho-itchome during Kanda-matsuri in Jimbocho area (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 09 May 2015.

Dragons on the omikoshi of Jimbocho-itchome during Kanda-matsuri in Jimbocho area (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 09 May 2015.

Omikoshi of Jimbocho-itchome towards Shinjuku during Kanda-matsuri in Jimbocho area (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 09 May 2015.

Omikoshi of Jimbocho-itchome carried high during Kanda-matsuri in Jimbocho area (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 09 May 2015.

Japanese girls carrying the omikoshi of Jimbocho-itchome at night during Kanda-matsuri in Jimbocho area (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 09 May 2015.

I hurt my shoulders due to my inexperience and above-average height (Update: still a bit painful after 7 days in spite of immediate medical treatment)… but I had fun and was glad to experience this piece of Japanese life, share food and drinks with so many happy friendly faces, and meet local friends!

Japanese girls in happi during Kanda-matsuri in Jimbocho area (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 09 May 2015.

Big thanks to the influential owners of Hanaya restaurant, Hasebe restaurant (local omikoshi manager) and Ohya-shobo ukiyo-e shop (XYZ role) for getting me authorized to carry the omikoshi of Jimbocho-itchome.

I tested SGRS Tourism Agency‘s Sumida river cruise and Walk with Geisha in Asakusa area (Tokyo, Japan)!

Invited by SGRS Tourism Agency to test its tours for foreign tourists in Tokyo, I enjoyed this afternoon a fun Sweet & Sound Cruise on the Sumida river and a Walk with Geisha in Asakusa area then attended its business presentation and a funny show (see next post). As a tourism professional and former preschool teacher, I believe these tours will be great once refined, providing fond memories of Japan to Western adults and children alike! I now look forward to a walk with a Japanese warrior, ninja or samurai 😉

Odaiba island (Minato ward, Tokyo, Japan) from the Sweet & Sound Cruise boat on 18 April 2015.

Geisha Otoki-san in kimono with Sébastien Duval holding her fan at Asakusa Shrine (Taito ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 18 April 2015. Photo by Eri.

I had a great time all along: Ken (from Hawaii) and Miki (from Japan) sang in English and Japanese during the cruise while Oui played the piano and Nanako the violin, Harusa (from ???) guided us in the streets of Asakusa accompanied by the “geisha” Otoki-san… Bilingual and wearing a kimono, Harusa motivated us to look for statues on rooftops (e.g. the thief Nezumi-kozo) and portraits of Japanese movie stars (e.g. Takeshi Kitano), touch a giant straw sandal at Senso-ji Buddhist temple, pray under cherry blossoms… Under a big blue sky, we took splendid photos of Odaiba island from the platform of our boat as well as cool photos with the staff here and there 🙂

Miki & Ken singing with a piano and violin during a Sweet & Sound Cruise (Minato ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 18 April 2015.

Harusa Matsuyama in kimono with Sébastien Duval at Asakusa Shrine (Taito ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 18 April 2015. Photo by Eri.

The cruise is fine for Westerners but would be even more exciting with albums containing old maps, photos or ukiyo-e woodblock prints placed on the tables, with sale of traditional Japanese sweets/snacks like wagashi and karinto (plus a list of ingredients for allergic travellers), and with more Japanese songs (adding a lullaby would be great to transmit the Japanese culture).

The walk requires a method to avoid losing participants in the crowds and to prevent interruptions by bystanders jumping in for a photo with the geisha! To enhance the tour, the guide may bring a piece of kimono fabric to freely touch and may introduce holy seals at the last spot (Asakusa Shrine): watching a Shinto/Buddhist calligrapher write a goshuin is amazing but few Westerners know that! Finally, the guide may give maps introducing local restaurants and shops (see the Get Japan maps for examples).

I hope this feedback will help SGRS Tourism Agency make a better world, happier people 🙂 I just e-mailed the team!

Ken with Sébastien Duval on the Sweet & Sound Cruise boat (Minato ward, Tokyo, Japan) on 18 April 2015.