19/11/2018 Travel Tips  Visit: Parks & Nature

Visit 3 of Tokyo’s Most Famous Parks with this 1-Day Walking Course

Tokyo is famous for its vast network of expansive public parks and green spaces. If you are visiting the city and staying in or near Shinjuku or Shibuya, three of Tokyo’s best and most famous green spaces are all conveniently within walking distance of each other. A day of park hopping is a refreshing way to spend your time—burning calories and exploring history and nature. Read on to find out how to wind your way through three massive parks (and more) within one day.

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14/11/2018 Bars & Restaurants

Strapped for Time and Money in Shinjuku? Try These 3 Chain Restaurants

Contrary to popular belief, for all of the top-tier dining experiences Tokyo has to offer, the city is also a heaven for those who wish to dine on a budget. Affordable food that tastes great is often referred to as “B-kyu gurume” (B-grade gourmet food). These quick eats are perfect for travelers on the move with packed itineraries and tight budgets.
What follows are three of my favorite budget chain restaurants. They make the cut due to their value pricing, flavor, and portion sizes. First-time visitors to Tokyo will also appreciate that all of these restaurants often have English-speaking staff or English menus (or both)!
Although these chains can be found throughout Tokyo (and beyond), they are heavily concentrated in Nishi-Shinjuku, nestled among the skyscrapers and easily accessible from the famous hotels in this part of the city. Interestingly, not all of the food on this list is Japanese. If you ever start living like a local, you’ll find that variety is the spice of life, and food is no exception.

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09/11/2018 Festivals & Events

What to do in Tokyo this week? (November 12th – November 18th)

This week, put luck on your side, eat paella and take the time to view flowers.

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08/11/2018 Shinto & Buddhism  Traditions & History

A Short Introduction to Jizo, the Japanese Guardian of Travelers and Children

When traveling in the Japan, you may see statues dressed with a red cloth. They are representations of Jizo, the Buddhist divinity most loved by Japanese people! I personally love them too and would like to give you a brief introduction to their role and symbolism.

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15/10/2018 Traditions & History  Visit: Castles

Tsuruga Castle, the Japanese castle that Resisted Attacks for a Whole Month

One thing I enjoy doing while traveling through Japan is to visit its dozens of castles. Although quite a few are modern replicas, they are beautiful to look at, have interesting exhibitions inside, and offer great views from the top. This is especially true for Tsuruga castle in Fukushima prefecture which I recently visited. If you are interested in castles and Japanese history, make sure to add it to your Japan travel itinerary.

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05/11/2018 Sports & Martial Arts  Visit: Modern Japan

From Arakicho to Tokyo Tower: Enjoy a Scenic Run Filled with History

With its maze-like streets and skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, navigating Tokyo can be intimidating. However, if you take some time to explore the city on foot, using famous landmarks as a guide, you’ll find that many of the city’s most famous attractions aren’t very far apart.

Of these attractions, Tokyo Tower still stands tall as one of the city’s most popular sightseeing spots. Even though Tokyo Skytree has recently eclipsed it in both form and function, Tokyo Tower is still worth a visit—especially if you can run there.
The tower’s central location and high visibility make it the perfect running destination. Read on to learn the best way to run, jog, or walk there from our very own ryokan located in Arakicho, Shinjuku.

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11/10/2018 Arakicho  Bars & Restaurants  Ramen, Soba, etc...

Yotsuya Mensho Suzy House [UPDATE] Shinjuku Tsukemen

A few months ago I wrote about Yotsuya Mensho Suzy House, a very unusual tsukemen, or dipping noodle, store in Shinjuku, that serves slices of lemon with your noodles. Using your chopsticks, you need to squeeze them yourself, to change the taste of the soup as you eat. Last week I was craving the taste of this lemon-spiked broth, so I decided to drop by again, and try another of their tsukemen dishes. It inspired me to add some more information on what is one of the more interesting tsukemen-eating experiences you can get in Tokyo.

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30/10/2015 Everyday Life in Japan  Seasonal Activities  Traditions & History

【AUTUMN】Customs for November

Customs for November

Discover the traditions you can’t miss if you’re in Japan in November!

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09/11/2015 Festivals & Events  Shinto & Buddhism  Traditions & History

【AUTUMN】Shichi-Go-San, the celebration for children


It’s a day to celebrate children’s growth. If you visit Japanese Shinto shrines in November, you’ll be luck as you will probably see children dressed in beautiful kimonos! The parents, grandparents, and family members are out celebrating their children’s growth. This festival is called ‘”7-5-3″, pronounced “shichi -go -san” in Japanese. Many hundreds of years ago, the mortality rate for children was very high in Japan and it was considered a success if families raised their children to the ages of 3, 5, and 7. Nowadays, Shichi-go-san celebrates 5-year-old boys, and 3 and 7-year-old girls every year. Shichi-go-san is celebrated on the 15th of November, but you can actually celebrate it anytime […]

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26/10/2018 Travel Tips  Visit: Parks & Nature

Experience the Teahouses of Shinjuku Gyoen

Although Shinjuku Gyoen is most revered for its beautiful gardens and scenic vistas, exploring the forest paths of this massive, tranquil greenspace will reveal several attractions hidden within. Among them you’ll find two teahouses, Rakuutei and Shoutentei, near the center of the park. Each one serves a different purpose: Rakuutei offers a more traditional experience while Shoutentei is casual and contemporary.

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19/10/2018 Travel Tips  Visit: Charming Towns  Visit: Temples & Shrines

How to Spend a Weekend in Kyoto: An Efficient Two-Day Itinerary

With its deep, rich history and thousands of temples and shrines, a visit to Kyoto is equal parts exciting and overwhelming. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the city over five times and each time I go, I always make amazing new discoveries.
So with this in mind, what’s the best way to experience a city with nearly unlimited attractions? Whether it’s your first or 10th time visiting Kyoto, read on to learn how you can enjoy some of Kyoto’s most important and fascinating places—even if you can only spare a weekend to do so.

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22/10/2018 Activities  Visit: Modern Japan

Become a Believer in Virtual Reality at VR Zone Shinjuku

Be it as a hobby, occupation, or even academic research, video games have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve seen many fads come and go, and throughout the past four decades the gaming industry has been home to countless peripherals designed to increase our sense of immersion.
Having seen so many gimmicky devices come and go, it was only natural that I was skeptical of the contemporary second coming of virtual reality (the first attempts to bring VR to the masses occurred in the 1990s). After visiting VR Zone Shinjuku, I stand convinced that, this time, with the right equipment and applications, VR is here to stay.

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