What kind of things would you like to do?

This is a quick look at all the destinations. Click on any photo or link to see more pictures and details about each place!

AKIHABARA

Akiba4

 The famous electronics district

Maid cafés • Electronics superstores • Comic book & anime stores (including fan fiction) • Handcrafted wooden keyboards • Robot & character model shops • Gundam & AKB48 Cafés • Cosplay costumes, wigs & makeup

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Directions & maps

AKI-OKA ARTISAN CO-OP

AkiOka4

Fabulous shopping, for new things made in old ways

Workshops where artists make & sell fun new goods using traditional techniques

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Map

AOYAMA ITCHOME

AoyamaItchome4

The best traditional crafts store, a ninja restaurant and towering golden trees

Store selling the best traditional goods from all over Japan • Magical ninja restaurant • Amazing golden ginkgo trees in the fall

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Directions & maps

ASAKUSA

Asakusa4

If you only have one day in Tokyo, this is where I’m going to take you.

Giant Buddhist temple (Senso-ji) with a secret garden • Asakusa Shrine (Shinto) • Rice crackers and taiyaki made while you wait

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Directions & maps

ASAKUSA-BASHI

SQStairs

Beautiful dolls and craft stores to die for

Handmade Girls’ Day doll sets • Carp banners & armor sets for Boys’ Day • Deluxe beading stores

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Directions & maps

CALICO CAT CAFÉ

CalicoCatCafe4

Your chance to do the famous coffee & cat thing

Sip a coffee while you play with cats by the hour • Many exotic breeds

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Directions & map

EBISU

4Ebisu

A beer museum, the jellyfish & shark bar, and all kinds of eclectic eateries

Lively, fun part of town, with good streets for strolling and checking out the wide selection of eateries and drinkeries • All styles/cuisines are represented, so you’re sure to find something appealing • Xmas Illuminations are excellent

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Directions & maps

EDO-TOKYO MUSEUM

EdoTokyo4

This is my favorite museum in Tokyo – half of it is about everyday life in samurai-era Japan, and half is about life after Japan opened to the West

Unbelievably fabulous models • Excellent life-size room reconstructions • Fascinating section about WWII and its aftermath

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Map

GINZA

GinzaDesserts

The famous department store shopping district

My favorite department store food hall • 9-story stationery store • The best coffee in the world

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Directions & maps

GOTOKUJI

4Gotokuji

Home of the lucky cat shrine!

Wonderful lucky cat shrine on the temple grounds • Excellent plum blossoms (Feb) and autumn leaves (mid-late Nov)

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Directions & Map

HAMA-RIKYU TEIEN GARDEN

4HamaRikyu

An Imperial garden with all the trimmings

Lovely flower displays in every season – famous for plums and peonies • So big you can walk for an hour • Huge pond with bridges • Teahouse

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Directions & maps

HARAJUKU

Harajuku4

Let’s shop with the fashion cults!

Brand boutiques for Lolita, Gothic Lolita, Punk, Fairy Kei and more • Harajuku-style crepes • Meiji Shrine • Yoyogi Park has the best free entertainment in Tokyo on Sundays

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Directions & maps

IKEBUKURO

Ikebukuro4

One of the most fun eating experiences in all of Tokyo.

Wild ice cream flavors: wasabi, curry and eel & more • The most famous dumplings from all over Japan • Toys from another planet • Entertaining Japanese appliances

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Directions & maps

INARI-CHO

SQKamidana

A funeral goods district that’s anything but dreary.

Shinto household shrines • Buddhist altars • Heavenly incense • Buddhist rosaries • Hearses with elaborate shrines on the back

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Directions & maps

JAPAN TRADITIONAL CRAFT CENTER

JTradCraftCntr

The best place to buy traditional crafts in Tokyo

Sells vast array of authentic traditionally-made crafts from every prefecture in Japan • Prices the same as if you went there and bought from the artist

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Map

KAMAKURA DAY TRIP

Kamakura4

Want to get out of Tokyo for the day and see the most entertaining shrines and temples I know?

Great photo ops • Biggest bronze Buddha in Japan • Money Washing Shrine • The Divorce Temple • Tea at the Bamboo Temple • A truly amazing Fox Shrine • The Moss Temple • Ten foot tall gold-leafed figure of Kannon • Catch your own noodles

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Directions & maps

KAMIYA-CHO

4Kamiyacho

Bring your camera or you’ll be sorry.

Tokyo Tower • Hundreds of stone Jizo figures at Zojo-ji Temple • Amazing tofu restaurant • My favorite Chinese restaurant in the world

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Directions & maps

KAPPABASHI STREET

4Kappabashi

Don’t miss the street where they sell plastic food!

Plastic food model stores • Make your own plastic food •  The flavoring store • Ultra-sharp knives • Lacquerware • Japanese cooking equipment • Bales of chopsticks • Dinosaur heads

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Directions & maps

KOMAGOME

4Rikugien

I just love spending time in Komagome’s 17th century garden and walking around this neighborhood filled with shops that have been in business for generations.

Rikugi-en garden is beautiful in every season • It’s open at night and lit up during cherry blossom and fall leaf seasons • There’s a stand selling miso dango in autumn and winter • There’s another smaller garden called Kyu-Furukawa Garden that is famous for its Japanese style garden and its rose garden (June)

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Directions & maps

KORAKUEN

4.Korakuen1

Stroll in a 17th century Japanese garden, cheer with the world’s craziest baseball fans, or ride a roller coaster that goes straight through a Tokyo skyscraper!

Koraku-en garden is my favorite garden in Tokyo, in every season • Lots of photo-worthy bridges, flowers & gorgeous views • The Yomiuri Giants play at the Tokyo Dome,but the fans are almost as fun to watch as the game • Tokyo Dome City amusement park has roller coasters, dancing fountains and excellent holiday illuminations (Nov-Jan)

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Directions & maps

KOSHINZUKA STREET MARKET

4Koshinzuka

Let’s go to a market where they still sell goods from a bygone era!

Handmade bamboo ear cleaners • Crispy cricket drinking snacks • Poisonous dried snake tea • Togenuki Jizo healing temple • The Honorable Duck Butt of Sugamo • Big Red Underwear Store

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Directions & maps

KUDANSHITA

4.Kudanshita

You never know what you might see at the magnificent & controversial Yasukuni Shrine, and the nearby Imperial Palace moat is a must-see in cherry blossom season

Yasukuni Shrine has seasonal festivals with free demonstrations of traditional music and dance, an annual free amateur sumo tournament, a traditional Japanese garden & a fascinating WWII museum • Imperial Palace moat is amazing during cherry blossom season

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Directions & maps

MEIJI SHRINE

4MeijiJingu

This is my favorite place to see weddings, people in gorgeous kimonos and period costume.

Weddings • Festivals • People wearing kimonos • Cedar buildings built without nails • If we’re lucky, a real live tanuki sighting!

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Directions & maps

MONZEN-NAKACHO

4FukugawaFudo

The place to see red-hot fire ceremonies, with awesome taiko drums!

Fire ceremonies with drums, five times a day • Hall of 10,000 crystal figures of Fudo-san • Room with 108 glow-in-the-dark paintings of gods • Dragon fountain that grants wishes written on dissolving amulets • Giant wooden Fudo figure

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Directions & maps

MT. TAKAO

4.MtTakao

Tokyo has its very own mountain, still within the city limits!

Less than an hour from Shinjuku station • Beautiful hiking • Monkey park and shrine at the top • Annual firewalking festival in march • Seasonal beer garden with views from the top from July-October

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Directions & Map

NAKANO

Nakano4

Where geeks go to shop

Geek mall filled with shops selling vintage Japanese toys, character figures, comic books & fan fiction, models, cosplay goods and doll parts • Yuki Daruma grill-at-your-table restaurant

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Directions & maps

NEZU

4.Nezu

Let’s go to my favorite Tokyo shrine, then walk around the old-fashioned neighborhood. It escaped bombing during WWII, so it’s still really traditional.

Tunnel or orange torii gates • Chiyogami store • Handmade wooden buckets • Calligraphy brushes • Air-conditioned pillows • Cat map store.

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Directions & maps

NIHONBASHI

4Mitsukoshi

The grand old lady of Tokyo department stores

The mother of all department stores • Best place to see kimonos and all the trimmings • Seasonal decorations are excellent • Food hall can’t be beat • During cherry blossom season, the buildings are all lit up in pink!

Directions

NIHON MINKA-EN THATCH-ROOFED HOUSES

4Minka-en

This village of restored thatch-roofed houses is just a short train ride from central Tokyo!

23 thatch-roofed houses • You can go inside • Visitor center showing how they are made • In a beautiful park

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Directions & maps

NISHIARAI DAISHI TEMPLE

4NishiaraiDaishi

The temple with a famous peony garden and a wart-curing shrine

Peonies as big as dinner plates bloom in late April, wisteria in May, plums in February/March • Wart-curing shrine • Lovely waterfall garden • Lively in every season

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Directions & maps

ODAIBA

4Odaiba1

I can’t let you leave before you do some of the most wacky things in Tokyo.

Trick Art Museum • Oedo Onsen • Miraikan • Sony Explorascience Museum Smile Fight • Five-story tall Gundam robot • Toyota megaweb

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Directions & maps

OEDO ONSEN

4OedoOnsen

Indoor hot spring theme park, designed to look like an Edo-era town • Many different mineral spring baths to try • Many different restaurants • Fun kid activities • Fish pedicures

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Directions & maps

ORIGAMI CENTER

OrikamiKaikan4

They sell every kind of origami and washi paper you can imagine • You can see how it’s made • Kits for making your own • Gorgeous papers beautiful enough to frame • Gallery of unusual origami

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Map

RIKUGI-EN GARDEN

4Rikugien

Three-hundred-year-old garden designed to show 88 views from famous waka poems • Beautiful in every season • In fall and spring, they sell delicious miso-sauced toasted rice balls on a stick and the garden is lit up at night

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Directions & maps

ROPPONGI

4Roppongi

If you’re in Tokyo in November-December and don’t go see the holiday lights in Roppongi, you will regret it the rest of your life. Just sayin’.

• Holiday light displays in November-December • Roppongi Hills & Tokyo Midtown shopping malls

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Directions & maps

RYOGOKU

4.Ryogoku

Sumo wrestlers & the Edo-Tokyo Museum – two must-see Tokyo experiences!

You can get tickets to a sumo tournament in Ryogoku every January, May & September • The Edo-Tokyo Museum is all about everyday life in samurai times vs. how it changed after Japan opened to the West • Incredible detailed models of cities and towns • Full-scale rooms showing how people lived

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Directions & maps

SASUKE INARI SHRINE

SasukeInari4

A magical forest fox shrine, with paths that are lined with little mossy fox villages • From May-December the moss is at its greenest • Renowned power spot

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Map

SENGAKU-JI

4Sengakuji

Truth is stranger than fiction – let’s go see the actual burial place of the 47 ronin!

Graves of the 47 ronin • Their signed confession • The well where they washed Lord Kira’s severed head • Statue portaits of the 47 ronin

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Directions & maps

SHIBUYA

4Shibuya

Weird, wild, unforgettable. Just go, OK?

Famous 5-way intersection: 1,000 people cross every minute • Love Hotel Hill • Extreme pancakes • Butlers Café • Eye-popping fashion at 109, Men’s 109, Parco & Marui • Everything-under-the-sun at Tokyu HandsLoft and Don Kihote

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Directions & maps

SHIMO-KITAZAWA

4shimokita

This is my favorite neighborhood for barhopping, trying out eateries that don’t break the bank, and playing with the bunnies at the rabbit café.

Quirky, inexpensive bars & restaurants, many with live music • Vinegar bar & café • Village Vanguard store for wacky only-in-Japan gifts • Ohisama Rabbit Café

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Directions & maps

SHINJUKU

4Shinjuku

The biggest and wildest entertainment district in Tokyo

Cat café • Golden Gai  theme bars • Princess Style kimonos • Host clubs, hostess bars and adult entertainment

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Directions & maps

SHOWA KINEN PARK

4ShowaKinen

This huge park is great for families and seasonal color pilgrimages

Famous cosmos field, cherry blossoms, tulips and autumn leaves • Lovely Japanese garden • Multiple playgrounds • Bouncy mountain • Rental bikes and boats

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Map

TSUKIJI

4Tsukiji

$25 million worth of seafood sold every morning. Let’s see it all.

Giant tuna • 24-hour sushi bars • Seafood so weird you never even saw it in a science book • Godzilla-sized ice cubes

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Directions & maps

UENO

SQHanami

A grand public park, art and history museums, and my favorite Tokyo toy store

Large public park, famous for cherry blossoms and museums • Best lotus flower pond in Tokyo • Five-story toy store with many toys you’ll never see outside Japan

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Directions & maps

YASUKUNI SHRINE

4Yasukuni

The most controversial shrine in Japan is always worth seeing

Fantastic spring and autumn festivals feature nonstop free music, dance, and traditional arts demonstrations • Amateur sumo tournament at the beginning of April • WWII Museum has extensive collection, interesting point of view

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Map

YOKOHAMA

4.Yokohama

This nearby city has everything from cutting edge art events to gorgeous traditional gardens

Large traditional garden is beautiful in every season • Art events at the waterfront happen several times a year • Excellent Pokemon Center store

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Directions & maps

YOYOGI PARK

4Yoyogi1

The best free entertainment in Tokyo, every Sunday afternoon!

Free entertainment of all kinds every Sunday afternoon • Rockabillies • Slackline • Costumed dogs • Famous for cherry blossom parties

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Directions & maps

YUSHIMA

4Yushima

This is a gorgeous shrine, seldom visited by tourists

Jewel-like example of a cedar wood and gold shrine • Plum blossom festival in February • Chrysanthemum festival in November • Musical water garden

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Directions & maps

ZOJO-JI TEMPLE

4Zojoji

Magnificent temple with hundreds of Jizo figures

Nice walk among Jizo figures with pinwheels • Large public celebrations on traditional holidays

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Map

Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo.  Nightshade is the first one…

FooterN12
A young woman is found dead in an abandoned car, and the more part-time English translator Yumi Hata learns about how her friend Rika died, the more she’s convinced it was murder…Read more

 

NIGHTSHADE Book Trailer (0:52)

 

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