Anyone who’s been to Japan has surely noticed the incredible number of vending machines on offer. They’re found everywhere, from neon-lit city intersections to shady forest walks, and even on trains. Vending machine culture is everywhere! Japan is the perfect home for so many vending machines. Vandalism and crime is low, and the demand for … More Japanese vending machines – a closer look at Japan’s love of convenience
Staying in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, is one of the quintessential cultural activities that everybody should enjoy in Japan. More than just a simple place to sleep, a stay in a ryokan is an experience unto itself. With particular room styles, dress codes and meal sets, it can be difficult to know what … More What to expect from a stay in a traditional Japanese Ryokan
Okonomiyaki is the ultimate winter comfort food in Japan. A heavy savoury dish, it might be described as a fried cabbage pancake with additional meats, vegetables, or noodles. When translated, it means ‘cooked/fried how you like it’, giving away okonomiyaki’s status as the classic meal of many variations. Okonomiyaki is one of my favourite things … More Which Is The Best Okonomiyaki? Tokyo Monjayaki vs. Hiroshimayaki
It was time to use the most valuable weapon in our Japanese travel arsenal – our JR Japan Rail Passes! We ordered them online in Australia (they cannot be bought in Japan), and picked them up at Shinjuku station with all the required stamps and stickers. We found them to be great value – i’ve … More The Japan JR rail pass – what you should know
The Tokyo subway system is the busiest underground network in the world. 3.1 billion people rode around the city in 2013. But it’s not all about massive numbers of people – this amazing network is full of charming quirks. Whether it’s special employees that push commuters into a packed train, incredible punctuality, or the cute … More Fun facts about Tokyo’s subway
Tokyo has a suburb with long lazy canals, rows of cherry blossoms, quiet streets and old buildings? Could this be a mini Amsterdam in Tokyo? Hmm…not exactly. This was still the mighty concrete jungle of Tokyo, so what Nakameguro canals actually looks like are high-walled, concrete stormwater channels stained green from algae. In the summer, … More The Nakameguro winter illuminations
Two of Tokyo’s hubs of pop culture, Akihabara and Harajuku, are fun microcosms to explore the culture of modern Japan. Akihabara for electronics, anime and video game toilets; Harajuku for fashion, sweet treats and cat costumes!
The sky was a pale blue, with airplane contrails criss-crossing the frozen winter air high above, and a bright, shining sun. It was a great day to visit one of Tokyo’s most peaceful places, the huge gardens of the imperial palace, and residence of Emperor Akihito of Japan.
The Ueno area is known or its large, beautiful park. It has some of the most beautiful green areas and temples in Tokyo city (better, I thought, than the Imperial Palace). But outside of cherry blossom, and in the cold days of winter, what is there to do? Toshogu shrine and Kiyomuzi Kannon are years … More Ueno Park in the winter
One of Tokyo’s most iconic sights is the famous Shibuya crossing. This spectacular neon-lit intersection transforms when the pedestrian lights turn green, and up to 3000 people swarm across the road at the same time! But, as one of Tokyo’s most celebrated (and crowded) nightlife spots, there’s plenty more to see nearby! Let’s have a … More The Shibuya scramble: an illustrated guide to Tokyo’s heart of entertainment