Tag Archives: Tokyo Skytree

Travel tips for Tokyo: Rain or snow? Go to Asakusa area! (2015-2016)

Big rain or snow today during your stay in Tokyo or Yokohama? And you still have to explore the north-east of Tokyo? Go shopping and discover the Japanese culture and everyday life in covered areas: the modern Sky Tree tower, the culinary Kappabashi Dougu Street, traditional alleys near the holy Thunder Gate…

Precise travel tips from the Yes in Japan team for the end of autumn 2015, winter 2015-2016 and spring 2016:

  • Enjoy and photograph cute cats at Neko Zan Mai,
  • Examine traditional instruments and play music at the Drum Museum,
  • Experience the art of ukiyo-e woodblock printing at Mokuhankan,
  • Join a washoku cooking lesson at Chagohan Tokyo,
  • Play a fun game at Escape Hunt Japan (3 rooms in Asakusa),
  • Relax at the public bath & hot spring Jakotsuyu,
  • Savour ramen noodles in hot soup at Asakusa Naritaya,
  • Slowly shop at Don Quijote Asakusa,
  • Try Japanese activities at Jidaiya,
  • Watch an original fashion & dance show with Japanese dancers at Tokyo Rhapsody,
  • In family, let your small child discover the “baby” floor of Panda Café.

Learn more about the area and how to access it on our “Get Japan map of Asakusa” page and… do not forget your umbrella in the subway or at a shop 🙂
Map of Kappabashi, Asakusa & Sky Tree (Tokyo, Japan) - Inner

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 🙂

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…

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.

02 August 2014: Japanese culture & night cruise in Tokyo’s Sumida ward

Nice! Tokyo’s Sumida ward, its tourism office and the Sumidagawa Edo Cultural Sightseeing Promotion Association organize a “Yukata De Guide Tour” special event in English for foreign tourists near Ryogoku station from 16:00 to 21:00 on Saturday 02 August 2014.

Imagine wearing a colourful Yukata summer kimono with traditional Geta wooden shoes, visiting the Kokugikan sumo arena, joining a tea ceremony in a Japanese garden, smelling and tasting Japan’s green tea from your cup, attending a concert of Koto (stringed musical instrument) and Shakuhachi flute, living a Haiku Japanese poetry gathering
Japanese culture: tea ceremony.

Then cruise the Sumida River at night to admire the lit-up Rainbow Bridge (Odaiba area) and modern Tokyo Skytree tower from a cute boat…

Finally, enjoy a festival with many small shops and Japanese people dancing a Bon-odori dance… You may even dance with them!
Japanese culture: dance.

Why not live and enjoy the Japanese culture this Summer evening in Tokyo’s Sumida ward? Make a reservation for the “Yukata De Guide Tour” for only 4.500 yens (food included) before 29 July! Our Yes in Japan travel manager will definitely join 🙂

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Yukata De Guide Tour = ゆかたでガイドツアー (yukata-de-gaido-tsua).
  • “Visit Sumida” tourism office = 墨田区観光協会 (Sumida-ku-kanko-kyokai).
  • Sumidagawa Edo Cultural Sightseeing Promotion Association = 隅田川・江戸文化観光振興会 (Sumida-gawa-edo-bunka-kanko-shinko-kai).
  • Yukata = 浴衣, Bon-odori = 盆踊り, Sumida river = 隅田川 (Sumida-gawa).
  • Ryogoku station = 両国駅 (Ryogoku-eki), Sumida ward = 墨田区 (Sumida-ku), Tokyo = 東京.