I was getting excited at the thought of coffee, standing in front of a Tokyo vending machine. I turned some 100 Yen coins in my palm, considering my options. The brown one, or the white one? Maybe the rainbow can? All the descriptions were in Japanese, but I was intrigued by one particular can because … More Here’s why Japanese vending machines are the coolest
The dish that arrived on our table was met with confused feelings of fascination and disgust. It was still alive. It was an abalone, and we watched aghast at its preparation. A humungous sea snail in a half-shell the size of my entire hand was placed on a small grill, whilst a fiery hot barbeque bead … More Staying in a Traditional Japanese Ryokan in Izu
Okonomiyaki is one of my favourite things to eat in Japan, a kind of fried pancake-omelette, based on cabbage and egg, with different combinations of vegetables and meats. It is fried on a teppan, a large hotplate, until both sides are brown and crispy, then served to the plate sliced up with a small spatula … 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
In the subway tunnels under Tokyo, 1am – we sat on the carriage and watched a Japanese salaryman fast asleep and snoring, collapsed like a ragdoll, briefcase at his feet. We were delighted to observe a slice of Tokyo’s famous workaholic culture, so we invented for him a whole backstory…
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 are must-sees, to explore the culture of modern Japan. Akihabara for electronics, anime and video game toilets; and 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.
On one of the boulevards of pretty Ueno park, we were stopped by a Japanese student. He was practicing caricatures, and wanted to draw us. It sounded pretty cool, so we sat on the edge of the walking track.
One of Tokyo’s most iconic sights is the famous Shibuya crossing, a pedestrian scramble through a huge neon-lit intersection, where an estimated 3000 people have been known to cross the road at the same time. But as one of Tokyo’s most crowded areas, there’s plenty more to see nearby! Let’s have a closer look…