Side Trips - Exploring Tokyo

12th February, 2015

Shinjuku: This is the place to see all the skyscrapers of the city.  It’s also a great option for sleeping as Shinjuku station is very central and the busiest train station in Tokyo! For something different, visit the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku, a basement where the cabaret meets bento box. Leave your inhibitions at the door.

Shibuya:  It would be a shame to come to Tokyo and not take a walk across the famous intersection outside Shibuya Station. Rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world.  On sunny afternoons or clear evenings, the surrounding area is packed with shoppers, students, young couples and commuters. When the lights turn red at this busy junction, they all turn red at the same time in every direction. Traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides.   A sight to be seen indeed.  If you’re looking for a fun night out in Tokyo on a Saturday night don’t miss the opportunity to see the super club The Womb.  Its rated amongst the best clubs in the world.

Roppongi:  This district is well known as the city's most popular nightlife district among foreigners with a large number of foreigner friendly bars, restaurants and night clubs plus elegant shopping.  Thanks to the appearance of several art museums, Roppongi has also developed a reputation as a cultural center. The National Art Center is Japan's largest art museum, and together with Roppongi Hills' Mori Art Museum and Tokyo Midtown's Suntory Museum of Art this forms the "Art Triangle Roppongi".

Kanda: Between Ogawamachi and Jimbocho subway stations this is where all the ski and snowboard stores are conveniently located in the Kanda district of Tokyo. Outdoor stores are lined up, one after the other, often two or three stories high. You’ll be pleased there’s stacks of options to choose from and if you come at the end of the ski season there are bargains a plenty!

Harajuku: This area is home to the famous Harajuku Girls where street fashion rules and where you will find the latest trends.  Crowds of Japanese young people come here to shop so avoid the weekends if possible. If you like people watching then Harajuku is a great place for you as there are all types.

Asakusa:  This area is more traditional Japan. With its popular historic temples and great shopping for souvenirs like kimonos and swords it’s a must on any itinerary. It’s easily explored by foot, although you could consider a local guided tour on a rickshaw.

Akihabara: In Tokyo's Akihabara Electric Town, you can dress up in fun, comic book-inspired costumes, no matter what age you are.  Get outfitted for cosplay (costume play), pose for a shoot in a 'purikura' photo booth, stop at shops hawking video games, and enjoy a drink with karaoke.  This area has everything you can think of in electronics and is worth a visit just to look at what is available.  Buying here however is not easy as everything is made for the local voltage of 110.


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