Category Archives: Tokyo

The most beautiful Cherry Blossom in Tokyo, Japan – Chidorigafuchi

“Chidorigafuchi” is the most beautiful Cherry Blossom place in Tokyo, Japan. It is close to Tokyo station. Closest Tokyo Metro station is “Kudanshita”.  If you walk from Kudanshita station, you can see following beautiful contrast with green and yellow flowers soon.

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Top photo is the closest place to Imperial Palace in Chidorigafuchi. It takes 20 minutes walk from Kudanshita. In this area, you can see very beautiful Cherry Blossom trees they are extended to surface of moat. This is most famous Cherry Blossom path in Japan. In Cherry Blossom season, there are so many Japanese and Visitors in this place.

In Cherry Blossom season, you can enter to Imperial Place. In Imperial Place, you can walk Inui-street. There are many Cherry Blossom trees with castellated wall.

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Also there is a very beautiful lake with Cherry Blossom in this Imperial Palace as follows.

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This Inui street is opened in Spring cherry blossom season and Autumn leaves season. But because there is a plan to refresh construction, next chance to enter is 2017 Autumn.

 

 

Japanese conversation & communication in Shops and Restaurants

How do you say in Japan shop and restaurants? After announcement of 2015 Tokyo Olympic, there are so many visitors in Japan. But almost of them are struggling how do they ask something in shops and restaurants.

When you think “How do we communicate with Japanese?” or “I need Japanese interpreter”, you can just show following we site. By showing its pages, you can easily communicate with Japanese in shops, restaurants and towns.

=>  http://howsayinjapan.mybluemix.net/

This site has some categories such as “Shop”, “Cafe & Restaurants” and “Where is”. If you select shop, you can see some English sentences. Then if you select one of them, you can get a Japanese sentence. You can show this Japanese using Smart-phone or Tablet.

HowSayInJapan

Also, if you want communicate about “Price”, you can use slide-bar to confirm its price.

HowSayInJapan Price

And, in “Where is” category, you can ask with location name where you want to go, as follows.

HowSayInJapan Where

Most of Japanese who are working in Shops and Restaurants can not speak English. They usually hesitate to communicate with foreign visitors. But if you use this Web site, they will feel it is very easy to communicate.

This is a simple Web site but it covers most of basic conversation in Japan Shops, Restaurants and so on.

Let’s try !

 

 

Hotel Okura Tokyo and its reconstruction

Hotel Okura Tokyo is the most famous traditional Hotel in Tokyo.
Its Main-Building is planned to reconstruct from 2015 summer. As top photo, figure of the main building of Hotel Okura is very special. It is a fusion of Japanese and Western.

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As above photo, its lobby is very special and famous. The lighting is special and so-called as “Oku-lantern”. Interior decoration is totally natural wood.

=> Access to Hotel Okura Tokyo

Reconstruction is planned only for this Main-Building.

okura_main_building

Front of main building is not so large, but  back side is ten floors building. (these are same building!) This is because Hotel Okura is build in a hill.

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Next to this main building, there is following Annex building. But Annex is not reconstructed this time.

ohkura_annex2

Annex’s lobby is also beautiful and it remains after 2015 summer.

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In main building, there is a good terrace restaurant “Camellia”. You can see beautiful greens from inside of Camellia.

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Also, you can enjoy following green park inside Hotel Okura main building site.

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You can only see this traditional Hotel Okura main building until 2015 summer.

North side of Hotel Okura Tokyo is the Embassy of U.S.A.

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Autumn Leaves Tokyo in Shibuya Meiji-jingu-gaien

Today, November 23rd, I visited to Meiji-jingu-gaien to see Autumn Leaves Tokyo. Meiji-jingu-gaien is close to Gaienmae station, it is the most famous place located in Shibuya, Tokyo. Its yellow leaves of ginkgo are very beautiful in every year.

gaienmae-koyo-center

 

jingu-gaien-map

Gaienmae is an approach to Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu), located in Shibuya,  is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji. There are so many large ginkgo trees around main approach and side path (following photo) to Jingu rugby field.

gaienmae-koyo-yoko

Also, beautiful Cafe is located in the middle of main approach. (but so many people in this weekend..)

gaienmae-cafe

But, today, green trees are still remains as follows… so maybe beginning of December is the best yellow colors’ period, I think.

gaienmae-green

In front of this Meiji-jingu-gaien, I found Batman (Chibatman??) and Santa-Claus riders… they are strange and no relation to Autumn Leaves Tokyo !

chi-batman

 

=> Restaurant in Meiji-Jingu-Gaien – “Kihachi”

 

Railway cafe & shops “Manseibashi” in Tokyo Akihabara

Akihabara is the most famous town to buy electric products. It is very close to Tokyo and there are so many people on weekend. (main road becomes pedestrian zone on weekend)

akihabara-town-walk

Next to Akihabara, there is an old red brick store “Manseibashi store (ecute)“, the top photo.
(following photo is took from Manseibashi)

akihabara-town

manseibashi-map

Manseibashi was a Train Station from 1912 to 1943.  From 2013, it recreated to store including some shops. Old constructions are reused to this store as follows.

inside-manseibashi

There are some shop related to railways.  Following picture is train chopsticks (Hashi) . Its shape is based on Shinkansen super express.

train-chopsticks

On the top of this store, there is an interesting Cafe “N3331 Cafe&Bar”. Because it was a platform for railway, this cafe building is located between rails. (between up and down train) You can drink coffee seeing running trains very closely.

maiseibashi-railway-cafe

In this cafe, I recommend to drink “Fujisan (Fuji-mountain) Soda” as following photo. It is very beautiful color drink.

manseibashi-cafe

 


 

 

Japanese paper “Washi” in Tokyo

“Washi” is the traditional Japanese Paper. Now three types of washi are to be added to UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. Washi is made from wood pulp and is used in many traditional arts.

For example, Washi is used for bookmarks (“Shiori” in Japanese) like top photo. It is really an art created by paper.

>>>Online Washi shop – washi bookmark (Shiori)
Also Japanese usually uses Washi envelope it is so called “Pochi-bukuro” to hand money to others. For example, Japanese give small amount of money to children at new years day. This pocket money is called as “Otoshi-dama” and the money is usually wrapped by “Pochi-bukuro” as follows.

pochi-bukuro

I bought these “Shiori” and “Pochi-bukuro” at Kyukyodo in Tokyo. Kyukodo is located at the center of Ginza and most famous Washi shop in Japan, I think.

kyukyodo

There are so many Washi products in this Kyukyodo store.

kyukyodo-arts

And there are so many Japanese syle post-cards in this store.

post-cards

kyukyodo-map >>> Discover Gourmet Japan

>>> Japanese Best Rice

>>>Japanese SAKE Shop

 

When I took Kyukyodo photo, I also took following photo. This is famous (?) Ginza Cat sleeping on top of signboard.

ginza-cat

When you want to create Washi by yourself, you can go to Ozuwashi in Nihombashi. You can experience how to create traditional Japanese paper in weekday.

ozuwashi

Washi of Ozuwahi is used in Japanese famous movie “The Wings of the Kirin”.  A bird (crane) was created by Washi and was key for a case of murder in this movie.
>>>Online Washi shop

>>>Online Washi shop – washi bookmark (Shiori)

>>>Online Washi shop – washi 10 colors used in the movie


 

Japanese old houses in Kawagoe, Japan

Kawagoe city is very close to Tokyo, it takes only 30 minutes from Ikebukuro, Tokyo. But there are so many old Japanese houses which are not able to find in other Tokyo area.

old_houses

It is called as “Small Edo”, because it was condensed town like small size of old Tokyo (Edo).

On top of old Japanese houses, you can see various Kawara (Japanese roof tiles).

kawara

And you can see old Japanese rooms in there. There is shoji which is door created by paper and wood. Also there are Tatami, Byobu and so on.

japanese_room

Also, you can see some western style old buildings in Kawagoe. Following photo is old Bank.

old_bank

I recommend to eat Amatama-Karin, which is one of special sweets in Kawagoe. It is very good souvenir of Kawagoe.

 

Asakusa and Tokyo River Cruise

Asakusa is an area enjoying overwhelming popularity from visitors worldwide. The area gives us a good example of Shitamachi, eastern downtown near Tokyo Bay. There is following facous red gate “Kaminari-mon” (Thunder Gate) and Asakusa temple “Senso-ji”.

asakusa-kaminarimon

Top photo is a scene of New Year festival of Asakusa temple. There are so many small and good traditional stores around approach. Especially, 1-3 of January is very crowded for new year visit.

 asakusa-map300 >>> Discover Gourmet Japan

>>> Japanese Best Rice

>>>Japanese SAKE Shop

In Asakusa,  there is an interesting traditional restaurant “Asakusa Bell”. You can eat “Tokyo SkyTree Omelet-Rice” (photo below). Also, in this building, you can see the legend of Japanese TV Talents ! In Asakusa, you can have pleasant experience of good old days of Japan.

Asakusa-bell-TokyoSkyTree-OmRice

If you walk to Sumida river side, you can ride on River Cruise ship “Himiko” (or Hotaruna). It seems like a space ship of SF. It takes 50 minutes and 1,560 yen from Asakusa to Odaiba, Tokyo bayside area.

himiko

Around Asakusa ship port, you can see “Tokyo Sky Tree” and buildings of Asahi Beer.

skytree

In this river cruise, you can see overview of Tokyo from river side. Center of following photo is, “Tokyo Tower”.

tokyo-sight

At the end of this cruise, ship approaches to Raibow Bridge. It is most famous and big bridge in Tokyo.

topofhimiko

Ship goes through under Rainbow Bridge. It is amazing sight !

rainbow-bridge

At last, ship arrives Odaiba.  Odaiba means base place of cannon. It is created to attack Perry when he came to Japan in 1854, in the period of national isolation.


 

Cherry Blossoms in Kawazu, Izu, Japan

Kawazu-zakura, one type of Japanese cherry blossoms, is well-known for its blooming period and its marvelous color. It starts flowering early February, while the other types have yet to bloom with a lot of buds on every branch. Many of the cherry blossoms seen everywhere in Japan have pale pink, nearly white, petals, but Kawazu-zakura in deep pink gives people a strong impression.

kawazu-sakura

It takes about 2.5 hours to travel from Tokyo (Japan) to Kawazu by train. There are thousands of cherry blossom trees along the river as well as around Kawazu station .

kawazu-map >>> Discover Gourmet Japan
>>> Japanese Best Rice
>>>Japanese SAKE Shop

=> You can check blooming status in this year !

You can enjoy walking around the area for about three hours, surrounded by splendid cherry blossoms.

 

Nice  color combination: cherry blossoms and colza.

river&sakura

 

cherry&rape_blossoms

The cherry blossoms in Kawazu begin to bloom two months ahead of those in Tokyo.  Kawazu-zakura  is a good news for people waiting for the coming of spring.

The following photo shows the original tree of Kawazu cherry blossoms. All of Kawazu-zakura were propagated from cuttings of this original tree. I believe that the cherry blossoms in Kawazu are worth seeing for visitors coming to Japan in February.

=> Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo and Maihama