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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a center of Japanese fashion, culture, color, noise, and light. Harajuku girls? They're in Shibuya. Manga? Find it in Shibuya. Biggest scramble crossing in the world? Sit at the Starbucks in Shibuya and marvel at the madness below. You...
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2-chōme-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tōkyō-to 163-8001, Japan
View of Tokyo at dusk as seen from the 54th floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Nishi-shinjuku. Admission to the observatory is free and well worth it for a fantastic, sweeping view of the Tokyo skyline.
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Tokyo, Japan
Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita. All across Japan you'll find machines selling all sorts of items—coffee in cans (hot or cold), sushi, umbrellas, alcohol, pornography, trinkets, noodles, books, eggs, and so much...
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1 Chome-1-10 Aomi, Koto, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
Everyone knows Japan is famous for certain things—sushi, geisha, Mt. Fuji, samurai and ninja, Godzilla, and of course giant robots. And in Tokyo, even the latter is real—at least, life-sized mockups of them are. A great place to see one is Odaiba,...
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2-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0052, Japan
To celebrate and honor the sakura,the Japanese hold hanami parties by picnicking under the blooming trees from morning through evening. If you have the opportunity to visit Japan during this period, you’ll witness thousands of people gather...
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4丁目-7-35 Shibakōen, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-0011, Japan
Zojoji Temple is the main temple of the Jodo (Pure Land) sect of Buddhism, built on its current site in 1598 as the shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa’s family temple. Adjacent to the iconic Tokyo Tower, the temple’s main areas consist of the...
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1-chōme-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tōkyō-to 181-0013, Japan
Since its founding in 1985, Studio Ghibli has become one of the world's preeminent masters of film animation. The Ghibli Museum, opened in 2001, is nested within one of Tokyo's most beloved parks, Inokashira Park—just 20 minutes by train...
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Japan, 〒107-6290 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka, 9丁目7−6 東京ミッドタウン・ガーデン内
21_21 Design Sight is a museum designed by one of Japan's most famous contemporary architects, Tadao Ando. The naturally lit space, of which some 80 percent is underground, is home to Japan's first design museum. The simple lines of the building's...
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2-chōme-10-1 Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda City, Tōkyō-to 100-0006, Japan
Koji, a volunteer for Tokyo Free Guide, knew only that I wanted to experience something in the city related to food. Instead of taking me to the Tsukiji fish market, he led me to a shopping mall in the Ginza neighborhood. We descended into the...
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5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0045, Japan
The Toyosu Market (formerly the inner market at Tsukiji) is the world's largest wholesale seafood market, with more than 2,000 tons of seafood moving through it daily. At its new (and far more modern) location, there's also a separate building for...
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Japan, 〒110-0005 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Ueno, 4 Chome−7−8 アメ横センタービル3F
Here is tako (octopus) for sale at one of the many merchant stalls dotting the Ame-yoko shopping street in Ueno, Tokyo. Ameyoko (アメ横) is a busy market street along the Yamanote Line tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations. The name "Ameyoko"...
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2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Touring Tokyo via Rickshaw is something I never thought I would do. For whatever reason it always seemed wrong to have a man standing where a horse would be in other cultures. But then again, every country is different and I soon learned that this...
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Take the train to Shibuya Station and exit at Hachiko. Look up to find that old familiar Starbuck's sign. Grab another cup of green tea and head to the second floor to observe the organized chaos of pedestrians crossing from all directions from...
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3-chōme-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tōkyō-to 160-0022, Japan
I had one free night in Tokyo—only one chance to connect with a Japanese acquaintance from a dive trip on Midway Atoll 10 years earlier. Our mutual friend, Shintaido master Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito, suggested we meet at the Shinjuku rail station and...
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Narita, Chiba, Japan
What do you do with a nine-hour layover in Japan? Take the train one stop to downtown Narita, and eat your way around town. I was surprised by how lovely this city was, especially for being so close to the airport. The little cobblestone streets...
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Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0005, Japan
Ueno is a great spot for a walkabout in Tokyo. It has almost everything that someone looking for an urban getaway could want—good food from countless cafes, restaurants, and food kiosks; a park (Ueno Park) to walk around; and even a children's...
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Narita, Chiba, Japan
During a nine-hour layover, I took the train one stop to lovely downtown Narita and ate my way around town. I happened to be there on the Sunday before New Year's, when everyone came to the temple to make wishes for the upcoming year. The streets...
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1 Chome-9 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan
Japan has some of the fastest, most reliable trains in the world. One measure of how much locals appreciate them is the glee in kids' faces when a Shinkansen glides past their commuter train. Or they line up in front of the sloped nose of a parked...
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2 Chome-1-1 Shibadaimon, 港区 Tokyo 105-0012, Japan
Craving a bowl of killer ramen but put off by the prospect of waiting in line for hours to do so? Well, look no further than Fukki, a brilliant noodle shop in between Shiba Park and Hamamatsucho Station specializing in Hakata-style tonkotsu (pig...