Gakugei-Daigaku is on the Toyoko line, a small neighbourhood between Shibuya and Jiyugaoka that relatively few people know about. Despite its lack of fame, this area has a mixture of a local sense of community and the exciting vibe of a city neighbourhood.
One of the biggest exemplifications of Japanese life can found in and on its train system or the Shinkansen. The trains here in Japan can be seen as a metaphor of Japanese life, its humanity, pop culture, and the technology all rolled into one; while moving over 130 mph, or for my metric friends, 210 km/h.
Tokyo and Osaka are quite different from one another and each offers things that the other doesn’t (although of course they do also share some similarities). So what is it about these cities that makes them the “crème de la crème” of Japanese cities and which one is for you?
Layered between the civic surface of Tokyo’s landscape lie scores of dedicated shrines and graves dotting the city, each one offering a much more intimate view of the samurai. Home to vengeful spirits, ninja protectors and aristocratic war heroes, here are five resting places of Tokyo’s legendary warriors.
Tokyo’s train system is borderline miraculous. Its almost 900 train stations serviced by over 120 lines makes for perfect sightseeing opportunities with visitors able to explore Tokyo along any one or more of these train lines. One such line is the Tobu Skytree Line. With 30 train stations extending from Tokyo’s famous downtown to the sprawling countryside of southern Saitama Prefecture, the 114km of the Tobu Skytree Line offers scores of places to visit.
The gritty streets of Kabukicho contrast with the majesty of Mosaic Street, where couples walk hand in hand under decorative lights. One cannot explore the area in its entirety on an empty stomach, so let’s cover some of the best vegetarian/vegan restaurants you’ll find on your journey.
In addition to Chichijima, Hahajima is the only other Ogasawara island that is inhabited. Mount Kofuji is one of the hikes that can be done without a guide and at any time of the year. I would recommend you reserve 4-5 hour for this, as there are some beaches on the way that you can also visit.
These scenic paths stretch across Tokyo with lush and varied vegetation, for the most part, on either side of the path that passes a range of interesting sites. Some notable paths among many are the Chidorigafuchi, Kenzawa, Jiyugaoka, Tachiaigawa, and the Karasuyamagawa Green Roads.
Mori Building Digital Art Museum: Epson teamLab Borderless in Odaiba’s Palette Town is the first permanent digital museum in the world, and is easily becoming a must-see for tourists and locals alike. The brainchild of teamLab, a visionary art collective made up of artists, engineers, CG animators and more, this digital wonderland lives up to its 'borderless' name.
Located in Takadanobaba, Cafe VG is about a 5-minute walk from the Tozai Line and an even shorter walk from Waseda University. With the restaurant hidden in a shaded corner, Cafe VG may be hard to spot initially, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
Chichijima (Ogasawara) by Night: Stargazing, the Legendary Green Pepe and Releasing Baby Turtles Into the Sea
Because they are so far from any other land mass, local species have evolved separately from their mainland cousins and developed unique adaptations to their environment. I had two nights at Chichijima, so I booked two night tours: one for stargazing and one to see the island’s nocturnal wildlife.
From all outside appearances, Kosoan looks like it could just be a residential home. It’s also a little tricky to know if you’re in the right spot, save for a small wooden plaque with the business name and the word “entrance” with an arrow to guide your way. It’s worth the effort to find it though, since once you follow that arrow you’ll be transported to a spot of peace and tranquillity despite still being in the heart of the metropolis.