This Week in Tokyo – 7 July 2020
It’s the return of multi-venue ‘This Week in Tokyo’! ‘This Week in Tokyo’ is a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in the city. Check out photos from our adventures and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis. This week’s edition is hosted by Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide. This week: Yushima Tenjin Tanabata; Chibi Godzilla and Friends; Square Watermelons; Nuts Tokyo No More and Okonomiyaki Cooking Class!
In the last few editions of ‘This Week in Tokyo’ I have focussed on a single neighbourhood, for example Todoroki, Sangejaya or Nakameguro, or a specific location, such as Suitengu or Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin. This week, with Tokyo continuing to open up, I have expanded my wanderings and adventures while of course wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. I am extremely pleased that this week marks the return of ‘multi-venue’ This Week in Tokyo!
By the way, want a break from lockdown? Can’t visit Japan right now? Want to step into another world for a moment? Join me and Nahoko, a great chef, and enjoy a fun few hours away from your usual routine. Gather some simple ingredients and have fun making something tasty along the way. With our help, anyone can follow along! What am I talking about? Head to the bottom of this post for more info!
Featured image – Yushima Tenjin Tanabata: Today is Tanabata! The Tanabata (七夕) celebration originates from the Chinese Qixi Festival. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. The gods are represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively. The Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year. Celebrating this story manifest itself in the act of writing wishes and tying them to young bamboo. You can this at work in this photo outside the honden of the Yushima Tenjin shrine. A happy Tanabata to all our guests from everyone at Maction Planet.
Chibi Godzilla and Friends: Chibi Godzilla was created especially for the 65th anniversary of the King of the Monsters’ first appearance (in 1954) by Chiharu Sakazaki, who is most famous for designing the Suica Penguin mascot JR East’s Suica IC Card. Here is Chibi Godzilla with his pals Chibi Rodan, Chibi Anguirus and Chibi Ghidorah!
Square Watermelons: The square watermelons are typically available from the start of July until the end of August. They can last up to 6 months in ideal conditions and typically cost between ¥15,000 and ¥20,000. They are grown to look good and are not to be eaten! This one here is from Kagawa Prefecture and is on sale at Mitsukoshi Honten in Nihonbashi.
Nuts Tokyo No More: Nuts Tokyo opened in January 2017 in Hiroo. It did exactly what it said on the tin, selling nuts and nut-based product galore, with a sit-in cafe section. The shop grew popular enough to have a pop-up at the prestigious Nihonbashi Takashimaya in September 2018. I always had great affection for the store with its ’72’ sign – 72 spelling out nuts in Japanese numero-linguistics. Sadly 29 February 2020 marked their last day of trading and this is former shell is what the store looks like now, getting remodelled for its next tenants. Thank you Nuts Tokyo for three years of service to Tokyo. All the best to the staff in their future endeavours.
Okonomiyaki Cooking Class: Want to learn how to make delicious Okonomiyaki, Japanese savoury pancake, in four simple steps?
1. Email email@example.com letting us know you want to join our interactive online Okonomiyaki cooking class. We have two different slots on 12 July (JST) convenient for all global timezones.
2. You’ll receive an invoice for ¥2990. Whip out your credit card and settle it.
3. We’ll send you a comprehensive ingredients and utensils list, and the Zoom link.
4. Join your class and make Okonomiyaki while learning about Japanese food history and culture from Mac, Tokyo’s top-rated tour guide.
Simple! More info here: https://www.mactionplanet.com/blog/okonomiyaki-cooking-class
See you online!