Tokyo Journals

Tokyo, Japan - A First-Timer's View

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A March 2005 trip to Tokyo by neworleanstraveler

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings Photo, Tokyo, Japan More Photos
Quote: How can one describe a place that dazzles the senses in so many ways. Tokyo is reserved, chaotic, expansive, expensive, proper, and audacious all at the same time. The options here are endless and truly open a new world to its visitors.

Tokyo, Japan - A First-Timer's View

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Overview

sake...sake....sake Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Being a Tokyo first-timer, I, of course, had researched what to do and where to go. Everything exceeded my expectations of what this busy locale has to offer. The sites and sounds were remarkable, but the absolute highlight of my trip was the people of Japan. At first, I was a bit put off by the stares and snickers, but I soon learned people just wanted to approach me to practice their English skills. I fell upon a group of teenagers in the Harajuku area who were dressed in a way befitting "Brittany Spears on acid," and they started talking to me. Normally, I may have not entertained these youngsters, but they were so genuine and totally enthralled with all things Westerner that I ended up...Read More

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

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Hotel | "Keio Plaza Inter-Continental Tokyo"

Quote:
The Keio Plaza was my home away from home in Tokyo! This is a super structure of a hotel in the middle of what seems like hundreds of other super structures. Shinjuku is a bustling location that is the epicenter for several rail stations and JR lines, thus millions (I really think it’s millions) of people are on the streets heading about. The Keio has well-appointed rooms that I would place on the small end of room sizes. The bed was very firm and the pillows were quite fluffy! This being my first stop after getting off of my nonstop Chicago-to-Tokyo flight, I quickly tried both the pillow and bed out! The bathroom was very modern, and all of the proper amenities were available...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 14, 2005

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo
2-2-1 Nishi-Shin juku
Tokyo, Japan 160-8330
+81 (3) 3344-0111

Chicago Kimono Shopping

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Attraction | "Kimono Shopping without Breaking the Bank"

Quote:
Harajuku is a great place to visit to see the counter-culture of Tokyo's young people. Chicago is smack-dab in the center of the sights and sounds of Harajuku. Chicago is a thrift store that sells both traditional Japanese kimonos and obis, and Western clothes as well. When you walk down the stairs to enter the store, you quickly learn that the bread and butter of this store are the Western clothes. I found a beautifully tattered Shell gas-attendant shirt with the embroidered name of Billy for $120!!! Talk about sticker shock... Luckily, the kimonos and obis (a sash worn around the waist) are not so expensive. To find the Kimono section, head to the very back of the store and turn to the r...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 14, 2005

Chicago Kimono Shopping
6-31-21 Jingumae
Tokyo, Japan
+81 03-3409-5017

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings

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Attraction | "Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building"

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
If you are in the Shinjuku area and need to get an overview (literally) of Tokyo, this is the place to be. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government complex is a series of buildings with striking architecture that have an observation deck on the top floor for public viewing, FREE public viewing I might add! Anything, within reason, that is free in Tokyo, jump at the chance! Ride the public elevators with 20 of your newest, closest friends (please realize personal space in Japan isn't what it is in most other places) to the top of the Tokyo skyline. You will be afforded far-reaching views across all of Tokyo, and if lucky (and it's very clear), Mt. Fuji will be in the distance. Spend some time gettin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 14, 2005

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings
2-8-1, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo, Japan 163-8001
03-5321-1111

Oriental Bazaar

Attraction | "Harajuku's Oriental Bazaar"

Quote:
The Oriental Bazaar is set in a quieter section of bustling Harajuku, located in what appears to be a traditional Japanese temple building. The bazaar has several different focuses, and the store is laid out accordingly. Furniture and ceramics/porcelains are mostly on the first floor, with more touristy items there as well. Also, a very fine selection of tea and sake services is found downstairs. I purchased one of each and was very pleased with the quality and price. Upstairs are prints (standard and woodblock), more touristy items, and textiles for purchase. Each section of the store is operated by a separate owner, so don't walk away with goods from one section to browse in ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 14, 2005

Oriental Bazaar
5-9-13 Jingu-mae
Tokyo, Japan
+81 (0)3 3400 3933

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

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Attraction | "Edo-Tokyo Museum (Open Air Museum)"

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
I really wasn't totally sure what to expect from this open-air museum located on the outskirts of Tokyo, but I am a fan of exotic architecture, so I thought that I would give it a try. What an unexpected treat this museum is! Located about 20 minutes by train and bus from Shinjuku station, this museum/park is a real treasure hidden away in Metropolitan Koganei Park. For a mere ¥400, you are allowed to wander about among more than 20 reconstructed homes, businesses, gates, and arbors of many different periods in Tokyo's (Edo's) past. Many of the buildings are open for walkthroughs, and all are of historical significance. In addition, interspersed throughout the different buildings ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 16, 2005

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Koganei Park
Tokyo, Japan