Monthly Archives: July 2015

Free maps of Jimbocho & Ginza at Tokyo Dome Hotel

Spending time in Tokyo city? Tokyo Dome Hotel provides for free our detailed maps in English introducing great Japanese gardens, shops… nearby in Bunkyo & Chiyoda wards (Akihabara/Jimbocho/Kanda/Kudan map) or farther (Ginza/Nihombashi/Shimbashi/Tsukiji map). Ask the kind hotel staff for “Get Japan maps” if you do not find them on a rack in the lobby :)

Get Japan maps on a rack at Tokyo Dome Hotel (Bunkyo ward) on 30 July 2015.

Warm thanks to the team of Tokyo Dome Hotel for its gracious support!

Asakusa + Kappabashi + Skytree: 1 day in Tokyo!

Spend a great day in Tokyo enjoying the Japanese culture, architecture and shopping without tour guide by walking from Kappabashi “Kitchen town” to Asakusa district then to the Tokyo Skytree!

  1. Ride a subway to Tawaramachi station.
  2. Walk to the south entrance of Kappabashi street; a giant “chef” head with the name Niimi is on a roof on its left and a small police station is on its right.
  3. Explore the shops of the “kitchen town” on both sides of Kappabashi street; they sell high-quality cooking knives, tableware, fake food, uniforms, lanterns… mostly from 09:00 to 17:00. Will you notice the golden statue of a mythical kappa on your way?
  4. Walk to the ancient Thunder Gate, which features a giant red lantern as well as a statue of the God of Thunder “Raijin” (left side) and a statue of the God of the Wind “Fujin” (right side).
  5. Enjoy the ambiance of the Nakamise shopping street from the Thunder Gate to Senso-ji Buddhist temple. You cannot miss the beautiful pagoda but… what about Buddha’s giant straw sandals?
  6. Visit Asakusa Shinto shrine on the right of Senso-ji’s main hall.
  7. Pay a small fee to get a “go-shuin” (sheet of paper with holy seal and calligraphy) at a small building on the left of Senso-ji’s main hall. Did you see the Japanese carps on your way?
  8. Explore the diverse small shops from the north-west to the south-west of Senso-ji and lunch at an attractive restaurant when you feel hungry. Japanese travel agencies usually recommend restaurants serving tempura fried seafood & vegetables near Asakusa station but you can also find sushi raw fish, ramen noodles, Indian food… Rokku entertainment district even features restaurants with musical shows!
  9. Walk to Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre and enjoy a great view from its 8th floor! This is an excellent photo/video spot for Senso-ji and its surroundings, the modern Asahi Beer headquarters, and the new Tokyo Skytree :)
  10. Cross the bridge over the Sumida river and follow the main street to reach Tokyo Skytree.
  11. Observe Tokyo city during the afternoon or evening from the observation decks of the sky tree (open until 22:00). Beware, night falls early in Japan!
  12. Relax at a coffee shop or dine in a restaurant of Solamachi shopping mall at the bottom of Tokyo Skytree.
  13. Go outside to photograph the sky tree colourfully illuminated at night before entering the nearby Tokyo Sky tree station or Oshiage station to return to your ryokan traditional inn, hotel, guest house, or apartment :)

Use a local map of Sumida and Taito wards to find your way and/or customize this plan… Any comment or suggestion? E-mail the Yes in Japan team or add your message on social networks :)

Kappabashi in Japan

Kappabashi is an offbeat area of Tokyo city. In Taito ward, this old “kitchen town” is visited by Japanese professionals desiring equipment for their restaurant, bar, hotel, cooking school… but also by foreigners interested in high-quality cooking knives, incredibly realistic fake food, etc.

Kappabashi is near Iriya subway station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line), Tawaramachi subway station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line), and Asakusa train station (Tsukuba Express line). Asakusa subway station and Ueno train station are at walking distance; holders of a JR Pass can reach Ueno for free by riding the Yamanote Line. To easily find your way on foot, we recommend you to get a map of Kappabashi & Asakusa.

Our travel agency organizes Yes in Japan 1-day tours in English and French including “Kappabashi-dori” shopping street because its shops are fun, because fake food is a great gift, and because many foreign chefs need an interpreter to discuss with Japanese shopkeepers! On holidays in Japan with your children? Join a memorable “Make fake food” activity in Kappabashi :)

Asakusa in Japan

Asakusa is a famous area of Tokyo city. In Taito ward, it is visited daily by Japanese people going to pray at Senso-ji Buddhist temple or Asakusa Shinto shrine and by crowds of foreign tourists taking photos of the impressive Thunder Gate, Nakamise shopping street, holy sites… In spring, “sakura” cherry blossoms along the Sumida river are also popular.

Asakusa is easily/quickly accessed from the famous districts of Akihabara, Ginza and Ueno. Asakusa subway station is on Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and on Toei Asakusa Line. Unfortunately for holders of a Japan Rail Pass, there is no Asakusa JR train station. You can easily find a “ryokan” traditional inn, a hostel or hotel in Asakusa… but you may need a special guide or Get Japan map of Asakusa to find the best Japanese restaurant or shop matching your needs and tastes.

Our agency Travel Stand Japan organizes Yes in Japan 1-day tours in English, French and Japanese including Asakusa area because it is exciting and packed with great Japanese things! Think about it when you plan your trip to Japan :)

Tokyo Skytree in Japan

Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world since 2012. Crowds of Japanese and foreigners enjoy its observation decks at day and night, admiring from above the nearby Senso-ji temple of Asakusa district, photographing Tokyo city, and looking for the distant Mount Fuji :) Built in Tokyo’s Sumida ward, the sky tree is getting more famous than the Tokyo Tower… but most foreign tourists still ignore that the Postal Museum of Japan, Sumida Aquarium, Tenku Planetarium, and Solamachi shopping mall exist at the bottom of Tokyo Skytree!

Tokyo Skytree (Sumida ward, Tokyo) on 11 July 2015.

You can access Tokyo Skytree by subway and train: the Tokyo Skytree station is on the Tobu Skytree line while Oshiage station is also on Keisei Oshiage Line, Toei Asakusa Line, and Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line. Holders of a Japan Rail Pass, note that there is no Tokyo Sky Tree JR train station! Tourists visiting Asakusa too can just walk to/from the Tokyo Skytree; ask for maps of Asakusa & Skytree if needed :)

Yes in Japan tour conductors can guide you at Tokyo Skytree but we recommend you to enjoy this observation tower and complex by yourself at your pace if the sky is blue and humidity low :) Best viewing conditions in winter, worst in summer…

July, August & September 2015: Sumi-e lessons at Toyokuni Atelier Studio (Tokyo)

In July, August and September 2015, the ink wash painting lessons with sumi-e master HONDA Toyokuni at Toyokuni Atelier Studio (gallery near Jimbocho station, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo) only take place between 13:00 and 17:00. Reserve at least two weeks before your selected day and bring 8.000 yens per person for a lesson of 90 minutes in English or Japanese.

The son HONDA Yuta still teaches sumi-e to foreign beginners without reservation :) Come between 12:00 and 19:00 from Tuesday to Saturday or between 12:00 and 17:00 on Sunday with 1.000 yens per person for a lesson of 30 minutes in English or Japanese.

Sumi-e artists HONDA Yuta and Toyokuni at Toyokuni Atelier Studio (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan).

Enjoy a unique experience with a bilingual Japanese artist this summer and hone your artistic skills with a brush on washi paper while you visit or live in Japan!

Get our map of Ginza/Nihombashi (Tokyo) in Akihabara & Jimbocho areas during summer or autumn 2015

You stay at a hotel in Tokyo near Akihabara, Jimbocho, Kanda, Ochanomizu or Ogawamachi station or visit the area? Get our local map as well as the contiguous map “East of the Imperial Palace” to explore Ginza and Nihombashi shopping areas too after a few minutes on foot, in a subway or in a train!

For the first time, you will also find our free map of Ginza/Nihombashi (summer & autumn 2015) in English at:

If the map is out of sight, ask the kind staff for the Get Japan map of Ginza/Nihombashi… or download the files from the Yes in Japan Website! You will certainly enjoy our original selection of sightseeing spots, theatres, restaurants, shops, activities at a Buddhist temple or dojo…

Free map: East of the Imperial Palace (Tokyo, Japan).

Tell us: What maps of Japan should we create for winter 2015 & spring 2016?

What local maps of Japan should we create next to make you happy? We plan to provide a new Get Japan free map in English by winter 2015 then spring 2016 to complement our maps of Akihabara/Jimbocho and Ginza/Nihombashi. Feel free to suggest any district/spot of Tokyo, another Japanese city or even a wilder place in Japan during the coming weeks! You can leave a comment below, e-mail us or contact us on social networks in English, French or Japanese.

Facebook: Travel Stand Japan – Yes in Japan
Google+: Yes in Japan – Travel Stand Japan
Twitter: @ts_tokyo_en

Planning holidays or a business trip in Japan next year? Your desired map(s) may be available at your hotel or online when you arrive if many readers agree or if we particularly like your suggestion :)

If you already travelled in Japan and missed a map there, that’s also something the Yes in Japan team would be glad to know; tell us!
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Sky Hop Bus in Tokyo: Free map of Ginza & Nihombashi areas in summer/autumn 2015

You can get our paper map “East of the Imperial Palace (Tokyo, Japan)” of summer/autumn 2015 in English for free at the main counter of Sky Hop Bus on the first floor of Marunouchi Mitsubishi Building in Chiyoda ward, near Tokyo train station. You don’t see it? Ask the staff to give you the “Get Japan map”. If you want to ask in Japanese, say “Get-to Japan map-pu onega-i-shimassu” :)

Free map: East of the Imperial Palace (Tokyo, Japan).

This is your chance to combine a great bus tour of Tokyo city with a nice walk starting at the first/last bus stop! Enjoy tourist spots, food prepared by Japanese chefs, activities with Japanese masters, shopping in Ginza and Nihombashi areas…

Autumn 2015 is over? Follow the links above to check the availability of our latest map! Enjoy your stay in Tokyo :)