Ota Memorial Museum of Art

The Rise and Fall of Ukiyo-e (Source: When asked to name a piece of classical Japanese art, the first image that springs to mind for many people is The Great Wave off Kanazawa by Hokusai Katsushika. This print, first published in the 1830s, is an example of the precise, colourful wood block prints, or ukiyo-e, for which Japan is justly renowned. Ukiyo-e and its related genres developed over the course of about three hundred years, from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Known for strong lines, beautiful colours, and stylised forms, the prints are one of the earliest forms of mass-produced, commercial artwork. During the form’s heyday, common subjects … 続きを読む

‘Hip’ Yoyogi Park!

Unlike Any Other Parks in Japan (Source: Tokyo has a multitude of parks, but not all parks attract the same kind of visitors. For instance, Shinjuku Gyoen doesn’t allow alcohol, so it’s recommended for families, or garden/parks like Koishikawa Korakuen are more for those who want to appreciate nature quietly—no picnics or anything, just strolling and taking photos. So where do you go if you’re looking for a hip, fun park? Yoyogi Park—that’s where! Located near the JR Line’s Harajuku or Yoyogi Station, or Tokyo Metro’s Meiji-Jingumae Station, Yoyogi Park is one of Tokyo’s largest parks at 54.1 hectares. Although it was officially created as a park in 1967, … 続きを読む

Nezu Museum

The Brilliance of Kengo Kuma A bamboo screen, a driveway lined with pebbles, and a wall with warm colours invites visitors into another world, away from the nearby bustle and ostentatious signs. The two-story museum building was rebuilt in 2006, and is a large airy, atmospheric space where selections of the Museum’s approximately 7,400 pieces can be enjoyed in periodically changing general exhibitions, and where special exhibitions are also held. After three and a half years of closure, the museum, a true urban oasis, was revamped and reopened in October 2009. The architect Kengo Kuma has created a natural wonder of a building with glass walls supporting an impressive tiled … 続きを読む

Yebisu Garden Place

A City Within A City Yebisu Garden Place is a “city within a city” entertainment, retail and office development located in the Ebisu district of Tokyo one train stop south of fashionable Shibuya. (Source: The site was previously the huge Yebisu Beer brewery and is inspired by the look of an old European city, with plazas, passages, symmetrical gardens and faux-ancient architecture – yet with decidedly modern facilities and conveniences. Among its numerous buildings and attractions are a beer museum, a photography museum, a cinema, a department store, an international hotel, and numerous dining opportunities including a Michelin 3-star restaurant. (Source: The Central Square has a magnificent arch … 続きを読む

Jingu Baseball Stadium

Meiji Jingu Stadium holds a special place in the hearts of Tokyoites. Constructed in 1926, the 37,000 capacity arena is home to the Tokyo Yakult Swallows—the more humble counterpart to the flashy Tokyo Giants in their big shiny dome across town. (Source: Despite the rise of soccer, the historical claim of sumo, and the obsession with figure skating, baseball is still Japan’s national sport. Now if you’re wondering how Japanese baseball compares to Major League Baseball, then you can keep on wondering. If you are baseball fan visiting Tokyo, why not try watching a game at the Meiji Jingu Stadium? Cheap tickets, clean toilets, amazing fans…what else? (Source: … 続きを読む

VR Zone Shinjuku

This month, we will be taking a look at one of Tokyo’s latest attractions, VR Zone Shinjuku. This virtual reality theme park opened at the start of summer 2017 and is now one of the hottest spots in town. Located in Kabukicho near the infamous Robot Restaurant, this futuristic wonderland is a sight to behold. If you’re a gamer or otherwise interested in checking out some of the cutting edge virtual reality, then this is a highly recommended place for you. (Source: One-day tickets for VR Zone Shinjuku can be purchased for 4,400 yen. You can reserve tickets on either the VR Zone website or via a special app. … 続きを読む

Fire Museum in Shinjuku

Tokyo’s Fire Museum, dedicated to the history of fire-fighting in the city, is housed in the fortress-like Yotsuya Fire Station in Shinjuku Ward. The museum offers a vivid introduction to both past and current fire-fighting efforts. Admission is free and most exhibits come with English-language explanations. The Types of Exhibits Found In The Fire Museum Basement Level The Fire Museum can be entered on its basement floor straight from Exit 2 of Yotsuya-sanchome Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line. Entering on the basement level, you walk right into the museum’s collection of vintage fire engines, many of them dating back to the 1920’s. All of them were in service in … 続きを読む

Have A Taste of Korea in Tokyo!

Shin-Okubo Station, on the Yamanote Line, is a small station with only one exit. At first glance, the area seems ordinary, the streets lined with convenience stores, chain ramen, and beef bowl shops. Turn to the east, however, head towards the underpass of the bridge, and you’ll have stepped into a whole new world. For K-Pop Lovers in Japan On both sides of the street, Okubo-dori, posters of Korean pop stars and actors line the store fronts. K-Pop and popular Korean drama soundtracks fill the air. In each store, you can easily find K-Pop merchandise (both official and unofficial) ranging from posters, buttons, and albums to jewellery and clothing. Although … 続きを読む

Samurai Museum in Shinjuku

(Source: The Samurai Museum in Kabukicho, Shinjuku is a fairly recent museum that has quickly become very popular with foreign visitors (despite the relatively high entrance fee). As well as exhibits of samurai swords, armour and other weapons including guns, visitors can try on samurai armour and try their hands at samurai cosplay. Exhibits The Samurai Museum is on two floors. Visitors are given a tour of the exhibits by enthusiastic English-speaking guides who at first demonstrates a number of samurai sword moves and lets out a blood-curdling scream for good measure. The detailed explanation includes information on the weapons on display and what was happening in Japanese history … 続きを読む

Hanazono Shrine Small yet Rich in History & Culture

(Source: Hidden between the skyscrapers of Shinjuku, close to the nightlife district of Kabukicho, the discreet Hanazono Shrine invites calm and meditation in an otherwise unrelenting urban environment. Host to numerous festivals and with a rich history, Hanazono is certainly worth checking out if you’re in Shinjuku. Hanazono Shrine was first established in the mid-17th century but has undergone countless redevelopments and expansions throughout its long history. Although many of these changes have been largely cosmetic, the biggest overhaul of the shrine came in the wake of the firebombing campaigns of WWII, which sadly destroyed large parts of the complex. Hanazono literally means “Flower Garden”. The land surrounding Hanazono … 続きを読む