Sakura at Tokyo Midtown

This Week in Tokyo – 23 March 2021

Welcome to ‘This Week in Tokyo’, a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in the city. Hosted by Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide, you can check out photos from our tours and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis, and beyond! This week: Tokyo Midtown Sakura; Kagoshima Shochu Extravaganza; Gyoza Cooking Class Success; Omurice Up Next and How to Pronounce Japanese Whisky!

Tokyo Midtown Sakura: Yes, they’ve started blooming. The earliest date since records began in 1953. Here’s what a typical view of them currently looks like, taken at Tokyo Midtown. I am deeply disappointed that we couldn’t welcome overseas visitors to Japan for the Cherry Blossoms this year. We are going to more than make up for it in 2022, I swear!

Kagoshima Shochu bottles

Kagoshima Shochu Extravaganza: Last Thursday I was invited to join an online shochu tasting with a difference. Organised by the Kagoshima Prefectural Visitors Bureau, it was a masterful event taking participants on a tippler’s tour through the prefecture with treasure maps, incredible videos and prize draws. We enjoyed these 5 shochus from 3 of my favourite distilleries, including a couple from Amami Oshima, which long-term blog readers will know from one of our most-read posts from February 2019.

Mac during a Japanese cuisine online cooking class

Gyoza Cooking Class Success: What better way than to spend a rainy day in Tokyo than in the online company of people from 4 continents. teaching them how to make the best gyoza they have ever had during our gyoza online, interactive cooking class held on Sunday. Here’s an action shot of me and Nahoko in… err… action during the class. Thank you as always to all our guests who have been supporting these classes over the last year. We love you all!

Omurice online cooking class

Omurice Up Next: Next up for Maction Planet Online Interactive Cooking Classes is Omurice on 18 April 2021 (JST)!

Japan opened its borders and ports from 1854 onwards, western cooking started to influence Japanese tastes, inspiring chefs here to create a sub-genre of cooking called yōshoku (‘Western food’). Omurice falls into this category. The name is a gairaigo, Japanese borrowed from another language, a corruption of ‘omelette rice.’ Today, omurice is a fixture on the menus of many Western-style cafes and restaurant. Some even specialize in it! It has also become a staple of the maid cafe scene in Akihabara, Tokyo, with maid drawing cute pictures in ketchup on your omurice!

Check out more details about the class then email to sign up!

How to Pronounce Japanese Whisky: The latest video on our sister platform Kanpai Planet takes a deep-dive into Japanese whisky pronunciation. Watch and you’ll find out how to pronounce the major Suntory and Nikka whiskies with Japanese names, PLUS info about their meaning, the origins of the whisky names and the companies that make them, all rolled up with a bit of background about the Japanese language and its pronunciation. Linguistic Japanese whisky edutainment.

While you are there, please subscribe and click the bell icon to be notified when we drop our next video. We want YOU to be a part of our growing community of Japanese drinks lovers! Kanpai!

Maction Planet runs bespoke Private Tours and Experiences in Tokyo, and beyond. To book yours, or to purchase a gift card, contact us at

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