Japan celebrates Obon, the lantern festival!

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In Japan, August rhymes with waterlon, summer holidays, Fuji climbing, and of course, Obon!

Although not an official holiday, Obon, also called the lantern festival, is one of the rare occasions when Japanese people take a few days off from work. Originating from an ancient buddhist festival, Obon is comparable to the werstern All Saints' Day: it is dedicated to the remembrance and honouring of the dead.

Although the celebrations always take place in mid-August, the exact dates vary by location. In Tokyo, celebrations will last from 13th till 16th, but with the newest Mountain Day falling on the 11th, it is expected that most offices will be closed from August 11th till 16th.

On the first day of Obon, families set out lanterns or small fires at the entrance of their houses, to guide the spirits of their departed loved ones home. During the few days that follow, food offerings are placed on the buddhist altar of the departed at home, and their graves are visited and cleaned by family members. Obon is also the occasion to perform ritual dances: while a group of musicians sing and play music with traditional Japanese instruments, dancers performs different choreographies around the city streets in their traditional costumes. And come the last day of the celebrations, families see the spirits of their loved ones off: where there is water nearby, the lanterns are set alight once again, then sent out to float in a beautiful and final spectacle.

Obon is a great occasion to enjoy Japanese culture and traditions, and to spend quality time with your family and loved ones. And if you lack inspiration as to how to celebrate it this year, why not try one of our escape rooms? Escape Hunt Tokyo has three Japanese-themed game rooms waiting for you, and guarantee you 90 minutes of great fun with the people you love!

Will you try our ZEN, Samurai Espionage, or Runaway Bride room? Book now for a memorable adventure!

 

 

Sumida River fireworks!

f:id:escapehunttokyo:20170727104128j:plainEvery year, on the last Saturday of July, Tokyo's night sky is illuminated for one of the most awaited event of the capital's Summer: the Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai (Sumida river Fireworks Festival). This year, the festival will take place on Saturday, July 29th!

If you are in Japan this Summer and planning on viewing some fireworks, the Sumidagawa Hanabi Takai is THE festival to attend: it is believed to have started in 1733, and to our greatest delight, pyrotechnic companies often compete to offer viewers the best show.

Just like for any other natsuri matsuri (Summer festival), be ready to find lots of stalls selling delicious Japanese specialties such as Yaki Souba (stir fried noodles), Jagabataa (boiled potatoes with butter, salt and kimchi), or Kakigouri (flavored shaved ice), while others offer games for children, such as Youyou tsuri (yoyo fishing) and Kingyo Sukui (goldfish catching). And with Asakusa being one of Tokyo's most traditional areas, the festival will also be an occasion to admire a myriad of colourful yukata, the lighter version of a kimono, worn by event goers. But of course, you want to know about the fireworks: with two launching points (upwards of Kototoibashi Bridge, and between Komagatabashi Bridge and Umayabashi Bridge), they will start from 7pm, and last for an amazing 90 minutes!!

Naturally, the area will be extremely crowded, with an estimation of 1 million participants. For this reason, we suggest you save a nice viewing spot early in the day (some people save their seats up to one day in advance!), and avoid taking your car, as the circulation will be modified for the occasion.

And while waiting for the real show to start, why not leave the crowd behind and admire another kind of fireworks at Escape Hunt Tokyo? Our game rooms are full of mysteries, and offer the best way to spend 90 minutes with your partner, family, friends or colleagues before getting ready for the evening show. And as we are a mere 10 minutes walk from Sumida river, you are sure to be on time for the first fireworks!

Will you choose to complete your ZEN training, save the Shogun, or solve the mystery of the disappearance of our Bride?

Don't wait any longer: book your game room now and enjoy a very Japanese Summer evening! 

Make a wish, it's Tanabata!

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Tanabata, or the "Star Festival", is a Japanese festival that finds its roots in the Chinese Qixi Festival.

As the legend goes, the Weaver Princess and Vega star, Orihime, daugther of Tentei, the Sky King, would wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Heaven River, the Milky Way.
Although her father loved the clothes she wove, she was desperately sad, for the hard work did not leave her any free time to meet anyone and fall in love. Moved by her concern, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi, the Altair star, who worked on the other side of the Milky Way. Upon meeting each other, the two immediately fell in love and soon married. However, the married couple would now neglect their work: Orihime stopped weaving cloth for her father, and Hikoboshi let his cows stray all over Heaven.

In anger, Tentei decided to separate the two lovers across the milky way, and prevent them from ever meeting again. But upon seeing his daughter's sorrow at the loss of her husband, and listening to her plea for them to meet again, he allowed them to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month, on the condition that she would finish weaving his cloth on time. It is said that on that day, a flock of magpies make a bridge with their wings to allow the lovers to cross the Milky Way.

In old China, women would make a wish to Orihime: that she would allow them to become as talented as her at weaving cloth. As the tradition evolved, everyone now makes all kinds of wishes on July 7th!

In Japan, people write their wishes down on colourful stripes of paper, before tying them to bamboo shoots.

At Escape Hunt Tokyo, we have decorated our lounge with bamboo sprouts: we will give all our detectives their own colourful wish card so they, too, get to make a special wish and leave it between the bamboo leaves.

Tell us, what will be your wish this year?

EHT receives the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017!

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This morning, a nice surprise was waiting for us, the Escape Hunt Tokyo team, in our mailbox: an e-mail from TripAdvisor, informing us that we have been awarded the 2017 Certificate of Excellence!

What does this mean? Well, simply that we regularly received great reviews from our lovely detectives!

So, from the whole EHT team, we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the couples, friends, families, school groups and escape games experts who visited us since we opened nearly two years ago, and left nice reviews for our games, facility and staff!

Boosted by this great news, we, the Escape Hunt Tokyo team, will continue to work hard to bring you great customer service, and the best escapes!

 

Rainy season activities!

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You have planned a day out in Asakusa, but the rainy season and its unpredictable weather threaten to ruin your plans? Worry no more: Escape Hunt Tokyo will save the day!

Our escape games are an ideal way to spend 90 minutes during a rain shower, and here's why:

1. With our booking system, you are sure to enjoy our games without waiting in line, or under the rain! Book online for 10% off on all of our games, and have your game room ready at your arrival, with your Game Master waiting for you.

2. We have three different immersive and live inside games: complete your Zen training, become a Samurai and save the Shogun, or investigate the mysterious disappearance of our Bride... Tease your brain and solve mysteries, all the while staying warm and dry!

3. After an exciting game, debrief with your team and relax with delicious Japanese snacks and hot English tea.

4. Enjoy a photo session with our detective costumes and props, and leave with a timeless souvenir of your time with us!

You just spent an amazing 90 minutes at Escape Hunt Tokyo and, oh, a sunny spell! It's now time for you to enjoy the rest of your day in Asakusa :).

BOOK NOW

Special Father's Day Event!

On Father's Day, deepen your family bonds at Escape Hunt Tokyo!

This year's Father's Day falls on a Sunday: June 18th. If your father is often busy, either with work, or at home, taking care of the family, this particular day will be the occasion to say a big THANK YOU and spend some quality time with the great man.

From June 16th (Friday) to June 18th (Sunday), Escape Hunt Tokyo will hold a special father's day event: join us with your favorite father for the best gift on Father 's Day!
In addition to our usual puzzles, gold coins will be hidden in the game rooms during the event. You will get as many chances as coins found to win original Escape Hunt Tokyo goods!

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On this very special day for all the fathers, why not deepen family bonds while having fun at Escape Hunt Tokyo?
We are all looking forward to seeing you soon!

Kids, Moms, Dads... A Golden Week plan for the whole family!

Golden Week is approaching fast. Did you already plan your holidays?

Allow us to share a memory from one of our team members...

"When I think of Golden Week, childhood memories come back to me.
As a child living in a rural area, I realise now that back then, if this holiday time was enjoyable for me, it was more of an ordeal for my father.

"In the middle of the night before the first day of Golden Week, my parents would put us kids in the car, still sleeping, and my father would drive us for hours to a theme park, my mother slowly falling asleep by his side, on the passenger seat.
We would arrive at the theme park's car lot by dawn, only to discover an already long line of cars coming from all regions of Japan. As soon as my father would find a parking spot for us, my siblings and I, overexcited, would start running around, while our exhausted father would queue up at the entrance of the park.

"Finally, at 8 o'clock, the park would open! As soon as we would go in, my father would start queueing up again to get us all special tickets that allow us to cut in lines for the most popular rollercoasters, while the rest of us would queue up for attractions that don't offer those tickets, and enjoy the first rides. After getting us the precious tickets, still exhausted by the long drive, my dad would go to reserve seats for us to watch one of the parades, and take a well deserved nap.

"After my siblings and I enjoyed a full day of riding rollercoasters, meeting with princes and princesses, and eating all kinds of sweets and sugary things, it would be time to go home. Our poor dad would drive us all back home and by the time we arrived, it would be past midnight.

"Truly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you, Dad.
Even though you were always very busy with work and only had a few days off, you would always spend them with us, making sure we had fun and good memories with you.
"Mom, too. It was hard for you to work part-time and take care of us when you got home, but you would still make plans to take us to nice theme parks on the weekend.

"Remembering all the trouble my parents went through to make us children happy, I came up with a suggestion for a Golden Week plan that the whole family will enjoy!"

 

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Golden Week in Asakusa

Going all the way to a theme park can be very costly in both money and time: there are the transportation costs, the tickets to the park, and of course all the family will eat at the park's restaurants, which are delicious, but also expensive. Half of the day is spent on the road or queueing up, and the place is often very crowded. All in all, those trips are not always fun for parents.

But with beautiful sightseeing spots and lots of attractions, such as Escape Hunt Tokyo, Asakusa is a great place to spend a day with your family and create long-lasting memories.

Escape Hunt is the international leader in live escape games. Thanks to our online reservation system, you can save time and choose which game to play from home. No more queueing up: arrive 10 minutes before so we can prepare you for the game, and you start right at your reservation time!

Become a ZEN disciple, a Samurai or a detective investigating a disappearance, and join forces with your family to solve our mysteries or complete your mission! Being locked in a room for an hour will strengthen family ties, with all members participating and enjoying the game together.

After enjoying our games, have a walk around Asakusa and discover the old Tokyo, with its world-famous sightseeing spots. The city itself is like a theme park, with lots of Japanese treats and meals to try (matcha or black sesame ice cream, taiyaki croissants, melon pan, or for the most adventurous, eel and monkey delicacies!), and cute traditional shops selling the perfect souvenirs to bring back from your trip.

In the evening, if you still have energy after having so much fun, enjoy the night view from Tokyo's Sky Tree, a very nice way to conclude the day.

Escape Hunt Tokyo in Asakusa is a place where Moms and Dads can share an adventure together with their Kids. The whole family can make memories that will be remembered fondly for years to come!