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Tokyo walks: Kuramae images

Tokyo walks: Kuramae

Come to Kuramae if you like craftsmanship and things that are made well, things made by hand. And come if you like quality coffee, tea, and chocolate. This is a small neighborhood. It is residential, but sprinkled with small stores, ateliers, and a surprising number of good cafes. Kuramae i…(264 words)

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David

Finding a little bit of the old Tokyo images

Finding a little bit of the old Tokyo

The YaNeSen area“Affectionately known as YaNeSen (Yanaka-Sendagi-Nezu), this part of Tokyo was untouched by fire bombings during World War II, which may help explain why it has managed to retain the tranquility and charm usually reserved for small towns in Japan's minor islands. The area is a t…(450 words)

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DeepJapan

Local Secret: Todoroki Valley images

Local Secret: Todoroki Valley

Tokyo offers a plethora of beautiful parks, from traditional Japanese landscaped gardens to European-influenced rose gardens. However, if you are looking for a walk on the wild side, while still retaining the ability to get a great cappuccino, then Todoroki is the place to go.Todoroki Keikoku (…(630 words)

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Chiara

Local Secret: Kappabashi images

Local Secret: Kappabashi

A 15 minute walk down 'Butsudan Road' (where all the Buddhist altar companies have their showrooms) from Ueno station lies Kappabashi, a street full of restaurant goods. These range from awesome crockery to individual taiyaki (fish-shaped cake) forms, and of course the amazing plastic food you…(167 words)

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Chiara

Local Secret: Sakura at Zenpukuji images

Local Secret: Sakura at Zenpukuji

In a bid to get away from the crowds of Nakameguro, Ueno and Shinjuku, I found out about a minor sakura covered park in Nishiogikubo, about 20 minutes away from the station. Zenpukuji is a miniaturized version of the famous Inokashira park, and has the same lovely cherry trees stretching over a…(202 words)

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Chiara

Local Secret: Kawasaki Wind-chime Festival in July images

Local Secret: Kawasaki Wind-chime Festival in July

Each year, for 5 days always including the 20th and 21st of July, the grounds of the Kawasaki Daishi temple are taken over by a wind-chime market. The creators of these lovely crafts come from all across Japan, representing almost every prefecture, to display and sell their chimes. The varietie…(206 words)

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Chiara

Local Secrets: Asagaya Tanabata Festival in August images

Local Secrets: Asagaya Tanabata Festival in August

The Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival) usually occurs in early July, celebrating the one day per year two star crossed lovers of legend can meet across the Milky Way. However, in some prefectures Tanabata is celebrated later, which is why the wonderfully colorful Asagaya Tanabata Festival occurs …(242 words)

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Chiara

Local Secret: Plum Tree Valley in Okurayama images

Local Secret: Plum Tree Valley in Okurayama

While sakura usually steal the show in spring, I personally have a soft spot for the hardier, brighter ume (plum trees).Some trees are covered in pinkish-white blossoms, so that they resemble sakura, however ume can also be shockingly fuchsia or a deep lacquer red.Bairin (plum tree groves) …(202 words)

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Chiara

Local Secret: YaNeSen images

Local Secret: YaNeSen

You know you are in for something special when, on the way to Nippori station on the eternally jammed Yamanote line, you find yourself in an almost empty train watching the buildings get smaller and smaller.Affectionately known as YaNeSen (Yanaka-Sendagi-Nezu), this part of Tokyo was untouched …(307 words)

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Chiara

Tokyo walks: Asakusa to Kuramae images

Tokyo walks: Asakusa to Kuramae

Walking is a great way to explore Tokyo. Go for a walk and keep your eyes open. Start your walk in Asakusa at the famous red Kaminarimon Gate that marks the entrance to Senso-ji Temple. If you have questions about getting around or need a map, ask at the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Cent…(705 words)

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David

Kamakura: the hydrangeas of Hasedera images

Kamakura: the hydrangeas of Hasedera

June is really probably not one of the best times to be in Japan. Endless days of rain, laundry that doesn't really dry, excursions cut short because of squalls...However the plentiful watering does bring one positive event with it: the riotous blooming of hydrangeas. An attractive weed, they g…(200 words)

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Chiara