Collected by M. Polansky
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...
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...
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. —...
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
You can spend a lot of money on food in Tokyo. Or you can spend a little. And get food shaped like a fish and filled with delicious sweet bean paste.Andthesmiling woman who'swhipping up those tasty little fish, called taiyaki,might even give your...
Japan, 〒106-0031 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Nishiazabu, 4 Chome−22−１０ プレステージ西麻布
The chefs put a French twist on classic Japanese-style iron griddle cooking, which makes Ahill a totally unique teppanyaki restaurant. I like that they always give you curry and rice at the end of your meal. —Kashiwa Sato 4-22-10 Nishi-Azabu,...
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...
6 Chome-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...
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...
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. —...
1 Chome-1-10 Aomi, Kōtō-ku, Tōkyō-to 135-0064, Japan
Even if you only have a few days in Tokyo, I recommend taking the boat to Odaiba. The boat itself looks like a futuristic James Bond space vessel. Catch the boat from Asakusa (the area famous for Senso-ji, Tokyo's large Buddhist temple) and take...
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,...
Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, ３丁目5−８ 銀座らん月地階
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...
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,...
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...
Japan, 〒100-0005 Tokyo, 千代田区丸の内１丁目１−１
Michelin-decorated chefs oversee three of the 10 restaurants at this newly rebuilt, 290-room hotel, which overlooks the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo. The dark-wood Royal Bar serves classic martinis. From $570. 81/(0) 3-3211-5211. This appeared in the...
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...
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...
Akihabara, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0006, Japan
Through a maze of off-street spaces and narrow steps, this is where you can find special nerdy places that offer a variety of electronic gadgets, games and anime figures, among many other things. This is where Japanese pop culture lives and...
3f, アメ横センタービル 4 Chome-7-８ Ueno, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-0005, Japan
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"...
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...
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...
浅草 新仲見世商店街 Asakusa Shin-Nakamise, 1 Chome-26 Asakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032, Japan
Stray from the path to some more modern and atmospheric shopping. Here bolts of silk are displayed for sale at one of the many kimono shops lining the Shin-nakamise covered shopping pavilion in front of the iconic Senjoji Temple. If you're...
Yanaka, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0001, Japan
On the east side of Tokyo, travelers can experience the city’s frenetic spirit. In the Ameyayokocho neighborhood, you’ll find seedy-looking love hotels, pachinko parlors, and chatty street vendors. When the chaos becomes too intense, escapeto...
4 Chome-2-18 Sendagi, Bunkyō-ku, Tōkyō-to 113-0022, Japan
Ameyayokocho The open-air stalls underneath the train tracks were once a haven for criminal transactions. Today they’re a paradise for bargain-hunters looking for such essentials as green tea and dried fish. Don’t miss the labyrinthine underground...
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...
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...
8 Chome-8-2-5 Nishishinjuku, 新宿区 Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0023, Japan
Learning the revered art of sushi usually takes years of apprenticeship, but Tokyo Sushi Academy’s eight-week course offers a deep first dive. Instructors lead a tour of the famous Tsukiji fish market, then students learn the precise way to cut...
3 Chome-2-9 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0023, Japan
In the outer market of Tsukiji, I bought a knife at this amazing shop and the experience stuck with me. Any cook knows a great knife makes all the difference, and here they have such a vast variety of knives, at various prices, that anyone can...
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.
1 Chome-3-18 Chūōchō, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 152-0001, Japan
I stay at the Claska in the Meguro neighborhood or the tokyo-park/index.jsp?null"Park Hyatt Tokyo. The Claska is a cool boutique hotel, which is rare in Toyko. I get a kick out of staying at the Park Hyatt for the views and because of Lost in...
7-3 Saiwaichō, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama-ken 350-0063, Japan
The historic kurazukuri district of Kawagoe, a short train ride north of Tokyo, is home to dozens of artisan shops, including Machikan, which has been making and selling knives and swords for generations. While in town, try the famous sweet-potato...
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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