Kanto

Articles and travel guides on famous and not so famous destinations in the Kanto Region (関東地方 Kantō-chihō): Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa

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  • Doraemon Museum

    In the middle of a quiet residential area of Kawasaki’s Tama Ward, a new must-visit landmark has opened its gates: the Doraemon Museum officially...
  • Tokyo Subway Guide

    Tokyo’s subway map may look challenging, but it is very easy to negotiate. Each line has a different colour, there are alpha-numeric codes for...
  • Kanto Travel Guide

    The Kantō Region (関東地方 Kantō-chihō) is Japan’s most heavily populated region and the political, economic and cultural centre of the nation. It is...
  • Mito Travel Guide

    Mito is the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture in central Honshū. Situated on the Nakagawa river, the city developed with the construction of a castle...
  • Kiyosumi Gardens

    Kiyosumi Garden (清澄庭園) is a traditional Japanese stroll garden located in Fukagawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo. It is a classical...
  • Ibaraki Prefecture

    Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県 Ibaraki-ken) is located in central Honshū and bounded by Fukushima Prefecture to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east,...
  • Hundred Caves of Yoshimi

    The Hundred Caves of Yoshimi (吉見百穴 Yoshimi Hyakketsu) are ancient burial sites carved into the sandstone of the Yoshimi Hills in Saitama...
  • Odawara Castle

    Odawara Castle is a hilltop (hirayama-type) castle located in southwestern Kanagawa Prefecture on Sagami Bay. History The first fortification on...
  • Kanazawa Bunko

    Kanazawa Bunko (金沢文庫), also known as the Kanesawa (or Kanezawa) Bunko, is a library located in Kanazawa-chō, Kanazawa-ku, in the city of Yokohama....
  • Setagaya Castle

    Once upon a time, right in the centre of Tōkyō's Setagaya Ward near the present-day ward office, there was a small fortress called Setagaya Castle...
  1. Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art

    The Ukiyo-e Ōta Memorial Museum of Art (浮世絵 太田記念美術館 Ukiyo-e Ōta kinen bijutsukan) is a small museum located in Harajuku that houses the woodblock print (ukiyo-e) collection of Ōta Seizo V (1893-1977), a former president of Tōhō Insurance. He amassed over 12,000 pieces of prints that are presented on two small exhibition floors and frequently rotated. The collection comprises iconic works, such as Hiroshige's 'One Hundred Famous Views of Edo' and the 'Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō', Hokusai's 'Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji', and the art of countless other ukiyo-e masters including...
  2. Visiting a Japanese garden

    Japanese gardens are widely known for a particular design following a unique aesthetic and philosophical concept. Tokyo hosts several of these gardens to be visited and enjoyed not just by garden fanatics but also by the ordinary tourist to encounter a new garden design as well as the regular visitor in search of contemplation and relaxation. Japanese gardens are sometimes compared to the English garden. There are indeed some similar features such as interesting hills providing several perspectives as well as asymmetries in the garden elements. This produces the impression as if the garden...
  3. Sengakuji Temple

    Sengaku-ji (泉岳寺) is a Sōtō Zen Buddhist temple located in Minato-ku, Tōkyō, close to Sengakuji Station on Toei Asakusa Line and Shinagawa Station. The temple is famous because of its association with the Akō-gishi (the Forty-Seven Rōnin) who rest in the temple precinct along with their master Asano Naganori. The two main temples of Sōtō Zen Buddhism are Eihei-ji in Fukui Prefecture and Sōji-ji in Tsurumi, Yokohama. In 1612, Sengaku-ji was constructed near Edo Castle under Tokugawa Ieyasu. It was destroyed in the Okemachi Fire of 1641 and rebuilt by shōgun Tokugawa Iemitsu in the Takanawa...
  4. Edo Castle

    Edo Castle (江戸城 Edo-jō) was built by Ōta Dōkan (太田道灌, 1432-1486) in 1457. In the Edo Period (1603-1868), it was the administrative headquarters of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the residence of the shōgun, and the largest castle in Japan at its time. Although it is classified as a flatland castle (平城 hirajiro), it splendidly made use of the elevation of the former cape it was constructed on; spiral moats surrounded it to reinforce its defence. - Blue line: moats - White dots: gates and bridges built along the moats (This map is based on the Tokyo Terrain Map by gridscapes.net) In the Meiji...
  5. Hedgehog cafés in Tokyo

    Animal and pet cafés remain very popular in Tokyo, for locals and tourists alike. They are now to be found in almost every neighbourhood. The range of animals to be touched, fed and cuddled is wide and not any longer restricted to the usual cats and dogs. Depending on your preferences for fur, feathers, quills or naked skin, you may visit cafés for bunnies, owls, hedgehogs, snakes or other reptiles. Hedgehog cafés seem to be particularly successful. Not without reason: These furry and stingy friends are not only funny and endlessly cute but also incredibly photogenic. Most hedgehog cafés...
  6. Kannonzaki Park

    Cape Kannon, located in the city of Yokosuka just south of Yokohama, is the easternmost part of the Miura Peninsula. Kannonzaki Park (観音崎公園) offers a lot of attractions and sights and is a beautiful place to spend a day of fun and relaxation if you live in Tokyo or Yokohama. Kannonzaki is of cinematographic fame: it is the location where the film monster Godzilla made its first landfall before heading for Tokyo. It is also assumed to be one of the places mentioned in Jonathan Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels'. Although "Xamoschi" the small town where Lemuel Gulliver landed might have been in...
  7. Kameido Tenjinsha

    . Kameido Shrine (亀戸天神社 Kameido Tenjinsha) is a Shintō shrine in the Kōtō Ward of Tōkyō. It was founded in 1662 and enshrines the deified spirit of Sugawara no Michizane, the patron of scholars and artists, who is worshipped by students at the time of their entrance exams. Michizane was a prominent political figure and scholar in the Heian Period who died in exile in Dazaifu (in modern-day Fukuoka Prefecture) where he had been banished by the powerful Fujiwara clan. He was later worshipped in Dazaifu Tenman-gū (太宰府天満宮) Shrine. In the mid-17th century, Sugawara Ōtori no Nobusuke, the head...
  8. Lord Kira's Residence

    Located in Ryōgoku, Sumida Ward, just west of Ryōgoku Elementary School, lies Honjo Matsusaka-cho Park (本所松坂町公園), a small memorial site for Kira Kōzukenosuke Yoshihisa (吉良上野介義央, 1641-1703), a court official at Edo Castle and infamous villain in the popular story of Chūshingura, the literary account of the incident involving the Forty-Seven Rōnin. Kira's residence, 86 times larger than the current park, was the location of the Genroku Akō incident, in which the 47 rōnin, former retainers of Asano Naganori, the daimyō of Akō, avenged their master's death. Yoshihisa, daimyō of Mikawa, held...
  9. Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History

    The Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History (神奈川県立歴史博物館 Kanagawa Kenritsu Rekishi Hakubutsukan), also known as Yokohama Museum of Cultural History, is located in Bashamichi Dori in Naka Ward of Yokohama City. The historic building is the former headquarter of Yokohama Specie Bank (横浜正金銀行 Yokohama Shōkin Ginkō) founded in 1880. The building was constructed between 1899 and 1904 in the neo-baroque style of steel, stone and bricks and survived the Great Tōkyō Earthquake in 1923 thanks to its solid construction (only the dome of the building burned down). In 1947, the building became...
  10. Kogane Castle

    Takagi Taneyoshi (高城 胤吉, 1484 or 1501-1565), a vassal of the Hara clan, built Kogane Castle (小金城) in 1537 by order of the Chiba clan, themselves descendants of the Taira and rulers of Shimōsa Province (in modern-day Chiba). The Takagi controlled large lands in northwestern Chiba, including present-day Matsudo, Ichikawa, Funabashi, Kashiwa and Abiko at the end of the Sengoku Period, and held the castle for three generations. The Takagi supported the Hōjō in both battles of Konodai (1538 and1564) and fortified the castle in 1560 against the advancing Uesugi clan. In 1566, the castle held...
  11. Mount Nokogiri (Nihonji Temple)

    Mount Nokogiri (鋸山 Nokogiriyama, lit. "sawtooth mountain") is located in the Bōsō Hills in southern Chiba Prefecture and faces the Uraga Channel, the waterway connecting Tokyo Bay and the Gulf of Sagami. Composed of sandy tuff, Mount Nokogiri's distinctive features are its sawtooth-shaped ridges created by the extraction of building stone during the Edo period. The cliff-like western side of the hill is the location of Nihon-ji (日本寺 Nihonji) temple, officially called Kenkon-zan Nihon-ji (乾坤山日本寺), founded in 725 by the priest Gyōki (668–749) at the behest of Emperor Shōmu. In Kantō,...
  12. Nogi Shrine and former Nogi Residence

    Nogi Shrine (乃木神社 Nogi-jinja) is a Shintō shrine located on the grounds of General Nogi's former residence in Akasaka, Minato Ward, Tōkyō, close to Roppongi's Mid-Town Complex. It was established in November 1923 and dedicated to Nogi Maresuke and his wife Shizuko who both took their lives on the day Emperor Meiji was interred. General Nogi is enshrined as a Shintō deity and venerated in several shrines across Japan (in Kyōto, in Shimonoseki where his family hailed from, in Tochigi where he served as a commander, and in Saitama). The shrine was destroyed in the Tokyo air raids of 1945 and...
  13. Hie Shrine

    Hie Shrine (日枝神社 Hie-jinja) is a Shintō shrine located in Nagatachō, Tōkyō. It is a popular venue for Shichi-Go-San (七五三) celebrations and famous for its Sannō Matsuri (山王祭), a festival held on June 15 and - along with the Kanda Matsuri and the Fukagawa Matsuri - one of three great festivals of Edo (the former name of modern-day Tōkyō). History: Hie Shrine in Tōkyō, also known as Hiyoshi Sannō-sha, Hiyoshi Sannō Daigongen-sha, Edo Sannō Daigongen among others, is one of 4,000 Hiyoshi shrines all over Japan. The principal shrine, Hiyoshi Taisha (日吉大社), is located in Ōtsu, Shiga...
  14. Imperial Palace East Gardens

    The Imperial Palace East Gardens (皇居東御苑, Kōkyo Higashi Gyoen) are a part of the inner imperial palace and open to the public since 1968. In the 17th century, the current palace was the location of Edo Castle, the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate. The East Gardens comprise the former honmaru (inner bailey), the ninomaru (second bailey) and the sannomaru (third bailey) and cover some 210,000 square metres with a vast expanse of lawn in the centre, the remains of the donjon in the northern part and the magnificent watchtower, the Fujimi-yagura, and an orchard planted by the imperial family in...
  15. Masakado Kubizuka

    Masakado's head mound: appeasing a vengeful spirit Located in the heart of Tōkyō's buzzing business district of Ōtemachi, just a stone's throw away from the Imperial Palace, lies a speck of land that has remained largely untouched for centuries. For whenever it had been touched tragedy would befall those who had angered the spirit of Japan's "first samurai", Taira no Masakado. Kubizuka (首塚, "head mound") is a monument to Masakado's head: after he had lost it in the Battle of Kojima in 940 his cranium had been on display in Kyōto where it was hung from a tree for three months. Night after...
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