5 Ways to Experience Old Tokyo Traditions This Week: July 30–August 4

When Tokyo was still known as Edo the Tokugawa Shogunate ruled Japan from Edo Castle while the emperor was safely snug in Kyoto. This romanticized period of relative peace known as the Edo Era (1603–1868) was the time of samurai poets and elegant geisha. Relive this era when Japanese arts and culture flourished at these modern Tokyo reincarnations.

ECO EDO Nihonbashi 2019

The ECO EDO Nihonbashi project takes you on a short trip to a simpler time. Spend an evening experiencing traditional art integrated into the cityscape. Pick out your favorite yukata and have a special night at the festival’s famous Minamohanabi, where state-of the art technology digitally reflects fireworks across the area’s ponds. The campaign organizers are looking to develop attractions for all five senses, so keep a look out for new vendors and announcements as the summer goes by.

Samurai Sword hilt at The Japanese Sword Museum

Contemporary Swords and Artworks – The Ancient Techniques Inherited for Generations

This special exhibition at The Japanese Sword Museum displays the time-honored techniques of crafting a Japanese katana sword. Appreciate and enjoy masterpieces from past and present, and witness the ancient techniques that have been passed down through the generations by Japan’s master swordsmiths and craftsmen.

Tea Ceremony at Suntory Museum of Art

Suntory Art Museum invites you to experience a traditional tea ceremony in a quiet oasis. On designated Thursdays each month you can enjoy matcha green tea and seasonal Japanese sweets in a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of the city. The event is held inside the beautiful Genchoan Tea Ceremony Room, which was constructed partly with materials from the original museum built in 1961.

Engei – Traditional Japanese Performing Arts

Every Saturday at the Edo-Tokyo Museum visitors can experience traditional acrobatics  – including kasamawashi rotating umbrellas – as well as kamikiri paper cutting and traditional Japanese magic shows that have been performed since the Edo period, and are still popular at vaudeville shows today. Organized by the Arts Council Tokyo, the performances and demonstrations are conducted by professionals and suitable for anyone to enjoy.

Nihon Buyo — Japanese Dance Workshop

Nihon Buyo is a traditional Japanese dance form that dates back almost 400 years. It uses movements from both dance and pantomime to create an elegant form of storytelling. Join this workshop at the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center to learn how to dance, as well as get some tips on how to wear yukata. Participants will be rewarded with a rendition of the classic work Fujimusume (Wisteria Maiden), performed by a professional Nihon Buyo dancer.

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