Tokyo

Articles and travel guides on famous and not so famous destinations in Tokyo Metropolis

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  • 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...
  • Kiyosumi Gardens

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

    The Museum of Maritime Science (船の科学館, fune-no-kagakukan) is located in Odaiba just across the container port of Shinagawa and offers an excellent...
  • Fukagawa Edo Museum

    The Fukagawa Edo Museum (深川江戸資料館, Fukagawa Edo Shiryōkan) is a historical museum located in the typical and picturesque shitamachi quarter of...
  • 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...
  • Tokyo Facts

    Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō) is the capital of Japan since 1868, replacing Kyōto (“Capital City”) and means “Eastern Capital”. It was called Edo (江戸) before...
  • Shakujii Castle

    Shakujii Castle (石神井城 Shakujii-jō) was located in what is nowadays Shakujii Park in Nerima Ward, western Tokyo. It was constructed in the late...
  • Tokyo Gate Bridge

    Tokyo Gate Bridge (東京ゲートブリッジ) opened on February 12, 2012, and connects Wakasu (若洲), an area of reclaimed land at the southern tip of Kōtō-ku,...
  • Edo-Tokyo Museum

    Designed by the renowned architect Kikutake Kiyonori, the Edo-Tokyo Museum (江戸東京博物館) was modelled after traditional stilted warehouses of the...
  • Tokyo Sky Tree

    Tokyo Sky Tree (東京スカイツリ) is a construction project started in July 2008 in Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo. Originally conceived as “New Tokyo Tower”...
  1. Visiting a hedgehog café 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 extremely photogenic. Most hedgehog cafés...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. Konno Hachimangu Shrine

    Kon’nō Hachimangū (金王八幡宮) is a Shinto shrine just a stone's throw from Shibuya Station. Founded in 1092 by the Shibuya clan who gave their name to the modern-day Tokyo ward, it was built right inside of what once was Shibuya Castle. History In 1051, Kawasaki Motoie (河崎基家), a descendant of the Chichibu clan, had been awarded the territory of Yamori-no-Sho (谷盛庄, located in Musashi Province and corresponding to present-day Shibuya Ward) honouring his support for Minamoto Yoshiie, the governor of Mutsu Province, against branches of the Kiyohara clan in the Gosannen War (1083-1089). Yoshiie...
  9. 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 (世田谷城). The ancient castle was located on the tip of a tongue-shaped plateau that stretched south from the hills between Gōtōkuji (豪徳寺駅) and Kyōdō (経堂駅) stations on Odakyu Line, surrounded by Karasuyama River (now a duct). This map is based on the Tokyo Terrain Map powered by gridscapes.net Nowadays, the former inner bailey (本丸 honmaru) is located on the grounds of the adjacent Gōtōkuji temple, and the south-eastern enclosure of the castle...
  10. Shakujii Castle

    Shakujii Castle (石神井城 Shakujii-jō) was located in what is nowadays Shakujii Park in Nerima Ward, western Tokyo. It was constructed in the late Kamakura Period (1185-1333) by the Toshima clan (豊島氏), very likely on older structures dating back to the Heian Period. I visited the castle grounds, coming from Kami-Shakujii station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line. I had been walking through a calm residential area for about 20 minutes, crossing the Shakujii River (石神井川) which was the castle's southern line of defence, passing Hikawa Shrine. The shrine, constructed by the Toshima clan, is located at...
  11. Tokyo Gate Bridge

    Tokyo Gate Bridge (東京ゲートブリッジ) opened on February 12, 2012, and connects Wakasu (若洲), an area of reclaimed land at the southern tip of Kōtō-ku, with Jōnanjima (城南島), another reclaimed island just north of Haneda Airport, thereby technically spanning Tokyo Bay. The construction took almost ten years and received a lot of media attention. The tentative name chosen for the bridge was “Tokyo Bay Seaside Gate Bridge (東京港臨海大橋 Tōkyōwan rinkai ōhashi), but in August 2010 the public chose “Tokyo Gate Bridge” in a tender organised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The truss bridge is 2,618...
  12. Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

    The Kyu-Furukawa Gardens (旧古河庭園 Kyū-furukawa teien) are located in Kita Ward in northern Tokyo and are famous for their picturesque Western-style residence, their rose garden as well as their traditional Japanese stone garden. The north part of the garden lies on the slopes of the Musashino Hills, while the Japanese garden and its pond, which were designed in the shape of the Chinese character for “heart”, are situated in the lower southern part. History The park and the Western-style building were home to Mutsu Munemitsu (陸奥宗光, 1844-97), a prominent statesman and diplomat of the Meiji...
  13. Museum of Maritime Science

    The Museum of Maritime Science (船の科学館, fune-no-kagakukan) is located in Odaiba just across the container port of Shinagawa and offers an excellent view of the Tokyo Rainbow Bridge. It was founded in 1974, reportedly with gambling profits from boat racing (kyōtei, 競艇), and is shaped like the luxury liner Queen Elizabeth; it was the first building to be erected on the then newly reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay. It holds four floors of exhibits related to all aspects of civil and naval shipping and shipbuilding, from ancient Japanese rowing boats to medieval sailing boats and modern ferry and...
  14. Kiyosumi Gardens

    Kiyosumi Garden (清澄庭園) is a traditional Japanese stroll garden located in Fukagawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo. It is a classical “pond-spring-excursion-style-garden” (池泉回遊式庭園 chisen-kaiyū-shiki-teien), that consists of a large pond at its centre, as well as artificial hills, waterfalls and rocks and that is meant – as its name implies – to be strolled about leisurely. Legend has it that Kiyosumi Garden was part of the former residence of the Edo-era merchant Kinokuniya Bunzaemon (紀伊国屋文左衛門, 1669–1734), who made a fortune trading in citrus fruits, salted salmon and lumber thanks to the protection of...
  15. Fukagawa Edo Museum

    The Fukagawa Edo Museum (深川江戸資料館, Fukagawa Edo Shiryōkan) is a historical museum located in the typical and picturesque shitamachi quarter of Fukagawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo, and reproduces the popular Edo neighbourhood of Saga-cho (佐賀町) at the end of the Tokugawa period. Fukagawa is located at the Sumida River and was home to artisans, craftsman and wealthy merchants. The museum was established in 1986. It houses an exhibition hall on two floors as well as eleven full-scale replicas of traditional houses; vegetable and rice shops, a fish store; two food stalls; a fire watchtower; a boathouse...
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