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Free resources: Get Japan

You prepare your travel in Asia? Our guides are already booked during your stay in Japan? You wonder what to do today on holidays in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kamakura, Hiroshima…?

Use our free resources Get Japan for independent travellers!

Get Japan community on Facebook.   Get Japan articles on Tumblr.Get Japan videos on YouTube.Get Japan news on Twitter.   Get Japan photos on Instagram.
 

You will find our videos with subtitles (languages: English, French, Japanese…), our original city maps in English for walkers & cyclists (examples in Tokyo: Asakusa, Ginza, Jimbocho), our favourite restaurants (Japanese, vegetarian, halal) and shops (traditional, handmade, made in Japan, high tech), our selection of hotels & ryokans in metropolises and in the countryside, our photos of tourism & nature, our calendars of activities & events…

You like Get Japan? Tell your friends 🙂 Something is missing or should be improved? Tell the team! Enjoy your trip in 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…

Find Coto Language Academy in Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward

Use our map, directions and photo below to easily find Coto Language Academy (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo city) and study the Japanese language and culture with a smile! Coto Language Academy is the language school “2” (section B1) on our Get Japan map of Tokyo in spring/summer 2015:
Free map: North of the Imperial Palace (Tokyo, Japan).

From Iidabashi station: Walk south-west for 1 minute from the subway exit “A4” or 1 minute from the train exit “East”.

From APA Hotel Tokyo-kudanshita: Exit the lobby, turn left, walk 6 minutes along the main street then go on the opposite side of the block just before the train lines. Spending a night at APA Hotel Tokyo-kudanshita? Ask its staff for our free paper map in English language; we delivered it in early April 2015.

From Tokyo Grand Shrine: Exit the Shinto shrine using the main gate, turn left, walk 1 minute, then follow instructions “From Petit Bonheur” (see the next paragraph).

From Petit Bonheur: Exit the sweets shop/restaurant, turn right, walk 2 minutes down the slope, turn left just before reaching the main street, and walk a few seconds. Coto Language Academy is in the next block on your right side.

The entrance of Coto Language Academy is not flashy but the logo is visible on the door when you get close:
Entrance of Coto Language Academy (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan).

Find Yamashita-shikki-ten lacquerware shop in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward

Use our map, directions and photo below to easily find Yamashita-shikki-ten lacquerware shop (Shinjuku ward, Tokyo city) and admire/buy its beautiful Japanese lacquerware! Yamashita-shikki-ten is the lacquerware shop “1” (section B1) on our Get Japan map of Tokyo in spring/summer 2015:
Free map: North of the Imperial Palace (Tokyo, Japan).

From Iidabashi station: Walk north-west for 5 minutes from the subway exit “B3” or 7 minutes from the train exit “West”.

From Zenkoku-ji: Exit the Buddhist temple using the main gate, cross the street, turn left then walk 2 minutes.

From Sapana Kagurazaka-ten: Exit the restaurant, cross the street, turn left then walk 4 minutes.

The entrance of Yamashita-shikki-ten is easy to recognize:
Entrance of Yamashita-shikki-ten lacquerware shop (Shinjuku ward, Tokyo, Japan).

Scared of getting lost in spite of all this information? Ask the Yes in Japan team to organize a personalized private tour including a visit at Yamashita-shikki-ten 🙂

Note: You can cycle to Yamashita-shikki-ten if you rent a bicycle at UDX building

Music in Tokyo: Live at Brasserie St. Bernardus

You can enjoy live music for one hour at Brasserie St. Bernardus during 2 to 4 concerts every month, usually on Monday or Sunday evenings: saxophone, violin, guitar, drum… There is no “music charge” but the musicians would certainly appreciate a small (or big) donation. Listen to nice live music, get your photo with the Japanese musicians, savour Belgian food and beer, and have a good time with the locals 🙂

Brasserie St. Bernardus is a Belgian restaurant/bar 1 minute south-west of Kanda train station (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo) and 3 minutes east of Hotel Villa Fontaine Otemachi. Yes in Japan staff had great fun there!

From Qatar for autumn photos in Tokyo, gifts made in Japan and a vegetarian buffet!

We guided a businessman from Qatar in Tokyo today, for the last day of his first stay in Japan. Leaving in a comfortable car from Tokyo Dome Hotel, we visited a Japanese garden, ate at a vegetarian restaurant, bought gifts at a shop owned by a couple of Japanese artisans, saw many tourist spots, and visited holy sites.

To make great photos of Japanese autumn with the morning light, we first strolled in the peaceful Rikugien garden (Bunkyo ward, Tokyo). Coming from Qatar, the traveller was particularly pleased with the seasonal yellow grass, trees with red leaves, green pine trees, and mirror-like pond, which were gorgeous under a big blue sky! The singing birds, lively carps, wooden bridge, lanterns, teahouse, and numerous Japanese grandmothers and grandfathers made this time very enjoyable 🙂
Tree with red leaves and yellow grass at Rikugien garden (Bunkyo ward, Tokyo, Japan).

Stone lantern and autumn leaves at Rikugien garden (Bunkyo ward, Tokyo, Japan).

We lunched early at Petit Bonheur in Chiyoda ward, enjoying a vegetarian buffet with fragrant and tasty vegetables and fruits from Japan. This popular restaurant was full but only two other men were in sight; we were surrounded by Japanese women!

After coffee, we looked at old buildings in the Kanda area of Chiyoda ward and went shopping at the wonderful shop Kanda Chonko to buy high-quality handmade gifts made in Japan for the businessman’s family: Japanese fans, bags, hairpins, a sumo wrestler kokeshi doll, a decoration made using rice grains, a miniature with a Japanese boy and girl in kimono…
Takemura (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan).

Our driver proposed a scenic tour to see and photograph important places in Tokyo before going to the Asakusa district: Tokyo train station, the fortifications of the Imperial Palace, the Ministry of Justice (old and new buildings), the National Diet Building, Tokyo Tower… and lines of beautiful trees with yellow leaves!
Tokyo Tower (Minato ward, Tokyo, Japan).

In Taito ward, we took an elevator for a great panoramic view of Asakusa: Asahi Breweries headquarters, Tokyo Skytree, Senso-ji Buddhist temple, the pagoda, the shopping street… We then entered the Thunder Gate, shopped lightly in the shopping street, received a handwritten document with a holy seal at Senso-ji Buddhist temple, visited Asakusa Shinto Shrine, and ate shrimp sushi 🙂 After that, it was time to go catch the flight back to Qatar at Narita international airport…

Update on 02 December 2014: A Japanese partner of the Qatari businessman called to thank us; our tour in Tokyo was praised 🙂 In fact, our English-speaking staff also spent a very pleasant autumn day thanks to this friendly visitor!

If you too wish to visit Tokyo with us, reserve a 1-day Yes in Japan private tour.

Photos & videos of sumi-e and Toyokuni Atelier Studio (Tokyo, Japan)

Fans of Toyokuni Atelier Studio and lovers of Japan’s art sumi-e, follow these links with many photos and videos:

Official website (English & Japanese): http://www.nekomachi.com
YouTube (English & Japanese): http://www.youtube.com/user/HondaKoboh
Facebook (Japanese): https://www.facebook.com/ToyokuniHonda
Twitter (Japanese): https://twitter.com/toyokuni

Go to the gallery in Chiyoda ward when you visit or move to Tokyo 🙂
Master Toyokuni at Toyokuni Atelier Studio (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, Japan).

From Greece for a Japanese garden, kendo shop and Shinto gates!

Yesterday, we accompanied a nice couple from Greece wishing to visit a beautiful Japanese garden in Tokyo. After visiting the ancient Rikugien garden, we walked a while in the streets of Bunkyo ward then entered a long row of red Shinto gates at Nezu shrine 🙂

Under a big blue sky, the green trees and large pond of the Rikugien garden looked fabulous and extremely peaceful though full of life! We saw cute carps, swimming turtles, a wooden Japanese bridge, a teahouse serving green tea, pink azaleas…
Pink azaleas in the Japanese garden Rikugien (Tokyo, Japan) in June 2014.

Pond of the Japanese garden Rikugien (Tokyo, Japan) in June 2014.

The quiet Nezu shrine features many statues (samurais, foxes, ashuras…) but foreign tourists get most excited by its numerous holy gates. This spot is excellent for a very Japanese souvenir photo!
Couple from Greece between Shinto gates at Nezu shrine (Tokyo, Japan) in June 2014.

To finish, we lunched in Akihabara and entered one of the best shops selling kendo equipment in Tokyo; the armours were beautiful! We planned this tour based on the travellers’ interests, season, weather, and accessibility from Hotel Niwa Tokyo. Thanks to these 2 Greek tourists, we also spent a very pleasant Spring day 🙂
Greek tourists with Sébastien Duval at Nezu shrine (Tokyo, Japan) in June 2014.

To discover the Japanese people and culture through a personalized tour in English during your holidays in Japan, contact the Yes in Japan team…

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Rikugien = 六義園, Nezu shrine = 根津神社 (Nezu-jinja).
  • Hotel Niwa Tokyo = 庭のホテル東京 (Niwa-no-hotelu-Tokyo), Tokyo = 東京.

World War 2 tour in Tokyo: Calendar for May & June 2014

You can now join our walking tour in Tokyo “After the War: Fighters and Civiliansin English or French on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in May and June 2014. Try to book at least two business days before your chosen date to enable the museum archivist to prepare a selection of Japanese newspapers from World War 2.

Visit the controversial Yasukuni shrine, see objects used during WW2 (e.g. a Zero fighter plane) and explore history through old photos (1935-1955) to discover the life of Japanese grandparents and form your opinion about Imperial and occupied Japan!

Zero fighter plane in Tokyo (Japan).

This Yes in Japan tour in Chiyoda ward usually starts at the nearby Hotel Grand Palace but we remain flexible, like our calendar.

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Yasukuni shrine = 靖国神社 (Yasukuni-jinja), Tokyo = 東京.
  • Hotel Grand Palace = ホテルグランドパレス (hotelu-gurando-palesu).

Pink cherry blossoms and Japanese bride in kimono at Tokyo-daijingu on 11 April 2014

This morning, we admired pink cherry blossoms and a charming Japanese bride in white kimono (traditional dress) at the peaceful Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine. The nice couple of travellers from Sweden that joined this “Kagurazaka, Charming Tokyo” walking tour in Tokyo was delighted 🙂

Most cherry trees in Tokyo have already lost their petals due to the rain but this cherry tree of the Yae-zakura species is in full bloom. With good travel tips or a guide, you can see beautiful cherry blossoms in Tokyo even after the peak of March/April!

Pink cherry blossoms at Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine (Tokyo, Japan) on 11 April 2014.

Tokyo-daijingu is known as the Shinto shrine that held the first Shinto wedding ceremony in Japan so it is the most traditional destination in Japan to see (and take a picture of) a Japanese bride in kimono…

Japanese bride in white kimono at Tokyo-daijingu (Tokyo, Japan) on 11 April 2014.

We exceptionally started this Yes in Japan 2014 tour at Hotel Niwa Tokyo (near Suidobashi station) for the convenience of our customers. The walk was longer than usual but it was a pleasure with this beautiful Spring weather 🙂

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Yae-zakura = 八重桜, Kimono = 着物.
  • Tokyo = 東京, Tokyo-daijingu = 東京大神宮.
  • Hotel Niwa Tokyo = 庭のホテル東京 (Niwa-no-hotelu-Tokyo).