Tokyo Journals

Bill in Japan - traditional TOKYO

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A May 1995 trip to Tokyo by billmoy

Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Kannon) Photo, Tokyo, Japan More Photos
Quote: Tokyo has been the capital of Japan since 1868. Its name means "eastern capital" and reflects a shift in power from Kyoto to the former Edo fishing village area.

Bill in Japan - traditional TOKYO

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Overview

Meiji Jingu Shrine Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Even though Tokyo is the capital with about 12 million people, there are still areas within the city that are very quaint and quiet. It is amazing to see little alleyways that are spic and span, as residents take pride in keeping the areas clean and adding a few potted plants outside to create a bit of greenspace within the overall concrete jungle of urban living. Even though Tokyo is a bit more "modern" than older bastions like Kyoto or Nara, you still have neighborhoods with traditional buildings, older residents wearing traditional garb, people paying their respects to their elders at public temples. If you enjoyed this section, please read my other sections on TOKYO and KYOTO. Some...Read More

Ryokan Sawanoya

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Hotel

Quote:
This wonderful ryokan is like a Japanese bed-and-breakfast, located in a quaint residential neighborhood in Tokyo. There are 12 rooms, two of them with private bath (our room was one of these two). The lobby has the impression of a cozy living room, with a few seats, and a few magazines and brochures on display. The host family also hosts a family bird, which rests on the proprietor's shoulder as the unofficial ryokan mascot. You are supposed to remove your shoes before you enter your room, but each guest is provided is supplied with a pair of house slippers and a yukata, a comfy short robe worn with a sash. The room is Japanese-style with tatami mats and thin screens, and the space is minimal...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 20, 2002

Ryokan Sawanoya
2-3-11 Yanaka,
Tokyo, Japan
(81) 3-3822-2251

Yoshinoya

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Restaurant

Quote:
Yoshinoya is a popular chain of fast-food outlets selling a hearty and healthy selection of typical Japanese dishes. There are about a thousand restaurants found all over Japan, and there are some in Taiwan and California as well. Depending on the location, there are tables or long diner-style counters. The typical Yoshinoya will have an easy-to-read photo menu to order your food selections. There are plenty of standard noodle and soup dishes to choose from, such as the "beef and rice bowl" which every restaurant chain and frozen dinner company has seemingly adopted. Your Japanese-style breakfast can contain miso soup, pickles, salmon, and steamed rice. There are also some set menu meals that a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 23, 2002

Yoshinoya
6-1-6 Roppongi
Tokyo, Japan 106-0032
+81 (0)3 5772 6253

Akafudado Grocery Store

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Restaurant

Quote:
Japan is innundated with convenience stores like AM / PM, Family Mart, and even 7-Eleven. Indeed they are convenient, but these outlets have a restricted variety of goods. I found my favorite grocery store to be Akafudado, not far from the great Ryokan Sawanoya. There are three levels of mostly Japanese products on sale, with just a few Western products (mainly chocolate bars and snacks) in case you get homesick. This is a great place to look around for new and unusual products if you have curious taste buds. It is a well-stocked grocery store, so this is a perfect place to load up for your typical self-catering food and drink needs. There are baked goods, fresh produce, dairy products, liquid ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 23, 2002

Akafudado Grocery Store
Se Corner Shinobazu-dori And Kototoi-dori
Tokyo, Japan
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Rakuraku

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Restaurant

Quote:
This restaurant is not far from the Ryokan Sawanoya, and it became my favorite restaurant in Tokyo during my initial stay in 1995. Not until a return visit a few years later did I realize that this was labeled as a Chinese restaurant (no wonder I liked the food so much!). The name of the establishment is not obviously listed on the outside, but there is a menu with photos on display for easy ordering. One time we actually had to lead the waitress outside to point at our food selections (the staff usually speaks a bit of English, but that does not apply to everybody there). The interior has the look of a diner. There are regular tables, or you can sit "at the counter". The food selections are sim...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 20, 2002

Rakuraku
SW corner Shinobazu-dori near Kototoi-dori
Tokyo, Japan
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Imperial Palace

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Attraction

Imperial Palace Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
The Imperial Palace is the heart of traditional Tokyo, and the center of Japan as well. It is ironic that the general public can enter this beloved and revered palace only twice a year during special holidays. The current Imperial Palace occupies the site of the former Edo Castle, which was reportedly the largest in the world at that time. It used to have a whopping 99 gates, 21 watchtowers and 28 armories. Only a fraction of these elements are still in existence, namely three watchtowers. The main approach to the palace is over the Nijubashi, the two-tiered "double bridge" that beautifully crosses the moat. A view of this bridge with the palace in the background is a popular spot for photograp...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 20, 2002

Imperial Palace
Kokyo Gaien
Tokyo, Japan 100-0002
+81 (3) 3213 1111

Ueno Park

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Attraction

Quote:
Ueno Park is the largest park in Tokyo, and is also the oldest established park in Japan. While it is not necessarily an essential place to visit if you have little time in the city, the park has many enjoyable places to visit. You can easily relax and stare at the cherry trees. The surrounding neighborhood still has a relaxed "old Edo" atmosphere to it that is most refreshing. Note that many of the park's establishments are closed on Mondays. One may get different opinions from different people, but the Ueno Zoo probably comes to mind first when one thinks of Ueno Park. There are always kids walking around with colorful balloons and snacks around the various animal areas. There is the sizeabl...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 20, 2002

Ueno Park
5-20 Ueno Koen
Tokyo, Japan 110-0007
+81 (3) 3828-5644

Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Kannon)

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Attraction | "Senso-ji Asakusa Kannon Temple"

Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Kannon) Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
The Asakusa Kannon Temple, also known as the Kinryuzan Senso-ji Temple, forms the heart of the colorful Asakusa area of Tokyo. Asakusa is located north of central Tokyo along the Sumida River. This area continues to have the atmosphere of Shitamachi, or the "old downtown". One usually enters Asakusa through the distinctive Kaminarimon Gate, which was reconstructed in 1960. The bright vermilion colors of the gate welcome you into the complex. This is also called the "Thunder God Gate" because of the image in the left niche. The God of Wind is on the right niche, and people walk under the large red paper lantern in the center. This leads down Nakamise-dori, a fun pedestrian avenue with family-oper...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 23, 2002

Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Kannon)
2-3-1, Asakusa, Taito-ku
Tokyo, Japan 111-0032
81 (0)3 3842 0181

Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine)

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Attraction | "Meiji Jingu Shrine"

Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine) Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
This classical-looking shrine was dedicated to Emperor Meiji, hailed as the "Father of Modern Japan", in 1920. After it was damaged during World War II, the shrine was reconstructed in 1958. The shrine has huge Inner and Outer Gardens, and over 100,000 shrubs were donated to the premises from Japanese citizens all across the nation as a tribute to Emperor Meiji. Two large torii gates reaching heights of 40 feet (among the largest of this kind) lead to the shrine. The style of the building is called "Nagarezukuri", and liberally employs Japanese cypress wood in its construction. The green copper roofs have a steep and graceful swoop to them, but they are looking a bit weathered nowadays. Other bu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 23, 2002

Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine)
1-1 Kamizono-cho Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo, Japan 151-0053
+81 (0)3 3379 5511