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1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan
Even in the middle of winter, the Imperial Palace Gardens are well worth a stroll. There are plants from all the prefectures of Japan, and the bamboo is lush year-round. The palace is about a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station, and it's a...
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1 Chome-5-2 Aobadai, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 153-0042, Japan
Saturdays Surf NYC is a touch of ocean breeze in the heart of Tokyo. This New York City export is part surf shop, part café. A seat on the lovely outdoor patio is the perfect spot for enjoying an excellent cappuccino and some chocolate from the...
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Japan, 〒106-0041 Tokyo, Minato, 麻布台3丁目1-5 麻布台ヒノキビル1F
Sure, there are lots of breakfast places in Tokyo that may make better versions of specific dishes, but there very few (indeed, if any) that offer the sheer variety as the selection of morning grub available at Suji’s, located next to the Russian...
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Japan, 〒105-0014 Tokyo, Minato, Shiba, 2丁目26−1 I・SMARTビル 1F・2F
When the Japanese set their sights on something, they almost always end up producing superior copies of whatever the original in question was. The same is true of food—the world’s best Italian and French can be found in Tokyo, trumping almost...
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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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5 Chome-7-29 Minamiazabu, 港区 Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0047, Japan
I discovered Arisugawa a few weeks after moving to Tokyo and it quickly became my quiet haven in the city. The park used to house the villa of a feudal lord and was donated to the city in 1934. Arisugawa is simply enchanting. There are small stone...
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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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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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Japan, 〒169-0072 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Ōkubo, 1 Chome−16−29 ハヤシビル
There’s a special word in the Korean language for “heaven”. More specifically, an edible embodiment of heaven consisting of an incredibly chewy wheat flour pancake stuffed with a molten medley of brown sugar, cinnamon, honey and peanuts that...
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68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha on Inariyama mountain is dedicated to the Shinto gods of rice and sake, but Inari is also the god of merchants and that brings a lot of businesspeople to worship here. Everyone else stops by to see the thousands...

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Yurakucho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0006, Japan
Under the tracks of the Yamanote line train, running from Tokyo to Shinbashi stations, you'll find hidden, unique dining experiences. Down here locals serve everything from specialty Japanese cuisines to unique international tastes—Thai, French,...
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Japan, 〒169-0072 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Ōkubo, 1 Chome−4, 新宿区大久保1丁目4−20 グロウハイム 2F
The Japanese love fried chicken (and really, who doesn’t?), and Tokyo offers any number of variations of this deliciously crunchy, batter-dipped staple of comfort food, from home-grown karaage and chicken tatsuta to KFC (which the locals associate...
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Tetsugaku-no-michi, Jōdoji Ishibashichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 606-8406, Japan
When we arrived in Kyoto in mid-April, most of the cherry blossoms were no longer coloring the trees but sprinkled on the ground. We got lucky, though, spotting a few along the Philosopher’s Path (Tetsugaku no michi) still afluff with pink...
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541 Nijōjōchō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 604-8301, Japan
Verdant grounds, stone fort and nightingale floors in which the wood is so joined that it sings like a nightingale no matter where you step - no sneaking around this castle!
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When traveling I try to look for a cafe to visit daily. Cafes are restorative places where I can collect my thoughts, glance through the gathered ephemera (museum tickets, train passes, maps, calling cards, photographs), write postcards (well,...
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Japan, 〒604-0915 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Tokiwagichō, Teramachi Dori, 二条上ル常盤木町52
What a treat! Knowledgeable staff, tea-tasting samples, plenty of time, earthenware urns, peaceful atmosphere and some of the best tea in Japan!
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Japan, 〒604-0982 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Matsumotochō (Gokomachidōri), 御幸町通夷川上る松本町577
The cozy Kaboku Tearoom at the Ippodo Tea Company's main store in Kyoto is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy Japanese green tea served with a confection. Friendly servers show guests how to cool boiling water to the proper temperature for...
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584 Komatsucho, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0811, Japan
Founded in the 13th century, Kennin-ji is the oldest Zen Buddhist temple anywhere in the world. Located not too far from the Gion District (where you will find the majority of Kyoto's geisha) it is considered one of the most important temples in...
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Japan, 〒603-8378 Kyōto-fu, KyotoKita-ku, Kinugasa Goshonouchichō, Kita-ku Kinugasa Gosyonouchi-cho 2
Much like Dorothy in the film, The Wizard of Oz, I felt that I had embarked on a magical and special place once setting my sights on Kyoto's landmark tourist attraction, The Golden Pavilion. Having traveled 45 minutes from Yokohama, by underground...
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1 Kinkakujichō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8361, Japan
Built in the 14th century as a villa for a powerful shogun, Kinkaku-ji temple, commonly referred to as the Golden Pavilion, is an easy bus ride from the main bus terminal in Kyoto. The temple is one of the most popular buildings in...
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294 Kiyomizu 1-chōme, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0862, Japan

Kiyomizu-dera on Mount Otowa is one of the most famous temples in Japan, a place that appears in every sequence of Japanese travel photos. The landscape is all cherry trees and forest; it is among Kyoto's loveliest spots. The current structure...

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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...