"Tokyo" Tokyo by yukisanto
Tokyo Travel Guide: 4,345 reviews and 11,111 photos
Everytime I go Tokyo, I keep rediscovering new stuff. Granted, I did not visit all the tourist sights. Instead, Tokyo was to me like a neighbourhood, if you can call it that. I do stuff that most people do on a normal day - shopping, chilling, checking out new stuff etc.
If you haven't been to Tokyo, you shoudl go to the government metropolitian building in Shinjuku. It's a business district, so you're surrounded by a sea of black suits. Everybody is so uniformly dressed in black jackets, white shirt and black pants/skirt. I had a little problem locating the building (i was just heading in the general direction). In the end, i entered the building via way of the National Assembly, crossing the courtyard. The security guard was kind enough to direct me the way.
This building is very important, especially if you are on a budget.
1) The Japan National Tourist Organisation (JNTO) tourist office is here, so that means all the guide books and maps are here.
2) The observatory towers are free. You just take a lift up and voila, you can see most of Tokyo below you. Much better than the Tokyo tower.
3) Pick up this handy tourist brochure guide from the observatory tower. It contains the map and also discount coupons for the various attractions (I think the JNTO will have this as well)
Other places for a tourist, you can check it out elsewhere. I'm not interested to list.
On the museum side, I went to Edo-Tokyo museum. They have mininature replicas of, you guess it, stuff from the Edo period. Worth a visit. It wasn't that difficult from Ryogoku station to the Museum. Just turn right after exiting and follow the gravel path. The confusing part was figuring how to get into the museum. At the ground level, you'll cross the bus/car park before you get into the lobby. And after you buy the ticket, you have to go to your right to go up this really long escalator. As long as you follow the signs, you can find the entrance at 5th level. I had a 20% discount off the ticket, since I used the discount coupon in the tourist brochure guide.
The other museum that I went to was the National museum of western art at Ueno. It's small, but has a good collection of renaissance art. Seeing Monet's lilies, and Dante's sculptures up close and personal was an experience for me. As for the ticket, I got more than half price off since I used my student pass.
Ueno has a few other museums, but I didn't go because of time constraints. I skipped Ueno zoo as well. But near Ueno was this street called Ameyoko. You can't miss it, just follow the train line towards direction of akihabara station. Small stalls lined the streets selling all sorts of stuff.
I abosolutely adore Harajuku and often hung out here. When you alight at the platform, go right to the end of the platform where the exit specifically leads to Takeshidori. Down the stairs and hey, you're at the entrance of Takeshidori. The whole area of Harajuku, including Urahara and the numerous alleys, makes for fun exploring.
TIP: 1) eat the Crepes (waffles) at Harajuku.
2) Explore the little alleys; they're so much fun. Plus at the end of Takeshidori street, cross to the opposite and continue your exploration - that's also part of Harajuku.
3) Shops are on Basement, Ground Level, 2nd level and more. So don't think a shop facade is all that. Go in, and see.
4) Go with an open mind. This is the mecca of subculture fashion and designers - so don't be a prissy. Harajuku is punk, visual kei, rock, lolita, goth, streetfad all rolled into one. But we're nice people. really. It's just fashion. It's not weird.
- Pros:shopping for cosmetics, local designers
- Cons:alot of walking around, and summer is really hot.
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