Harajuku

Harajuku (はらじゅく/原宿), between Shinjuku and Shibuya, is a heartland of youth fashion and activity.  It will provide plenty of splendid culture shock for an visitor, young or old. Budget travel tips Be sure to explore the smaller streets, full of fashion shops and nice cafes.  See the map for a recommended route, but it’s aContinue reading “Harajuku”

Shinjuku

Shinjuku (しんじゅく/新宿) is the business, entertainment and shopping mecca of Tokyo.  A must visit for anyone traveling or living in Japan. Budget travel tips Avoid eating at the expensive department store restaurants, the restaurants elsewhere are much cheaper and offer a better experience. If Shinjuku is a bit hectic, try heading to Koenji or Shimo-Kitazawa.Continue reading “Shinjuku”

Imperial Palace East Garden

The East Garden, right in the center of Tokyo, is a free park within the Imperial Palace complex.  Highlights include Ninomaru Garden, a traditional Japanese garden, and the remains of the former castle tower. Budget travel tips A walk around the whole Imperial Palace is highly recommended, allowing you to see the different buildings, defensive walls,Continue reading “Imperial Palace East Garden”

Edo-Tokyo Museum

Edo-Tokyo Museum is a massive museum about the history of Tokyo.  Features replicas and originals from the Edo era (between 1603 and 1868) up to now, a detailed timeline of the city and art from different periods.  Excellent English descriptions available. Budget travel tips Sumo Arena is right next to Edo-Tokyo Museum, so it’s worth havingContinue reading “Edo-Tokyo Museum”

Kiyosumi Garden

Kiyosumi Garden is a compact but beautiful traditional Japanese garden, featuring a real Japanese tea house.  Well worth a visit if you are in the area. Budget travel tips Kiyosumi Garden is a short walk from Fukagawa Edo Museum.  See the map below for details. The free park next door is a nice place to eatContinue reading “Kiyosumi Garden”

Asakusa

Asakusa (あさくさ/浅草) is the main tourist zone in Tokyo.  While this may put some travelers off, it is still a must see for any visit to Japan.  Asakusa features Tokyo’s most famous temple, atmospheric old-fashioned streets and plenty of attractions for all types of travelers.  All are an easy walk from each other. Budget travelContinue reading “Asakusa”

Ueno

Ueno (うえの/上野) features one of the biggest parks in Tokyo and is one of the main ‘cities’ within the megalopolis that is Tokyo.  There many museums in the park, and the area is full of brightly lit streets and stores. Budget travel tips Asakusa is a nice city walk from Ueno, via Kappabashi.  We recommendContinue reading “Ueno”

Sengakuji temple

Sengakuji temple is a beautiful Buddhist temple near Shinagawa station.   This is the location of the Revenge of the Forty-seven Ronin, when 47 masterless samurai murdered a feudal lord. Their master was forced to commit suicide after attacking the lord, so with no master the Ronin planned their attack.  They eventually killed the lord, andContinue reading “Sengakuji temple”

Fukagawa Edo Museum

Fukagawa Edo museum contains a recreated Edo town, looking just like Tokyo hundreds of years ago.  The buildings were built using the old techniques and provide for an interesting afternoon or morning. Budget travel tips Walk to the nearby Kiyosumi park after to get your fix of Japanese gardens and save on train costs CheckContinue reading “Fukagawa Edo Museum”