Taking on the trial to using zero animal products in a bowl of ramen is an honorable mission, and Soranoiro NIPPON at the Tokyo Underground Street is one of such restaurants.
Below, I’ve outlined a simple itinerary you can follow to make the most out your day in Yufuin, and a couple of options for you to do without lost time and hassle associated with changing hotels and dragging you suitcases (literally) halfway across the country.
Entering the elevated gardens, one is instantly confronted by the robust clouds of green surrounding the elegant reddish stone building, now housing the Otani Art Museum, which reflects English aristocratic homes. It was originally the residence of Meiji-era politician Mutsu Munemitsu (1844-1897), whose son was adopted into the Furukawa family.
Anyone who has been living in Japan for any length of time knows of the friendly, decades-old, rivalry between Tokyo and Osaka – Tokyo built Tokyo Dome for baseball games and as a concert venue. A few years later Osaka Dome opened to great fanfare. Tokyo negotiated with the Disney Corporation and opened Tokyo Disneyland. Not wanting to be outdone, Osaka brought Universal Studios to Japan.
An often-neglected historical edifice but bearing equal significance and prestige not only for its vast, sprawling garden but also more importantly for the Art Deco interiors of Prince Asaka’s former residence, is the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum in Meguro.
A Shop of Different World Views – Irregular Rhythm Asylum and the Heartbeat of Japanese Counterculture
The moment you venture into the infoshop, be prepared to gaze upon reams of posters, books, “zines,” t-shirts, and other goods that favor countercultural ideas. From anarchist thinkers such as Mikhail Bakunin to early Japanese nonconformists like Noe Ito and Kotoku Shusui, you’ll find something to sink your political teeth into without much trouble.
These are delicacies that are way beyond what I can afford, and even if I can, I would rather go for my favourite bowl of ramen instead for much cheaper. So when a friend told me about the Michelin 1 star ramen restaurants in Japan, specifically in Tokyo, I thought that I have no excuses not to try it the next time I was in the area. Nakiryu ramen, famous for the tantanmen was my next destination.
If you are in Tokyo and want to experience the Buddhist tradition of temple lodging, or “Shukubo”, you are in luck. Taiyoji, The Temple of the Sun, has everything you could want in a temple stay, just a two- hour train ride away.
Hiking the mountain is fairly easily; it involves a walk in a forest and some steep roads up the man-made path. In autumn, you can find acorns and in certain places, lovely red leaves. Visiting Mt. Takao and the surrounding hills is a good way to practice if you’re interested in climbing Mt. Fuji.
We usually find ourselves near Tokyo station in the winter months. The illuminations and the festive trees pitted against the cosy street market are often enough of a drawcard to get us there, but what kept us there this year was a mix of kid-friendly interactive displays, the wholesome food and informative exhibits.
Whether you're in search of Zen or beautiful architecture, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples will undoubtedly be included on the itinerary for all visitors to Japan. Shrines and temples are open everyday with many hosting exciting festivals throughout the year.