OSUSUME1

Lost in Tokyo

Tokyo Drift? which was actually filmed in Shibuya (including the famous pedestrian crossing in front of Hachiko dog statue). The six best cities to get lost in? It is indeed precious time to find yourself, who you are, what to be, meaning of life, while you are traveling around the world. Walked along the Ganga river in Varanasi, but not yet Lost in Translation in downtown Tokyo? Temporary or meanwhile, quit what you are doing, grab last-minute cheap fare to Narita or Haneda, yes, it is high time to explore and feel them all with your 6th sense here in the far east islands.

Here's a quote from BBC
The bewildering pace and flickering neon of this go-go city guarantee a bit of giddiness. Abandon yourself to the disorientation and you might just get off-road enough to find the wabi-sabi side of Tokyo JAPAN.

Tokyo train gets you lost
Tokyo has 9 lines (Tokyo Metro) and 4 lines (Toei Subway) plus JR lines, which is enough complicated but in addition to them, there are more than 10 private railway companies departing-from / arriving-at downtown Tokyo terminals (Asakusa, Ueno, Nippori, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa and of course Tokyo central station). Pick randomly any one station up from the map, and without GPS without handy guide, let's get lost, shall we.

Lost in the temple
Go-koku-ji (peace-nation-temple) was built in 1697, and remains the original structure and facade which is very rare because almost all buildings were damaged by Great Kanto Earthquake (1923) and/or Allied Bombing (1945). Unlike Kyoto temples, it is free of charge to get in and to take a walk through here in Tokyo, you will find the air of Edo Samurai Period once you step into the main temple (hondou). Thanks to major guide books, this temple is not listed but still on unbeaten track, you may find yourself as only being (apart from all the spirits in the air) in front of buddha statues. There is a little tiny shop humbly selling buddhism ralated ornaments (not like business-business pushing selling style of Asakusa Sensouji Temple). You may get some dream called like Santiago in The Alchemist.

Find what Buddha eats
It is only 1 hour train ride either from Tokyo station (JR Yokosuka Line) or Shinjuku station (JR Shounan Shinjuku Line) to reach Kamakura where you could get lost either in little mountain hill or along the gray (not white) beach of the Pacific Ocean. To find your being is to find what Buddha (Vishnu transformed?) has in his mind (or in his stomach). You may officially enter, without even knock-knock, into his belly. Not very spiritual but many tourists throw coins to his chin which can be seen as bowl when you stand inside of his stomach. Let's make wish as you do for shooting stars.

Park Hyatt in Shinjuku
Of course, iwazutoshireta well-watched movie. Do you think that it is made-up story? You might have been missing that kind of chances even without noticing, well actually you are missing the opportunities because you are NOT noticing that it is right there in front of you anytime anywhere. Did you talk to the person who sit next to you on the international flight last time? S/he may have important information if you did converse. Let's follow the butterflies, you'll get your toast much delicious every morning. Let's follow the dream, again as morden alchemist, you may find treasures in you, yourself.

HachijoJima (Hachijo island)
This active volcanic island has been loney neglected and situated in the middle of Pacific Ocean, lies at a distance of 278km from Tokyo, yes, geographically it is one of the izu chain islands, yet administratively Tokyo, the capital. Edo and Meiji sent many prisoners deported to the island, modern era failed to make this island as Japan's Hawaii, now peacely and nicely "left-over" attracts nature lovers. One hour short ANA flight or 10 hours night ferry to the natural charm.


By the way, if you truly would like to meet Japanese alchemist (not just like a magician but similar to Donald Shimoda in illusions by Richard Bach), it is worth making a flight to Nagasaki (JR Pass holder can enjoy long train journey). Kawatana station on JR Oomura Line (Omura Line) has the shop called Anderson (or Andersson, Anderusen, sounds like Danish). The master has been longing to encounter you face-to-face if you are reading this page already. Had all ears, he's got words to say. Now even easier and cheaper with LCC to visit the-only-port of Edo Samurai Time.

Sumo in Tokyo

The cheapest tickets are ALWAYS available when you line up at the ticket booth in Ryogoku early hour. 7:45AM is official opening for unreserved seats called General Admission Tickets. Yes, first-come-first-served basis. At least 1 hour before which means 6:45AM-and-prior to queue is recommended to grab the last minute tickets. Weekends are not easy, you may have to start queue-ing up as early as first train get you there (5:00AM-ish).

It will be more than Sumo when you see all the fights including Ichinojo (Mongolia), Aoiyama (Bulgaria), Tochinoshin (Georgia), Gagamaru (Georgia), Kaisei (Brazil), Mitakeumi (Philippine), Takayasu (Philippine) and more. And very first African wrestler OSunaArashi (BigSanderStorm) from Egypt just got retired (>_<) All those listed in high ranking sumo wrestlers earn more than a million yen each month (good job you'd consider?). If you were in Tokyo area during Tokyo Tounament, please have this chance to visit Ryogoku Kokugikan which is just accross Sumida river from Asakusa.

September : Tokyo (Sep.8th - Sep.22nd, 2019)
November : Fukuoka, 2019

January : Tokyo (Jan.12th - Jan.26th, 2020)
March : Osaka, 2020
May : Tokyo (May 10th - May 24th, 2020)
July : Nagoya, 2020
September : Tokyo (Sep.13th - Sep.27th, 2020)
November : Fukuoka, 2020

Nihon Sumo Kyokai
Official site has them a!!

Chanko Nabe
Sumo wrestlers dish, can eat them all? All year available when you're hungry.

JTB Sunrise Tours : www.japanican.com/en/tour/list/?kw=sumo
Japan Dream Tours : www.japandreamtours.com/culture/sports/sumo.html
Naruto-beya : https://naruto-beya.com/
Nishiiwa-beya in ASAKUSA : https://nishiiwabeya.com/
Azumazeki-beya : www.azumazeki.jp/
Asakayama-beya : http://asakayamabeya.net/practice_tour.html
Tomozuna-beya : www.tomozuna-beya.jp
Arashio-beya : www.arashio.net/tour_e.html
Sadogatake-beya : http://sadogatake.jp/

If you were not travelling within the tournament season, you may still be able to visit above heya (sumo-beya or stable house) for morning training.

Not enough? Please consult on this page.

Art in Asakusa

Asakusa (shi-ta-ma-chi) has various interesting individual shops for artist, architect, designer, painter and more like you. As the title says, this town is the style of antique Tokyo, and you will be astonished by visiting and finding something new to color your life. Welcome to Asakusa, one of the best Tokyo's downtown, thanks to Kuma Kengo san, now we have Asakusa Bunka Kanko Center. Also, Art & Culture Foundation of Taito as well as 3331 in south Ueno, actually of Chiyoda. Are you interested in Life of Art, Art of Life, you may visit Taito Designers Village. Of course, other than Asakusa, Tokyo has another color of aspect like Akihabara, Daikanyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Kichijoji, Marunouchi, Odaiba, Omotesando, Roppongi, Shibuya, Meguro, Shinjuku, Ueno and more. We hope that you are enjoying various aspects of your life as well in your own country :3
All about hand-made (^^)

Creema
iichi
minne
Etsy(jp)

Japanese Painting Artist
Allan West san has beautiful color and touch in his world. Nice walk in Yanaka as well.

Iwa-enogu and natural pigment for Nihonga (Japanese Painting)
ShinSeiDo has all the materials just south of the pond, Shinobazunoike, in Ueno.

Another iwa-enogu and natural pigment for Nihonga (Japanese Painting)
PIGMENT near Tennozu Isle station (south of Shinagawa between Asakusa and Haneda Airport) has all the materials, too!

Accessory, beads, parts, applique and more
AsakusaBashi (south of Asakusa) has whole town with creativity, one of the mecca is Kiwa.

Japanese paper dish in style
Asakusa (Kappabashi) has stylish paper dish/cup company called Wasara (Wa is Japan, Sara is Dish). Home party, company conference, catering and more in your country? Good as souvenior, too.

Ukiyo-e, traditional wood craft printing
Amuse Museum has great collection together with Boro (maybe better than Polo?). Excellent location would give it number one view spot (especially night view) of Asakusa Sensouji Temple from upper floor bar.

Sushi in plastic, Ramen in plastic, Beer in plastic
Kappabashi Dougu (tool) Gai (street) is no longer hidden place, actually became one of the hot spot along with Skytree here in Asakusa, only a minute walk from Tokyo Ryokan. You can never tell it is fake in plastic or real. There is even a kit that you can make, how about your own designed ramen in plastic? And all kitchen gadgets and utensils are found here, used be for only professional chefs and restaurant business owners but now for daily three meals to enrich our lives.

Pottery (Guinomi, Tokkuri, Chawan and more)
Tobe-Tobe-Kusa is less than 30 seconds away from Tokyo Ryokan, actually on the way to nice local bar Subtone. You may encounter one-of-the-kind for your sake and tea.

All about Pen and Paper (notebook) of your life time friends
Kakimori (write-savior) is best known in Kuramae, south of Asakusa. Digital is not your style? Wanna live nearby letter box and post stand? No facebook, no blog, no instagram, no twitter, no YouTube, no GPS? We understand that you like the soft touch of PEN and PAPER. This is the shop you wanted to be, to work, to own in your town! Order-made notebook is just like your life. Order-made pen has not only ink inside but whole life of yours. Would you like to feel loved one on the white plane paper? We would like you to make your own page of your own life here in Asakusa.
To wrap yourself with innovative designer's ribbon, and dedicate for your loved one

Everyone knows CHANEL, LOUIS VUITTON MALLETIER, PRADA, DOLCE GABBANA, but no many people finds all of them are the primary customer of MOKUBA, the ribbon company in Kuramae, south of Asakusa.

Let's find out Tiger-Building between Asakusabashi and Tawaramachi
Taigar-Bill (phonetic sound of Tiger-Building in Japanese language) is one of the rare standing building which survived through March 10th 1945 (World War 2 Tokyo Bombing) and the March 11th 2011 (big earthquake damaged "Fukushima"), one of the oldest building in Taito-ku. Ground floor has interior design shop, carpet shop, furniture shop and more.

It is located at 2.540km post from Tokyo station, filled with creative talents
2k540 (AKI-OKA ARTISAN) has small inovative shops under the JR railway tracks. The space is used to be just a parking lot, very much dead space for human life, but just reborn to paint your canvas. Also worth to visit for something small souvenirs of Japan for your friends and families. Wonderland of Hand-Craft. Wednesday closed.

Why not tie (yuwaeru in Japanese language) you and your loved spirit at this shop
Yuwaeru (Yu-Wa-E-Ru) is the restaurant and cafe to enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine. Genmai, the brown rice, is their speciality with organic Miso soup. You may also be able to purchase Miso, Shouyu, Shio, Sansho, Tougarashi, Goma-abura, Natane-abura, Green Tea and more of their original brands.

Japan is timber islands, Tonari no Totoro loves this woodland in the far east Asia
Woodwork presents warm-touched wooden furniture which makes your day happy and content. Yasumono (cheap) or Honmono (truth) is needed in your life from today on? What plastic cannot guarantee, wood can do. Maintenance activity for the quality life is worth spending. Now you know why we say "touch wood" to hope.

Something you would like to keep using/holding/embracing for your life long time
SyuRo has an idea for you, no needs any word to explain.

Leather shop
m+piu and kanmi show you the way of life.

Are you interested in Tokyo Heritage Architecture?
Taito Ryokan is the place right center heart of Asakusa for the 1950's, renovated in 2010 and in 2013 (after the Fukushima earthquake).
toco is the place in Iriya (iriya) north of Ueno or west of Asakusa where you can feel the 1920's, renovated in 2011.
Garelly ef is partially built in 1868 (Edo era), survived through the great Kanto earthquake and bombs.

And Nippori Fabric Town is perfect place to purchase your own material!
Toei Bus #08 has direct route from (Skytree and) Asakusa to Nippori. The fabric town is actually one stop before Nippori terminal, the most convenient bus stop is called Higashi-Nippori-Go(5)-Choume (Chome). The Sen-i-Gai town map can be printed out or app to your mobile for easy explore.

Shinjuku (easy access by Tokyo Metro) has this.
Sekaido (SE KA I DO) is lovely place to explore, you may find EVERYTHING about art, even big painting brush made of horse tail.

And here's the hot spring in Asakusa which is much better than LOREAL or SHISEIDO or KANEBO or DHC (^^)
Jakotsuyu closed its 100 years of management, but KotobukiYu has its own water as well, which has no secret of Japanese women who has smooth skin and who actually look younger than their real age. Ladies (and not gentlemen!), please be aware of the truely natural skin care here in Japan. To find out the best natural mineral content water to heal (to maintain) your own skin nicely, please stop by at Onsen Hotspring links.

Already a fan of Tokyo? Looking for an apartment?
Mitsubishi Jisho has The Parkhouse all over downtown Tokyo. And KEN Ltd has good selection of house and apartment. Still not decided your heart, you may try weekly and monthly place or share house and free house at this page.

Daibutsu and Kannon

Byakurengedo in Shinjuku. New generation, new age, new style of life&death.

Tokyo has 1,398 shrines, and surrounding towns have big buddha statue (similar to the one in Nara, some actually bigger). Taito-ku has this style of Goshuin. Regardless having been to Dharamsala, Xia-He (for Labrang Temple) or not, it is worth checking the sites. Easy to make it in one-day-trip from Asakusa.

Ushiku has one of the world tallest buddha statue. This page has its spec. Nearby JR station is called Ushiku (52.8km from Ueno station). It is NOT Hitachi-no-Ushiku but simply Ushiku station on JR Joban Line. Scheduled bus will take you right to the statue within 30 - 35 minutes from the station.

Kamakura cannot be missed while you are in Tokyo. It is 51.0km south-west of Tokyo central station. Platform at Tokyo station is the same one for Narita Airport (Kamakura is opposite direction though). You may enjoy Yokohama and/or Enoshima with Kamakura to make it full day trip out of downtown Tokyo. Kamakura temple town itself could be an alternative for Kyoto if you did not have time/money to travel to the old capital city. By the way, Kamakura had ruled Samurai Japan from 1192 to 1333 (called Kamakura Jidai).

Oofuna Kan-non (next to Kamakura) can be caught on your eyes from the JR train, it will be on your right window when you are riding the train from Tokyo to Kamakura. JR Oofuna (or Ofuna with long O vowel sound) is one of the junction stations where Tokaido Line, Negishi Line, Yokosuka Line and Shonan Monorail turn in and turn out.

Nokogiriyama Nihonji is located about 100km south-east of Tokyo. Hamakanaya station is on JR Uchibo Line, 107.0km away from Tokyo central station. Please note that all the Limited Express (Tokkyu) on the Uchibo Line departs from the platform of KEIYO Line (not from SOBU Line platform). You may take Rope-Way to the temple since it is located in a mountain top.

Yougoudou at Sensouji Temple in Asakusa. 24 hours to pray. And next to the building has the oldest wooden building in Tokyo (15??).
daibutsu kannon

Ooya or Oya or Ohya Kannon is located between Nikko and Utsunomiya, there are several easy access from Ueno (JR) and Asakusa (Tobu). Their official site is here. Are you interested in architect, Kuma Kengo san? Beautiful JR station Hoshakuji and more can be a good one day tour in Utsunomiya area (where the stone is produced). And you will be happily surprise that Asakusa is related because of Asakusa Bunka Kanko Center.

Temple and Shrine

Not tempura nor sushi, but modern temple and unique shrine in downtown with Google Map

Tera (Temple) Cafe : http://tera-cafe.com/
Byakurengedo (white lotus architect temple) : www.byakurengedo.net/
Nayuta cafe in Kongohin (Kon-goh-in) : http://nayutacafe.com/
Ichimyoji (just like someone's house) : www.ichimyoji.jp/access.html
Shibararejizo (O-jizo-san tighten up with rope) : http://shibararejizo.or.jp/
Fukagawa Fudoson (next to Tomioka Hachiman) : facebook/Fukagawa-Fudoson-Temple
Yodobashi (not camera but) Church : www.yodobashi-church.com/new/en/
St.Mary's Tokyo Cathedral (next to Chinzanso) : http://cathedral-sekiguchi.jp/

It is not Tempura nor Shrimp. There are more than 1,600 temples and shrines in 23 districts of Tokyo (which is sometimes considered as downtown Tokyo), among which, Taito-district (Taito-ku or Taito-city) has the most number, about 250. You may find the Links at this website, and for Japanese language search (including easy map navigation), we would like to recommend TendaiShu, JodoShu, ShinShu, NichirenShu.

Ukiyoe Wood Block Print

High technique wood-cut (wood-block) plus unique coloring makes U-Ki-Yo-E (U is pronounce as U in asakUsa, E is pronounce as E in Egg) a fantastic art. You may find their masterpieces in the following museums listed below. You may also hit and experience a bit of the tradition at this Adachi Hanga, as well to color your own life. Their prints, T-shirt and items are available at each museum. Shunga or Syunga is popular R18 in Edo era, literally Spring Picture. Japan hit the most maximum population in 2007, then every year there has been a surplus of deaths over births. Japan is shrinking, maybe need Spring vacation (^^)

Tokyo National Museum (Toh-Ha-Ku) is located in Ueno, next town of Asakusa, and of course, Asakusa has Ukiyo-e right next to Sensouji Temple.

Edo Tokyo Museum in Ryogoku is such good combination with Sumo Museum (Kokugikan) as well as Ekoin and Kyu-Yasuda-Teien (free of charge, very small but very nice Japanese garden, not many people as other popular well-known garden). Sumida Hokusai Museum is also in the same area.

Sakai Kokodo
Small but very good garelly located in Ginza.

Ukiyoe Ota Museum is located in a crossing of JR Harajuku Station on Yamanote Line and Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (Meiji-Jingu-Mae Station). What a contrast of this museum (very traditional) and Takeshita-Dori (young modern Japan). Sunday afternoon has cos-play or street-dancing in south side of Yoyogi Park. Meiji Jingu (Shrine) has a few Japanese style wedding almost every Saturdays and Sundays.

Hiroshige Museum of Art is not in Tokyo but in Yamagata, Tendo (Tendoh) city. Japanese chess shogi, Yamadera and Onsen are best interests of your Japan trip there.

Yamada-Shoten in Jimbocho has quite a selection of masterpieces that you can bring back home.

Bonsai (not Bonzai)

It is true that Bonsai conquer space and time, in another words, there is no general concept of them anymore on the little pot of plant. Would you like to reach to the nirvana through this bonsai world? If you had half day free from downtown Tokyo, highly recommend to visit this unique town called Bonsai, the postal address has such name indeed! Interested in making your own garden a bit of zen style? Omiya Bonsai Village is the place for your quick wisdom. You may find better life with wearing Kimono by just walking in the neighborhood. Omiya Bonsai Village is the center of the Bonsai World along with Bonsai Art Museum.

Tokyo => Ueno => Omiya => Toro station (sounds like sushi but not)
or
Asakusa => Kasukabe => Omiya-Koen station

You may also enjoy walking through the best sacred shrine in Kanto area, Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Jinja.

Ikebana Lesson in English
Yes, the flower becomes me so that butterfly can find you (^^)

Omiya Bonsai Official Page
Official home page for Saitama-ken, Tokyo's satelite town, which holds Bonsai Town.

The well-known Bonsai garden
Highly recommended!

Tobu Line does not cover this Bonsai town yet
Which means that it is definately off-the-beaten track. If you've done Nikko, Kawagoe and Asakusa, why not this small bonsai village? Be the only tourist in the town!

JR has Toro station on this map
Red line and orange line, next to Omiya

Not satisfied with this small area, why not whole Japan to explore?
Sho-hin in Japanese means small (Sho) products (hin). It is true that bonsai is small and tiny but has contents of universal floating enegy in it, similar to your own heart or yourself, small perhaps at height of 150cm - 200cm, but has unlimited possibilities for your own dream!

Extra time for something else?
It is all about JR (Japan Railway, including JNR, Japan National Railway). You may click train numbers to get pictures. It is easy access from both Bonsai town and Omiya station, or zero minute walk from Tetsudohakubutsukan station. Bonsai and trains have good combination to make your full day happy.

Seikouen Bonsai
Bonsai school is available while you are in Japan to study about whole life even after Japan trip.

Shunkaen by Kunio Kobayashi san
For anyone has no time to visit Omiya, here's also in downtown, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo.

Fish Market

ADACHI "local" MARKET
Seeing is Believing (^^) because Tuna Auction is "peepingly" avaialble for EVERYONE, no time limit, no 120-only, no 03:00AM, not far from Asakusa (about JPY1,500-JPY2,000 taxi ride, means that you may be able to walk this distance within about 60 minutes), far less tourists which means that they are not "amusement market". Official website top page is available here. Marked in yellow-circle is the day of Event/Festival, local won't go but Japanese tourists would visit. One thing, volume they deal is only less than 5 percent of Toyosu Market, still second biggest in Tokyo. Unlike old Tsukiji, there is no outer market/restaurant at all, only several local restaurant within the market.

TOYOSU new MARKET
Number One market in Japan. Tuna Auction Observation Deck can do close-watch of early morining work, only 120 people allowed, not first-comes-first-served but prior-month-lottery based lucky people can join. Non luck? No worries, you may still "observe" from 2nd-deck-observation-corridor. English Map is available here. Easy access is by Yurikamome Line which is a computerized auto tram therefore front glass view is just like train driver. Shijo-Mae station (U14) is literally translated into Japanese as Market-Front station.

TSUKIJI old MARKET
Old Tsukiji closed in 2018, but still very much worth visiting the outer-market to eat around. New Toyosu Market is about 3km south east from the Tsukiji area directly connected with Toei Bus 市01 along Tokyo Bay.


Better to start with earliest morning TOYOSU. After enjoying the glass window "show" worth visiting before 06:00am for non frozen (nama or raw) tuna auction in Toyosu, you may be interested in early morning breakfast at both new Toyosu Market and old Tsukiji Market area, let's eat fish to stay healthy, shall we. There are so many restraunt opening in and around "outer market" of Tsukiji. Get on the front line of the queue to avoid waiting time of 3 hours!

Tsukiji Honganji Temple is also highly recommended (perhaps to pray after eating live fish?). Wanna walk because you have feet? Ginza is actualy nearby, about 15 minutes slow walk distance from the old market, Tsukiji, and you may be able to go beyond to the Imperial Palace, Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo main station.

And here's the walking-eating at Jogai Shijo (outer market) during daytime. High mercury contamination has been discussed especially since the movie The Cove was on many theaters. Pros and cons, and welcome to Japan islands surrounded by seas and oceans. Every year, September 1st is the official opening day of dolphin-hunting. Tokyo => (Shinkansen) => Nagoya => (Wide View Nanki) => Taiji, or Tokyo => (Shinkansen) => Shin-Osaka => (Kuroshio, Ocean Arrow) => Taiji, both by JR trains, detailed time table is available at www.hyperdia.com/en/ . You might as well surf on Official View before visit the town.

Don't want to see the dolphin massacre, but are you interested in whale hunting? Other than Taiji, there are three other ports still continue the "tradition", Abashiri in Hokkaido, Ayukawa (near Sendai) in Miyagi and Wada/Wadaura (2018 video, advised) in Chiba. Until 2018, summer time only, but from 2019 started whole nationwide commercial whaling, and here's the Offical View.

And it is also true that Japanese people have still zen style, more touch to the ground (touch to the ocean), nature-respect, animism life, like Ainu people (northerners) and Ryukyu people (southerners), similar to Maori in the south hemisphere. Whale Rider is in Japan as well. Some hunt, some eat, some live together as if ONE in entire universe.

Maybe better walk on Philosopher's trail in Kyoto, eat to live or live to eat, you know the consequence after all. Anyway, to eat, well, to avoid spending tourist price at Toyosu Shijo Sushi Shop, actually many Japanese know where to eat good Sushi less expensive in downtown Tokyo. It is indeed Asakusa (not Akasaka which is another expensive area! so easy to mistake one or the other!). No time to explore but aim only one? Strong recommend on red lanturn at Andy's Fish (or known as Shin-Hinomoto in Japanese) under the railway track of JR Yamanote line (nearby Yurakucho station).

Martial Arts in Japan

Simply saying, it is believed to be the way of death (in a good way, of course). Bushido is highly recommended to take a glance at if you were interested in why you and others have been born on this particular planet in this (same) time of the era.

Miyamoto Musashi becomes a railway station (^^) not far from Himeji castle.

Bujinkan Dojo is also one of the top listed. Experts or beginners, you may find your life so clear and beautiful once you encountered your way. Main house (Soke) is located in Noda (Atago Station on Tobu Noda Line is the closest station), and this is Google Map.

Aikido is also well known and has been practiced throughout Japan. Their Honbu Dojo is near to Wakamatsu-Kawada Station on Toei Oedo Line (15 minutes train ride from Kuramae near Asakusa). It is the way to develop your own self to Nirvana. Perfection is the living Buddha.

Kodokan Judo Institute is right next to Tokyo Dome, shortest walking access from Kasuga Station on Toei Oedo Line (7 minutes train ride from Kuramae near Asakusa). Eishoji Temple is the origin of Judo.

Karate is literally Sunya Hand or Sunyata Hand if you are familiar to the deep meaning of self-completion (self-construction) rather than fighting with others.

Kendo is also widely experienced by most of Japanese residents (especially during primary school). This page has their access map just one click away (Google MAP), and conveniently located right in the Imperial Palace (spirit center of Japan).

Iwata Shokai is the most famous dougi (do-gi) shop in Tokyo. Now they accept PayPal.

Flea Market

TomiokaHachimanGu AozoraIchi
Open 15th and 28th of each month, 08:00am - 18:00

TomiokaHachimanGu KottoIchi
Open First Sunday and Second Sunday of each month, from sunrise to sunset

AraiYakushi
Open First Sunday of each month (except January which holds on Second Sunday)

TakahataFudoson gozare-ichi = garakuta-ichi
Open Third Sunday of each month (second Sunday of each month is recycle-ichi)

Aoyama Weekly Antique Market
Open Every Saturday

Oedo Antique Market
Open See the official page above

Ooi KeibaJo (HorseRace)
Open See the official page above, 10:00am - 15:00

Konjaku Kimono Ooichi (Kimono Festival)
Open See the official page above

Mottainai FelaMa
Open See the official page above

Recycler (at big stadium)
Open See the official page above

Tea Ceremony

Several hotels/restaurants offer English speaking Tea Ceremony at Youwa-kai, Happo-en, New Otani, Hotel Okura Japanese Culture Experience. And here's Sadou-Kaikan in Tokyo and Urasenke Chado in Kyoto. You may also be able to arrange organized tour at JTB Sunrise Tours. Easy going experience? How about Kimono + Tea Ceremony together in Asakusa? Nadeshiko can do. Also tea makes your heart calm and peace here at Shizu-kokoro in Nishi-Asakusa.

Lucky Cat Shrine

No one knows for sure where the luck cat came from, and there are so many stories behind the origin of the Maneki Neko, but perhaps the most popular one should be the legend of the Asakusa Imado Jinja Shrine.

An old woman living in Imado (Asakusa) was forced to sell her cat due to extreme poverty. While she was struggling to decide selling away her loved one, she dreamed of the cat, which told her to make its image in clay. So she did as told in her dream, and soon later sold the statue. She then made more clay cats, and people bought them as well. They became so popular that she could soon become prosperous and wealthy.

In Edo period held the real story, but Imado area had been famous for its local clay pot since 15 century. Imado Jinja Shrine has male cat and female cat as one pair, therefore not only welth but good relation in love have been prayed.

Tama in Wakayama
Not a shrine but almost (^^) south of KIX (Kansai Airport)

Imado Jinja Shrine
Imado 1-5-22, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Telephone : 03-3872-2703
Nearby Station : Asakusa Station

Gotokuji Temple
Gotokuji 2-24-7, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Nearby Station : Gotokuji on Odakyu Line (west of Shinjuku)

Lucky Cat (or Maneki Neko, Raking Cat, Beckoning Cat, Money Cat, Welcoming Cat, Fortune Cat) is a good luck symbol in Japan. Maneki Neko is a common sight in Japan, placed in the entrance of ryokans, restaurants, shops and other businesses, in the hope that s/he will bring good luck and prosperity in the form of customers and extra business. Maneki Neko has a variety of colors and styles in many different figures. In the design of the sculptures, a raised left paw supposedly attracts cash, while a raised right paw protects it. Both paws waving/raking are sometime also seen, but may Japanese people say that it would be too greedy, and would represent Oteage Banzai which means You took me all, I am surrendered, with two hands held up. (^^)

Skytree

New Tokyo tower Tokyo SKYTREE is up towards Tokyo sky accross Sumida River, next to Asakusa. Official birthday is May 22nd, 2012. Boasting a height of 634m (Mu-Sa-Shi as 6-3-4, old name of Tokyo/Kanto area, MusashiNoKuni), the tower is one of the i-cons (eye-contacts?) of Tokyo. Arch rising of warpage/camber line is the Japanese tradition. Short walk or Panda Bus ride from Asakusa. From Tokyo station, there is also a direct bus service called Shitamachi bus S-1. There is also Skytree Shuttle between Ueno - Asakusa - Skytree.

East side of the tower itself rises one shorter building called SolaMachi (SkyTown). 30th and 31st floors are free decks with great view with delicious cuirines available. The surrounding town had been nothing special for tourism, you may still be able to encounter hidden gems once you hop into the corner to back street, and this official page would guide you well.

Live Camera Tokyo

Shibuya1 / Shibuya2 is top 5 busiest station in JR East area with about 1 million passengers get-on and get-off everyday. And of course this cool town is the place where Fast and Furious (Tokyo Drift) was filmed!

Akihabara1 / Akihabara2 is world most geek town (^_^) with all the electric and electronic gadgets plus maid cafe as well as cat cafe, gandum cafe, eva cafe and more!

Trains nearby Hamarikyu Garden (between Shimbashi and Hamamatsucho) has not only Shinkansen but JR Ueno-Tokyo line, JR Yamanote line, JR Keihin-Tohoku line are also captured. Soon, you will enjoy these sounds of Tokyo, wecome to Japan!

Tokyo Highway at Hatsudai entrance/exit (just west of Shinjuku)

TokyoTower is 333 meter in Minato-ku.

Map / SkyTree is 634 meter in Sumida-ku (next to Asakusa). The same angle picture can be seen from Tobu Hotel Levant or Dai-ichi Hotel Ryogoku.

Haneda Airport is 15 minutes Monorail ride away from Hamamatsucho.

ANA All Nippon Airways

Welcome to Japan with Visit JAPAN Fare. One price for any distance, therefore longer haul the best cost affective (^^) Below shows some example.

Osaka - Matsuyama is only 159 miles, JR Shikoku is worth riding off beaten rilways.
Haneda - Toyama (for Takayama) is only 176 miles, JR Hokuriku Shinkansen runs more frequently.
Haneda - Miyako(jima) is 1,158 miles, you may still want to compare budget Jetstar fare for SHImojishima.
Sapporo - Okinawa is 1,397 miles, no low-cost-carrier can do direct.

If you'd fly into Japan on Star Alliance, for example, ANA, Swiss, Lufthansa, SAS, UA, Air Canada, Singapore, Thai, NZ, Air China, etc. you may receive at least 3,000 ANA miles which is enough to redeem free mileage flight ticket, for example, Haneda - Kobe, Haneda - Toyama, and more (seasonal special rate).

Or, all year around free mileage flight ticket would be as low as 17,000 ANA miles - 23,000 ANA miles for these 6 legs of Sapporo - Okinawa - Tokyo - Shanghai - Osaka - Matsuyama - Tokyo, another good example for your next time Far East Asian trip would be Tokyo - Sapporo - Osaka - Beijing - Osaka - Ishigaki - Tokyo (^^)

Now ANA is flying rare bird as turtle (^^) www.ana.co.jp/ja/jp/hawaii24/airbus380/