Collected by Justine Ong
Japan, 〒160-0004 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, 新宿区Yotsuya, 1-chōme−1−１１ 陽臨堂ビル 1F
When I took my beautiful wife to Tokyo to celebrate her birthday in March, because we only had three days in town we had to very carefully curate our dining choices. While we did visit an old favourite, most of the restaurants we visited were new...
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...
2-chōme-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, 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.
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...
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,...
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...
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...
1-chōme-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, 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...
Japan, 〒107-6290 Tōkyō-to, Minato City, Akasaka, 9-chōme−7−６ 東京ミッドタウン・ガーデン内
Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake created this experimental design museum, and star Japanese architect Tadao Ando constructed the building. The museum always has great installations by artists such as the industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. —...
6-chōme-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
Kapital is a really cool clothing chain known for its denim. They have two shops in Roppongi Hills—Kapital Duffle and Kapital Legs. I always pick up tabi, these handmade split-toe socks. They are split between the big toe and other toes and are...
2-chōme-10-1 Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda-ku, 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...
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...
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"...
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...
3 Chome Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 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...
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...
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...
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...
1 Chome Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo, 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...
1-chōme-1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0005, Japan
Eating at Mutsumiya is like taking a trip to Hokkaido, an island in northern Japan. The place serves the classic Hokkaido miso-based ramen, created with water brought over from Hokkaido. The shop is located on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a collection...
Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda City, Marunouchi, 1-chōme−9−１ 東京駅一番街 東京ラーメンストリート内 B1
Rokurinsha’s original shop was in the suburbs of Tokyo, a considerable hike from the nearest train station, and still patrons waited for over three hours for a bowl of soup. Neighbors complained, and when the store was given a chance to open up on...
Japan, 〒100-0005 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9−１ 東京駅一番街地下１階東京ラーメンストリート
The soup at Ikaruga is so thick and creamy that you might believe it contains milk or butter. In reality, the wonderful texture of the tonkotsu broth is the result of pork bones simmered for hours upon hours. Among the restaurants on the Tokyo...
1 Chome-9 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan
This shop on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a set of ramen shops in the basement of Tokyo Station, is one of the best in the stretch, and the short lines outside make it a great stop before you catch a train. Shichisai serves a clean delicious shoyu, or...
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...
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