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22/03/2019 Visit: Museums

The Taito-Ku Shitamachi Museum: Reliving the History of Ueno

The Ueno district of Tokyo is often overlooked despite being home to several major attractions including a vast park, an array of amazing museums, and a nationally famous zoo. Located on the northern edge of Tokyo proper, Ueno is often overshadowed by popular nearby tourist attractions such as Sensoji in Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree in Oshiage.

That being said, the more time I spend in Ueno, the more I have come to appreciate the area’s charms, and more importantly, its historical significance. If you are planning to explore Ueno, visiting the zoo and the Tokyo National Museum are a given and have been well documented on several websites.

History buffs, however, should make a beeline to the easily overlooked Taito-ku Shitamachi Museum, a fascinating, hands-on experience showcasing over 100 years of local history.

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07/04/2017 Seasonal Activities  Visit: Parks & Nature

【SPRING】4 Key Places to Visit in Nara During the Cherry Blossom Season

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Nara Park is a unique place where you can enjoy shrines,temples, and encounter deers.
The Hanami season makes it even more enjoyable. Here are 4 places you don’t want to miss during your springtime visit.

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18/03/2019 Travel Tips  Visit: Temples & Shrines

Sensoji Temple and the Asakusa Nakamise Shopping Street by Night

Why visit Sensoji and its shopping street at night? It may seem counterintuitive but you’ll be surprised how different the area looks once darkness falls, the shops close and the crowds of tourists vanish.

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15/03/2019 Visit: Modern Japan

The World Trade Center Observatory: A Tokyo Time Capsule

It’s amazing how much of Tokyo’s history can be told through the city’s skyscrapers. The World Trade Center Building (WTCB), a copper-colored, perfectly rectangular structure is hidden among more conspicuous, contemporary office towers in the Hamamatsucho district of Minato Ward. Most locals and travelers alike simply pass unaware through the vintage building to transfer between the Toei or JR train and subway lines to the Tokyo Monorail via JR Hamamatsucho station. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll see that the WTCB is much more than a series of hallways between train stations.

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07/03/2019 Seasonal Activities  Visit: Parks & Nature

Find your Perfect Hanami Spot ! 16 Places to See the Cherry Blossoms in the Tokyo Area

If you are in Tokyo during the cherry blossoms season, it may be hard to pick up a specific place to view the sakura trees as the metropolis has so much to offer. Check out this list and chose the hanami spot that has the advantages you are looking for!

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08/03/2019 Bars & Restaurants  Everyday Life in Japan

Three Tokyo Restaurants that my Parents Loved

If you’ve been living in Japan for some time, you may be faced with the following issue: where to take visiting family members out for meals? Although Japanese cuisine is ranked among the best in the world, it may not be for everyone. Your family will probably be interested in seeing the main sights, however they are mainly there to see you; and remember that there is no guarantee that they will want to eat Japanese at every meal. So, here are three restaurants serving Japanese dishes with a twist, that should appeal to those looking for something more familiar.

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Bars & Restaurants

Sushi in Shinjuku: A Guide to the Kagurazaka Sushi Academy

Deep within the historic Kagurazaka district of Shinjuku lies one of the best sushi deals that a Tokyo traveler can find. Don’t let the name fool you—Kagurazaka Sushi Academy may be run by culinary students and alumni, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be compromising on quality, flavor, and service.

Read on to learn how to make the most of a truly unique all-you-can eat sushi dining experience.

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22/02/2019 Seasonal Activities

【SPRING】Yozakura: 3 Unique Ways to Enjoy Cherry Blossoms at Night

The joy and grandeur of hanami (cherry blossom viewing) doesn’t end when the sun sets. Thanks to “yozakura,” the custom of viewing cherry blossoms at night, travelers and locals alike can maximize their time under canopies of Japan’s ephemeral pink blossoms.
At first, yozakura—a combination of the Japanese words for “night” (yoru) and “cherry blossom” (sakura)—might seem counterintuitive. How is it possible to take in the full splendor of cherry blossoms without the brisk sunlight and blue skies of a pristine spring day?
Thankfully, with the right lighting, cherry blossoms when viewed at night can be just as spectacular as they are in the daytime. And, as you’ll see in this article, it’s not only the visuals that change as day turns to night. Depending on where you go, your yozakura experience can be entirely different than the blue tarps and rowdy revelers that dominate the day. Read on to learn about three entirely unique ways to spend an evening among cherry trees.

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13/02/2019 Activities  Interviews  Traditions & History

【INTERVIEW】The job of Rickshaw Driver: from Guiding People to Changing People’s Lives

For a long time, I ignored that the rickshaw was actually a Japanese invention! This old profession still subsists today in a newer form in Japan: the rickshaw drivers double as guides who often speak several languages. Let me introduce you to Mr. Taira, a rickshaw driver you can meet in Asakusa, Tokyo.

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15/02/2019 Sake

How to Order Sake – Know the Measurements

Have you ever been asked in a restaurant whether you wanted a “shaku” or “ichigo”? Have you ever worried about getting too much (or too little) to drink? Have you ever wondered, “How do I drink this?”. Japanese sake measurements can seem quite random and the reasons why are lost in time. However, if you look closely, a pattern emerges, which will make it easy to remember how much is what.

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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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