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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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,...
  • 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...
  • 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. 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. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. 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...
  15. 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...
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