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Capsule Hotel photo
Capsule Hotel

Capsule Hotels go upscale in Akihabara

This is so worth the claustrophobia!
Jul 11
// Soul Tsukino
A new hotel in the trendy area of Akihabara is taking the idea of the capsule hotel to an all new level of luxury. While capsule hotels are known as low priced, cramped, one night layovers for drunks and tired salarymen. That image may change with the opening of the Anshin Oyado Luxury Capsule Hotel.

JapanaTour: A boat ride around Tokyo Bay

Jul 08 // Lindo Korchi
Anyways, let's continue on:   If you're exploring Asakusa (when you're exploring Asakusa, I should say), you'll notice a ship-like torpedo, equipped with panoramic windows, maneuvering along Sumida River -- it is called a water bus. And if you're not familiar with the river, it's the one that separates Sensoji temple and Tokyo Skytree from one another. Keep that in mind.     You can take the water bus from Asakusa to Ryogoku (which is famous for its sumo stadium and chanko restaurants) or from Asakusa to Odaiba (the man-made island in Tokyo; also the headquarters for Fuji TV & the home to Tokyo Big Sight). Prices vary, but an average range is between 300 JPY to 1,600 JPY.   One of the highlights regarding the boat rides is that you have options. While the Asakusa to Odaiba route is quite popular, you can further explore the bay, along with other areas in Japan, by going to different piers. A few include Tsukiji, Yokohama, Harumi, Aomi, Toyosu, Ariake, and furthermore.   Another option worth exploring is by taking a ferry that crosses the Tokyo Bay Aqua-line bridge between Kawasaki and Kisarazu – or simply put, two different cities in entirely separate prefectures. The Tokyo-Wan Ferry crosses the bay between Kurihama (in Kanagawa) and Kanaya (in Chiba). I know, a lot of Japanese cities that you may have never heard of – but that's the point, look at how much you can explore. You'll have a chance to explore Japanese cities that most travelers don't venture out to, so keep that in mind.     If you're interested in experiencing the city of Tokyo in a unique way, while also taking in the scenery without the intrusion of cars, pedestrians, bikes, or buildings in your path, then this is something you may want to consider. If you’re into film and have a go-pro or similar recording device, you can create a time-lapse video of Tokyo by Boat. And that's a memory you won't forget. Of course, be sure to bring in an extra battery pack and memory card if you intend to do such.   If you've explored Tokyo by Boat, what stood out to you most and would you recommend it to others? [Image credits courtesy MyTokyoGuide, Japan Times, Andrusm]
JapanaTour photo
An Extra Adventure
As your plane arrives at Narita airport, your heart begins to race; after all, you'll be walking the streets of Tokyo, hanging out in Shibuya, and getting lost in the labyrinth known as Shinjuku station. However, there's some...

2020 Summer Olympics photo
2020 Summer Olympics

2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo sees major changes

New Stadium announced
Dec 23
// Soul Tsukino
The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic games have garnered a lot of controversy even before Tokyo won the bid to host the games in 2013. Ballooning costs, allegations that the official logo was a stolen trademark, and social media's c...
2020 Tokyo Olympics photo
2020 Tokyo Olympics

2020 Tokyo Olympic Games scraps logo

More controversy for plagued games
Sep 04
// Soul Tsukino
The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee announced that it is scrapping the current logo for the games after the designer, Kenjiro Sano, had been accused of plagiarism. Almost since the logo's unveiling, it was met with a lot o...

2020 Tokyo Olympics photo
2020 Tokyo Olympics

Plans scrapped for site of Akira's final battle

Futuristic biker gangs not to blame
Jul 21
// Soul Tsukino
The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, announced that the plans for the centerpiece stadium of the 2020 Olympic games have been completely scrapped and the development will start from scratch. The Prime Minister of Japan, ...
2020 Tokyo Olympics photo
2020 Tokyo Olympics

New sports may debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Baseball, bowling, Wushu on the list
Jun 24
// Soul Tsukino
The International Olympic committee (IOC) announced that it has narrowed down the list of proposed sports to be added to the 2020 Olympic Games, held in Tokyo. The Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel was tasked with l...
Animals photo

Watch a sumo wrestler go up against a polar bear in Shinjuku

LALSH shows us its true colors
Oct 24
// Salvador G Rodiles
During the early week of October, there was a video that featured a person walking a polar bear through Shibuya to promote LALSH's Oct. 24 announcement. Now that the promised day has passed in Japan, Eagle Liang uploaded a v...
Animals photo

Holy Snap: A person walks a polar bear through Shibuya's streets

There's something fishy about that bear
Oct 09
// Salvador G Rodiles
At first sight, I was surprised that someone decided to take a polar bear to Shibuya, since the concept behind this action isn't something that you don't see everyday. Based on the animal's movements, it's obvious that the p...
Food photo

Sushi created with a single grain of rice

Japan again makes tiny thing!
Mar 19
// Dae Lee
The potential of a lone grain of rice has been tested time and time again. It's been used as a canvas for meticulous illustrations, laser engravings, and sculpted on to make micro-masterpieces. This time, it's something with...
Tokyo photo

Ice skating lessons at the littlest rink in Tokyo

Ice skating in Ginza
Dec 14
// Kristina Pino
The Hermes store in Tokyo's Ginza district has constructed a small ice skating rink - only 3 x 3 meters - right in front of their doors. The little platform just opened up for business, and somehow they're even going to be of...
Beer photo

Shinagawa gets a sweet craft beer festival this weekend

Aww, I want some...
Nov 04
// Pedro Cortes
Me and beer, we go back. We're old buddies, and even before me, it has been one of humanities most constant companions. As such, just about every country in the world enjoys the company of our hoppy friend. On November 9th an...

JapanaTour: Where to start when planning a Tokyo vacation

Sep 21 // Kristina Pino
For the devoted otaku Of course, this entry had to go first. So you're going to Tokyo and you're looking for all the nerdy stuff? Great. Here are a few places you can make pilgrimages to: Square Enix Artnia at Shinjuku (directions) Akihabara's Electric district (shops, maid/butler cafe, arcades - see also: JapanaTour part 1, part 2) Ikebukuro (Japan Guide's Ikebukuro page) The Ghibli Museum (warning: you need to reserve entry passes way in advance; access) Harajuku (where all fashion dreams come true) Gundam Front (don't miss out on the huge robot at Odaiba!) For the hungry traveler Great food can be found all over Tokyo, so this section was a little tougher to compile. Here are some suggestions: Asakusa (specialty snacks, street food) Theme Restaurants (costumed staff, themed decor/menu, overall cute experience) Kaiten (conveyer belt) sushi Chanko (the glorious soup of Sumo champions) Ramen (the dry packaged stuff you buy for cheap at the grocery store just isn't the same.) Okonomiyaki For the sight-seer Some folks just want to "be a tourist" and see all the "cheesy" (or cool) sights! Here are some suggestions in that area: Ueno Zoo (from Ueno Station) Yoyogi Park (for a relaxing picnic, yeah?) Tokyo Skytree at Oshiyage Shibuya (Shibuya Crossing, Hachiko statue next to train station) Harajuku's Meiji Shrine (follow signs from the train station; afterwards, stroll over to Yoyogi park for that picnic I mentioned) Asakusa's Sensoji (goes great with Ueno Zoo and Skytree Town) Tired of the big city? Take a day trip: Tokyo Disneyland (access) Kamakura (See the Daibutsu, and other lovely temples. It's the closest to Kyoto you'll get without actually going to Kansai; Japan Guide listing) Mount Fuji (the climb is so worth the view. Also Fuji Q; check out the official website for climbing season dates, tips, and directions) Yokohama (Japan Guide listing) This is, of course, not an exhaustive, or even an extensive list. I'd like to point out the title of this post, where it says "Where to start..." before anyone freaks out. Tokyo has so much to offer, and frankly you can spend weeks there and still not discover everything there is to it. I didn't even mention all of Tokyo's districts in this list! That being said, do feel free to add suggestions of your own. The more the merrier! Want more posts like this in the future? Your opinion matters. [Header image courtesy OnlyHDWallpapers, all other images have been snapped by yours truly]
Vacation to Tokyo photo
A few handy tips, because we care
In case you're planning a trip to Japan in the future (like for the 2020 Olympics), or even if you're there right now for Tokyo Game Show and are looking for suggestions, here's a list you didn't ask for but totally need. I've even gone through the trouble of sorting it based on interests/activities rather than just making it a numbered list.

Video photo

Tokyo Olympic bid committee's final presentation

A video meant to inspire
Sep 12
// Tim Sheehy
Having finally won their bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in Neo Tokyo, Japan's Tokyo 2020 bid committee has posted their final presentation film to remind us that sports is a thing. Also, apparently, nothing is more ins...
Daily Japan Photo photo
Daily Japan Photo

Kristina's Summer Vacation: #25 - Homey

Aug 25
// Kristina Pino
Today was mostly a travel day. I started towards Tokyo in the morning, met up with a friend for lunch, then came home to finally start winding down from my summer vacation. I've still got until the end of the month off, but I...
Daily Japan Photo photo
Daily Japan Photo

Kristina's Summer Vacation: #19 - Oversize

So tall...
Aug 19
// Kristina Pino
A sea of huge lily pads in the foreground, and a sea of modern buildings in the background. Sometimes, these contrasts are fun and interesting. One of the things I love about Japan is the juxtaposition of traditional and mode...
Daily Japan Photo photo
Daily Japan Photo

Kristina's Summer Vacation: #18 - Akiba

Roaming the streets
Aug 18
// Kristina Pino
Today, I spent a few hours wandering about Akihabara. Since it's Sunday, the main electric district area is closed to vehicle traffic from 1-6 p.m., so everyone is free to roam safely up and down the street. A friend tells me...
Daily Japan Photo photo
Daily Japan Photo

Kristina's Summer Vacation: #9 - Ultraman

There it is!
Aug 09
// Kristina Pino
Tucked away in this little-known place called the Tokyo Skytree... [Check the gallery for the full-size image!]
Japan Daily Photo photo
Japan Daily Photo

Kristina's Summer Vacation: #7 - Wonderland

How far the rabbit hole would you go?
Aug 07
// Kristina Pino
Tokyo is home to tons of themed restaurants if you're up to trying some culinary fun. I went to an Alice in Wonderland-themed one recently, and it was not only delightful to sit in (decor, costumed wait staff), but delicious and reasonably priced.  [full image if you click on the gallery thumb]

Kristina's Summer Vacation: #6 - Panda Post

The happiest mailbox
Aug 06
// Kristina Pino
Care to send a letter home via Panda Post? This mailbox is located in front of the main entrance of Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.  [header image is cropped - please click on the gallery thumb to see the whole picture!]
Daily Japan Photo photo
Daily Japan Photo

Kristina's Summer Vacation: #5 - Spider

Arachnophobes - steer clear!
Aug 05
// Kristina Pino
Just hanging out at Tokyo, going to the theater at Roppongi Hills to catch Monsters University, and this happened. This sculpture is called "Maman" and is by a French artist called Louise Bourgeois. If you stand under it, you'll have a view of the spider's eggs. Creepy? Cool? Plain ol' weird?  [header image is cropped - please click on the thumb to see the whole picture!]
Japan Daily Photo photo
Japan Daily Photo

Kristina's Summer Vacation: #3 - Skytree

Piercing the heavens...!
Aug 03
// Kristina Pino
You could view it as a tourist trap, or a pointless skyscraper, or whatever you like, but I think the Tokyo Skytree is absolutely gorgeous. From this angle, it looks like a spaceship or something. That said, there are plenty ...
Gigapixel Tokyo photo
Gigapixel Tokyo

Check out this insane gigapixel panorama of Tokyo

God's eye view from Tokyo Tower
Aug 01
// Josh Tolentino
Wow. So this must be what it's like to see things as God does. That and similar thoughts seem like an appropriate reaction to seeing this amazing "Gigapixel" 360-degree panorama photo of Tokyo. The photo was taken by photogr...
Chanko: Sumo soup photo
Eat like a Sumo wrestler
I recently went to a restaurant in Tokyo which specializes in Chankonabe, or the hot pot-style cooking of Chanko, which is the traditional soup that Sumo wrestlers eat in order to get big and strong. It starts with a simple ...

Capsule hotels photo
Have a look around!
In this video, you get a quick tour of the general dorm facilities at a capsule hotel in Japan. Obviously, I left out stuff like the shared baths and the lobby/common area, since that would involve either a) being arrested o...


Anime-inspired novel, Kojiki, on sale April 19th

Keith Yatsuhashi brings us into a whole new fantasy world, set right in Tokyo
Apr 18
// Kristina Pino
Keith Yatsuhashi's debut novel, titled Kojiki, is a whole new fantasy set in Tokyo, where powerful spirits await the 18-year old Keiko Yamada following the death of her father. She sets on a mission to fulfill his dying with ...

Animate Cafe dresses up with Amnesia's pretty boys

Get your fill at Ikebukuro
Feb 13
// Kristina Pino
For the month of February, the Animate Cafe at Ikebukuro (Tokyo) is pimping out Amnesia, this season's reverse-harem otome adaptation featuring some colorful and fasionable hotties. Crunchyroll reports that aside from being d...

Hop in the 1/1-scale Gundam bust like a real pilot

The Strike Freedom Gundam awaits
Sep 27
// Kristina Pino
If you've ever dreamed of the day you could hop into a Gundam, a real life-sized Gundam, then you might want to take the next flight out to Tokyo and hit up the Gundam Front. The 1/1-scale Gundam Bust of Destiny's Strike Free...

Uniqlo and Bic Camera unite to form new store BICQLO

Sep 27
// Dale North
[cue robot connection sound] Uniqlo, Japan's rapidly growing clothing company, and Bic Camera, one of the country's largest electronics retailers, have come together to open a new store in Shinjuku. The name of this new store...

Hit up Shiro-Hige in Tokyo for some Totoro in your mouth

Jul 26
// Kristina Pino
Once again proving that Japan has all the best sweets, Shiro-Hige in Tokyo is now serving Totoro cream puffs with various flavors like classic custard, chocolate and a seasonal peach flavor. Each Totoro has a little hat or so...

A Daily Dose of Music: Yellow Magic Orchestra

Jul 07
// Chris Walden
Hiroko is out for the week, so that means you're left with me and my crazy music tastes!  Hi everybody! This is Yellow Magic Orchestra, from Tokyo, Japan! The song above is Rydeen, whose music video COMES FROM THE ...

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