Tokyo Journals

Tokyo, Takamatsu, Kyoto

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A November 1999 trip to Tokyo by gsingh

The Almond Cafe Photo, Tokyo, Japan More Photos
Quote: Along with several chaps much more rich than I, we were given a wham-bam-thank you ma'am smash 'em up trip through Japan, centering on Tokyo and Kyoto. But we also delved into Takamatsu, a really fun city on the island of Shikoku.

Tokyo, Takamatsu, Kyoto

Overview

Quote:
An overloaded week through Japan. Karaoke fiascos, hurling discs in Takamatsu, the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, and flying across the countryside 175 miles per hour were the highlights. It took me a week to recover from this one.

Quick Tips:

If you're taking the bullet train in Japan, get to the station early. The train only stops for one minute before it takes off.

Best Way To Get Around:

In Tokyo, of course, the subway is the way to go. Don't even attempt to rent a car and drive. You're nuts if you do. Also, the taxis are quite convenient after hours when the subway stops running. A word of advice: don't try to open the door of the taxi. The driver opens it automatically.

Ritsurin Park

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Attraction

Ritsurin Park Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Takamatsu is a hidden treasure of a city located on the island of Shikoku, just on the banks of the Seto Inland Sea. Until 1988 you could only get there by airplane or boat. Now, thanks to the completion of the Seto Onashi Bridge connecting the island with mainland Honshu, you can easily reach Takamatsu via train.The foremost attraction in the city is Risturin Park, an elegant and monumental botanical garden designed in the style of the Edo period. Spanning over 130 acres of land, the park contains bamboo groves, ponds, hills, a waterfall, tea houses, folkcraft museums, a zoo, and specific displays for each of the four seasons. There are plenty of serene areas to relax and contemplate whate...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 14, 2000

Ritsurin Park
South of City Center
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Tower

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Attraction

Tokyo Tower Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Known universally as a symbol of Tokyo, this gargantuan steel tower is 333 meters high and there are observation decks at 150 meters and at 250 meters. You can get lost inside the place, as the elevator system is quite unique. Some elevators only go to the deck at 150 meters, and some go only to the deck at 250 meters. At either location you can get a view of the entire metropolis of Tokyo, and, if it's clear enough, you can see Mount Fuji way off in the background.The Tokyo Tower is the highest self-supporting steel tower in the world, but other than a place to grab a day shot of the skyline or a romantic nighttime view of Tokyo, there's really nothing else to it. Well, it's the broadca...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 15, 2000

Tokyo Tower
Shiba Park, Minato
Tokyo 105-0011
+81(0)3 3433 5111

Golden Temple, Kiyomizu & Sanjusangendo Hall

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Attraction | "Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)"

Golden Temple, Kiyomizu & Sanjusangendo Hall Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Kinkaku-ji or The Golden Temple is one of the most, if not the most gorgeous temples in all of Japan. However, if at all possible, visit the temple on a sunny day in order to intake the sheer beauty of the entire scene.The temple sits on Kyoko-ike, or Mirror Pond, which takes its name from the fact that on a sunny day, the temple itself cannot be differentiated from its reflection in the water. Seriously. The two look exactly the same (see photo). Unfortunately, we were in Kyoto on a dismal rainy day, so this could not be seen properly. So, I swiped a badly-scanned photo from the Kyoto Convention Bureau to give you at least some idea of the incredible serenity of it all....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 15, 2000

Golden Temple, Kiyomizu & Sanjusangendo Hall
Throughout Kyoto
Tokyo, Japan

Karaoke fiasco in Roppongi

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Story/Tip

The Almond Cafe Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
'As long as we don't stay in there longer than an hour, we're fine,' Lou said as we paraded down a busy street in Roppongi. 'As soon as one hour passes, everything goes up and they start charging you ridiculous prices.'I had never in my life done karaoke, so I was shivering in anticipation.Lou was a seasoned entrepreneur, a CEO of an international telecom company, and a frequenter of Tokyo. We were with a lovely Japanese-born stewardess named Fumiko who was based out of Santa Monica. The three of us were ready for a luscious Karaoke experience in Roppongi, the most flamboyant all-night party playground of a neighborhood in all of Tokyo.There's a huge amount of foreigners in Rop...Read More

Yashima Plateau, Takamatsu

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Story/Tip

At the observatory point overlooking Takamatsu Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Yashima is a pine-wooded, tabletop-shaped plateau that juts out into the Seto Inland Sea directly Northeast of Takamatsu. One of the world's only mesas formed out of lava, Yashima, meaning 'rooftop island' is a sightseers paradise. You can take a cable car up to the top and visit the Yashima-ji temple, the hilltop aquarium, Chi No Ike (the pond of blood), the many shops, or the Shish-no-Reigan observatory point where you can get a spectacular panoramic bird's eye view of Takamatsu city as it meets the sea. (Try and go for this view after nightfall, as the entire city will be lit up for you to see. It's amazing). This was also the site of a famous battle, our tour guide told us. 800 ye...Read More

Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

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Attraction

Shinkansen (Bullet Train) Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
The Japanese bullet train, or shinkansen which means 'new trunk line,' comes in many different types and models, which go at many different speeds. The trains are extremely punctual and are hardly ever late, making the system a pleasure to work with. The service is impeccable, the seats are comfortable, and finding one's way around is very easy. Employees stand at every single doorway of the train when it stops, to ensure that no one is forgotten. And there are markings on the platform to indicate where the doors of the train will be when it stops.In the train stations themselves you won't have a problem locating the correct platform or anything like that. The Japanese are very o...Read More

Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
Main Railstation, Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan