General Tokyo info
If possible with your work/life schedule, you should try to arrive in Tokyo several days before the convention begins. The jetlag from the U.S., at least, is pretty difficult for most people, and a day or so to adjust will make you much more comfortable during the convention itself. Try to arrive early in the afternoon, Tokyo time, to allow time for customs, and the trip in to central Tokyo.
When possible, the GOH staff have helped arrange for people to be met at the airport, particularly first-time foreign visitors. This is not always possible, however, so everyone must be prepared to get into Tokyo from the airport on their own. There are trains that head in to Tokyo Station or Ueno Station that run regularly from the airport, and are pretty well-signed in English. The options are well-covered in most guidebooks. We will let you know if it is possible for you to be met at the airport.
If you're not being met at the airport, you should head straight to your hotel; then call over to Gallery Origami House to let them know you've arrived.
Everyone is then on their own until mid-day on Friday when the Tanteidan convention begins.
Typically the group has gathered each morning (sometimes at multiple times, depending on who wants to do what) to head out together for sightseeing and shopping. These are highly informal trips, and will depend on who shows up, what everyone wants to do, etc. You can be a Good Group Member by doing your homework before ever getting to Japan, and have some idea of what kinds of things sound fun to you. If you've never been there before, of course, it's hard to know what sounds good, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do your research. There are a variety of cool paper and/or craft shops, bookstores, and the usual tourist-interest stuff.
After the flock returns from its wanderings (frequently with a nap and a shower back at their respective lodgings, first) there is usally a gathering in the evenings for dinner expeditions on the evenings before the convention. This is all entirely optional, and you're free to head off on your own for adventures around Tokyo, of course.
The Tanteidan Convention itself
On Friday afternoon there are opening talks (some in Japanese, some in English) typically by the invited guest(s), and then in the evening there is usually an organized dinner for the JOAS board members and foreign visitors.
The Sat/Sun part of the convention is run much like an OrigamiUSA (New York) convention. Each morning, everyone examines the "Model Menu" to see what classes they would like to take, and then lines up according to their lottery numbers (though foreign guests are typically given ticketing priority) and chooses their classes. The convention schedule and Model Menu will be in Japanese - we'll try to get it translated each morning in time for you to choose! Saturday lunch is usually in the university cafeteria with a nice range of choices, and pretty good, inexpensive food. Saturday night there is an optional reception/party (you must pay to attend), and things wrap up with an auction to benefit the Yoshino Fund on Sunday evening. (See Costs for current estimates of costs.)
In past years we've gone to paper making museums, visited interesting tourist sites within several hours drive of Tokyo, stayed at small hot-spring resorts, and the like. It's not always possible to organize such an event every year; if such a trip will be organized this year, the organizers will let you know.
The weekend following the Tanteidan convention, the Korea Origami Association holds their annual convention, and visitors to Tanteidan are highly encouraged to stay on, if they can, and travel to Seoul for another fun weekend.
In 2012, the group will be heading to Korea from Tokyo on the 16th; our hosts in Korean will help arrange housing. Details will follow closer to the event.
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