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 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.
Also, beautiful Cafe is located in the middle of main approach. (but so many people in this weekend..)
But, today, green trees are still remains as follows… so maybe beginning of December is the best yellow colors’ period, I think.
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 !
=> Restaurant in Meiji-Jingu-Gaien – “Kihachi”
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)
Next to Akihabara, there is an old red brick store “Manseibashi store (ecute)“, the top photo.
(following photo is took from Manseibashi)
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.
There are some shop related to railways. Following picture is train chopsticks (Hashi) . Its shape is based on Shinkansen super express.
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.
In this cafe, I recommend to drink “Fujisan (Fuji-mountain) Soda” as following photo. It is very beautiful color drink.
“Rokurinsha” is one of the most famous Ramen (Japanese noodle) restaurants in Tokyo. One of them are located under Tokyo Station Ramen street. (following photo is Gran-Front of Tokyo Station)
Under the Tokyo Station, located in B1, there is the “Ramen Street” some Ramen restaurants are located side by side.
But it is easy to find Rokurinsha because so many people are waiting in long line. In usual, it takes 60 min… my lowest time was 10 min.
The top photo is, “Tsuke-men” (Ramen to drip into soup by myself) which is the most popular type of Ramen in Rokurinsha (850 yen). It is not so hot and has very complex taste including fish powder.
“Ramen” was came from Chinese noodle, but it is evolved to Japan unique noodle. I think, Rokurinsha is the most typical Japanese unique noodle and best experience for foreigners.
Let’s try !
My best Japanese Restaurant with Tokyo SkyTree view is, “Kunimi”. Kunimi is located in Sora-machi next to Tokyo SkyTree, so it is very close to SkyTree.
Kunimi’s food is like an Art. It is very Japanese style and so beautiful dish up. Following photo is Sashimi on shellfish.
Next photo is “Chimaki” it is special type of rice cake for Children’s day (May 5th).
Kunimi is very close to Tokyo SkyTree and we can see it very closely. Following movie is Light-on time of SkyTree.
If you do not go up to Tokyo SkyTree, you can enjoy very beautiful and nice Japanese Food seeing SkyTree from Kunimi restaurant.
“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.
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.
There are so many Washi products in this Kyukyodo store.
And there are so many Japanese syle post-cards in this store.
When I took Kyukyodo photo, I also took following photo. This is famous (?) Ginza Cat sleeping on top of signboard.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
Also, you can see some western style old buildings in Kawagoe. Following photo is old Bank.
I recommend to eat Amatama-Karin, which is one of special sweets in Kawagoe. It is very good souvenir of Kawagoe.
Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, located in Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, Japan, is not only on the UNESCO World Heritage List but designated as one of the Three Scenic Spots in Japan. The foundation of the buildings of the shrine is laid under the seabed, and thereby the shrine looks floating on the sea.
It takes about four hours to travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima by Shinkansen bullet train.
Miyajima is also famous for its Shamoji, a rice scoop, made from sacred trees in the island. The following photo shows a huge Shamoji at the approach to Itsukushima Shrine.
Following photo is “Iwaso” it is famous traditional Japanese Hotel (Ryokan).
In this Iwaso, there is a good restaurant for “Anago jyu (conger bowl)”. It is very soft and good taste.
You can climb “Misen” which is mountain of Miyajima, using rope-way (cable-way). You can see various small island in Seto-island-sea.
Momiji-manjyu (bun with a bean-jam filling) is the most famous sweets from Hiroshima. There are so many small Momiji-manjyu factory in Miyajima. You can eat it when it is still hot.
Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima is famous for floating red Torii in the sea. When it is lowest water, you can walk and touch it. This shrine is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Japanese government has designated as National Treasures.
>>> Discover Gourmet Japan
>>> Japanese Best Rice
>>>Japanese SAKE Shop
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Around Asakusa ship port, you can see “Tokyo Sky Tree” and buildings of Asahi Beer.
In this river cruise, you can see overview of Tokyo from river side. Center of following photo is, “Tokyo Tower”.
At the end of this cruise, ship approaches to Raibow Bridge. It is most famous and big bridge in Tokyo.
Ship goes through under Rainbow Bridge. It is amazing sight !
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.
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.
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 .
=> 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.
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
Here are photos of autumn leaves seen in Kumobaike pond, Karuizawa, Nagano. Karuizawa is very famous place as one of Japan’s summer resorts close to Tokyo, but it is also a nice spot to visit in autumn.
A monitoring camera, Karuizawa-Kusabana-kan, is watching the pond all through the year. You can decide when you should visit the pond, seeing the current color of the leaves.
It takes only one hour to travel from Tokyo station to Karuizawa station by JR Shinkansen Super Express. You can fully enjoy Kumobaike pond as one-day trip, but of course I would like to recommend staying in Karuizawa for a few days. You can find a vast outlet mall in front of Karuizawa station, where many people gather to spend a nice holiday. If unfamiliar with volcanoes, you can learn a lot about it at the sight of Oni-oshi-dashi.
The beauty of red leaves is amazing. Have fun , taking an hour walk around Kumobaike pond!
There are so many ducks on lake. It is so beautiful because red leafs reflects to lake surface.
If you walk from Karuizawa station to Kumoba-ike, you can find so many red trees around road.
I think, Karuizawa Kumoba-ike is the most beautiful autumn leaves in eastern Japan.
>>> Discover Gourmet Japan