A September 2004 trip
to Tokyo by ariesgirl
Quote: Stop over via Narita and have a 3-day visit to Tokyo. It’s quite different from the usual preference, but still nice. Didn't find the glass fair, but other discoveries make the short trip nice.
Do get a good comprehensive map of the underground and JR. The many lines and companies of the rails can be a bit confusing. Be careful when you change lines, as one platform can serve more than one line.
Interesting floor design. No dragging of wheeled suitcases on the floor though. Weak air conditioning.
Two female managers (mum and daughter). Good if you can communicate with some Japanese.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 8, 2004
Tokyo, Japan 110-0001
03 3821 4944
I had a Tou-fu set meal as my brunch. There are other, more expensive set meals. It tends to promote healthy meals, with Tou-fu targeting female customers. Using a credit card is ok.
This is one of the branches of the Kyoto Fuku-rogu-kotobuki.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 8, 2004
14/F of Shinjuku Takajimaya department store
(+81) 03 5361 1960
Attraction | "Ooedo Onsen (an Edo-themed hotbath house)3"
First thing, put the shoes into lockers. After paying the entrance fee, every customer chooses a Japanese bath robe of special patterns in the main area outside the hot-spring baths. So exotic!
All clothing has to be left in the main changing/locker room.
In the center hall are restaurants, shops, games stalls, and a common room. There are at least two shows a day of performers in Japanese period costumes.
On either side are the men's area and women’s area. Some are outdoors. Nice.
There is a coin-operated foot massage machines and body-analysing machines. This is scan-my-batch-and-spend type of technology, so there is no need to bring cash or card, except a few ¥100 coins. You have to get used to the Japanese style of the hot bath concept, though-everyone is wearing birthday suit!!
Everyone has to wash before soaking in the various baths pools. Most items are provided, from shampoo, body lotion, and hair mousse to machine-disinfected combs.
There is also a sauna and a steam room; there are beauty and massage salons, too. Sorry, no camera allowed from the locker area onwards.
If you have a short stopover like me and want a taste of old Japan, this is very good. Some people can even use it for overnight with a little bit of top-up charges. If you fancy real hot-springs (on-sen), try somewhere else.
There are leaflets in Japanese, English, and Chinese. There are staff members who can speak Mandarin and English. Note: the shoe-locker categories are in Japanese letters.
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari Hot Springs
It is my second time in the Asakusa area, originally thinking that there would be a glass fair nearby. Although I missed it, my visit to the area was still nice-there is lots to eat, buy, and see. Of course I also pray for my luck and use the fortune-telling service, too.
The temple is a must-see. Many Japanese also visit this temple, so it is not just a tourist spot. There are description leaflets in many languages.
Wash your hands first (water and tool provided). Be blessed by the holy smoke from the incense. Draw a fortune stick (¥100each; self-help). I found the alleys even more interesting with all kinds of food and souvenirs, from glass and textiles to traditional items.
A water cruise of the Sumida River is also nearby in the Sumida Park. If you are tired of being in crowded places, have a slow stroll along the riverside park. It is best in spring because there are many Sakura trees in the park.
In this Shinjuku branch I visited, there are many departments that have wood, metal, printing, beads, glass, crystal jewellery-making, metal jewellery-making, stationary, business stationary, lighting, items for business use, and more. There are numerous pre-fabricated D.I.Y. items. The things I liked most were the home-baked silvery and craft glass. I haven't seen anything of comparable scale in UK, US, or Hong Kong.
It is convenient to walk from the Shinjukuu station. Just follow signs towards Takajimaya and soon you will see the flat walking belts, like those in airport, approaching the Takajimaya building. See the map and use the elevator to shop from seventh floor downwards.
I spent hours there. Their website does not provide international mailing service yet.
Remember to bring your passport, and keep the receipts for a sales-tax refund if you are a tourist. Go to ground floor information desk for the refund.
It is nice to lunch at the 12th- to 14th-floor food court/restaurant area. Get a window seat!
Hong Kong, United Kingdom