WAttention Tokyo Vol.29

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Tokyo Edition

Singapore - Malaysia - L.A - Taiwan - Thailand - Paris - Hong Kong - Indonesia - Mexico - Australia

FREE Autumn 2018 VOL.29

Your guide to the best of Tokyo

Culture Special

ARCHITECTURE & ARTS IN TOKYO The Untouched Soul Of Shitamachi: Shibamata & the towns of Tokyo that keep the old norms alive

Discover Niigata from Tokyo. Let's Go!

Love Japan? Follow


暦 Koyomi September




Maple Leaves 楓

a hanging scroll “Maple Leaves”

ALL AN WEST B o r n in 19 62 in t h e US , A lla n We s t s e t t l e d i n To k y o a n d e v e n t u a l l y graduated with a Master of Fine Ar ts from Tok yo University of the Arts. Yo u c a n v i s i t h i s o p e n s t u d i o i n Yanaka, Tok yo.

www.allanwest.jp text & artwork / Allan West, coordination / Mariko Takahashi, photo / Keiji Okazaki

I was invited to exhibit in Hotta Daimyo mansion in Sakura shi,

going to be scarlet by the time of the installation. I painted as if it was

Chiba ken. A daimyo was a feudal lord, second only to what was the

a round window. The leaves would need to be painted with wet on wet

most powerful, the Shogun. This was particularly exciting because it is

tarashikomi brush work in order to make them more realistic.

different from the usual exhibit space. As I went for a preparatory visit, I could see that the cold emptiness of the rooms made it difficult to imagine how it might have been home to a daimyo.

When it came time to hang this scroll, it seemed to be just the kind of artwork an Edo period daimyo would have hanging in his mansion. While clearing away the boxes, I overheard the curator discussing with

I could picture which paintings would work where, but I would have

his assistant how for the first time, the mansion looked as though Lord

to paint a hanging scroll to match the large alcove in the reception

Hotta Masatomo himself was expecting an important guest, and had

room. I could see the bright green maple leaves in the garden were

just stepped out. WAttention Tokyo |


Why “WAttention”? Our name comes from the hope that people around the world will pay more “Attention” to “WA(和) ; an important term in Japanese culture meaning harmony with nature, peace and even Japanese culture itself!


世界中の人々に「和」 (WA)に注目(Attention)してほしいという願い を込めてWA+Attention= WAttentionと名づけました。

Contents 01

In Harmony with the Seasons

Publisher Yasuko Suzuki / WATTENTION CO., LTD.


Tokyo Hot News

Associate Editor Yuka Suzuki


Feature 1

Editorial Advisor Mariko Takahashi

Architecture & Arts in TOKYO

Editorial Team Zoria Petkoska / Ellen Hwang / Jude Austin Nancy Liu / Andrew Smith Hsin-Yun Chang(WEB) / Mika Tsutsumi (WEB)

- Tokyo Modern Architecture - Tokyo Through Architects‘ Eyes - ARCHITECTURE & ART - Spotting itineraries by WAttention - Design Festa Gallery – Art Let Loose - Art Council Tokyo Traditional Culture Experience Programs

Kamata Hakensha: The Soul Balanced on the Knife's Sharp Edge

11 12

Design Team Graphic Designers Kenji Ishida / Chew Yan Qiao Haruna Katahira / Ochiai Aki Leonor

Feature 2

Photographers Keiji Okazaki Noboru Hanamura / Tomoyo Nozawa

The Untouched Soul Of Shitamachi: Shibamata & the towns of Tokyo that keep the old norms alive - Shibamata: Explore the good old Japanese downtown culture in suburban Tokyo - Kiyosumi-shirakawa & Monzen-nakacho: A different but traditional Tokyo


Short Trip from Tokyo

Perfect Autumn Destination: Mt. Fuji Wrapped in Gorgeous Autumn Colors 20

Discover Niigata from Tokyo. Let's Go!


Another 3hr Trip - Around Tokyo in 180 Minutes - Shinagawa


Sales & Marketing Naoki Kiyota / Yuri Nakazawa / Doris Lo / Chihiro Tamura Special thanks Simon Kalajdjiev Cover Top: Tama Art University Library Bottom left: Street along Shibamata Taishakuten Temple Bottom right: Hoshitoge Rice Terraces, Courtesy of Tokamachi City Tourism Association

広告・記事に関するお問い合わせは 和テンション株式会社

〒150-0002 東京都渋谷区渋谷2-3-8 倉島渋谷ビル401号

Robot Restaurant

Phone: 03-6418-5701 (main) / 03-6418-5828 (editorial) Fax: 03-6862-6760 E-mail : info-tokyo@wattention.com

A fantastic world where humans and robots coexist

シンガポール事務所 WAon Pte Ltd 2B Craig Road Singapore 089662 Phone : 65-6324-2127

In This Issue New buildings and architecture, such as the New National Stadium, are significantly changing Tokyo’s cityscape in the run-up to the 2020 Summer Olympics. As the metropolis’ transformation well deserves the spotlight, we have decided to cover some of its must-visit architectural marvels in this issue. Read on and learn about the endless remaking of Tokyo at first hand! If you love history, please immerse yourself in our stories about Shibamata and Fukagawa, two of the lesser known (compared to Asakusa) but equally interesting old neighborhoods. They are enchanting and sophisticated attractions in Tokyo that will definitely leave you pleasantly surprised.

Tokyo Edition - Taiwan - Los Angeles - Malaysia - Thailand - Paris - Hong Kong- Indonesia - Singapore - Mexico - Australia

FREE 2018 Summer Issue VOL.28

Special Feature 1

The Summer Festivals and Portable Shrines

Special Feature 2

Tokyo Bayside Story Another 3hr Trip

Akihabara / Kanda, Harajuku / Omotesando and Nightlife Go North from Tokyo

Summer Explorations and Adventures in Tohoku

Follow WAttention online

Autumn 2018

2020 年に向けて東京では国立競技場をはじめ、街の風景


も東京の街は注目に値します。今回の特集では、東京で 見逃せない建築に焦点を当てました。「変わりゆく東京の




もらうことで、「東京の奥深さ」を伝えたいと思います。 -Associate Editor Yuka Suzuki

Don't miss out!

編集長: 鈴木幸香

Subscribe to WAttention Tokyo

Please fill out and fax to 03-6862-6760 or email to info-tokyo@wattention.com. We will reply within a few days.

You'll never miss an issue of WAttention Tokyo with home delivery. Order now and the magazine will be at your home. [WAttention Tokyo 定期送付のご案内] 配布エリア外にお住いの方や、 毎号お読みになりたい方のために定期送付いたします。

Four issues a year / only 1,000 JPY Name : Address : Postcode : Tel : Email : Prices listed in this issue are exclusive of tax.


| WAttention Tokyo



Bringing you the latest hot news

Tokyo Ramen Show 2018: A chance to savor the country’s best ramen Touted as the biggest ramen event in Japan, Tokyo Ramen Show not only brings together ramen vendors, but also ramen lovers from all over the country. To mark its 10-year anniversary, the annual event will be held from October 25 to November 4 at Komazawa Olympic Park. Of the 333 ramen shops that have participated in the past nine years, the 36 with the most online votes will be invited to serve their beloved ramen dish this year. Tokyo Ramen Show 2018

www.ramenshow.com/index.html ( Japanese)

A whole new shopping experience by Nihombashi Mitsukoshi As a department store chain operator representative of Japan, Mitsukoshi has recently shifted its business focus from selling products to providing the best hospitality service at all times. Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store is now undergoing several stages of renovations. Upon completion of the first stage, from October 24 2018 onward, visitors can enjoy the following remodelled spaces: the cosmetics section, parts of 1st and 3rd floors of the main building, the VIP lounge on the 5th floor of the main building and 1st floor of the annex building. The second stage of remodelling will culminate in 2020. Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store http://www.mitsukoshi.co.jp/int

All-you-can-eat conveyor belt sweets in Harajuku All-you-can-eat sweets is not a new concept to the dining world, but a conveyor belt style cafe definitely is! For a flat price, MAISON ABLE Café RonRon offers lovers of sweet a 40-minute unlimited access to macarons, crepes, waffles, ice cream, sandwiches, miniature hamburgers, adorable cat-motif cakes and more – all on a 38-meter conveyor belt rotating right in front of you. This is the perfect way to treat yourself to something sweet and tasty! MAISON ABLE Cafe RonRon

https://cafe-ronron.com/ (Japanese)

The birth of a new park in Ginza A new shopping landmark in Tokyo waiting for you to explore

The old Sony building at the heart of Ginza has meta-morphed into a park! Opened on August 9, Ginza Sony Park will act as an interactive, green space for locals and tourists alike until the fall of 2020. The area includes a shop selling adorable green plants, a concept store inspired by Japanese convenience stores, a pop-up café and more. Various entertainment events and activities are held in the public space so if you are looking for something challenging and rewarding, this is the place to be.

Slated for opening on September 25, Nihombashi Takashimaya S.C. is a brand new shopping complex inclusive of Takashimaya’s main building, east building, the new annex and Watch Maison. The department store has already extended a warm welcome to several specialty shops, aimed at bringing all beautiful things into the consumers’ everyday life. Nihombashi is a historic area with an impressive traditional atmosphere. If you are looking for a more casual and laid-back shopping experience, give Nihombashi a try!

Ginza Sony Park

Nihombashi Takashimaya S.C.


www.takashimaya.co.jp/nihombashi/ (Japanese)

WAttention Tokyo |


ARCHITECTURE Culture Special

Tokyo — the metropolis

of organized chaos, where buildings seem to have grown at will. And they have grown in all shapes and sizes: thin stick-like buildings wedged between bigger ones, wooden temples sternly objecting to sterile boxes full of offices, train tracks and highways leaping over each other in a suspended game of Twister. Tokyo has risen from the ashes of various disasters, each time emerging more architecturally creative and diverse. Japanese modern architecture, drawing from the aesthetics of 'zen' and nature in Shinto, has left its own mark and gained worldwide recognition.

Š Simon Kalajdjiev



Tokyo Modern Architecture DRAWING TOKYO'S FUTURES

– An Interview with Simon Kalajdjiev, an architectural illustrator “Architecture in Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira and in Masamune Shiro's Ghost in the Shell is almost a character, while the characters in the stories are in awe of their city.” — says Simon Kalajdjiev, an artist and designer, now working as an architecture illustrator in Tokyo. He was stricken by Tokyo's urban look in anime and manga and that influenced his cityscape drawings.

DRAWING AND BEING DRAWN TO TOKYO Simon's love for Tokyo is rooted in Japanese content media, but also in his hometown's emotional link with Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. In 1963, Macedonia's capital, Skopje, was levelled by an earthquake and the architectural bureau that won UN's competition to draw Skopje's new masterplan was Kenzo Tange Associates. “The Japanese urban sense and Japanese Futurism have resonated strongly with me,” Simon says. After visiting Tokyo for the first time in 2014 and soaking up the urban landscape, Simon painted his collection titled CITYGRAPHY: TOKYO, exhibited in Skopje. His canvases communicate the passion and energy of the city with vibrant colour combinations. In 2016 he came full circle, back to Tokyo and this time drawing the metropolis as a full time job.

THE CITY AND THE CITIZEN Living in Tokyo and drawing its every corner lets Simon discover and learn aspects of the city that others rarely notice. His eye catches the underexposed elements like the slanted and terraced roofs for example, which in turn makes him wonder about the reason behind it. These might seem mundane to the eye of the busy commuter or the hurrying tourist, but

© Simon Kalajdjiev

they make up the very soul of the unique modern Japanese city landscape. The grids of perfect square windows, oversized billboards mounted on slender buildings squeezed together in narrow streets, train tracks and highways weaving their way above and under the crossroads — these are the traits that paint a picture of a metropolis unlike any other in the world. He advises everyone “to let themselves wander and take the side alleys to discover Tokyo's unusual architecture”, instead of only looking for it in the skyscrapers and popular landmarks.

BUILDING CITIES BEYOND REALITY Working as an illustrator in an architecture company means imagining the look of the city within 10, 20 or even 30 years. Simon draws future Tokyo and Tokyo's future and sees the city change on paper first, before the changes are set in motion. “I love witnessing architecture illustrations slowly becoming

Simon Kalajdjiev A graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje. 2006: editor in chief and designer of “Comicus Magnus” magazine; 2008: Cimet ta Fund awardee and ar tist-in-residence in Cappadocia; 2008: designed an art suite in Ice Hotel, Sweden; 2008: Participated in the Biennale of Young

reality around me” — he says. He is happy to contribute to a team of dedicated

Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean.

illustrators whose input can sometimes even influence the cityscape.

Notable exhibitions: “Citygraphy” (2015), “Cappadocia Reflections” (2016), “Drawn to Architecture” group

Architecture plays a big part in Simon's original stories and artwork, as he sometimes designs and draws fictional fantastic cities. He says that Tokyo is an everyday opportunity and inspiration for the thirsty observer. “This city is exactly where I want to be,” he concludes.

exhibition (2018). Works at Nikken Sekkei, Tok yo. Follow his work on: https://www.instagram.com/kalajdjiev_art/ https://www.behance.net/SimonKalai

WAttention Tokyo |


TOKYO THROUGH ARCHITECTS' EYES Tokyo has been bottomless inspiration for many architects and architecture admirers from all around the world. As Keisuke Oka, an independent architect we interviewed, put it — buildings are a form of street performance one that is long-lasting and people have to engage with. But while swimming through the sea of busy pedestrians in your everyday life, you might be passing by architectural gems without noticing. We talked to ten architects from all around the globe who are currently

living, studying and working in Tokyo and they shared with us their favorite buildings. They approach these buildings both as professionals and as citizens, often seeing deeper into the layers of concrete. From experienced pioneers in architec tural innovation to the most recent designs, from schools and churches to private residencies— their choices paint as diverse a picture as the conglomerate of Tokyo itself really is. *The data of the architectures: name of architect/year of completion/address

ARIMASUTON BUILDING Jorge Mancilla/Mexico “Sometimes architects build huge buildings and forget them, but Arimasuton is different. This building is honest, pure, and above all — alive. Keisuke Oka, its owner, builder and designer, is dancing with the materials.” Keisuke Oka/under construction © Tama Art University

TAMA ART UNIVERSITY LIBRARY Aimi Zhang/China/Austria “The modernly interpreted concrete arches from afar might remind the visitor of Ancient Roman architecture, while the minimal concrete interior combined with the wooden furniture and high ceiling gives a sense of openness, calmness and warmth.” Toyo Ito/2007/2-1723, Yarimizu, Hachioji-shi

/4-15-34, Mita, Minato-ku *Only exterior, the interior is off limits.

Interview with Keisuke Oka, architect and builder of Arimasuton Building Arimasuton is a building proving work can be fun, and Keisuke Oka has already put 10 years of love into it. He is called the Gaudi of Mita, as the house is not yet finished. Oka says the gap between the architects and construction workers is hurting creativity, so for the Arimasuton building, he is both. While building his future home he spontaneously opens windows and decorates the concrete walls with imprints of plants, letting the surroundings guide his decisions.

https://libopac.tamabi.ac.jp/drupal/ ?q=en/guide/

The strength of the concrete he makes is scientifically

outsider/tour *Please be sure to see this site before visiting

tested and guaranteed to last for 200 years. After 200 years, the only thing Oka wishes for is that the Arimasuton is no longer unique. A world where building houses like he does will become the norm.

DAIKANYAMA HILLSIDE TERRACE Gordan Vitevski/Macedonia “ Through seven phases of 'growth' from 1969 to 1992 — in what the architect refers to as a concept of 'Group Form' — © Mitsumasa Fujitsuka

NEZU MUSEUM Andrea Bagniewski/Brazil “ Nezu Museum by Kengo Kuma is one of my favorite buildings in Tokyo because it reinterprets traditional Japanese design elements in an elegant and contemporary architecture.” Kengo Kuma/2009/6-5-1, Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku 6

| WAttention Tokyo

this project reveals hidden, yet accessible, multilayered public spaces that are always new and different, and they have to be discovered!” Fumihiko Maki/1969-1998/18-8, Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku

© Hillside Terrace

TOKYO METROPOLITAN GYMNASIUM Tom Gastel/USA “My favorite building in Tokyo is the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium designed by Fumihiko Maki*. The metal roof reminds me of samurai helmets, an appropriate symbol to represent battle and sports.” *Complete renovation in 19 9 0; the old g y mnasium was used for the 196 4 Olympics. Fumihiko Maki/1990/1-17-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku

© Tokyo Sport Benefits Corporation

NAKAGIN CAPSULE TOWER BUILDING Carlo Go/Philippines/USA “Although some would consider it a failed experiment, it is a strong example of radically innovative, socially relevant ideas manifested into built form.” Kisho Kurokawa/1972/ 8-16-10, Ginza, Chuo-ku Special Thanks: Nakagin Capsule Tower Preservation and © Taiki Himeno Instagram: @lol_hime

Restoration Project



necessarily an enclosure of space. The Hakozaki

Farzaneh Talaie/Middle East

Junc tion creates the futuris tic impression of a

“ I ’ ve come to lear n t ha t archi te c t ure is not

gigantic mess of steel and concrete lurking over

“I like this building because it

someone’s head, yet somehow it ends up having the

has its own character, unlike the

same grace and harmony that can be attributed to St

majority of very simple buildings in

Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.”

Tokyo. The concept, the materials,

Metropolitan Expressway Co., Ltd./1972-2005/22,

the design, the colors — they

Nihonbashi-hakozakicho, Chuo-ku

all seem to c ar r y meaning and that's what makes this building so refreshing.” Masamichi Katayama (Space D e sig n) / 2013 /4 -21-26 , Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku

© Vector

TOWER HOUSE Rubén M. Peral/Spain “This building might look out of context now, but at the time it was ver y unique. The rough concrete exterior hides delicate and creative det ails of the inter ior. W ith no doors inside, the living space is an

© Reyni Rahmadhani Instagram: @rahmadhanireyni

ST. MARY’S CATHEDRAL IN TOKYO Dea Luma/Kosovo “ Never going out of fashion, Saint Mar y ’s

open vertical flow.”

Cathedral breaks through the cityscape, emanating

Takamitsu Azuma/1966/

a power f ul and unique t imele s sne s s . W i t h i t s


monumental and charming interior, it provides a moment of meditative escape from the boisterous daily life of Tokyo.” © MEHRDAD HADIGHI

Kenzo Tange/1964/3 -16-15, Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku WAttention Tokyo |


ARCHITECTURE & ART-Spotting Itineraries by WAttention Hop on the train to go see the Arimasuton building and pay a


visit to the AIJ Architectural Museum nearby. From there, get on

Start your journey from Suitengu-mae Station where you will be

the train and change to the Tokyo Monorail to reach Tennozu Isle

greeted by the surprisingly elegant Hakozaki Expressway Junction.

to see the models in Tokyo Archi-Depot Museum. Finally, another

From there make your way to Ginza for a stop at the Kabuki-za

futuristic dream to behold is the Fuji T V building near Tokyo

Theater designed by Kengo Kuma. This iconic building is the epitome

Teleport station in Odaiba.

of art and tradition and a great place to begin your Ginza archi-walk. Tokyo Stn.

Ginza is famous for the stunning facades of luxury brands' flagship stores like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co., as well longstanding Japanese department stores like Wako. Mikimoto and

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Ginza Place have a blinding white, minimalist elegance; while De Beers and Tokyu Plaza Ginza are a dance of glass and lights. Check out the artistic interior and the rooftop garden of the

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recently opened Ginza Six Mall. Then head to Nakagin Capsule Tower, a retro-futuristic building with historical significance for

Ginza Stn.


architecture, and the Shizuoka Shinbun SBS Building by Kenzo


Tange, another textbook example of the Metabolism movement.

Ginza/Mita/Shinagawa Area



Tokyo Stn.





Higashi Ginza Stn.







Suitengu -mae Stn.


16 Showcase Tokyo Architecture Tours

Shinbashi Stn.

An exclusive chance to peek into a Nakagin Tower capsule apartment A team of passionate and dedicated architec ture Hamarikyu Gardens

Tokyo Tower

lovers lead the Showcase walking tours — developed in collaboration with major universities' architecture departments. These goverment-licenced professional

Shiba Park

Hamamatsucho Stn.

tour guides value the creativity of Japanese architecture and they can make you fall in love with buildings as they bring their stories to you. You can stroll around Omotesando (Harajuku), Ginza, Ueno, or Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum (Koganei) on their 3-hour tours and get to know this city better.



Showcase's Nakagin Capsule Tower Tour invites you in a capsule apartment, a rare chance, since this unique

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owner of several capsules. Part of the tour fee will be donated to support the project.


For architects and architecture enthusiasts that are

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willing to explore further, Showcase organizes private


custom-designed tours and study tours and invites


local professional architects to join tours and discuss



| WAttention Tokyo

architecture with the guests. Reach out to them for a chance to learn Tokyo down to its building blocks. Nakagin Capsule Tower Tour:


5,000 JPY per person (Booking will close when the number of



takes place only on Thursdays and takes 50 minutes. It's

Capsule Tower Preservation and Restoration Project and

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tour of the retro-futuristic porthole-windowed building

collaborate with Mr. Maeda, representative of Nakagin



Shinagawa Stn.

architecture is a residential privately owned building. This

limited to 5 people, due to the size of the capsules. They


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participants reaches five people)

21 FCG (FUJI TV HONSHA) BLDG. ★= See page 6 and 7

Contact: info@showcase-tokyo.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/show.case.tokyowalk/

ArCHICtecture Start the tour from Gokokuji station and go to St. Mary's Cathedral, a stunning white steel bird in suspended motion just before flight — designed by Kenzo Tange. From there, take a train to Sendagaya station to see the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and GA gallery and bookstore, a space dedicated to modern and contemporary architecture with a large selection of books on the topic.

Access Point: Architecture-Tokyo Linking People and Architecture With the mission to promote architecture as a culture resource, Access Point was founded in 2016 by a team of professionals: architects, historians, journalists

Not only trendsetters in fashion, the Omotesando and Harajuku areas have their fair share of creative architectural expression as well. Check out Laforet in Harajuku, a legendary fashion department store, and Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku with its kaleidoscopic entrance and relaxing rooftop garden.

and universit y professors. They provide tours both for residents and visitors, linking people to the city by teaching them about the buildings in it. Among their goals is creating educational programs for children and university students as well as doing further research

Omotesando Hills, Dior and Tod's have the winning combination of

with universities and specialists on the concept of

elegance and CHIC that is so characteristic for Omotesando. Walking down

architecture as a shared cultural resource. They also

Aoyama-dori there is no shortage of swanky buildings like SPIRAL and the

have an internship program and a volunteer program.

nearby La Collezione. Stop by the Nezu Museum, beloved by architects for its integration of modern and traditional Japanese elements.

Access Point's tours include: a tour of the ornamental and artistic buildings of Von Jour Caux — a very unique

Next, head to Roppongi to see Kisho Kurokawa's National Art Center and Tok yo Mid tow n comple x , one of t he many s t y lish Roppong i

Japanese architect, a tour of the stylish and historical Ginza area, and a tour of 5 of Ueno's many museums.

buildings. Finally, get on the Hibiya Subway Line to Naka- Meguro They can also create specially-themed guided tours at

station to see the Daikanyama Hillside Terrace by Fumihiko Maki.

your request and can offer a special consultancy service to assist you in arranging meetings with Japanese


Takadanobaba Stn.

architects, academics and construction companies, and in visiting specific buildings and sites. Ginza Walking Tour "Art & Architecture: 5,000 JPY per person Contact: info@accesspoint.jp

note Lin


Omotesando/Harajuku/Roppongi Area

Website: http://accesspoint.jp/en/


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/





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visit for architecture admirers. Designed by Toyo Ito, its arches and open space give fluidity and movement to the


concrete interior.



Located in Hachioji, about 1 hour train ride from Tokyo's central areas, the Tama Art University Library is a must-

Shibuya Stn.

Daikanyama Stn.



Scan this QR code for more information on the featured buildings and step by step guide.


DESIGN FESTA GALLERY – Art Let Loose Free admission, free expression, free spirit – Design Festa Gallery is all about freedom and has been giving space to artists for 20 years. In their 71 different exhibition spaces they invite all artists, regardless of their age, nationality or artistic background. There are also 20 mural spaces available, a rare sight in graffiti-less Tokyo. In Design Festa Gallery you can see young up-and-coming artists, passionate amateurs, student exhibitions, film projections, but above all, you can see a cross-section of

the art scene at the very moment, raw and unfiltered. The works and murals in this dynamic gallery are constantly changing, so you will encounter something new on every visit. You can buy art pieces, meet the artists, see live-painting, and even ask for a guide to help you cross the language barrier. Design Festa Gallery supports the local art community by not charging entrance fees or commission on sold artworks and by promoting the exhibitions online. The exhibition application process is also simple and very accepting, sometimes resulting in experimental art that might have been rejected elsewhere. NOT A MOMENT WITHOUT ART In Design Festa Gallery art is everywhere, as even the toilet and the entrance can be used as exhibition spaces. Design Festa Cafe and Bar which serves drinks in the cozy backyard under a pomegranate tree and Sakura-Tei restaurant are delightful art experiences in themselves. The walls of Sakura-Tei are handpainted murals, so you are still surrounded by art as you hone your okonomiyaki grilling skills on the hotplate-table. Three times a year, Design Festa Gallery organizes a Design Festa event in Tokyo Big Sight that attracts over 60 thousands visitors and will have around 5 000 booths in November, 2018. East Building: 150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingu-Mae 3-20-2 Hours: 11:00 - 20:00 West Building: 150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingu-Mae 3-20-18 Access: About 9 min. from Harajuku station (JR line) URL: https://designfestagallery.com/index_en.html

Traditional Culture Experience Programs for Foreign Visitors! A r t s Counc il Tok yo ( Tok yo M etrop olit an F oundation for Hi stor y and Cultur e) imp le m ent variou s p roje c t s and programs such as Japanese dance, Shamisen of Nagaut a , Engei (Japanese ar t p er formance) and more throughout the year that not only provide foreign vi sitor s a b et ter under st anding to Japan's traditional ar ts but also truly enjoy the vibrant culture. *All programs are subject to change depending on schedules. Japanese dance workshop Learn traditional Japanese dancing from professional instructors, wearing Yukata and using a fan. Date: Every Sunday from April 2018 to March 2019 *Excludes the third Sunday of every month from September in which it is replaced by Shamisen of Nagauta workshop at the same venue.

Hours: 11:00-12:00 / 13:00-14:00 / 15:00-16:00 1 hour each Admission: Free Place: Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center 6F Reservation: Please access URL below. http://tokyo-tradition.peatix.com

Shamisen of Nagauta workshop Nagauta is a Japanese traditional music genre where the performers generally play the stringed instrument called shamisen and sing simultaneously that accompanies kabuki performances. Date: The third Sunday of each month from September 16, 2018 to February 17, 2019 9/16, 10/21, 11/18, 12/16, 1/20, 2/17 Hours: 11:30-12:30 / 13:20-14:20 / 15:10-16:10 1 hour each Admission: Free Place: Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center 6F Reservation: Please access URL below. http://tokyo-tradition.peatix.com

Engei (Japanese art performance) Engei is a form of entertainment that is uniquely Japanese which is performed in Rakugo theater & etc. You can experience various kinds of entertainment art that includes umbrella turning, makes simple shapes only with paper and scissors, and stage illusion techniques that are passed down from the Edo era. Date: Every Saturday from April, 2018 to March, 2019 *Excluding December 29, 2018

Hours: 12:30-13:00 / 14:00-14:30 / 16:00-16:30 30 minutes each Admission: Free *Museum admission fee required Place: Edo-Tokyo Museum 5F permanent exhibition area Reservation: Not required

Information Tokyo Tradition office, Arts Council Tokyo Tel: 03-5428-3655 (10:00-18:00) Mail: info@tokyo-tradition.jp URL: http://www.tokyo-tradition.jp/2018/eng/ Organized by Arts Council Tokyo Supported by and in cooperation with Tokyo Metropolitan Government


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KAMATA HAKENSHA: THE SOUL BALANCED ON THE KNIFE'S SHARP EDGE Samurai were said to believe that their soul resided inside their katana swords. Mr. Kamata of the eponymous and worldwide known store in Asakusa gives soul to Japanese blades today.

Located in the nostalgic-looking Kappabashi area among other craftsmen and kitchenware shops, Kamata has been a constant since 1923. Now run by Seiichi Kamata, the third generation, while also training his son Yosuke in the art of sharpening blades, this store does not only sell knives, but also sharpens old knives, giving them a second life.

MORE THAN JUST A STORE When it comes to knives, Kamata is a cut above the rest. The owner personally inspects the blades of knives made by their subcontractors and upon purchase, ever y customer is given a manual on proper maintenance. This is especially needed when it comes to Japanese knives (wabocho) many of which have single edged blades, unlike Western knives (yobocho), and hence they are easier to break if used carelessly. “It's a given that any knife can cut, but the beauty and mastery lies in the sharpness of the blade” Mr. Kamata explains. This is why many of his clients are professional chefs, who bring their knives to him for sharpening. Professional Japanese chefs abroad are actually the reason why Japanese blades have garnered worldwide popularity. The Kamata store sees a fair share of foreign customers, both professionals and visitors buying a meaningful souvenir that will last and maybe even become a family heirloom. Some of them return to the store with their knives to be resharpened by the master. The knives here are also given a personal touch as they can be engraved upon your request for free.

THE MASTER OF SHARPENING Sharpening is not only for maintenance, it's also one of the impor t ant s teps in Japanese blade - mak ing - w i th di f ferent professional in charge of a different step. Starting from forging and shaping, sharpening and hardening – authentic Japanese blades are the result of a team effort. Mr. Kamata is a sharpening master who says that learning never ends. However, “to be a master you need at least 10 years of constant training” he says, both your sharpening skill and your sharp eye to notice the customer's specific needs. Mr. Kamata can breathe life back into any knife, restore broken and darkened blades to look as good as new. So, go down to Kamata store to see the sharpening magician on the whetstone and learn more about the soul of the blades, balanced on their thin sharp edges. Mr. Kamata sharpens the blades right there in the Address: 2-12-6 Matsugaya Taito-ku, Tokyo Hours: 10am-6pm (No scheduled holidays) Access: About 8 minutes from Tawara-machi station(Ginza line) URL: http://kap-kam.com/index_en.html

store behind a glass pane, and many people stop by to watch the master at work.

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The Untouched Soul Of

People around the world tend to think of Japanese culture

Although Asakusa and the Sumida River are beautiful

as very monolithic and homogenous. But the truth is that

places to visit, over the years, they became too famous. This

Japan’s modern identity is a complex mix of the country’s

unfortunately doesn’t let you fully experience that authentic

two old cultural heritages: yamanote and shitamachi.

“underground” atmosphere that once made the areas so well-loved. For that, you would need to head on up to

They were born around the 17th century when the Japanese

Shibamata, a neighborhood in northeastern Tokyo and the

government moved to Tokyo and the city’s population divided

home of Tora-san —the living, though fictional, embodiment

into two. On the one side, you had the powerful clergy and

of shitamachi.

the rich feudal lords who resided in Tokyo’s more affluent, mountainous regions known as yamanote (“mountain

Torajiro Kuruma, known as Tora-san and played by Atsumi

hands”). Then you had the blue-collar city dwellers like

Kiyoshi, was the main protagonist of 48 movies in the "Otoko

tradesmen, merchants, and prostitutes, who stayed closer

Wa Tsurai Yo" film series, which translates to “It’s tough being

to Tokyo’s inner-city area, which, together with its distinct

a man.” The premise —as summarized by the title —might be

culture, came to be known as shitamachi (“under town”).

debatable, but it was true in the case of Tora-san, a lovable vagabond who traveled all around the countr y selling

Today, yamanote and shitamachi are seen as equally

his knickknacks and toys before his big mouth or drunken

important elements of contemporary Japan. But there is no

behavior forced him to head on back home. For all his

contest as to which of the two is seen as more fun. When

faults and tramp-like appearance, Tora-san was always fun,

you think of good and cheap street food, rows and rows of

optimistic, and just larger than life. He wasn’t sophisticated,

local shops, restaurants, bars etc., and people just being

but deep down he had a good hear t, and that ’s what

their authentic, unrestrained, jolly selves, you are thinking of

shitamachi is ultimately all about. It’s no surprise then that

shitamachi Japan. That’s why tourists flock by the thousands

the character was written as a native of Shibamata.

every year to places like Asakusa’s Nakamise Shopping Street or the historic areas around the Sumida River. That’s where

"Otoko Wa Tsurai Yo" has been a huge hit in Japan, but it’s

shitamachi was born, after all. But it’s not really there anymore.

not very well-known abroad, making Shibamata something of


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Shitamachi - Shibamata & the towns of Tokyo that keep the old norms alive -

東 京 下 町

By Cezary Strusiewicz

Connecting Shibamata and Matsudo (Chiba Prefecture) across the Edo River, the Yagiri-no-Watashi is a ferry famous for its appearance in the Otoko Wa Tsurai Yo films and the fact that it’s been operating, in different forms, for more than 400 years. It can take a maximum of 30 passengers, and takes about 10 minutes to cross the river, none of which will be disturbed by the sound of the motor because the ferry doesn’t use one. It’s entirely manpowered. It’s also hard to find, doesn’t connect to anything important on the other side, and is occasionally closed without prior notice. So, why

a local, hidden treasure. The area severely lacks foreign

do people use it? Because Tora-san used it.

tourists, which has allowed it to remain mostly unchanged from when the first Tora-san movie came out in 1969.

But also, the Yagiri-no-Watashi crossing really lets you

Meaning the neighborhood you can visit today is still one that

capture the feeling of how life in a shitamachi area used to

Atsumi Kiyoshi’s character would find very familiar.

be—slow, not without its difficulties, but also more communal and down to earth. You can see how that would appeal to

For example, one of the places that the character adored

people all around Japan. But not just Japan, as "Otoko Wa

was the Shibamata Taishakuten temple, still located at the

Tsurai Yo" does have its fans abroad. Most notably in Helmut

end of the neighborhood’s main shopping street. It’s where

Zilk, the mayor of Vienna between 1984 and 1994, who loved

Tora-san liked to go and unwind after another trip where

the series so much that he actually had his city’s Floridsdorf

he met colorful people, fell in love, said or did something stupid, and then returned home to tell everyone about it.

district sign a friendship pact with Katsushika Ward, where 2 Shibamata is located. Today, there is even a 3,000m park in

He especially enjoyed the temple’s woodcarvings depicting

Floridsdorf bearing the name “Tora-San-Park.”

scenes from sacred Buddhist texts that he may not have fully understood, but which he knew he liked. It was the same with

What seems to draw people to Tora-san, and really just

the serene Suikei-en garden at the back of the temple. Even

the shitamachi culture in general, is that they are familiar

the road leading up to Taishakuten hasn’t really changed

and honest. There is of course nothing wrong with Japan’s

that much, as it has retained its yesteryear charm what with

more sophisticated and highbrow cultural contributions like

its little shops and stalls still using wooden signboards and

traditional paintings, theater etc., and if that’s what you’re

selling traditional food and crafts. Only now, many of them

after, there are many places around the country where you

naturally feature Tora-san’s likeness.

can experience it. But if you’re looking for a more down to earth and jovial piece of Japan, then Shibamata and its

If you wish to continue retracing Tora-san’s steps, you can head down to the famous Yagiri-no-Watashi boat crossing.

shitamachi soul seem like just the place for you. If you ever have the chance, check it out and say “Hi” to the Tora-san statue located just outside Shibamata Station. WAttention Tokyo |




Explore the good old Japanese downtown culture in suburban Tokyo

Tokyo is not all about glamourous sights and cutting-edge innovations. Visit Shibamata, one of the shitamachi (downtown neighborhood) in Tokyo, and you will discover a whole new way of looking at this metropolis. Located just on the east side of the former Edo castle, the traditional neighborhood thrived as an entertainment hub for commoners in the Edo period (1603-1868) and was known as a town that developed around the Shibamata Taishakuten Temple. This is a great place to step back in time, explore the beauty of historic architecture and experience the authenticity of locals.

The introduction of Shibamata would not be complete without mentioning Tora-san, the protagonists of the popular “Otoko Wa Tsurai Yo” movie series. You might not have heard of the man, but yellowed movie posters and black-and-white photos of him can be found in every corner of the main path and shops selling traditional kusa dango (mugwort rice dumplings). Thanks to Tora-san, the neighborhood’s nostalgic charm has escalated to a whole new level.

Getting Shibamata Town: All of the places are within walking distance from Shibamata Station. Take the Keisei Main Line from KeiseiUeno or Nippori Station to Keisei-Takasago Station (15 minutes) and transfer to the Keisei Kanamachi Line for Shibamata (2 minutes).

Shibamata Taishakuten Temple:

Preservation of Edo belief for nearly 390 years

Formally named Kyoei-zan Daikyoji and founded in 1629, Taishakuten temple gets its name from Taishakuten – Indra – and is known for helping worshippers get rid of bad luck. As the Taishakuten-boom swept through Japan at the end of 18 th century, this temple became more popular and Shibamata prospered as a temple-town. Aside from saying prayers, visitors can also lay eyes on a gorgeous pine tree and ten panels of wood carvings depicting portions of the Lotus Sutra on the outer wall of the inner chamber. While here, it’s recommended that you stroll through the Suikeien Garden to see how religion is embedded in present-day landscape. Hours: [Wood Carvings Gallery/Suikeien Garden] 9am-4pm Admission: 400 JPY Adult / 200 JPY Elementary and middle school students [both the Wood Carvings Gallery and Suikeien Garden] Address: 7-10-3 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo Website: http://www.taishakuten.or.jp

Yagiri-no-watashi Ferry: Linking the past with the present After visiting the Taishakuten temple, walk in the direction of Edo River and you will encounter a ferr y crossing that has been in operation since the Edo period. Small wooden rowboats are used to transport locals between Tokyo’s Katsushika ku and Chiba’s Matsudo shi—the old-fashioned way. There were as many as 15 ferry crossings in the past, but now this is the only place in Tokyo where such service is still available. Join other tourists on a ride across the 150-meter wide river and immerse yourself in the historical charm of Shibamata. Hours: 10am-4pm every day in summer, 10am-4pm on weekends, holidays and specific days on the calendar in winter. Admission: 200 JPY Adult / 100 JPY Children, (one way) Address: 7-18 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tok yo Website: http://w w w.katsushika-kanko.com/guide/scene/spot _1247.php ( Japanese)

Yamamoto-tei Garden: An elegant western mansion with a Japanese twist After undergoing several renovations between 1926 and 1930, the stunning Yamamoto-tei now offers traditional Japanese architecture with a sophisticated western touch. Ranked third in Sukiya Living—a renowned American magazine with over 1,000 Japanese gardens dedicated to Japanese gardens, Yamamoto-tei embodies the harmony of east and west. Evergreen plants and shrubs in the garden are a wonderful sight to behold that will keep you entertained for the entire day. Hours: 9am-5pm Admission: 100 JPY, free entry for middle school students or under and people with disability pass Address: 7-19-32 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo Website: http://www.katsushika-kanko.com/yamamoto/eng/ 14

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Shibamata Haikara Yokocho & Toy Museum: A collection of traditional toys and sweets Katsushika once thrived as the location for toy factories in Tokyo, so the ward is no stranger to toys —especially celluloid dolls, which were first made there. The toy museum is the perfect place to unleash the child within you. On the first floor, the small shop displays a wide variety of candies and game machines from the good old days. Let your curiosity guide you through the maze of sweets! Hours: 10am-7pm Address: 7-3-12 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo Website: http://www2.odn.ne.jp/shibamata/index.html ( Japanese)

Matsuya-no-ame Sohonten: Candy-cutting tuned to music Matsuya-no-ame started its business in 1868 in Fukagawa and later moved to the Taishakuten area to become the only candy shop in town. With more than a hundred years of experience, the shop specializes in making soothing hard candies and red bean flavored candies. From fall to the end of spring, pastry chefs would perform “amekiri-ondou” (candy-cutting set to music) in public on weekends and holidays. The iconic rhythm of chopping candies by cleavers is recognized as one of the 100 best sounds representing Japan by the Japanese government. Hours: 8:30am-5pm Address: 7-6-17 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo Website: http://www.ni.bekkoame.ne.jp/matsuyaame/ ( Japanese)

Katsushika Shibamata Tora-san Museum: Life in shitamachi truthfully presented "Otoko Wa Tsurai Yo" (It’s Tough Being a Man) is the longest running movie series according to the Guinness Book of World Records, with 48 episodes filmed over a two-decade period. Today, the movie serves as a precious memoir of Shibamata architecture and life from the 1960s to 1990s. The museum opened after the passing away of the actor who starred as Torasan and displays all kinds of props and movie sets. Don’t miss out on the chance to learn about the shitamachi culture in Shibamata by paying a visit in person. Hours: 10am-5pm Admission: 500 JPY Adult / 300 JPY Elementary and middle school students / 300 JPY 65 years or older (The combo ticket of both Yamamototei and Tora-san museum is 50 JPY discount in total) Address: 6-22-19 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo Website: http://www.katsushika-kanko.com/tora/ ( Japanese)

Taishakuten Specialty: Kusa Dango When Tokyoites think of Shibamata, mugwort dango is among the first things that pop to mind. In the past, local farmers could only afford to make dumplings out of poor quality rice. To improve the taste and color, people would add mugwort to the blend. Worshippers of Taishakuten at the end of the Edo period were so impressed with the delicacy that the path leading to the temple began to be filled with mugwort dango stands. Today, there are six mugwort dango shops on both sides of the path, each advertising a slightly different taste.

Takagiya Established in 1868, this long-standing confectioner y shop ser ves freshly-made, aromatic mugwort rice dumplings with a traditional character. Topped with red bean paste painstakingly made from Hokkaido’s Tokachi beans, this traditional recipe has been time-tested and found irresistible. You can also choose from other flavors or have a try at Shibamata-mochi, a mugwort rice cake with red bean fillings. Confectionery making course taught by professionals are available upon reservation. Hours: 7am-5:30pm (reservation is required for confectionery making course) Address: 7-7-4 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo Website: http://www.takagiya.co.jp/index.html ( Japanese)

Kameya Honpo The rice dumpling shop in the movie “Otoko Wa Tsurai Yo” was actually a replica of Kameya Honpo, an old establishment that dates back to 1910. Besides classic mugwort rice dumplings, there is a list of seasonal exclusive items to choose from. Mugwort rice dumpling ice cream is one of their best sellers. Hours: 9pm-5:30pm on weekdays, 9am-6pm on weekends Address: 7-7-9 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo Website: http://www.kameyahonpo.com/index.html ( Japanese)

清澄白河 門前仲町 Kiyosumi-shirakawa•Monzen-nakacho

A different but traditional Tokyo

Located in a triangle formed by Sumida River, Arakawa River and Tokyo Bay, the Kyosumi-shirakawa and Monzennakacho areas are easily accessible by subway. It belonged the Fukagawa ward in the past but now lies in the western side of the Koto ward. To Japanese youngsters, Kiyosumi-shirakawa means a cluster of chic and trendy coffee shops. However, a walk from Kiyosumi-shirakawa to Monzen-nakacho will take you to the nostalgic downtown and transport you back in time.

Monzen-nakacho thrived as a neighborhood frequented by pilgrims hundreds of years ago. It is home to Tomioka Hachimangu, a Shinto shrine with about 400 years of history, and Fukagawa Fudo-do, a temple that dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868). Walking down Ninjo-Fukagawa-Goriyaku-dori, a path that leads to the prestigious temple, one can still feel the warmth and hospitality of the locals. Despite the neighborhood’s fading glory, its existence is a witness to the spectacular past and the ever-evolving future of Tokyo.

Kiyosumi Teien (Kiyosumi Gardens) MAP-1

Designed in “Kaiyu-style” in the Meiji period (1868-1912) to facilitate wandering around, Kiyosumi Gardens features a large artificial pond, around which are beautiful manmade hills and rare stones. The garden took its original shape when it served as the residence for the lord of Sekiyado in Shimousa (located east of Tokyo) in Edo Period (1603-1868). Today, all are welcome to this timeless garden for a mesmerizing view of nature. Kiyosumi Gardens, once a getaway for the privileged, is now celebrated as an ideal destination for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

Fukagawa Edo Museum MAP-2 Although Kiyosumi-shirakawa has developed a reputation as a haven for coffee lovers, you can also live a day in the life of an Edo commoner here by visiting the Fukagawa Edo Museum. A trip through its indoor museum which features and actual life-size reproduction of the alleys in Fukagawa Sagacho at the end of the Edo period (1830-1844) is like stepping into a time machine. Venture into the houses and feel what it’s like to be a Japanese citizen who lived 200 years ago. There are many Englishspeaking volunteers ready to answer your questions and assist you.

Fukagawa-meshi Fukagawajuku Honten MAP-3 Although Kiyosumi-shirakawa has developed a reputation as a haven for coffee, Fukagawa-meshi is the area’s signature dish and is something you should never miss when in town. The dish was first made as a kind of fast-food for fishermen in Edo-era who sailed to Tokyo Bay to catch shellfish and seaweed. Named as one of the 100 best local cuisines in Japan, this local delight is made by pouring soup with a generous amount of short-neck clams (Asari) onto rice. Miso is added nowadays during the cooking process to give rice a fuller flavor.

Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine MAP-4 Founded in 1627, the 390-year-old Tomioka Hachimangu is the largest shrine of its kind in Tokyo. It is known for holding the annual Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri, one of the three greatest festivals of Edo, along with the Sanno and Kanda festivals. It is also said to be the birthplace of Kanjin-zumo* so the premises have stone monuments inscribed with the names of all the successive yokozunas—sumo wrestlers who have reached the sport’s highest rank. The path leading to the shrine has a nostalgic atmosphere reminiscent of the past. * At the end of the Edo period, the temple started Kanjin-zumo as a way to increase its income. 16

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Tamakiya MAP-5 With a history of nearly 100 years, this marvelous kimono shop balances tradition and creativity by making kimonos and accessories out of denim cloth. Tamakiya does not believe that this classic Japanese wear can only be formal and regal. Instead, they explore the idea of casual kimonos with their unique designs. Denim kimonos are the perfect example of how tradition can be matched with innovation. Try some on and see how it brings out your personality.

Kanmidokoro Irie MAP-6 Founded in the Showa period (1926-1989), the shop changed its business from making konnyaku and kanten to selling Japanese t r a d i t i o n a l s w e e t s i n t h e 1970 s . T h e i r specialties include anmitsu—a Japanese d e s s e r t m a d e w i t h z e r o - c a l o r i e a g a r, Hokkaido’s Tokachi red bean paste and a good drizzle of black sugar syrup. A tour through the delicious histor y of Japanese sweets would not be complete without a taste of this scrumptious treat.

Fukagawa Winery MAP-7 This quaint establishment is nicely tucked in the alleys of Fukagawa with relaxed atmosphere which fits perfectly with the aesthetic of the old downtown neighborhood. In July, the owner opened an outdoor wine garden on the roof of a business building nearby, hoping to introduce the fun and enjoyment of wine drinking to more people. Customers can see the ripening process of grapes hanging on vines—a rare sight at the heart of the city. A visit here will have you coming back again for their unique Japanese red wine.

Another grand garden at the heart of downtown Tokyo Japanese Sword Museum MAP-8 Japanese swords are not only weapons, they also symbolize religion, authority and aesthetic achievement. Right next to the former Yasuda Garden is the Japanese Sword Museum, a place to appreciate the enchanting beauty of the famous Japanese weaponry. These two destinations are strongly recommended for those seeking an unforgettable samurai experience.

Former Yasuda Garden MAP-9 Yasuda Garden is located in downtown shitamachi area and believed to be built by a former lord. The architecture was destroyed by the Great Kanto Earthquake and World War II. After several efforts of reconstruction, the garden has regained its splendor as a “Kaiyu-style” garden marked with classic bridges, and Japanese stone lanterns. The scenery changes with each season, offering visitors a feast for the eyes.

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Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station


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Short Trip from Tokyo

Evening illumination at Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival’s maple corridor A thousand yen view of Mt. Fuji from Lake Motosuko

JR Chuo Line


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Chuo Expressway


Lake Shojiko

Lake Saiko

Lake Yamanaka -ko

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to Tokyo

Perfect Autumn Mt. Fuji Wrapped in

Stay FUJISAN STATION HOTEL Just two minutes away from Mt. Fuji Station on foot, Fujisan Station Hotel is located in a convenient spot. Their service is impeccable, featuring free breakfast and Wi-Fi access. Guests are invited to enjoy Japanese hospitality at its best. The elegant lobby is decorated with Japanese art work that perfectly blends into the natural scenery.

Mt. Fuji is breathtaking from every angle and through any lense. The panoramic vista from afar is as wonderful as exploring its countless natural attractions along the trails. You can visit this sacred mountain several times in three different seasons—snow-carpeted winter, flowerpacked spring and fresh, leafy summer. The vibrantly colored autumn leaves are exactly what we were missing out!

Fujisan Station Hotel: http://www.fujisanstation-hotel.com/en/


Sasaume If you walk in the direction of the old town office from Shimoyoshida Station, you'll be greeted by a nostalgic neighborhood with a strong feel of the good old days. Shops on Gekkojidori even have neon signs that light up the night. Opened more than 60 years ago, Sasaume is a local joint serving homemade delicacies and finger food. It's loved by almost everyone who walks through the door. Address: 3-15-27 Shimoyoshida, Fujiyoshida Shi, Yamanashi 18

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Foliage in a spectrum of red, orange and yellow speckle the area surrounding Mt. Fuji from as early as late October to early November, as it's higher in altitude and colder than other places. Although the greens of summer are being replaced by splashes of warm hues, the atmosphere becomes all the more inviting. Branches

sway in the fresh, crisp breeze, making pleasing noises to draw visitors closer. Most of the people around us couldn’t help but look up and appreciate the spectacular autumn colors against the backdrop of snow-capped Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji Sets of the Beauty of Autumn Lake Yamanakako’s “Sunset Shore Autumn Leaves Festival” is a must-visit during daytime because of the phenomenal view of foliage against the blue lake and clear sky. In the evening, we dropped by the Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival to see glowing autumn leaves light up the night sky. The illumination display is as dreamy and romantic as it gets. From what we saw, Mt. Fuji seems to take a supporting role rather than the lead when it comes to the Autumn. We highly recommend joining the Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival.

Travel Far and Wide with Mt. Fuji Pass If you're planning to visit the Mt. Fuji area, Mt. Fuji Pass is your best travel mate! Choose from one-day to three-day passes according to your schedule and enjoy unlimited rides on most buses and trains operating in the area. You also get discounts on admission fees at various attractions by presenting the pass. This is a must-have!

Activity 1

Unlimited Fun on Offer at Mt. Fuji


Gorgeous Autumn Colors As autumn slowly sets in, colorful patches of autumn foliage begin to dot the area surrounding the fresh snow-capped Mt. Fuji, t u r n i n g t h e u s u a ll y s e r e n e s c e n e r y i n t o something dazzling. Maybe it’s the unique charm of this sacred mountain that gives everything around it a magical touch of fun and fantasy!

Endowed with rich natural resources, the Fuji Five Lakes area offers vacationers a chance to get up close with Mother Nature. Canoeing is not to be missed, so book a session with PICA Fuji Saiko Village and instructors are available to assist you to make your experience fun and enjoyable. Fugaku Fuketsu Wind Cave and Narusawa Hyoketsu Ice Cave are famous lava cave attractions located at the foot of Mt. Fuji. The wind cave is much easier to explore as it's less steep. The average temperature inside is 3 degree Celsius so make sure you're properly dressed! PICA Fuji Saiko: http://saiko.pica-village.jp/en/ Fugaku Fuketsu Wind Cave and Narusawa Hyoketsu Ice Cave: http://www.mtfuji-cave.com/en/

Activity 2

Sunset Shore Autumn Leaves Festival at Lake Yamanakako

A tunnel of maple leaves ”Momiji (Autumn Leaves) Corridor” leads visitors to the main venue: an avenue of about 60 huge maple trees which are lit up after dark. As for the day time, Asahigaoka Lakeside Green Park is the best spot to be. The Sunset Autumn Leaves Festival is held here every year, featuring a 600-meter path lined with stunning maple trees and carpeted with fallen golden leaves—truly a sight to behold.

Thousand Yen Note View of Mt. Fuji

Aside from capturing the splendor of autumn leaves, another purpose of our trip was to look for the view of Mt. Fuji on the back of the thousand yen bank note. Therefore, we hopped on a bus operating on Road 139 (Fuji Panorama Line). After making a turn for Road 300 and passing Lake Motosuko, it stopped at a parking space right in front If you have a foreign passport, you can purchase the pass at Otsuki Station, Kawaguchiko Station, Mt . Fuji St ation , A s ahigaoka Bus Ter minal, Gotemba Station, Mishima Station, Shin-Fuji Station and Fujinomiya Station. Website:http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/

of a tunnel. There were quite a few tourists taking pictures of Mt. Fuji and its reflection in the water when we arrived. Although it�s rumored that the thousand yen view of Mt. Fuji was inspired by a photograph taken on an observatory further away from here, the sight from this angle is equally breathtaking. Why not pull out a thousand yen bank note from your wallet, and take a picture that will live in your memory forever?

Cruising Away and Relaxing on Board While here, make your trip more special by taking in a grand view of autumn colors from the clear waters of the Fuji Five Lakes. Choose from YAMANAKAKO NO KABA, an amphibious bus that takes you into the woods before diving into Lake Yamanakako; Swan Lake, a pleasure cruiser in the form of an elegant swan; and Ensoleillé, which takes you around Lake Kawaguchiko with Mt. Fuji in the background. YAMANAKAKO NO KABA: http://en.kaba-bus.com/yamanakako/ Yamanakako "Swan Lake": http://www.fujikyu.co.jp/en/leisure/


Ensoleillé: http://www.fujigokokisen.jp/contents/en/


Great Food and Great View Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway (Previous name: KachiKachi Ropeway) takes you all the way to the top of Mt Tenjoyama, which is 1,075 meters above sea level. From the observatory platform, you can enjoy a 360 degree spectacular view of Mt. Fuji and Kawaguchiko. Tanuki Jaya Tea House offers creative accessories and goods that can be bought here. Roasted Japanese rice dumplings glazed in soy sauce is the most popular item on the menu and really worth a try! Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway:


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Awashima Hachimanbana Observatory



Awashima Diving Experience

from Tokyo

L e t ’s g o

Nagaoka Festical \ Provided by Nagaoka Fireworks Foundation

Shinano River rafting \ Provided by Tokamachi Tourism Association

Located in the center of Japan’s Honshu Island, Niigata is packed

Ways of transportation to Niigata Prefecture:

Niigata Airport

From Tokyo ─

it is best known as Japan’s premiere

The easiest way to get to Niigata is to hop on a Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo Station. This route only takes 100 minutes and is covered by the JR East Pass. Once you purchase the flexible 5-day JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata area), you have a 14-day period to use it.

rice-cultivation area and home to

Niigata official website: http://enjoyniigata.com/en/index.html

with natural, historical and cultural wonders. Blessed with rich natural resources and a favorable climate,

Murakami· Shibata area

Sado Airport

the world-famous Koshihikari rice.

Sado area

Niigata Station

Tsubame-Sanjo Station

Nagaoka · Kashiwazaki area

Nagaoka Station

Yahiko· Sanjo area

With its vibrant and fascinating landscape, Niigata is the place to be

Urasa Station

if you’re looking to enjoy abundant nature and outdoor activities! 20

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Joetsumyoko Station EchigoYuzawa Station

Itoigawa Station Hokuriku Shinkansen Line

Myoko · Joetsu area

Niigata · Aga area

GALA Yuzawa Station

Niigata Prefecture Map

Yuzawa · Uonuma area

Joetsu Shinkansen Line

\Yuzawa•Uonuma, Uonuma City/

JR Tadami Line

Crossing a Dreamy Sanctuary

This line passes through the secluded mountainous areas in Tohoku, which connects Niigata and Fukushima. Its mystic atmosphere has attracted countless train and photography enthusiasts. As the train passes through Uonuma City, keep a look out for the Koshihikari rice fields and Abukumagawa Dam in the valleys. *Trains are no longer operating between Tadami and AizuKawaguchi stations. Visitors can take a shuttle bus instead. The stops between Koide Station and Oshirakawa Station are within Niigata Prefecture. The JR Tadami Line also stops at Aizu-Wakamatsu. Web: www.iine-uonuma.jp/see/tadamisen.html (Japanese)

Excite your Five Senses onboard this Sightseeing Train

Selected works from a photography contest held in Uonuma City

Selected works from a photography contest held in Uonuma City

Be captivated by the Scenic Landscapes of Niigata

Behold a Cascading Sea of Clouds \Yuzawa•Uonuma, Uonuma City/

Shioritoge Unkai Begin your hiking trail at Shioritoge leading to Mt. Echigo-Komagatake, one of Japan’s 100 most famous mountains. Stop by the observation deck along highway 532 in the early mornings to catch a breathtaking view. —On good days, you will see a vista of cascading clouds over towering mountains when you look towards Ginzandaira and Oku-tadami. *Toge means the highest point of a mountain trail Web: www.iine-uonuma.jp/ (Japanese)

\Myoko•Joetsu, Myoko City/

Setsugekka This cardinal red train not only showcases a panoramic view of Niigata’s countryside, but also the prefecture’s proud craftsmanship. Boasting “all made in NIIGATA,” passengers can appreciate the artistry of this locallymade train, and taste the goodness of local produce onboard. Enjoy all of Niigata’s charms fully by booking a ride!

Recommended viewing points of Lake Okutadami

Mountain Trail Mt. EchigoKomagatake

Web: www.echigotokimeki.co.jp/ setsugekka/index.html (Japanese) *Reservation required, only via phone call.

Ginzandaira Oze

Lake Okutadami

\Yuzawa•Uonuma, Tokamachi City/

Onsen-exclusive Local Cuisine \Myoko•Joetsu, Myoko City/

Red Yakisoba Don’t be fooled by the red color of Akakura Onsen’s specialty yakisoba noodles. Though they look spicy, the noodles get their hue from fresh vegetables, not red chili. A definite musttry for hungry visitors of Myoko City! About 10 restaurants within Akakura Onsen serve this dish. Web: www.myoko.tv/shopping/1422.html (Japanese)

Hoshitoge Rice Terraces Featured in Tenchijin, a famous historical drama in Japan, the photogenic Hoshitoge Rice Terrace in the mountains of Niigata rose to fame. During spring and autumn, visitors are treated to a gorgeous view of the rural landscape with glistening rice fields and misty forests. If you are lucky, you might even catch a sighting of unkai rolling over the rice fields in the early mornings.

The Ultimate Countryside Experience

*A sea of clouds or unkai is formed only under certain weather conditions during spring and autumn mornings. Access: 20-minute drive from Matsudai Station on the Hokuhoku Line Web: www.tokamachishikankou.jp/en/

Courtesy of Tokamachi City Tourism Association Matsudai Branch

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Thundering Waterfalls resembling Earthquakes \Myoko•Joetsu, Myoko City/

Naena Waterfalls Famous for its thunderous roars of water crashing down from a 55-meter-tall basalt cliff, the Naena Waterfall has been nicknamed “Earthquake Falls.” This natural wonder is recognized as one of Japan’s 100 greatest waterfalls. On a sunny day, you may get to see an arching rainbow reaching out through sprays of cool water. Access: 15-minute drive from Myoko Kogen Station on the Echigo-tokimeki Tetsudo Web: https://myokotourism.com/naena-falls/

A Treasure Trove of Natural Wonders in the City

\Niigata•Aga, Niigata City/

Fukushimagata Lagoon

Fjord-like Steep Cliffs \Sado•Sado City/

Home to more than 220 species of wild birds and 350 flora, this extensive wetland is the largest in Niigata Prefecture. During spring, rapeseed flowers are in full bloom. In summer, the makhana–a species of water lily–steals the spotlight by decorating the lagoon with vivid greens. Escape the busy city with a trip down here!

Senkakuwan Bay Known for its meandering gorges and steep cliffs, Sotokaifu-kaigan in Sado is surrounded by stunning tower cliffs reminiscent of Norwegian fjords. Admire the amazing view from above or hop on a cruise to get a closer look at the magnificent structures while also appreciating the underwater beauty through a glass panel at the base of the boat.

Access: 30-minute walk or 5-minute drive from Toyosaka Station on JR Hakushinsen Web: www.pavc.ne.jp/~hishikui/ index.html (Japanese)

Access: 60-minute drive from Ryotsu Port or 1-minute walk from Senkakuwan Ageshima Park (Kaifu Line) bus stop Web: www.visitsado.com/en/spot/detail0144/

\Sado•Sado City/

Niigata Tare Katsu Don

A Local Favorite of Niigata

Unlike the typical Katsu Don—which uses egg as a topping, this local delight includes fried pork cutlets dipped in a special sauce before being placed on warm fluffy rice. This dish first appeared during the early Showa period at a western restaurant. The sweet soy sauce is absolutely tantalizing! Many restaurants in the Niigata Prefecture have this dish on their menu. Web: www.niigata-kankou.or.jp/sys/data?page-id=12370 (Japanese)


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\Sado•Sado City/

Onogame Dubbed as the secret garden of Sado, Onogame is a 167-meter high rock formation located on the northern coast of Sotokaifu-kaigan. Awarded two stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan, the picturesque landscape receives many visitors. During summer, bright, yellow licorice flowers carpet the area providing a beautiful contrast against the blue sky and green grass. Access: 60-minute drive from Ryotsu Port or 1-minute walk from Onogame ( Uchi Kaifu Line) bus stop Web: www.visitsado.com/en/spot/detail0133/

Take a ride on the Longest River in Japan \Yuzawa•Uonuma, Tokamachi City/

Shinano River Rafting Sign up for an unforgettable rafting adventure full of shrills, big splashes and thrilling bumps along the longest river in Japan! The river flows through Tokamachi City before feeding into the Sea of Japan in Niigata Prefecture. While you are here, make sure to take a good dip in the river too! Event period: mid-Apr to 28 Oct Fee: 6,000 JPY (Elementary school students), 8,000JPY (Middle school students and above) Address: 4197 Miyanaka, Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture Web: www.tokamachishikankou.jp/sports/other/rafting/ (Japanese)

Traditional Japanese River Fishing

Shinano River rafting Provided by Tokamachi Tourism Association

\Niigata•Aga, Agamachi/

Mikawa Yanaba Try catching a meal with your bare hands using yana (やな, fish trap), a traditional Japanese fishing platform made of method which comprises bamboo reeds that are laid across a river. Observe how small fishes swim through the gaps, while bigger ones get caught in between the crevices. Grill the fish right away and taste the freshness of Niigata instantly!

Explore the different charms of Niigata

A Peak into a Copper Artisan’s Studio

Event period: 8 Apr – 7 Nov Access: 7-minute bus ride from Mikawa Station on JR Banetsusai Line Address: 2598 Ikazawa, Higashikanbaragun Agamachi Web: http://hotel.mikawa.com/tourism.html (Japanese)

\Yahiko•Sanjo, Tsubame City/


Outdoor Seaside Activities in Niigata \Murakami•Shibata Awashimaura Village/

Awashima With a small population of less than 400 people, Awashima is an island touted as a natural oceanic paradise, offering not just incredibly fresh seafood, but also various fun activities like fishing, water sports, cycling and bird watching. If you are looking for the perfect summer getaway, look no further! Access: Take a boat from Iwafune Port to Awashima Port (55-minute ride on high-speed catamaran Awaline and 90-minute by boat) Web: https://awa-isle.jp/ (Japanese)

Well-known for its metal-processing industry, Tsubame City is the birthplace to Gyokusendo, a major copper craftsmanship studio with over 200 years of history. Get a glimpse of how professionals work there, as artists tirelessly hammer and shape copper into elegant cups, vases and kettles—all by hand. Hours: 8:30am-5:30pm, Closed on Sun & PH Factory tour: 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm and 3:10pm Access: 3-minute walk from Tsubame Station on Yahiko Line or 5-minute drive from Tsubame Sanjo Station Web: www.gyokusendo.com (Japanese)

\Yuzawa•Uonuma, Tokamachi City/

Soba served in a Traditional Wooden Dish When in Niigata, you cannot afford to miss the chance to savor one their local delicacies — Hegisoba. Served on a wooden dish, the noodles are sectioned into bite-sized portions. Hegisoba has a smoother and firmer texture compared to ordinary soba. Many restaurants in Tokamachi City have this dish on their menu. Web: www.niigata-kankou.or.jp/sys/ data?page-id=15117&noicon=1 (Japanese)

Niigata Specialty Soba WAttention Tokyo |


Tsumari in Bloom by Yayoi Kusama ( Japan) Photographed byOsamu Nakamura

Festival: Culture, Art and Tradition in the Rural Landscapes of Niigata

Reverse City by Pascale Marthine Tayou (Cameroon / Belgium) Photographed by Osamu Nakamura

\Yuzawa•Uonuma Tokamachi City, Tsunanmachi/

Make it a point to catch this triennial showcase of colorful artwork inspired by nature and the local culture. Some 380 pieces will be displayed around the farmlands, turning the area into a treasure trove of art. Witness how innovative these artists can be and see how they cleverly blend their art pieces into the local scenery!

Incorporating Art into the Countryside

Event period: 29 Jul – 17 Sep Web: www.echigo-tsumari.jp/eng/about/

\Nagaoka•Kashiwazaki, Nagaoka City/

Koshinoyuki With a history of 230 years of making traditional Japanese sweets , Koshinoyuki Honpo Yamatoya Honten’s delicious treats do not disappoint. The incredibly soft Koshinoyuki is made from locally-produced sticky rice powder and wasabon sugar from Shikoku. The sweets were once a delicacy saved only for feudal lords in the past, but now they are a common gift for special occasions.

Hachi & Seizo Tashima Museum of Picture Book Art by Seizo Tashima ( Japan) Photographed by Takenori Miyamoto + Hiromi Seno


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Koshinoyuki Honpo Yamatoya Honten Hours: 9am-5:30pm Access: 15-minute walk from Nagaoka Station on JR Joetsu Line, Joetsu Shinkansen, Shinetsu Main Line Address: 3-3 Yanagaharamachi, Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture Web: www.koshinoyuki-yamatoya.co.jp/index.html (Japanese)

Kiss & Goodbye (Doichi station) by Jimmy Liao (Taiwan) Photographed by Gentaro Ishizuka

Echigo Tsumari Art Festival 2018

The Top Three Traditional Sweets of Japan

Nagaoka Festical \ Provided by Nagaoka Fireworks Foundation

Spectacular Fireworks Lighting up the Night \Nagaoka•Kashiwazaki, Nagaoka City/

Nagaoka Grand Fireworks Festival Ranked as one of Japan’s top three fireworks displays, the Nagaoka Grand Fireworks Festival launches about 20,000 fireworks over a two-day period. The beautiful sparks light up the night sky, completely transforming the city’s atmosphere. During this time, locals also mourn for the deceased, thus making it a more meaningful event. Event period: 2-3 Aug every year (Nagaoka Peace Festival falls on 1 Aug) Access: 30-minute walk from Nagaoka Station on JR Joetsu Line, Joetsu Shinkansen, Shinetsu Main Line Web: https://nagaokamatsuri.com/ (Japanese)

\Murakami•Shibata, Shibata City/

Goldfish Floats Parade exclusively during Summer

Castle Town Shibata Festival For over 280 years, the Goldfish Float parade has been one of the most important summer events in Shibata City. Join the festivities as children pull goldfish floats and men jovially march the daiwa (台輪 , portable shrine) around the town on the last day of the festival. Event period: 17-29 Aug Web: http://sibata-info.jp/ archives/3311 (Japanese) content to be updated soon

\Murakami•Shibata, Sekikawa Village/

Echigosekikawa Great Serpent Festival Since 1988, it has been a customary practice for the locals to parade through the town with a locallymade, 80-meter-long, bamboo straw serpent weighing over 2,000 kilograms to warn others against the dangers of flood waters. On this occasion, about 500 residents gather together to carry the snake before coiling it up at the village office.

Enormous Straw Snake Parading through the Town

Event period: 26 Aug (The fireworks display and Bon Odori festival are held on 25 Aug) Hours: [snake parade] 9:30am-12pm [fukumaki] see the snake coil up after the parade at Sekikawa Village Office Web: www.niigata-kankou.or.jp/sys/data?page-id=2222 (Japanese)

\Murakami•Shibata, Shibata City/


Mouth-watering Street Food

A hundred years ago, the locals created Poppoyaki by mixing brown sugar with flour on a stick. Served only during festivals, it got its name from the popping noises during the baking process. The sweet fragrance paired with the chewy texture makes it irresistible! Can only be eaten during festive event of Shibata city and other nearby cities Web: www.niigata-kankou.or.jp/sys/data?page-id=12373 (Japanese)




Around Tokyo in 180 minutes



Tozenji Temple

Shinagawa is a major transport

This temple has a history that dates back to the Edo period. In 1859, one year after Britain and Japan signed a treaty of commerce, the British Embassy was opened in the temple precinct. However, the temple was attacked by locals who fiercely resisted foreign intrusion. It is said that sword cuts and bullet marks still remain in the pillar of the Okushuin and the genkan. History comes to life when you step into this magnificent temple.

and commercial hub near Tokyo Bay - always lively and dynamic. While keeping its gardens and temples that have stood through history, it also boasts shiny new building complexes, chic shopping areas and a variety of cultural establishments like museums and theatres, especially on Tennozu Isle. These newly developed areas in Shinagawa are trendy and relaxing, and Tokyoites visit them for their spaciousness and holiday resort atmosphere. Both by day and night, this is a great area for

アウトバックステーキハウス 品川高輪店

Outback Steakhouse Shinagawa Takanawa Indulge in excellent food in a relaxed atmosphere at the Outback Steakhouse, a restaurant with an Australian theme. As they say, their attitude to life is “down-to-earth, laid-back, no worries.” Their attitude to food is a different story. This steakhouse hand selects all their meat cuts, carefully preparing everything from scratch. Steak here is given the utmost attention in preparation, so that by the time it comes to you it’s in its perfect form.

long walks down the waterfront

マクセル アクアパーク品川

and enjoying the urban scenery.

Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa Only 2 minutes from Shinagawa station, this aquarium is equipped with sound, lighting effects and video projections, combining with day and night dolphin performances that will mesmerize the audience. It also features a gigantic underwater tunnel where you can watch all kinds of fish dancing around you.


Gotenyama Garden Gotenyama was a notable spot for cherry blossoms viewing during the Edo period and it also served as a hunting ground for the Tokugawa Shogunate. For those interested in art, its beauty is captured by ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai in the Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji. The garden belongs to Gotenyama Trust City, and is home to four hundred cherry trees, attracting tourists from both Japan and abroad every spring. In summer enjoy hydrangea, in autumn, red leaves and gingko, and in winter camellia hiemalis flowers. Enjoy a cup of tea at the tea house and let time pass you by in this colorful, aromatic garden. 26

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All in all, Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa has approximately 20,000 creatures from about 350 different species! There are various events through the year that incorporate the themes of changing seasons in Japan. Rain or shine, you can have a fun-filled day here to 10 pm.


Shinagawa-juku Shingawa-juku was one of the post stations along the Tokaido (a road connecting Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo period). It is located between present-day Kita-Shinagawa Station and AomonoYokocho Station. Although the area sustained fire damage in the past and is not as crowded as it used to be hundreds of years ago, a stroll through this nostalgic neighborhood is still charming.


Tennozu Isle


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Located in Tokyo Bay, Tennozu Isle is popular among Tokyoites as a holiday resort. The area is home to a variety of cultural establishments such as art galleries and theatres surrounded by water and green spaces. This is the ideal place to encounter Japanese art and culture. There are also chic shops and restaurants on the waterfront for you to explore. Visit Tennozu Isle and indulge in a relaxing atmosphere in the middle of the bustling city of Tokyo.


Shinagawa Station START


KitaShinagawa Station


Shibaura Chuo Park

Shimbamba Station


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Tennozu Isle Station

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Osaki Station JR Yam anote Line

Scan QR code for more information about the featured places in Shinagawa

A calm oasis nestled in the middle of busy streets, Shibaura Chuo Park is where wild nature joins in perfect harmony with the skyscrapers of Tokyo. If you happen to visit between May and mid-October, you’ll have the opportunity to see roses in full bloom.


SHINAGAWA SEASON TERRACE The open terrace on the second floor of Shinagawa Season Terrace commands an excellent view of Tokyo Tower, with cherry blossoms blooming in the background in spring and vivid autumn leaves adding a touch of nostalgia during fall. You can also take in a gorgeous view of the tower in the evening with all its lights on. If you are a lover of Japanese drama, don’t miss the chance to visit this actual shooting location.


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The aquarium showcases the wonderful world of marine creatures with dazzling sound, lighting and imagery, bringing a whole new urban entertainment that opens till 10pm (last admission 9pm)



Animal handing business: Yokohama Hakkeijima Inc. Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa 4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8611 (within Shinagawa Prince Hotel) Display 18 Tokyo-Ten No.004119 October1, 2013 September 30, 2023 Ryo Nonoyama

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ROBOT A fantastic world where humans and robots coexist

RESTAURANT EXCITED AND DAZZLED FIRST-TIMER: The very first time I visited the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku, I was completely unprepared and didn’t have a single idea what to expect. The mere name of the restaurant made my imagination go wild with guesses, but from the moment I entered I decided to give up on guessing and just wait in excitement for the show to begin. First, you enter the lounge and find yourself dazzled and surrounded by very creative interior which immediately captures your whole attention: neon lights, a kaleidoscope of shining mirrors, colorful manga-style patterns and bizarre furniture occupied by other impatient visitors counting the minutes before the show’s start. And

finally, the moment comes! CARRIED AWAY IN THE CRAZY RHYTHM OF TAIKO DRUMS: To say I was surprised would be putting it mildly. There are almost no words to describe the vibe of the show, but what I can definitely say is that the energetic and vibrant atmosphere will carry you away for the whole length of the performance! First, you find yourself participating in a loud and fun Japanese festival with lanterns and dragon-shaped floats dancing in the crazy rhythm of taiko drums. Then the festival evolves into a feast of Japanese folklore with its traditional character staples such as kitsune (foxes), ookami (wolves) and youkai (ghost) creatures. Eventually, after the short intro story about the failed coexistence of robots and humans in the far

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Kim Alina from Russia

future, robots occupied the stage and thrilled the audience with foggy explosions, fireworks and spectacular fights. The show ends with a happy parade where people and robots dance together with their signature brisk and dynamic rhythm, leaving you wondering how do they coordinate their movements on the narrow stage with such elegance. To sum up the show: it’s the most amazing combination of old and new Japan, Japanese folklore and vibrant pop-culture I could possibly imagine encountering in a single show. Also, despite its name being ROBOT Restaurant, I strongly felt that the PEOPLE who made this crazy fantasy world come to life are the most beautiful part of the show.

Let the impressions and memories from this show be one of your most prized souvenirs from Japan

Mike and Sarah from UK

Bordoli family from Italy

Jeff and Joel Muser from Luxembourg “We came here to see the freakiest show in our life! What we expect to see are lots of special effects, crazy lights and bursts of colors. It’s amazing to be here!”

Robot Resturant Address: 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku Time: 4pm - 11pm (Shows: 4pm, 5:55pm, 7:50pm, 9:45pm) 1 show approx. 90 min Admission: 8,000 JPY Access: 5-min walk from JR and Tokyo Metro Scan QR code for more infomation Shinjuku Station


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“The atmosphere here is nice and fun and we love the singer. We expect to see a very colorful performance with elements of Japanese culture. Our kids are very excited too. This show will be a surprise for them!”

We saw the advertisement of the show in the guidebook and now we’re here and so excited! It feels like a portal between the future and the past, or like anime! We’ve only been in Japan for one day and we think this show will be a good start.


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C. Which articles did you find most interesting in WAttention Tokyo Vol. 29? Choose all that apply In Harmony with the Seasons

Tokyo Hot News

KAMATA HAKENSHA: The Soul Balanced on the Knife’s Sharp Edge

The Untouched Soul Of Shitamachi

Architecture & Arts in Tokyo Another 3hr Trip: Around Tokyo in 180 minutes

Short Trip from Tokyo: Perfect Autumn Destination - Mt.Fuji Wrapped in Gorgeous Autumn Colors

Discover Niigata from Tokyo. Let’s Go!


Robot Restaurant

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