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1 Chome-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...
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1 Chome-9 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, 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...
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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...
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28-17 Sarugakuchō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0033, Japan
Imagine a whole flea market crammed into one small space. That’s Hollywood Ranch, where I’ve shopped since college for jeans, T-shirts, and even incense. —Kashiwa Sato 81/(0) 3-3463-5668. This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue. Read more...
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6 Chome-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0062, Japan
Just down the street from fashionable Omotesando is the Nezu Museum, with an exquisite Japanese garden. Architect Kengo Kuma's touches include a warm welcome with a bamboo wall at the entrance and rooms with picturesque views of the garden. The...
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17-5 Sarugakucho, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0033, Japan
A short walk from Daikanyama Station is one of the metropolis's iconic bookstores, Tsutaya at T-Site. Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture, the Tsutaya bookstore is celebrated not only for the beauty of its three buildings but also for the...
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29-3 Sarugakuchō, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0033, Japan
My wife’s favorite coffee shop in Daikanyama has an open terrace that’s perfect for people-watching. The space was inspired by 18th-century Italian cafés. —Kashiwa Sato 29-3 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, 81/(0) 3-3770-9517. This appeared in the...
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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
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. —...
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7 Chome-14-18 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
Honmura An in Roppongi is famous for its housemade soba (chewy buckwheat noodles). Owner Koichi Kobari uses a sobabocho (soba knife) to cut the noodles each day. I always get the soba with tororo, which is grated mountain yam, and a cold beer. —...
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2-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0052, Japan
Last November my wife and I had an 11-hour layover at Narita Airport, and so we took the Narita Express and then the Yamanote line into Shibuya. After Shibuya, we walked to Yoyogi Park. It was a Sunday morning, and the dry cold air made us feel...
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2 Chome-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...
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1 Chome-3-3番28号 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tōkyō-to 130-0015, Japan
I have found that one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a foreign culture is to attend a local sporting event. My husband & I happened to be in Tokyo during the annual sumo wrestling tournament. So we bought the cheapest tickets that were...
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3 Chome-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 102-8246, Japan
Much maligned in the Western press as being the place that right-wing Japanese politicians visit to pay their respects to dead war criminals, Yasukuni Shrine’s main objective is actually to enshrine anyone, military or civilian, killed in the...
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1-1 Hamarikyūteien, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0046, Japan
Hamarikyu Gardens is a 250,165-square-meter landscaped garden built on the site of a 17th-century game reserve owned by the Tokugawa family and located adjacent to Tokyo Bay. The garden features a variety of native flora and fauna, including...
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Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, 渋谷区神宮前6−2−4
This restaurant was recommended by the "Tokyo Guide" iPhone app I was using. It looked great, and I love dumplings. When we walked in, we were a bit worried because everything was in Japanese, even the menu. Donna, who knows Chinese, was trying to...
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7 Chome-14-8 Yanaka, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-0001, Japan
Tenouji temple is a lovely little temple located next to Yanaka Cemetery near Nippori. About a 15-minute walk from Ueno Park, it is located in a residential neighborhood dotted with traditional Japanese-style houses and architecture as well as...
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2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
The colorful Asakusa district is a laid-back, fun, colorful neighborhood where you can buy crappy kitsch and kitschy crap (there are a lot of kitchenware shops, for some reason). Asakusa is also home to Tokyo's most well-known temples and 45...
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1-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-8557, Japan
Meiji Jingu, Ise Jingu, and Atsuta Jingu are the three great Shinto shrines of Japan. Meiji Jingu is located in central Tokyo northwest of Harajuku station. It was built in 1920 in honor of Emperor Meiji, who was largely responsible for Japan's...
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1 Chome-1-1 Kasuga, Bunkyō-ku, Tōkyō-to 112-0003, Japan
She was a pleasant breakfast companion albeit somewhat reticent like her Scandic forefathers. But it was her table I joined so I was in no place to remark: It was, after all, the first time I had the pleasure having a meal with a child-sized...
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Operated by the Seattle’s Best chain of coffee shops, Vashon Bar and Grill is a casual affair located in the immediate vicinity of Shiba Park and Zojoji Temple. In addition to fresh-roasted coffee, it offers a Northwest continental-style cuisine...
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Japan, 〒106-0032 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 6 Chome−15−1 六本木ヒルズけやき坂テラス 1F
Having just returned from a fairly lengthy sojourn to France, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on croissants. (That, and I’ve also been eating them since I could put food in my mouth of my volition.) And I will admit that the iconic...
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Japan, 〒106-0032 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 3 Chome−10−9 三経28ビル 1階
If you’re out partying until the wee hours of the morning, chances are that sooner or later your appetite is bound to catch up with your thirst for excitement and you’ll find yourself jonesing for some grub. Depending upon where you live back...
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1 Chome-4-15 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0031, Japan
Much is made of Tokyo’s Michelin stars, particularly the sushi kind—thanks to mass media reviews and documentaries such as “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” Just about every raw fish fan around the globe is familiar with such big-name sushi eateries as Jiro...
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2 Chome-11 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
If Manhattan’s famous music club CBGB were reimagined by a Japanese food fiend, the result would be Tatemichiya. The izakaya, or Japanese-style tapas bar, in Tokyo’s Daikanyama neighborhood, is the brainchild of punk-music fanatic Yoshiyuki Okada....
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Japan, 〒101-0051 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Jinbōchō, 3 Chome−2 大洋ビル
Earlier this month, thanks to some amazingly cheap deals on Scoot, I was able to whisk my wife up to Tokyo for a three-day eating trip to celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary. We had only three nights in town, which meant (to me at least)...
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Japan, 〒111-0031 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Senzoku, 3 Chome−20−2 吉原神社
My wife and I were in Japan for her first visit, and we had resolved to stay in Japanese-style ryokans instead of Western-style hotels to save money as well as for the new experiences. Needless to say, before GPS, this resolution made it...
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1-1-8 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0004, Japan
You can find this place by looking for a giant line outside a Kichijoji butcher shop that usually snakes across the street, around the bend, and requires multiple employees to manage. The line is for deep-fried beef balls: breaded lard bombs...
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104-0061, Japan
The Ginza district is home to Tokyo's oldest and most prestigious shopping department stores and high-high end luxury retailers. Chuo-Dori, the main artery in the tony shopping district of Ginza, is worth a walk-down if you're drawn to streets...
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高円寺北2-22-6, キャニオンプラザ大須賀 B103, 2丁目-22 高円寺北 杉並区, 東京都 166-0002, Japan
The twang of a Dobro or rhythmic picking on a banjo may be the last sounds a traveler expects to hear in Asia. Welcome to the wonderful world of Japanese bluegrass, which astounds roots-music lovers with its dedication to authenticity. To journey...
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Japan, 〒105-0013 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Hamamatsuchō, 2 Chome−13−12 ライズウェルビル 1F
While the craft beer revolution was busy sweeping the US, Japan was getting left behind, content with admittedly tasty but decidedly stodgy national brew brands like Asahi and Kirin. Thanks to strict tax laws prohibiting brewers from producing...
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Japan, 〒150-0021 Tokyo, Shibuya, Ebisunishi, 1 Chome−5−8 DISビル 102
According to the laws of physics, time travel in the real world is impossible, but the physicists who say so obviously have never been to a certain bar in trendy Ebisu. The moment you step through the door, you are instantly transported to an...
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409 Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 247-0247, Japan
This is a stone statue of Buddha (jizou in Japanese) positioned in front of a withered tree on the grounds of Engakuji Temple in Kita-kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The large temple complex comprises 18 temples and was founded in 1282 by a...
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Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
I love Japanese folklore, with its stories of Samurai, demons, and spirits. One of my favorite characters from Japanese lore is the Tengu, a mountain nymph of sorts, who likes to tempt Buddhist priests to break their vows, and to teach devoted...
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Japan, 〒247-0062 神奈川県鎌倉市山ノ内189
A circular doorway leading into Meigetsu-in temple in Kita-kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, is part of a temple founded in 1383 and belonging to the Rinzai sect of Buddhism. On the grounds there is a gorgeous Japanese rock garden with lines and...
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Japan, 〒250-0407 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Ninotaira, 二ノ平1121
This is the view inside the Symphonic Sculpture by Gabriel Loire at the Hakone Open Air Museum (彫刻の森 in Japanese) in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The museum opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan. The spectacular grounds,...
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80-1 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken 250-0522, Japan
Just a stone’s throw from Lake Ashi at the foot of Mt. Fuji lies Hakone Jinja, a wonderfully old Shinto shrine nestled among the forests that dot the surrounding hinterlands. The tree-lined approach by foot through the red torii gate lends a...
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The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel (首都圏外郭放水路), also known as the G-Cans Project, is an underground water infrastructure project in Kasukabe, Saitama. It is the world's largest underground floodwater diversion facility, built...
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1 Chome-1-4 Rokkenmachi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama-ken 350-1113, Japan
Kawagoe is a small city in Saitama Prefecture located roughly half an hour from Ikebukuro by express train on the Tobu Tojo line. It is known for its well-preserved kura (storehouses) dating back to the Edo period. The Kawagoe Matsuri Kaikan...
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Lake Chūzenji, Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1661, Japan
The Chuzenji Temple in Oku-nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, was originally founded in 784 by a Buddhist monk known as Shodo-shonin and is located on the shore of Lake Chuzenji, which is approximately 1,300 meters above sea level. In the middle of the...