& the Sights of Tokyo
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Cheap Places to Stay near Tokyo
Merry Lue`s Guest House is near Odawara. It has a full kitchen, shower, and a full private suite on the first or second floor, for under 6000 Yen per night depending on which season you book it for. There are also weekly and monthly discounts. While it isn`t in Tokyo, you can make daytrips to many great places including downtown Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura, Enoshima, Hakone and the Izu Penninsula. Find out why people rave about staying here.
Cheap Hotels in Tokyo -- The Sakura Hotels
Learn about the cheap Tokyo hotels that
people are talking about in Tokyo.
The Sakura Hotels are clean and very, very reasonable. They
are a great place to make contacts or friends too.
(Pictured: a pagoda in Tokyo)
Reviews of hotels in Tokyo
Read an overview of hotels available in Japan, they are not like back
Population: 15 million
More people live within 80 kiilometers of Tokyo than live in all of Canada!
This city that never sleeps, is massive and will make most cities seem small in comparison. Yet it is a city that is surprisingly easy to get around once you know how the train lines run. Indeed it is a city that works, and city planners the world over really should study her.
There is little of historical sightseeing interest in this huge megalopolis, but there are areas that are worth exploring: Harajuku for the European flavour and youthful exuberance of the area,Asakusa for the historical feel, & Roppongi for the nightlife; Akihabara, Ginza, Shinjuku and Shibuya for shopping, and Odaiba for the modernity and beauty of the area. If you are interested in museums you should go to Ueno.
Travel writer Ian L. McQueen suggests: "For a quick introduction to the city, a long-recommended and still valid suggestion is to ride the Yamanote loop (Yamanote Train Line-ed) for one circuit of the city, a trip of about an hour. This will show how so much of the city is made up of low (one or two-storey) houses interspersed with taller apartment and commercial buildings. Since the line passes through most of the major sub-city areas, it also gives a view of the tremendous amount of development that has taken place in these clusters."
You can pick up free maps of Tokyo at the TIC--Tokyo International Centre.
Tokyo Hotel -- Kabukiza Theatre in Ginza
At this very famous theatre, you can witness one of Japan`s most famous art forms, a kabuki play. Not to be missed! Headphones with English translation are available at the theatre for non-Japanese speakers.
Address: 4-12-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Access: Tokyo Subway Higashiginza Station A3 Exit
Only Kabuki performances are held in this
Tokyo Hotel -- Cheap Hotels in this Huge City
Learn about the Imperial Palace, Tokyo`s most famous site
Tokyo Hotel -- Ginza
Just a ten minute walk takes you to Ginza district, one of the most famous shopping areas of the world. "It is still the place to go and be seen emptying the contents of a bulging wallet. Even if you are on a tight budget, Ginza is aninteresting area in which to browse--the galleries are usually free and there are lots of discount coffee shops." --Japan, Lonely Planet
There are also a few movie theatres in the area if you`d care to see the latest movies. You can also watch Japan`s famous Kabuki theatre at Kabuku-zain Ginza. There are usually headphones available so you can hear what is going on in English while watching the action on stage.
Kabuki-za Tel. 03-5565-6000
Tokyo Hotel -- Tsukiji Fish Market
"The long, cold trip to Tokyo came to an end for tuna number 197 with a thud, a bonk, and one last cavernous clunk as the huge fish toppled off the truck and skittered across the slippery concrete floor. Two, maybe three days earlier, this torpedo-shaped bluefin had been searching for its supper in chilly waters off Boston."
--The Great Tokyo Fish Market Tsukiji, National Geographic Vol 188, No. 5 T.R. Reid
Tsukiji is by far the largest fish market in the world. It ranks at the top of every measurable category. You should try to get there after 7AM but before 10AM. It is an interesting place to go to watch the action. Be careful though of the delivery carts that go speeding around the market.
Tokyo Hotel -- Ebisu
Ebisu is a staion on the Yamanote Line. It is a pleasant, Western looking area and good for strolling around. There are some good restaurants and shops in the area.
Ebisu Garden Place(Tel. 5423-7111) is very picturesque and can be reached easily from Ebisu Station. It is a romantic spot at night that is all lit up. There is a very nice French restaurant at the end of the square and the Beer Museum Yebisu which is open from 10AM-6PM and gives free admission. You can sample the various Sapporo Beers. There are many restaurants and cafes in Ebisu Garden Place and some are up on the 38th and 39th floors of Ebisu Garden Place Tower. They offer excellent views of the city.
There are some cute or interesting cafes around Ebisu Station and some British style pubs in the area that are worth checking out. Have fun walking the streets and taking in the ambiance.
Ebisu reminds me of Europe.
Gotanda Station Area
*If you are a resident of Tokyo or Kanto, you might be interested in Good Day Books, a great little used book store near Gotanda Station. To get there, take the Yamanote line to Gotanda Station. Heading to Gotanda Station from Ebisu or Shinjuku, walk in the same direction that the train was heading as you exit the West Exit of the station. Find the big Victoria sports store (Golf Shop) right out front of the station and head to the right. and, and parallel to the train tracks.
You will pass the Seijo Ishii supermarket on your right and keep going and cross the wide street called, Sakurada Street. Keep walking parallel to the train tracks and you will find the shop in about two minutes walk. Keep going past the love hotels and you will come to Good Day Books on one of the side streets to the left of you.
Good Day Books
Tokai Bldg 3F
2-4-2 Nishi Gotanda
Email: goodday at gol.com
Open Every Day from 11AM.
Good Day Books
Tokyo Hotel -- Odaiba (in Tokyo Bay)
Odaiba was built on reclaimed land and reminds me of a miniature version of English Bay in Vancouver. If you haven`t been to English Bay in the summertime, you are missing a very beautiful and interesting part of the world. Odaiba is worth going to as well, if you are not from one of the very picturesque port cities, or if you simply want a break from the crowds of Tokyo.
Odaiba is like spending the day in Seattle or Vancouver. It has that kind of atmosphere. It really doesn`t seem like Tokyo.
To get there take the Tokyo Rinkai Shinkotsu Sen (Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Line or the Yurikamome Line). There are some very nice hotels in this area and it might be a nice area to stay in while you visit Tokyo. You can go into Tokyo for the day and come back to your hotel in Odaiba to relax. There is even a white sand beach in the bay.
Fuji Television has a very interesting building in Odaiba with a large ball. You can`t miss it! You can pay a small fee to see the view from the observatory. There are tours of Fuji TV too, but they are all in Japanese.
Decks Tokyo Beach Complex: Has many shops and restaurants. There is a movie plex too. You can saunter over to nearby Shiokaze Park and have lunch. It affords nice views of Tokyo Bay and is a romantic spot at night.
(Tokyo Hotel -- Pictured: Roppongi by Richard Baladad)
Tokyo Hotel -- Roppongi
Roppongi is still the place to go for dancing and nightime entertainment. You can reach Roppongi easily from Ebisu Station by taking the Hibiya Line. You can also reach it from the Toei Oedo Line. There is not much of interest during the daytime here. Tokyo Tower (modelled on the Eiffel Tower) is not so far from Roppongi Station.
(Tokyo Hotel -- Pictured: another view from Roppongi by Richard Baladad)
Tokyo Hotel -- Tokyo Disney Resort
This huge area comprises Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea, the Ipskiari Shopping Center & the Official Disney Hotels that surround the two amusement parks. Palm trees are in abundance and you can be forgiven for thinking you are in Hawaii!
(Near Tokyo, in Chiba) It is open from 8:30AM-10PM in the summer and 10AM-6PM in the winter. Though smaller it is very similar to Disneyland in California.
To get there take the Keiyo Line from Tokyo Station and get off at Maihama Station. It only takes about 13 minutes.
Tokyo Hotel -- Edo-Tokyo Tatemono-en/The Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
"Does spending a day with you family `walking through history,` sitting on tatami mats around glowing hearths of wooden farmhouses, imagining sounds of lively bathing in old sento, and tasting old fashioned treats at old fashioned prices sound appealing? The Edo-Tokyo Tatemono-en (Open Air Architectural Museum) is a little known gem in Tokyo just waiting to provide your family with such a memorable Japanese experience."
--Valerie Sawatzky, Edo-Tokyo, Tatemono-en, Tokyo Families Magazine
Located in Koganei Park is this very interesting museum devoted to giving you an opportunity to sense history by bringing buildings important to their time period together in one place. The buildings are well preserved and placed realistically throughout the park.
With English signs throughout the park it is easy to navigate. Enjoy the crackling of braziers and watch your children frolic in some of the 200 year old farmhouse sprinkled in the rural setting.
Beautiful old homes of the pre-World War 2 era are on view as well. These were homes owned by the well to do, the merchant class and other professionals. My children enjoyed exploring the storerooms and the rest of the houses. My wife and I found it interesting to see how Western and Japanese influences mixed throughout the buildings,including the choices of furniture.
Edo Tokyo Tatemono En Homepage
(Tokyo Hotel -- Pictured: a gateway, by Richard Baladad
If you are feeling a tad peckish after viewing the homes, you can stop for a bite in a traditional tea house. Reasonably priced Japanese dishes can be ordered including donburi and soba.
Finally enjoy the old Tokyo downtown street scene or (shitamachi in Japanese). It includes a streetcar, bathhouse, policestation, stores and other buildings. Street sellers in yukata sell treats all along the street, and their are old fashioned games in the square for the kids.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of this huge city and get a sense of what life was like many years ago when life was simpler.
Edo-Tokyo Tatemono En
3-7-1 Sakura Cho,
Telephone: 0423-88-311 Closed on Mondays
How to get there?
From Seibu Shinjuku Line`s Hanakoganei Station, it is 5 minutes by any bus from the Seiyu Store. Get off at Koganei Nishiguchi (West Entrance to Koganei Park)
Or Take the Sobu Line from Akihabara to Ryogoku. It is just
across the street from the station--you can see it from the station platform!
Tokyo Hotel -- Tokyo Sights, Things to Do: Asakusa
"Centered around Sensoji Temple with a history of 1,400 Years, the Asakusa district represents Tokyo`s old downtown, steeped in the nostalgic atmosphere of Edo-period while retaining a variety of traditional arts and crafts. The narrow streets leading to the temple are called "Nakamise" and are lined with colorful shops and stalls. Thronged with temple visitors and tourists year round, the "Nakamise" area comes especially alive during the festival season. Asakusa is truly enjoyable -- for delights of the palate at long-established restaurants, for strolling along side streets, and much more. Come visit Asakusa, and experience the centuries -old nostalgia of long ago Tokyo."
--Oohisa, Iizumi, Tokyo Metropolitan S.G.G Club
It`s an interesting area that can be explored on foot. It is one of the few areas of Tokyo that has retained its feeling of history. A walk to Senso-ji (temple) can give one a glimpse of what Tokyo must have been like many years ago.
In Senso-ji one can see the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, which according to legend wasrescued from the Sumida River in 628 AD. You can get to the temple from Asakusa Subway Station. On Nakamise Street you can find Edo style crafts. Edo was one of the significant eras of Japanese history preceding the Meiji era. Edo was also the old name of Tokyo and the era was named Edo because of Tokyo`s preeminence at that time--and of course her preeminence continues today.
Tokyo Hotel -- Sumida River Cruise
It is an interesting cruise if not the most picturesque. My wife and I enjoyed it and felt we understood Tokyo better from doing it. The cruise leaves from next to Azuma Bridge in Asakusa and goes to Hamarikyu-teien and Hinode Pier. If you go to the former,you can see a lovely garden for a smalll fee. After seeing the garden you can walk around Ginza which is an interesting shopping area.
Tokyo Hotel -- Akihabara
If you are interested in electronic toys and gizmos then you really must visit Akihabara. If you aren`t then you don`t need to go here. Tourists frequent the area looking to buy things not available at home or to see the amazing variety of electronic goods all in one area. In contrast to many cities in North America, Akihabara is like a city of electronics stores. Side by side you can visit store after store, selling everything from TVs, portable stereos, video and computer games to anything imaginable thatruns on electric current. You can ask for duty free items and there are many stores that cater solely to duty free buyers. Take the Electric Town exit from Akihabara Station (Yamanote Line). Be sure to bargain, you can sometimes get a discount. No where else in the world will you find the range of products you can find in Akihabara and you can literally spend the day here. I have!
Tokyo Hotel -- Ueno
The only reason perhaps to visit Ueno unless you live in Tokyo is for the museums. I enjoy it myself for shopping and just walking around, but as a tourist, unless you are a museum buff, I wouldn`t bother going to the area. The movie "The Last Samurai," was perhaps based on an incident that occurred in Ueno Park, the last ditch battle by 2000 of Tokugawa`s Samurai versus The Imperial Army.
The museums of Japan are generally much smaller than in Western countries. They tend to be more specialized too. The Tokyo National Museum Tel. 3272-8600 This is Japan`s largest museum and worth a visit. It has the largest collection of Japanese Art in the world, as well as a collection of artifacts from Asia. Entry is free on the second Saturday of each month.
You can also reach nearby Asakusa quit quickly fron Ueno so you may wish to pair a visit to the two.
(Tokyo Hotel -- Pictured: Shinjuku near Shinjuku Station by Richard Baladad
Tokyo Hotel -- Shinjuku
"It is the most popular amusement center and one of the largest night-cities in the world. Here are bars--thousands of them--cabarets, clubs, restaurants, theatres, coffee shops, a whole city within a city served by the most crowded railway station in the whole country. Here too is the most spectacular aspect of modern Tokyo...."
--Intoducing Japan, Donald Richie
(Tokyo Hotel -- Pictured: Buildings in Shinjuku by Richard Baladad)
"If you had only a day in Tokyo and wanted to dive head first into the modern Japanese phenomenon, Shinjuku would be the place to go. Nearly everything that makes Tokyo interesting rubs elbows here: high-class department stores, discount shopping arcades, flashing neon, government offices, swarming push-and-shove crowds, street-side video screens, stand-up noodle bars, hostess clubs, tucked-away shrines and sleazy strip bars."
--Japan, Lonely Planet
(Tokyo Hotel -- Pictured: Downtown Shinjuku (Tokyo) by Richard Baladad)
Tokyo Hotel -- Shinjuku`s East Side
Just wandering around the area is interesting. If you exit the East Exit of Shinjuku Station you will find department stores, camera shops, and more. Kabuki-cho, the most infamous red-light district of Japan is east of Seibu Shinjuku Station and North of Yasukuni Street. The range of "adult" entertainment is mind boggling. In most places, tourists from outside of Japan are not permitted entry, but it is still interesting to visit the area. You can also find movie theatres and some good restaurants and bars around.
Tokyo Hotel -- Shibuya (Yamamote Line)
A youth oriented area known for entertainment, restaurants, movie theatres, bars, night clubs and shopping. It is usually extremely crowded and tourists can often be seen photographing the large intersection near the Hachiko Exit (Hachiko is the statue of a famous dog) of Shibuya Station, as the sight of thousands of people crossing the street is very interesting, especially if you come from Spud City, Idaho!
Shibuya is an area that has Love Hotels. The unique hotels, couples here often use for ashort time, if you know what I mean, nudge, nudge... You can seem some of the gaudy yet interesting architecture of some of the hotels North of Shibuya Station up the hill. Take the Hachiko exit and head North.
Tokyo Hotel -- Meiji Shrine & Harajuku
"Meiji-jingu is probably the finest shrine in Japan and well worth a visit."
Meiji Jingu -- Meiji Shrine & Harajuku
Indeed the quietest section of the whole city and one of the most traditional is Meiji Shrine. It is a Shinto shrine within a cypress forest. The entrance to the shrine is near Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line and Meiji-jingu-mae Station on the Chiyoda Line. You can catch the Yamanote Line from Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, or Ueno Stations.
The shrine was built in honor of Emperor Meiji, who is famous for modernizing Japan. On New Year`s Day over 1 million people come to Meiji Shrine to pay their respects and enjoy the gardens and quiet. After visiting Meiji take a stroll down Omote Sando, the main street of the Harajuku area.
Near Meiji-Jingu is Harajuku, the most European area of Tokyo, with broad lanes filled with leafy trees and interesting European inspired architecture. Shops range the gamut from fashion, antiques,toys to hobbies. Many great restaurants are in the area too. Along with Shibuya, Harajuku is also one of the most popular areas for young Japanese.
Tokyo Hotel -- The Cos-Play Zoku
Show off their wacky outfits and Gothic style make-up at Harajuku`s Jingu Bridge area. Many of these girls are bullied at school and this is their way of expressing themselves, and getting away from it all on the weekends. It is worth a look to see yet another side of Japan, the one they don`t show in the government approved tourist books.
Sometimes there are interesting flea markets too in the area.
Tokyo Hotel -- Tokyo Top Guide
Has a lot of information
Tokyo Hotel: Restaurant Guide
For a list of great restaurants that offer English menus
visit the Bento, the comprehensive, bilingual guide to dining
Go to our travel in Japan guide
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