Tokyo Skytree and New Asahi building

One very good place to see Tokyo Skytree

One very good place to see Tokyo Skytree
Good spot to see Tokyo Skytree

The sight of Tokyo Skytree is quite surreal in the night sky of Tokyo. One very good spot to see Tokyo Skytree is located a short walk South-East of Sensoji temple close to the Asakusa train station. On the northern riverbank of Sumida river, a short set of stairs lead you to a walkway right next to the water.

You will get a very good view of Tokyo Skytree, and if you are there at dinner-time, you will see a lot of boats pass by. Those brightly-lit boats are “Izakaya-boats” where you can eat and drink while cruising the Sumida river. This type of restaurant-boat is a landmark in Asakusa.

To the right of Skytree, you will also see the strange golden sculpture atop the New Asahi building. Many Japanese refer to this sculpture as the “Golden Ounco” which translates to “Golden Poo”.

See geographical info

Japanese food vending machine

Vending machine at the Japanese restaurant

Vending machine at the Japanese restaurant This is not an unusual sight in Japan. Many restaurant chains and small joints use these machines to save on labor costs and to streamline the ordering process.

Don’t be fooled by the look of the machine, many good affordable restaurants use those. If you are lucky they will have a fancy display with pictures. Making a choice will be easy.

If you are less lucky, everything will be written in Kanji without photos. Don’t be discouraged, I’ve often been in this situation as well. Adopting a puzzled expression on your face is a good solution. More often than not, a staff will come and help you choose with whatever English they know. Not only your getting great food but some original human interaction, perhaps with the cook himself.

As for the technicalities: simply insert some bills in the machine and push any button you like. Paper receipts will come out for each item, you should bring those to the table of your choice where a staff will come acknowledge your order. FYI beer is spelled like ビール.

japan guide homepage

Japan-Guide, my trusted source of information on Japan

When it comes to detailed information about attractions in Japan, Japan-guide is hard to beat! It is simply the most complete reference of touristic destinations, cultural customs and touristic guides available about Japan. It would take years, or decades, for any neophyte traveler to cover Japan-Guide’s exhaustive list of castles, parks, restaurants and museums.

Japan Guide, my trusted source of information on Japan

Every entry on Japan-guide is accompanied by a complete description including the price of the attraction, the opening hours, the address, and a simple map with useful info about nearby roads, scenic paths and trains/bus stations. It also sometimes provides bus schedule, which is very practical when most local information is in Japanese!

Also, every touristic landmark is ranked by popularity (most visited). Although this can be sometimes misleading as most visited does not necessarily imply the best, it is still a good indicator of which attractions have the most to offer. Although the visual appearance of Japan-guide can be a bit dense at times, make sure to pay a visit before your next trip to Japan, it might inspire and simplify your trip organization!

Mount Fuji and pink flowers

Fuji Shibazakura Festival, Yokohama & Tokyo: Naoki Ishii’s photos of Japan

I found some very interesting shots from Naoki Ishii. Many of his flickr photos are about flowers and nature but a few of them also concern Japanese temples and cityscapes.

Fuji Shibazakura Festival, Yokohama & Tokyo: Naoki Ishiis photos of Japan
Tokyo Station, Marunouchi

Fuji Shibazakura Festival, Yokohama & Tokyo: Naoki Ishiis photos of Japan
Yokoyama waterfront and the Ferris wheel

Fuji Shibazakura Festival, Yokohama & Tokyo: Naoki Ishiis photos of Japan
Cherry blossom trees (Sakura) during Japanese spring


Find train schedule easily in Japan, with Jorudan.

Finding a good train route or schedule in Japan can sometimes be tricky, but with the right tool it can become much easier. Of course, google map can do it, but its interface can be sometimes complicated to use while in a rush.

That is where Jorudan becomes handy. With its clean interface that is easy to use on any smartphone, one quickly understands why it is a popular choice among the Japanese. Whether you need to take metro in Tokyo, local trains in the countryside or move rapidly across the country with the Shinkansen, Jorudan has all the info necessary, and will provide a route with transit time as smooth as it can be.

Tokyo Skyline 4

Tokyo at night, a wonderful portrait of Tokyo’s nighttime cityscape by Sandro Bisaro

Tokyo is really a wonderful city to explore at night. Not only the streets are safer than any other metropolis in the world, but the place simply looks like a gigantic oceans of lights and neon extending as far as you can see. Expressing the feel of Tokyo at night with words is not an easy task and neither it is with your average photography. I had the chance recently to learn about Sandro Bisaro, a photographer who specializes in night cityscapes. He covered Tokyo extensively. I’ll let the amazing images speak for themselves!

Tokyo at night, a wonderful portrait of Tokyos nighttime cityscape by Sandro Bisaro
Shibuya at night
Continue reading

Shiodome giant clock

Walking around Shiodome

Shiodome is a new business district of Tokyo with a very modern feeling. Skyscrapers of Shiodome host hotels, businesses and upscale restaurants. This is not an area of Tokyo especially catering to entertainment but can be nice to explore on your way to Hamarikyu Garden or before taking the Yurikamome train line on your way to Odaiba.

See more images

See geographical info

Japanese Well 4

Elisete Shiraishi, awesome photos of Japan

I came across Elisete’s photos on Flickr and was blown away by their aesthetic quality. I think a photo is successful when it makes you think and feel inside you: “wow I wish I was there”. Those photos just have that effect on me! I hope they’ll have the same effect on you!

This noodle dish is called Yakisoba, it is commonly served as street food during Japanese festivals.
Elisete Shiraishi, awesome photos of Japan

Continue reading