Quick Takes – July 11th, 2019

Welcome to Quick Takes, our weekly newsletter on all things traveling in Japan. For this week, Summer Festivals, Pokemon comes to Tokyo Monorail and Olympics stores!

  • Tanabata Festival and Green Momiji @Kurama, Kyoto: Every July, Japan celebrates the Tanabata Festival (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanabata). To celebrate the festival, Eizan Electric Railway will deploy a custom decorated train for their Kurama Line. It will run from July 1st to August 15th. Along the line, there will be light up areas for the Momiji trees (green at the moment). And on August 3rd, there will be a stargazing event at Kurama Station.
  • Aomori Nebuta Festival coming up in August: The annual summer festival season is now in full swing. And in the Tohoku area of Japan, there’s a fairly common festival called Nebuta Matsuri. The one in the city of Aomori is the biggest in the area. Every year on the week of August 2nd, and for a whole week everyone is going out for night parades with floats and dancing.
  • Summer Festival Highlights: Speaking of summer festivals, there are plenty of them in Japan. And from the highlights from the article here shows, it seems most of them are about lights, floats, and fire (fireworks and all). Would you visit any of them? Tell us in the comments below.
  • Pokemon-themed Tokyo Monorail now available!: Pokemon fans, you would have the chance to ride a Pokemon themed train! The Pokemon-themed Tokyo Monorail train is now running every day to and from Haneda Airport to Hamamatsu Station. If you fly in or out of Tokyo at Haneda, from now to end of June in 2020, watch out for the Pokemon train!
  • Official Olympics shops opening in Japan: With the Olympics coming to Japan in less than a year, the hype is ramping up quick, with official merchandise now available. The Tokyo Olympics Organising Committee had announced the opening of 7 fixed and 3 short term stores nationwide in July. Notably, there will be a store in Tokyo Sky Tree, as well as a new store in Narita Airport terminal 2 (there’s one in terminal 1 already). Of the short term stores, Tokyo will have two (Shibuya and Ginza), while Nagoya had the other one.

That’s it for this week. Would you ride the Pokemon train? Or pick up some Olympic merch? Let us know in the comments! We want to hear from you, on any matter with Japan travel. See you next week!