Kamiya-cho Area

tokyoTower

From Kamiya-cho Station, we can walk to Tokyo Tower and a temple with long avenues of stone Jizo figures holding pinwheels.

Our first stop is the landmark you can see from anywhere in the city – an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, except that it’s orange (and slightly taller). From the observation deck, there’s a 360° panoramic view.

Day or night, we'll see a seriously beautiful 360 degree panoramic view from the top of Tokyo Tower.
At night it’s the best
TokyoTowerKoi
In the weeks leading up to May 5, they put out koi nobori carp flags
…in honor of the holiday that used to be known as Boys’ Day but is now called Childrens’ Day
Every weekend and on special days, Tokyo Tower is lit up in different colors from 8-10 at night. Schedule for the current month here: http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/lightup/
Every weekend and on special days, Tokyo Tower is lit up in different colors from 8:oo -10:00 at night. Schedule for the current month here.

If we skirt Tokyo Tower and head down the hill, we’ll arrive at Zojo-ji Temple.

No fewer than seven Tokygawa shoguns are buried in the private graveyard at this magnificent temple.
No fewer than seven Tokugawa shoguns are buried in the private graveyard at this magnificent temple. the graveyard is only open on special holidays, but you can sneak a peek over the wall from the side with the Jizo figures.
There are hundreds of Jizo figures at Zojoji, and its especially beautiful in the spring.
I never get tired of seeing the long avenues of stone Jizo figures, dressed in red bibs and caps and holding pinwheels.
These little guys make me a little melancholy, because they're for the spirits of lost children, but they are so lovingly clothed and cared for by the families that put them there, they're cheery as well.
These little guys make me a little melancholy, because they are dedicated to the souls of lost children, but the ones at Zojo-ji are so lovingly clothed and cared for by the families that put them there, they’re cheery as well. Their pinwheels send prayers to heaven on every breeze.

KAMIYA-CHO AREA MAP

Let’s not leave the Kamiyacho area without eating. Two of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo are within walking distance:

Tofu-ya Ukai is a destination in itself – constructed like a daimyo’s palace, a lunch or dinner reservation gets you a lovely private tatami room with a view of the Japanese garden that sprawls through the central courtyard of the restaurant. Tofu is the retaurant’s specialty – they make their own, fresh every day – but the menus are kaiseki style, not vegetarian. It’s a set menu, with a progression of 9-10 small dishes made with fresh seasonal ingredients, cooked in different ways. Reservations are necessary.

UkaiFood
Each course is as beautiful and delicious as this one, which features black sesame tofu, simmered vegetables with miso dressing, and a little sweet potato surprise wrapped in a bamboo leaf.
TofuyaUkai
All the rooms are private, and each has a window framing a view of the beautiful garden.

My other fave in this neighborhood is Restaurant New Asia (or Shin Ah Hanten, as it’s known by locals). It’s Chinese, but it’s Japanese Chinese. Although it’s authentic Shanghai style cuisine, it’s made with fantastically fresh Japanese ingredients with a lighter touch. Their specialty is shurumpo (Shanghai style pork dumplings) and they’re by far the best dumplings I’ve ever had, anywhere.

ShinA
My ideal Shin A feast: Shanghai Pork Dumplings (front); Lily buds with beef (left); Chili Sauce Shrimp surrounded by Garlic Sauteed Pea Leaf (right)

MAP

Read a novel set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of one of Hoshi’s customers…read more

 

 

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