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Tokyo with kids…

4 Feb

I often get email from parents in various countries who are planning to visit Tokyo with their children…and ask me for suggestions for places to take them in this city.

I’m more than happy to help with these, or any other, types of questions. By all means, use the “Contact Me” form on this blog anytime! I’ll help as much as I can.

But I thought it would be helpful for people who are planning to visit Tokyo with kids if I wrote a post with some places that are popular with kids in Tokyo.

So, in no particular order, here is a brief list of places in Tokyo to take kids:

- Tokyo Disneyland and/or Tokyo Disney Sea

- KiddylandOne of the giant toy stores in Tokyo. In Omotesando, near Harajuku.

- Yamashiroya – Another giant toy store. Near Ueno train station.

- Hakuhinkan – This giant toy store is in Ginza.

- Odaiba - A driverless train takes you to this part of Tokyo.  Has a shopping center, cat-cafe, bicycle rental, a Statue of Liberty like the one in New York…but smaller, and a life-sizeGundam” robot.

gundam

- Children’s Castle

- Zoos and/or Aquariums – There are many excellent zoos and aquariums in and around Tokyo. This site tells the government-owned ones in Tokyo limits…there are more than these.

- Tokyo Tower

- Tokyo Sky Tree – At 634 meters tall, it’s the world’s tallest tower. It’s within walking distance of Asakusa.

These are just some ideas. Please feel free to either leave a comment on this post or use my contact form if you have any questions.

New page

30 Oct

I just made a new page on my blog.
It’s titled “What’s that?“, and I made it to answer some of the questions that visitors ask me about “mysterious” things they’ve seen in Japan.

Check it out and if you have any questions about Japan (things you’ve seen, where places are, recommendations for places to visit, etc.), feel free to contact me. And, of course, comments in any of my blogs pages and posts are always appreciated!

Japan’s first train station

10 Feb

Outside of the JR新橋駅 (JR Shinbashi train station) in Tokyo there is a steam locomotive.

This is because Shinbashi Station was the first train station in Japan. It was built in 1872 and at that time trains were powered by steam.

The steam locomotive is outside of JR新橋駅 (JR Shinbashi train station) but that’s not where the first station stood. It’s near the same site…but not exactly.

A ukiyoe painting of the first train station in Japan by Hiroshige

In April 2003 a replica of the original Shinbashi Station was built as a monument and also as a small museum of the history of Japan’s rail service.

It’s called 「旧新橋停車場」 (“Former Shinbashi Train Depot”).

We went there last Sunday because the 「旧新橋停車場」 (“Former Shinbashi Train Depot” (or “Old Shinbashi Station”)) is currently exhibiting photos taken of Tokyo decades ago by Koyo Ishibashi.

Click here to read a post that I wrote about that exhibition.

 

「旧新橋停車場」 ("Old Shinbashi Station")

It’s an interesting place to see if you’re in Tokyo. Admission is free and if you go before 2011 March 21 you can see Mr. Ishikawa’s excellent photos there too.

After we left 「旧新橋停車場」 (“Old Shinbashi Station”) we walked around the 新橋 (Shinbashi) area of Tokyo.

Tokyo utilizes all space available...restaurants and shops can often be found under train overpasses. This one has a street sign telling cars that the clearance of this narrow road is 2.1 meters

More restaurants under the train overpass

I've never eaten at the "Budweiser Carnaval", but supposedly the waitresses there wear tight "Budweiser" mini-dresses.

エクストラコールド BAR

3 Jul

I wrote an earlier post about Sapporo Beer‘s new Ice Lager Beer for this summer.

(Click here to read it.)

Well, Asahi Beer has a new bar in Tokyo called the 「エクストラ・コールド BAR」 (“Extra Cold Bar“).

This bar is in Tokyo’s 銀座 (Ginza) area and will only be there until 2010 August 31.

In this bar, the beer is served extremely cold…between 0°C and -2°C.

Even the beer taps are freezing cold and covered in ice. Customers are welcome to pour their own beer from the icy taps if they want to.

If you’re in Tokyo before August 31 and you want to go to the “Asahi Extra Cold Bar”, it’s near JR 有楽町駅 (JR Yurakucho Station) or the 銀座一丁目駅 (Ginza 1-Chome Subway Station).

It’s hours of operation are:
Weekdays 6:00PM – 11:00PM
Saturdays 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Sundays and (Japanese) holidays 11:30AM – 9:30PM
(Last order is a half-hour before closing).

Horoscope

19 Jun

Japan uses three types of horoscopes.

The Western type astrology (based on which month you were born) is taken about as seriously as it is in Western countries…not too much.

I was born in November. Scorpio. Supposedly people born under this sign are organized.

Then there’s the Chinese zodiac which Japan imported. This one is based on which year you were born. It has a twelve year cycle.

I was born in 1969…Year Of The Rooster. Supposedly people born under this sign are organized.

The Chinese zodiac is more popular in Japan than the Western zodiac…but not as popular as blood types.

Japan’s own “zodiac” is based on your blood type.

The most common blood type in Japan is Type A. People with “A” type blood are said to be dependable and organized. I have “A” type blood. I’m an “A” blood-type, Scorpio, born in the Year of The Rooster…so, I guess I’m “organized”!

I’ve heard that the most common blood type in America is Type O. They’re said to be sociable, positive, and friendly.

Type B is wild and reckless.

Type AB is rational.

Everyone in Japan knows their own blood type and Japanese people are often surprised if they learn that many people in other countries don’t know their own blood type.

If you read about a new celebrity in a Japanese magazine, they will tell their name, age, hobbies, and blood type.

Sometimes a potential employer will ask your blood type at a job interview.

It’s quite popular in Japan. Many people take it seriously and are surprised it’s not used in other countries.

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Have you ever heard of the theme restaurants in Japan?

In Japan you can have dinner in a maid cafe, Dracula’s castle, a “hospital” themed restaurant, a “Samurai” themed restaurant, Alcatraz, “Alice’s Wonderland”, etc.

A couple friends and I recently ate the Alcatraz themed restaurant! We were escorted by guards to a “cell”, where we had dinner. Every once in a while, there would be a “prison break”!

It was fun.

I’m sure these types of theme restaurants are an “only in Japan” type of experience!

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Anyways, here’s a few pictures that I’ve taken around Tokyo last Spring (and hadn’t bothered to post them online til now!):

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