March might be one of the most anticipated times in Tokyo.

Vol.144|Welcome to TokyoNow Newsletter. Our goal is to help you enjoy the high-tech urban atmosphere of Tokyo combined with ancient shrines, festivals and old-fashioned manners. Prepare to discover Tokyo you have never seen before!

 

March might be one of the most anticipated times in Tokyo as it is usually the month in which the famous cherry blossoms will reach their full bloom in the capital city. The weather however can still be very unpredictable. From the warm days above 20 degree to snowy surprises anything can happen, so it is better to come prepared for every kind of weather.

NEWS & TOPICS
Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra(TMSO) Concert Information
 
The TMSO was established by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 1965 as a commemorative cultural project for the Tokyo Olympics 1964. With its Music Director Kazushi Ono, Principal Guest Conductor Alan Gilbert, the TMSO has earned a reputation as one of the leading orchestras in Japan.
The TMSO will hold special concerts on March 27 and 28 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of composer Ligeti's birth. The concert will be conducted by Kazushi Ono, and the soloist will be Patrizia Kopatchinskaja, who has been attracting worldwide attention recently. Kopatchinskaja will play the violin concerto and also sing "Mysteries of the Macabre". This is a rare opportunity to witness her superb technique and performance on stage. We hope you will enjoy the Ligeti world at the world-class, beautifully resonant Suntory Hall.
Tickets can be purchased through the English website.
PEOPLE - Mikan Mandarin - Youtuber and Kawaii Fashion Owner

Vina Murad a.k.a Mikan Mandarin is a household name in the Japanese blogger scene. Regularly blogging about fashion, shopping and daily life in Japan since she moved here several years ago, her channel has grown an extensive fanbase all over the World. This fanbase also encouraged her to create her own brand.

Even though she would be considered an average Japanese size herself, it has always bothered her that Japanese brands are not very inclusive when it comes to sizing, so she decided to take all the Japanese clothing elements she likes and design her own brand.

 

Mikan’s brand “Vina of the Valley” is highly influenced by lolita fashion and anything she considers cute. Most of her items come in seven different sizes which she is still planning to expand. She is highly involved in the whole process of her brand from designing over factory communication to customer care and shipping.

Vina of the Valley is available for shipping worldwide.

EXPERIENCE - Roasted Sweet Potato Shop Fuji

Roasted sweet potato, also known as yakiimo in Japanese, is a popular autumn and winter snack food in Japan. At first it might be odd to just snack on a potato but Japanese sweet potatoes are so sweet in flavor that they are more of a sweet treat than a vegetable.

Fuji, located in the Setagaya ward of Tokyo, opened in 2013 and offers one of the biggest roasted sweet potato varieties in Tokyo. Every year they select the best varieties from all over japan to put in their line up.

 

No sweet potato in their shop is alike. From ghostly white, mild tasting sweet potatoes over purple sweet potatoes, mainly known in Okinawa, over a variety of the classics to a Halloween sweet potato that has a pumpkin like flavor and color, there is something for every taste bud. The sweet potatoes are sold by weight, so feel free to pick your favorite size.Besides sweet potatoes, the shop also sells delicious roasted chestnuts which are usually more common in Europe and hard to get in Japan.

PAST - Cats and Love at Imado Shrine

Imado Shrine is located in the popular Asakusa area close to the famous Sensoji Temple. It is a rather small shrine filled with beckoning cats and it is actually one of the places said to have originated the famous Manekineko itself. However, while the traditional Maneki Neko asks for money, the Imado Shrine is said to invite love. It is very popular with couples and the popular shrine ema (shrine plaque) depicts a Maneki couple as well.

 

Being a couple or in love is not mandatory to visit this shrine but there is certainly no way around liking cats as there is no escaping the shrine's cute felines. Most of the shrine goods you can buy here are cat themed. If you are very lucky you might even meet one of the real cats that love to visit the shrine to beg for some snuggles and treats as if they know this shrine is dedicated to their kind.

TREND - Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Illuminations

The Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Illumination is a yearly highlight of the Tokyo cherry blossom season. This event around the Meguro River makes the area one of the most visited in spring.

Usually by late March, about 800 cherry blossom trees are in full bloom along Meguro River, with most of them being illuminated between 17:00 and 21:00. The illumination stretches over about one kilometer along the river. In recent years, the spring and winter illumination and the belonging food and drink stalls have mainly been using recycled oil as fuel for the illumination to make these events more economical.

 

The best view of the event can be witnessed from one of the second floor restaurants around the area, but they need previous booking or a long waiting time during the cherry blossom season due to their popularity.

※Please do not force yourself to attend this very crowded event.

DIVERSITY - Tulips at Showa Kinen Park

While cherry blossoms are the undisputed queens of the springtime in Japan, they are not the only blooming flowers during this time. Showa Kinen Park is a popular park located on the site of the old Tachikawa air base. It was officially opened here in 1983, to commemorate 50th anniversary of Emperor Showa's accession.

Located close to Tachikawa station, the park prides itself on having some kind of blooming flowers all year long and is a popular weekend spot for many families. It is home to a wide range of facilities, including vast lawns, wooded areas and seasonal flower gardens.

 

While the park is naturally also home to some cherry blossom trees, the colorful tulips blooming at the same time are the main spring event at the park. These colorful flowers evoke the warm feeling of spring in their home country in many oversea visitors but they are also loved by locals for their bright colors reminiscent of the summer to come.

MOVIE: Experience Tokyo from the distance
To make it easier for you to find exciting places to visit during your stay,we have prepared a variety of movies to help you to enjoy this magical country to the fullest! 

Cherry blossoms in Kinuta Park|A Day in Tokyo

Miniature effect【 Sukiyabashi Ginza】

Information
In order to offer travelers a safe and fun experience in Tokyo, do not forget to check the information on COVID-19 provided by the Japanese government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government here.
Coming up next month
Looking for places to spend time in Tokyo during April 2023?

We’ve got lots of suggestions for you, so stay tuned and look forward to your visit to Tokyo! If you missed last month's letter, you can catch up here.  If you have not subscribed to the newsletter yet, please do so here. See you in Tokyo next month!

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- Usage Guide | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

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Issued by|Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Supported by|Tourism Division, Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Contact|tokyonownewsletter2023@gmail.com

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