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Tokyo Oct 2014

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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...
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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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6 Chome-1-23 Yanaka, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-0001, Japan
An art gallery in a former public bathhouse, Scai presents rotating exhibits of international and Japanese artists, including Anish Kapoor and Shinko Okuhara. —Marie Doezema Kashiwayu-Ato, 6-1-23 Yanaka, Taito-ku, scaithebathhouse.com/en. This...
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2 Chome-2-1 Miyama, Funabashi-shi, Chiba-ken 274-0072, Japan
The night before we went to our Ninja Class in Tokyo, I asked my kids what they most wanted to do. They shouted, "Throw ninja stars!" I laughed and tried to prep them, saying, "I'm sure that they would never let tourists do something that could...
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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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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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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 Chome-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0005, Japan
The Tokyo International Forum is a stunning architectural masterpiece of glass and steel truss designed as a multipurpose convention and event space by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. It was completed in 1996 on the site of the former Tokyo...
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6 Chome-11-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-6108, Japan
Tokyo just can’t catch a break—it’s been flattened, firebombed, attacked by Godzilla, and now it’s been invaded by a giant spider. A spider sculpture, that is—Maman, as the series of art installations by the late American artist Louis Bourgeois...
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Japan, 〒105-0022 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Kaigan, 2 Chome−7, 東京都港区海岸2丁目7−104
Want to spend a night out in the future? No problem, the Jicoo Floating Bar is your time machine ticket there. Open for business every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from 8 to 11pm, Jicoo (which is a cute Romanization of the Japanese word “...
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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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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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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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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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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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4 Chome-6 Shirokanedai, Minato, Tokyo 108-0071, Japan
For the best yakitori I go to Toritama in Ebisu. They specialize in rarely served, unique parts of the chicken. There’s one dish in particular, a premature egg that’s still connected to ovaries, which they grill. —David Myers This appeared in the...
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5 Chome-2 Tsukiji, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Fresh anago eel battered and deep-fried until crispy. The tempura anago is then dipped into a savory soy broth and placed over a steaming bowl of rice. Tenfusa Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #6
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Japan, 〒151-0051 Tokyo, 渋谷区千駄ヶ谷5丁目24−2
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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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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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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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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6 Chome-9-5 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan
Uniqlo is the affordable and stylish brand of Japan. They sell men's and women's clothing and they excel at the basics: cotton tees, plaid shirts, underwear, sundresses, and jeans. The Uniqlo flagship store is located on Ginza's Chuo Dori amidst...
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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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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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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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4 Chome-13 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
When I stumbled upon a pristine vintage Airstream trailer in a tiny lot in one of Tokyo's most expensive neighborhoods, I had no idea what would be inside. I was amazed to find a gem of a café, ironically called Uchu (Space) Café. With no more...
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9 Chome-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0052, Japan
Here I captured reflections of surrounding buildings off of a plate-glass ceiling of the basement of the Tokyo Midtown shopping and office complex in Roppongi, Tokyo. At 6.1 million square feet, the complex was completed in March 2007. It includes...
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4 Chome-6-16 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-8212, Japan
Japanese department stores are well-known for their incredible service: Where else in the world do you have white-gloved attendants greeting shoppers at the entrance and young ladies in uniform announcing each floor’s departments to passengers on...
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Japan, 〒101-0025 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Sakumachō, 1 Chome−1−6−5 アキバ・トリム 3F
Muji reigns supreme in clean Japanese design. Muji sells clothes, home goods, and furniture and has a deliberately simple approach to the way they design their products. The clean and pure design of Muji products has made it a beloved brand both...
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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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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"...
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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...
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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...
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104-0061, Japan
The stark contrast of an ancient religion with the glitzy streets of Ginza.
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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, 東京都新宿区新宿3丁目
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...
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Japan, 〒106-0045 Tokyo, 港区麻布十番1丁目4−6
In addition to the works of Takashi Murakami, this gallery exhibits a lot of manga-inspired art. I go here to see the up-and-coming artists of the Tokyo scene. —Alondra De La Parra This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue.
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1 Chome-9-2 Higashishinbashi, 港区 Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-0021, Japan
It was a magical surprise to come upon the NI-TELE Really BIG Clock at the Nippon Television Tower. This huge mechanical clock designed by Hayao Miyazaki (creator of many anime classics) plays musical, animated shows five times daily. It's so...
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Japan, 〒103-0023 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Nihonbashihonchō, 3 Chome−6−2 小津本館ビル 1F
Learn to mash your own washi, traditional japanese paper, at Ozu Washi, where masters have made sheets from the fibers of kozo (mulberry) and other native plants since 1653. Or, skip the DIY and just buy the final product from the floor-to-ceiling...