Welcome to the second page
Suggestions for the next
vacation in Japan
This page contains the trip
suggestions 6 to 10.
are listed about 5 suggestions per page, to reduce loading
times, and the suggestions can also be directly accessed
the menu on the right.
The city of Yokohama
has grown in the last 140 years from a village of some 100 houses to
the second largest city of Japan with a population of almost 3.5
million. It now has Japan's largest international port and has a large
international community with the largest Chinatown in Japan.
at Sakuragicho Station, one can take a moving walkway, that connects
the station with the Landmark Tower in Minato Mirai. Minato Mirai is a
high tech looking area filled with high rise buildings. The Landmark
Tower is Japan's tallest building, there is an observatory on the 69th
floor, Sky Garden, from which one can enjoy another 360 degree view of
the city (compared to Tokyo Tower last time). The tower contains the
world's second fastest elevator, which travels at more than 1 floor per
second, taking about 40 seconds to the Sky Garden. An alternative is
one floor up, a Sirius Sky Lounge. Around Minato Mirai, there are
several shopping malls, and the Yokohama Cosmo World, an amusement park
spread along both sides of a canal. The park has one of the largest
Ferris wheels in the world. A number of museums, like the Yokohama
Museum Art showing works of Western and Japanese artists since the
1850s. The Yokohama Maritime Museum concentrating on Yokohama's history
as a port, beginning with the arrival of Perry's 'Black Ships'.
along a waterfront promenade toward the Yamashita Park, passing along
the way the Red Brick Warehouse (Renga), which contains shops selling
crafts, furniture, housewares, clothing and jewelry, as well as
restaurants. The park was laid out after 1923 earthquake, and although
a fairly new park should be worthwhile a visit.
Park, there is the Silk Museum and the Yokohama Doll Museum. A bit
further on is then Chukagai, Japan's largest Chinatown with hundreds of
souvenir shops and restaurants.
At last there is Sankeien
, which contains historic
buildings brought here from other parts of Japan, including Kyoto and
So an observatory, some gardens, a shopping area and chinatown. That
should give a day worth of sightseeing.
On Earth, Yokohama can be found here
Kawagoe, located about an hour by train from Tokyo Central, is typical
of the suburbs that encompass the city. Located in the center of
Saitama, Kawagoe City flourished as a castle town in the Edo period
(1603 -1867). Today it is designated as a preservation area for groups
of historic buildings, where rows of merchants' houses in a historical
storehouse style from the 19th century stand side by side. The survival
of these buildings is due to the Great Kawagoe Fire of 1893, which
destroyed a third of the city. While rebuilding, consideration was
taken to use more fireproof materials and building techniques. Kawagoe
is called Koedo, or "Little Edo", because of its city architecture, and
it is one of the oldest towns in the Kanto region.
Most of the
storehouses are located along one road, Ichiban-gain (ten-minute walk
from the Hon-Kawagoe train station). The storehouse buildings are
intermixed with western-style buildings erected in the beginning of the
20th century. Other sights are the bell tower, the Tokino Kane Tower,
looming over the other buildings with its three storey height! The bell
tower has been rebuilt several times since its origin in the 17th
A specialty of Kawagoe is Kashiya-yokocho
a confectionary lane. Shops of Japanese candies, sweet potato cakes,
rice crackers and other snacks stand in a row on both sides of a
stone-paved lane. There are some interesting restaurants as well.
From Ikebukuro station it takes 33 minutes on the Tobu Line express to
It is located here
on the map.
might be a nice change from Tokyo, and a chance to see some old-style
suburb. It could be a half-day trip combined with the other half-day
being used in for example Ikebukuro.
#8: Mt. Takao
Takao-san, located in the western Tokyo and at the eastern edge of
the Kanto Mountain Range, is a sacred mountain. It has been designated
as the Meiji-no-mori Takao National Park. The Yakuoin Temple halfway up
the mountain was build in in 744. It has been used for worship for more
than 1,200 years, and still over 3 million worshipers visit it yearly,
There are six well-maintained hiking trails with
different themes from the foot of the wooded mountain to the 599
meter-high mountaintop. It is possible get halfway to the top by cable
car or lift. Near the terminal of the cable car is the Takao-san
Natural Zoo and Botanical Garden, where monkeys are ranging freely.
is particurlarly popular during the second half of november as it is
one of Tokyo's most popular koyo spots. So it is advised during that
time to visit the mountain during the week unless crowds are your thing.
Its location on Google Earth is here
get there take JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku to Takao Station, where one
can transfer to the Keio Line and ride one more station to
This could be anything from a half-day to a full-day trip.
Best exit from Shibuya station is the into the Hachikō square named
after a dog. Hachikō was a truly persistent dog born in 1923, who every
evening waited for his master coming home from work outside the
station. When his master passed away (at work) he continued to come and
wait at the station for next nearly 11 years. The dog got so famous
even in its lifetime that a statue was erected shortly before Hachikō's
famous Hachikō statue. I think the cover may be due to the winter or
the spring equinox (a period where one should, among other things, be
good to animals).
The statue stands in the corner of the square.
across the square was a Starbucks and Tower Records (I think, or it may
have been HMV) with 6 or 7 floors of music (CD) and films (DVD and the
occasional Blu-ray and HD-DVD). Got to get back there.
109 (10 means To and 9 means Kyu, a play on words as the store is owned
by Tokyu) department store which primarily offers womens clothing.
There should be an 109-2 which is doing mens clothing also. There are
competing stores owned by a number of the large railway companies,
another one Seibu can be seen in the background to the left in the
our morning coffee at Starbucks and a few pictures of the famous
crossing, where there is green at the same time for all pedestrians.
choose to go to the left of the Starbucks, as seen from the square and
ended up in a street with small shops and restaurants, but nothing out
of the ordinary really. A single electronics shop caught my interest
and I returned there a few days later and bought a few things.
missed a number of museums, there are a number of concert places, NHK
Studio park where we can get a tour of the TV studios. Two large shops,
Book 1st, one of the largest bookstores in Tokyo, as well as Tokyo
Hands, everything gadget or practical (Home decorations) that is very
Japanese (like a rubber duck department) can be found there.
Want to visit at least the music store and Tokyo Hands.
Shibuya's location on Google Earth is here
Anders wants to visit a bar in Shimokitazawa, so it is now on the list.
is typically visited by university students. It is an old style area
with very narrow streets and highly intersected with many small
alleyways. There is nothing special there, except the bar, and lots of
small shops, bars and restaurants. The center is the small square by
the south exit of the station.
Should be a good shopping area
for china, cheap clothes and character goods (no idea what that is),
and it should be a good place to spot interesting shop names. Not many
non-Japanese tourists so time to make a wild guess on the menu card.
The advice is: 'Carry a mobile phone and try hard to look under 25'.
There is a bit more information here
directions to 'Mother':
the Odakyu line from Shinjuku or the Inokashira line from Shibuya and
get off at Shimokitazawa. Take the south exit from the station, and go
straight down the main street keeping McDonalds on your left. Walk for
about 2 minutes (Mr Donuts is halfway there) until the road opens out
wider. About 20 meters after that (and just before you get to Osho
chinese restaurant's red sign) there is a very small intersection. Turn
right and Mother is the first building on the right with the mosaic
It is definitely worth a visit to take in the atmosphere, and it is
very close to Shibuya and Shinjuku so easy to get there.