TOKYO, JAPAN

OLD MEETS NEW

HIP MIXED WITH TRADITION

WHY I LOVE

TOKYO

  1. Each city centre has it's own unique character.
  2. French, Italian, Mongolian, German, Scandinavian, India, Indonesian, Thai, Chinese, Korean...namely you can enjoy any cuisine from almost all over the world.
  3. Even when you are in the center of Tokyo, you still can find a quiet shrine or temple.

24 HRS IN TOKYO

SEE, EAT & DO

Get in a super packed train! It’s a great experience and you will also be amazed how quiet it is. I recommend the JR Yamanote line from Shinjuku to Shibuya between 8 – 9am and to have breakfast with other business people at a great local place – Ginza Renoir where the morning set menu is very cheap at 58 yen US$40 cents.

Walk from Harajuku to Aoyama, Tokyo’s most fashionable street. Visit the Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum and have a nice tonkatu at a retro restaurant Mai Sen. Followed by great coffee at Omotesando.

Visit the famous Robot restaurant in Shinjuku and enjoy an awesome show! If you aren’t on a budget then head to the restaurant at the Park Hyatt – The New York Grill for one of the best views of Tokyo. Or for a cozy Japanese restaurant it would be Yotare.

TOP 5 BEST

SPOTS TO EAT

Nakasei is a restaurant within a boutique like butcher shop. They are experts of aged beef. If you choose the UCHI course menu, you can enjoy  comparing the tastes of red and marbled meat which are stored in a special storage for 4 to 8 weeks.

You may think Tempura is a deep fried dish. It is not. That’s what the chef Kondo says. It is a steamed dish cooked by hot oil which extracts the flavour of each ingredient. You will enjoy freshly deep fried (steamed) vegetables or fish cooked in front of you. Tempura Kondo isn’t cheap but is well worth the price tag – as it’s 2 star Michelin status confirms.

Unagi (eel) is a very popular Japanese dish. Hitsumabushi Nagoya Bincho offers a unique Nagoya style eel dish; 1st serve= eat with crisply grilled eel and rice, 2nd serve=eat eel with spring onion and wasabi on the top, 3rd serve=eel and rice with broth poured on it.

Shabu shabu is a well known Japanese dish, but if you want to eat an authentic one, you are best to go to a Shabu shabu specialized restaurant like Zakuro. Thin sliced Wagyu (Japanese beef) with a spicy sesame source is a meat paradise!

The chicken served at Bird Land is Okukuji chicken, free-range, local traditional pedigree chicken. On the menu is liver putty, chicken breast with wasabi, chicken skin, thigh cutlet with teriyaki source…With a lively atmosphere, you will enjoy the best chicken satay and a must also is Oyakodon – a bowl of rice with chicken and egg.

ESSENTIALS

A lot of restaurants offer a reasonably priced lunch menu. So for cheap Japanese fast food try Ganso zushi for sushi on a conveyer belt. For a beef bowl try Yosinoya and for a chicken bowl Nakau. Lunchtime is between 11.30 – 2pm and in Japan it is not custom to tip – at restaurants or hotels.

Save some of your budget to eat at a top Japanese restaurant. See my top 5 for the list.

Grab your running shoes and take a jog around the Imperial palace.

HIGH END – If you aren’t on a budget The Park Hyatt which feels like a hideaway, or the Imperial Hotel – very good location and the service is extremely good or Chinzanso – which is set within a huge Japanese Garden.
MID RANGE – For a more traditional feel and quite historic the Homeikan or Shigetsu are two very good Japanese Inn’s.

QUIRKY- A more unusual option is to stay in a temple ( shukubo ) – The Japanese Inn group is a very good one and is located just outside of Tokyo.

The metro is your best option – fastest and cheapest way to get around.

 Japanese people in Tokyo don’t speak much English if at all so try to learn a little bit of Japanese – you will get a lot more smiles and feel more a part of this city. A few simple ones are Arigato (thank you), Sumimasen (excuse me or pardon).

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