Traveller Tips, things to see in Tokyo.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by AhmedFaisal, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. AhmedFaisal Guest

    #1
    Am in Japan on assignment for a couple of weeks and am looking for things to fill my weekend with. So far I have climbed Mt. Fuji and visited Kyoto and strolled through Edo Palace in Tokyo. Now I am looking other fun things to do and sights to see, but also I am looking for good places/stores/recommendations for:

    Buying authentic Japanese stuff, either cultural or unique to Japan.

    Good places for Anime/Manga stuff, beyond the touristy stuff. I am looking especially for places that sell cells and other collectibles.

    Other sights worthy of visiting on the weekend.

    Also I would like to experience Tokyo's nightlife, anybody can recommend a good club that will not turn a westerner away? I am into Techno, Trance and other electro type music.

    Thx for any tips.
     
  2. Abstract, Aug 23, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

    Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    Hmmmm.....it's difficult.

    I suppose I'd recommend going to Odaiba, which is where the life-size Gundam statue is standing. The entire area can be quite fun, and there's shopping as well. There's the walking around option, which is great, and there's also a casual hop-on hop-off cruise that takes you from place to place. I don't know the name of the day cruise, but there are quite a few stops, and I think it ends in Odaiba.

    If you want comics, then surely Akihabara would be the place to go!! It's also good for electronics and girls in short skirts and maids outfits. ;)

    And as far as "clubs" go, I have no idea. Japanese people tend to go to izakayas more than clubs, and they're where I always go. ;) However, I'd guess that the Roppongi area would haves few clubs, and with people who speak English. I've only been there once (10 days ago), and I only went to an apartment at Roppongi Hills to watch fireworks and get drunk. ;) Shinjuku, Ebisu, and Ginza are other possibilities, while izakayas are literally everywhere.

    You can also take the Tokyo Bay Summer Cruise, which I highly recommend!! I think it cost ¥2500 or so, and beer was free AND unlimited!! You get beautiful views of the bay.
     
  3. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #3
    For cultural stuff, go back to Kyoto. Hands down. Spend a weekend in Kyoto if you can, it's well worth it, and probably better than Tokyo if you want to see traditional Japan. Do the Hozugawa boat trip. I was supposed to do it the last couple days before I left Japan, but it was cancelled due to a typhoon; I'm still sour about that, bigtime.

    I second the Odaiba/Minato-ku/Akasaka area; one of the nicest parts of Tokyo IMO, and sitting out by the Rainbow Bridge at night (take the Yurikamome monorail) is just stunning. If I could live anywhere in Tokyo, it would be Minato-ku with a view of the rainbow bridge.

    Akihabara for anime/manga crap.

    Roppongi has lots of meat markets as far as clubs go, and Roppongi in general gets a bad rap as lots of military people go there and lots of foreigners, etc; however if you get OFF the main strip in Roppongi, Roppongi is really, really nice and quite a very wealthy area with lots of high end places tucked in the woodwork. Roppongi hills is good for shopping.

    Make time for Meiji shrine, it's off the Yamanote loop line; I think it's right outside either Harajuku station or Yoyogi station, but I don't recall for sure. Also make time for Senso-ji, which is in Asakusa; very famous temple with a corridor of trinkets leading up to it, beautiful old part of Tokyo. Shinbashi is also the old part of Tokyo, and is gorgeous, stroll through there.

    Ginza for high end shopping, and the most expensive real estate in the world.

    Harajuku to see Japanese freaks/goths. Definitely a neat place in its own way.

    A good general foreigner pub is the Hub, there are quite a few and usually close to train stations in popular areas.

    Do karaoke, I know it sounds retarded, but it's all you can drink and you'll be surprised how fun it can be even if you hate singing like me; find a few ladies to go up to the karaoke box with and it's even more fun.

    Tsukiji fish market is supposed to be fantastic, though I've never been. Go at the crack of dawn when they open when everything comes off the boats.

    If you want a great Japanese eating experience, look up a place called Yakitori alley, it may or may not be in Lonely Planet; it's a string of open air yakitori (skewered grilled chicken) shops literally under the tracks between Ginza and Shinbashi. There are quite a few open air yakitori shops there with little wood stools and tables made out of stacked up milk crates and lots of traditional red hanging lanterns, and the smoke rises up from beneath the tracks...there is nothing like going out for yakitori and beer at a little open air shop, there just is no comparison Stateside. This is a must do. Find this place, you'll know it when you get there.

    You can probably pass on seeing Tokyo Tower, no big deal; you can see it from afar from the Rainbow Bridge anyway and that's good enough.

    Kabuki-cho in Shinjuku if you want a good look at Japan's underworld, filled with yakuza (mafia) etc. Very cool place. If you prefer the company of men, Shinjuku ni-chome is the place to go.

    Definitely, and this too is a must--go to a yakiniku (beef) restaurant while you are there. Hands down the food I miss the most from Japan, day in day out. Absolutely hate that I have to go 400 miles to Chicago to get anything close. I second izakaya, these little Japanese pubs are great. Again, Japanese pub food and beer, can't beat it.

    Shinjuku and Shibuya are the places to go for clubs/youth/nightlife, both on the Yamanote line. Spend your weekend nights here. Hachiko crossing in Shibuya is basically Japan's Times Square, right outside Shibuya station, west exit I believe--look for the huge building that says QFRONT on it with a starbucks in it, that's Hachiko crossing. LOTS of bars and clubs in that area. Stay out of sleazy Gas Panic in Shibuya, Sam and Dave's can be good if you want to meet girls who like foreigners, but the best club I remember going to was Camelot which is also in Shibuya, but a hair off the main strip; I stumbled across it and had never heard of it and there was a line around the block, about 70% women when I went, so I just chatted up a few and got in line with them and had easily one of the best nights in Tokyo. After four drunken hours in there having one of the best times of my life, I only then realized there were actually two floors, what a mind**** that was. Ageha and Womb are must dos as well, though Womb is damn near impossible to find. Womb is more for techno/trance/DJ type stuff, but it's big and dark and disorienting and tons of fun. Camelot/Ageha/Womb are the places to go IMO for Tokyo clubs, but most anywhere is good and if it sucks just go somewhere else. I really wouldn't spend much time in Roppongi clubs, there are better places to go.

    Also Japan has no dress codes which is nice. You can also drink on the streets and in public, no problem; I liked grabbing a couple beers from the conbini (convenience store) and people watching outside while we drank a bit, and then moving on to a small pub to get a good buzz going and chat up some locals, and then moving on to the clubs late at night. Also there are no closing times, a club here and there may say on the door they close at 12, they don't. Saying they do is just some municipal ordinance, but it's not uncommon for 2 AM to be the hour in the club where it really picks up and people drink til dawn. Don't be surprised if the clubs still aren't in full swing at midnight, they will be.

    Also for what it's worth, Saturday is a noticeably larger night for going out than Friday night, not that Friday isn't a great night too.

    God I miss the hell out of that place now.:(:(:(:(
     
  4. AhmedFaisal thread starter Guest

    #4
    Thanks to both of you! Awesome tips. Copied and pasted into notepad for later perusal!
     
  5. Abstract, Aug 24, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

    Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    Ok, puma1552 gave you far better tips than I did. But hey.....he lived in Tokyo, and I typed out my post on my Samsung Galaxy II. :eek:


    As puma mentioned, go to Tsukiji Fish market, the world's largest fish market. You will almost certainly have the BEST sushi and sashimi you have ever had. You'll need to arrive at like 7 AM at the latest, but it's an interesting place. The area is slightly pricey for breakfast (¥2000+ for a fish breakfast), but hey......it's sushi, and you're in Tsukiji Fish Market!!!!!!!

    And yes, go to Asakusa and walk to the Senso-ji temple. It's not far from the train station, and is totally worth it. It's nice and old, but not far from the main section of the city.

    And then there's the Studio Ghibli museum (they have created some of the best animated Japanese movies, and best animated movies ever) if you're into that sort of thing, but I don't think you'd get in. The museum will be there, and it'll be open for business, but you generally need to book a reservation several weeks in advance. Actually, I think the wait is more than a month, but I forget, so check their website for more details, or send them an email. Oh well. Next time? ;)

    Uh.......do you like the show, Iron Chef? If you want, you can go to Hiroyuki Sakai's restaurant in Shibuya, "La Rochelle". Go for lunch. I haven't been there, but a foodie friend of mine says it's incredible, and yet not too expensive. Well, it's not cheap, but not absurd, either. It was like $50 or so. Sakai is the French-Japanese chef who wears the red apron.

    If you can, you must go to one Kamakura, which is like 50 km from Tokyo. It's one of the most important cities/towns in Japanese history. Plus it has a beach. :D Don't worry, it's ridiculously easy to get there, as it requires you to take one train from one of the southern stations on the Yamanote line (probably Shinagawa station). If you want to see some culturally significant shrines and temples, AND visit a beach, then Kamakura is an absolutely fantastic place to visit.


    And with regards to the day cruise that I mentioned earlier that will eventually take you to Odaiba, I believe it's this:

    http://www.suijobus.co.jp/cruise/index.html

    It starts in Asakusa, so if you went to Senso-ji temple, you could then buy a ticket onto this boat, go to the beautifully done parks, take some photos, and eventually go to Odaiba. And during the humid Japanese summer, the breeze you get from sitting on a moving boat is just fantastic!!

    I really don't know what else to tell you. I think Puma mentioned everything else.
     
  6. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
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    #6
    SkyTree, over 600m tall new tower in the north east.
    Two visitor level (350m and 450m)! Nice view if not foggy.

    Shibuya is always nice; nightlife-wise plus there is also an Apple Store. "Loft" for some fancy gifts

    Kamakura has some nice temples/shrines

    Yodobashi Camera near Shinjuku Station or in Akihabara; quite amazing place.

    Near Disney Land is a heliport; they offer helicopter flight of Tokyo, I think was 20'ooo JPY

    I stay home near the air condition, it's soo hot outside
     
  7. puma1552 macrumors 601

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    #7
    Ha, I wish I lived in Tokyo (I lived in Kansai which was also freakin' awesome) but I did visit Tokyo on more than a couple occasions.

    Love that place.
     
  8. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

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    #8
    Kansai is quite nice. Osaka, Kobe, Hemeji, Kyoto, Nara, all nice places and close together. Actually my wife is Kansai-jin and once I will retire we will move from Tokyo back to there. I also kind of like it better; my first two years I was in Sasayama, country side but a lovely pace.
     

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