Daiba Around

This artificially constructed pleasure island serves as a quick and easy escape for stressed out Tokyoites looking for a little R& R. Not surprisingly, Odaiba is home to dozens of restaurants catering to every conceivable taste and budget. Eating in Odaiba also means food with a view, especially if you cosy up alongside a picture window and gaze out across the bay. Map p131 Sushi & Sashimi 5556-4808 30th fl. Hotel Grand Pacific Le Meridien, 2-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku sushi spread from 6000...

Tokyo Life

Change trains during rush hour at Shinjuku Station and you'll experience Tokyo at its most dizzying, with rivers of people pouring from the platforms. Gaze out from the observation deck at the nearby Metropolitan Government Offices and you'll see a vast labyrinth of a city that seems to continue forever. This metropolis of over 12 million people (expand that to 33 million if you include the greater metropolitan area) has been constantly reinventing itself following natural...

HAKONE ft

If the weather cooperates and Mt Fuji is clearly visible, the Hakone region can make a memorable day trip from Tokyo. You can enjoy cable-car rides, visit an open-air museum, soak in hot-water springs and cruise Ashi-no-ko (Lake Ashi). A paradise for hikers, divers and onsen lovers, Fuji-Hakone-lzu National Park is a grab-bag of tourist sights taking in Mt Fuji (3776m), the surrounding five lakes, the Izu Peninsula and the Izu Islands. Once you've arrived at Hakone-Yumoto Station, it's possible...

Kabukichos Water Trade

During the late-Tokugawa period, a colourful world was born in which kabuki actors, prostitutes, poets and high-living merchants cavorted in pleasure quarters such as Tokyo's Yoshiwara district. This was the so-called 'floating world' (ukiyo), an ephemeral world of night pleasures (called mizushobai or'the water trade') centred on geisha houses, brothels and drinking establishments. Although prostitution was made illegal during the Allied occupation of Japan following WWII, the water trade is...

C

Capsule hotels 202 car hire 241 car travel 240 cell phones 253 cemeteries 76,99 Central Tokyo 55-60, 56 accommodation 205 attractions 55-60 food 157 shopping 138-9 transport 155 ceramics 35 cheques, travellers 251 Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park 220 children, travel with 71, 245, iff also Sights subindex Shrine) 87-9 Chora ku-ji 234 cinema, iff film cinemas 188-9,iff also Entertainment subindex classical music 31,178, see also Entertainment subindex climate 16,245 climate change 40,239 clothing...

Excursions

Step outside Tokyo for a breath of fresh air, and you will encounter a whole different world from the nonstop super-bustle of the capital. Located just an hour or two by train are soothing onsen (mineral hot springs) in natural settings, refreshing mountain hikes and walks, and a few decent beaches on the Pacific. If you have got the time and a yen for careful planning, you will be able do all three in one trip. Plus, there are the must-see tourist destinations of Nikko and Kamakura, as well as...

Gay Lesbian Tokyo

Though issues like gay marriage are not on the public radar screen in conservative Japan, media is rife with tarento (media celebrities) who are gay or who pretend, like pseudo leatherman Hard Gay. Social acceptance has been slow, but in 2007 the central and metropolitan governments joined the Tokyo Pride Parade for the first time. Entertainment-wise, the Tokyo scene is concentrated inShinjuku Ni-chome, a few blocks east of Shinjuku Station that house hundreds of gay and lesbian establishments....

Izuhanto

Eighty kilometres southwest of Tokyo, Izu-hanto, with its abundant onsen and rugged coastline, is one of Japan's most popular resort destinations and cottage areas. It can get very crowded at weekends and holidays, particularly in summer. Luckily, once you get past the touristy resort of Atami, the crowds usually thin out. And over on the west coast, where transport is by bus only, things are always a lot quieter. Atami is known as a hot-spring naughty-weekend destination for Japanese couples,...

Kamakura gfofr

Kamakura had a spell of glory as the nation's capital from AD 1192 to 1333 when Japan's seat of power temporarily relocated here from Kyoto. The Minamoto and later the Hojo clans ruled Japan from Kamakura for more than a century, until finally in 1333, weakened by the heavy cost of maintaining defences against the threats of attack from Kublai Khan in China, the Hojo clan fell from power at the hands of the forces of Emperor Go-Daigo. Although the restoration of imperial authority was somewhat...

Food Glossary

The choicest cut of fatty tuna belly unagi 5 eel with a sweet sauce uni o 1 noodles in meat broth with toppings chashu-men v a y ramen topped with slices of roast pork kake Mi soba uion with fried tofu miso-ramen (Ml - ramen with miso-flavoured broth shio-ramen y > ramen with salt-flavoured broth shoyu-ramen fiyftv ramen with soy sauce-flavoured broth soba -r if buckwheat-based noodles tempura Ji& b soba uion with tempura shrimp tsukimi JH wantan-men V > 9 > > cold soba uion served...

Depachika

Hungry for the next culinary novelty, OLs (office ladies) and o-basan (grandmotherly types) prowl the mazes of depachika, the cavernous food halls in department store basements. Depachika often take up several floors, housing a staggering array of foodstuffs of the highest order, freshly prepared and often gorgeously packaged for presentation as gifts. Depending on the most au courant food trends, you could find black truffle oil or dessert vinegar just round the cornerfrom the more traditional...

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Walking tours Aoyama Architecture 112 Nippori 76 Shitamachi 89-90 West Shinjuku Nishi-Shinjuku 118 walking,iff hiking Watari-Um Watari Museum of Contemporary Art 111 weather 16 West Shinjuku Nishi- Shinjuku 114-8 women travellers 257 wood-block prints, see ukiyo-e work 257 Wright, Frank Lloyd 38 WWII 26, 27-8,55-6 yokiniku 153 Yamanote high city 25, 44 Yamatane Bijutsukan Yamatane Museum of Art 59 Yamato, the 22 Yanaka Cemetery 76,99 Yasujiro, Ozu 32 Yasukuni-jinja Yasukuni Shrine 55,5...

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Zojo-ji Zojo Temple 98 Zoshigaya Cemetery 99 Zuisen-ji 232 Daidaiya 163 Daidaya 170 Monsoon 167 Beer Bar Bitter 157 BURGERS amp SANDWICHES ahorne Caf 161 Ben's Caf 172 Caf Artifagose 167 Caff Michelangelo 167 Dada Caf 170 Les Deux Bleue 174 Miraville Impakt 159 Din Tai Fung 160 Ten-ten Tsune-tsune Kaitenbo 174 Asterix 163 Coucagno167 L'Osier 158 Mushroom 165 Canal Caf 157 Taverna 172 Vinoteca 164 Christon Caf 170 Gompachi 173 Okinawa 168 Rico's Kitchen 165 Sasash 172 Seigetsu 157 Tetsugen...

Nikk

An excellent day trip from Tokyo, Nikko is one of Japan's major tourist attractions due to the splendour of its shrines and temples, and the surrounding natural beauty. Nikk can become extremely crowded, especially during spring and autumn foliage seasons. If it's at all possible, it's best to visit early on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Before you head to the shrine area either by bus or on foot, you may want to stop by the T bu Nikk Station Information Centre p225 or the Ky do Center Tourist...

March April

HINA MATSURI GIRLS' DAY 3 March Homes and public spaces are decorated with squat dolls dressed in the traditional dress of the hina princess . Around this time, dolls made by children are set adrift on the Sumida River Map p86 from Sumida-koen near Azuma-bashi. There's also a Boys' Day held in May see Otoko No Hi, p18 . TOKYO INTERNATIONAL ANIMEFAIR Late March or Early April Tokyo's International Anime Fair at Tokyo Big Sight Map p131 brings in everyone from the 17-year-old animephile living...