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Japan, 〒160-0004 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, 新宿区Yotsuya, 1 Chome−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...
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2 Chome-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.
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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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Tsukiji, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
On the way out the door to the Tsukiji Fish market, I tossed a CLIF bar in my bag. I had read somewhere that sushi is breakfast food in Japan and I had also read about the excellent places to pick up fresh sushi near the fish market (imagine such...
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5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0045, Japan
The Tsukiji Market is the world's largest seafood market, with more than 2,000 tons of seafood moving through it daily. There are two parts to the operation: the inner market, or jonai, accessible after 10 a.m., and the outer market, or jogai,...
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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, 〒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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Japan, 〒401-0511 山梨県南都留郡忍野村忍草
About a 10-minute drive from the shores of Lake Yamanaka lies a cluster of eight deepwater pools designated as a National Treasure by the Japanese government and known as Oshino-hakkai. Filled with meltwater from the snow capping Mt. Fuji for most...
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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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Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
About 30 minutes from Tokyo by train, Kawagoe Town, in Saitama Prefecture, is worth a day trip just for the peaceful stroll into another era; peaceful, unless you experience a sugar rush from all the sweet potato–based treats available along...
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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...
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2301 Sannai, Nikkō-shi, Tochigi-ken 321-1431, Japan
Nikko Tosho-gu is a large Shinto shrine in Tochigi Prefecture just north of Tokyo. It is dedicated to the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Ieyasu Tokugawa, whose remains are entombed within. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it can be reached in...
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Higashiyama, Gotenba, Shizuoka Prefecture 412-0024, Japan
This Golden Buddha statue sits inside the main structure of Nipponzan-Myōhōji temple on the grounds of Gotenba Peace Park in Gotenba, Shizuoka Prefecture. Mt. Fuji is visible in the background. The Peace Park is an interesting blend of different...
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6 Chome-10-12 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
Entering Hikawa shrine requires a purification ritual that begins with washing your hands, right then left, and rinsing your mouth (with your left hand). Next is the burning fire with smoke to waft over your head to burn off impurities and perhaps...
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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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6 Chome-11-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-6108, Japan
Watching the sunset from Roppongi Hills was my favorite Tokyo experience. We bought tickets to the Mori Art Museum, which included entrance to the observation deck on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower. We payed 1500 yen ($17) for the museum and...
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1 Chome-1 Aomi, Koto, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
A sunset view of Rainbow Bridge and downtown Tokyo from near the Statue of Liberty replica on the man-made island of Odaiba. One of the most panoramic views you can get of Tokyo.
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1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8111, Japan
A large park area surrounding the residence of Japan's Imperial Family is the perfect place to explore at the end of a long day. Built on the site of the old Edo castle, it is truly a magical place with a deep history. Tranquil and quiet as the...
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14 Chidori, Urayasu-shi, Chiba-ken 279-0032, Japan
I am high above Tokyo at night in a helicopter somewhere near Roppongi. Excel Air Service offers a number of excellent helicopter cruising packages that allow you to experience Tokyo and Yokohama in a way no other method of transportation can—...
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3-7-1-2, 3丁目-7 西新宿 新宿区 東京都 163-1055, Japan
Immortalized on celluloid in the film Lost in Translation, the modernist property spreads across the upper floors of the three connecting granite, steel, and glass columns of Shinjuku Park Tower. The 770-foot building rises in a succession of...
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Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 3 Chome−5−8 銀座らん月BF1
I was with friends who wanted to learn about sake. Our biggest challenge was finding someplace open for lunch. Sake no Ana in Ginza was not only a great find, the variety and selection of sake was amazing. The sake sommelier here, Sakamoto-san (no...
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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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Tokyo, Japan
While visiting Tokyo, I was really happy to attend a traditional Kabuki performance at the Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre. I bought my tickets online before my arrival in Japan (at the box office, you must present the credit card that you purchased the...
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2 Chome-3-6 Aomi, Koto, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
The Geo-cosmos global atmospheric display in the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) is located in Odaiba, Tokyo. Geo-cosmos is the world's first large-scale spherical OLED screen, measuring over 19 feet in diameter, and...
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1 Chome-9-10 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
This is an absolute gem of a restaurant with two branches in Nishi-azabu and in Roppongi-ichome in the Mori Sengokuyama Hills complex next to the Swedish Embassy. While the eclectic cuisine, expertly prepared by ex-Roy’s executive chef...
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8 Chome-6-8 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan
I’m going to drop all pretenses and just come out and say this—this is the best steak in the world. Hands-down. Seriously, nothing else even comes close. Even Wagyu (as in true Japanese beef—not that horrible simulacrum pawned off on ignorant...
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Japan, 〒107-6301 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka, 5 Chome−3, 赤坂5-3-1 105-1 赤坂サカス内Bizタワー1F
Spanish cuisine, particularly tapas, is very popular in Tokyo, perhaps because of its similarities to Japanese culinary culture—a focus on fresh ingredients, simple but elegant presentation, and small portion sizes that allow diners to sample many...
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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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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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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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Narita, Chiba Prefecture, 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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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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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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Tokyo, Japan
During festivals food stalls line the streets and sell a diverse assortment of traditional and unique Japanese treats. In mid-May Sanja Matsuri is celebrated around Sensoji with traditional festival foods. There are savory favorites like...
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5 Chome-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0051, Japan
Deep-fried oysters, available only in the cold winter months, at Inaba Wako at Shinjuku Takashimaya. Inaba Wako is on the 13th floor of Takashimaya.
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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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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−1−9−1 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...
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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tokyo, Chiyoda, 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...
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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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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, 〒100-0014 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Nagatachō, 2 Chome−14, 永田町2丁目14−3 赤坂東急プラザ1階
Ninja Akasaka is a ninja-themed restaurant in Tokyo. Upon arrival, a ninja will guide you through almost pitch-black corridors, secret passages, and a drawbridge. The menu offers a variety of set courses that also cater to vegetarians and...
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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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Japan, 〒111-0035 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Nishiasakusa, 3 Chome−3, シャリオかっぱ橋
An Osaka speciality, takoyaki is the ultimate street food—grilled (yaki) balls of dough stuffed with octopus (tako), covered with whatever you want (I recommend bonito flakes, a sweet soy sauce, mayo and egg—fantastic), served hot and cheap! See...
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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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Japan, 〒107-0062 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Minamiaoyama, 7 Chome−13−12 南青山森ビル 2F
Owner Nobiyuki Nakamura’s whiskey obsession is on display at his scotch bar. He has a full collection of traditional Irish whiskeys and Scottish single malts. The whole place is obsessive, right down to the hand-carved ice cubes that go into the...
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2 Chome Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Ishi no Hana in Shibuya is one of the most progressive bars in the city. The mixologist, Shinobu Ishigaki, creates forward-thinking, modern concoctions from rare seasonal ingredients such as saffron syrup and lavender brought over from Hokkaido. —...