Totoro has a plan
Next visitation of Nihon

Welcome to the fourth page with my grand plans

Suggestions for the next vacation in Japan

This page contains the trip suggestions 16 through 20.

There are listed about 5 suggestions per page, to reduce loading times,  and the suggestions can also be directly accessed fromt the menu on the right.

Trip #16: Meguro

Meguro station is about 2 stations south of Shibuya. So when doing a clockwise tour on the circle line it will be before Shibuya.

Meguro is a typical modern residential area, so what is there for us to see there (according to some travel sites):
* Meguro Parasitological Museum with rather graphic exhibits and picture, so recommended to skip lunch just before or after visit - or loose it. The most famous exhibit is an 8.8m tapeworm.
* Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. An art museum in an Art Deco style building close to a small park with Japanese and Western gardens and assorted sculptures.
* Institute for Nature Study, adjacent to the above Teien Art Museum. A nature preserve (in the city), with birds and waterfowl, insects and marine life.

On Google Earth it is here.

Trip #17: Parks and gardens II

In case anybody has not realized this yet, I am slightly crazy about parks in Japan.

This is another picture from the Gyoen Garden in Shinjuku, with people having lunch (and probably drinking) under the cherry trees, and a couple of photographers taking pictures of the cherry blossoms.

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But the reason for this posting is that I found another list of parks in Tokyo. The web site for Parks in Tokyo with a list of parks according different classifications like eg. historical is available here.

Trip #18: Yanaka

Yanaka is a historical part of Tokyo, which has retained its charm with old style buildings and lots of small temples and shrines. It does not really have anything special but its atmosphere and charm. I believe it would be a nice contrast to places like Shibuya, Shinjuku and Harajuku. Among the thing to see is the Asakura Choso Museum described in an article here, it is about 5 min. from Nippori station.

More can be read and seen about this area here and here.

It is located near Nippori station on the JR Yamanote line. It is between Komagome (Rikugien park) and Ueno stations.

On Google Earth it can be found here.

Trip #19: Nikko

Located about 140 km to the north of Tokyo, Nikko is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists. It is a placed filled with historical places and shrines. There are also many famous hot springs (onsen) in the area. The mountains west of the city are part of Nikkō National Park and contain spectacular waterfalls and scenic trails.

Nikko is home to the oldest known carvings of the three wise monkeys (Japanese: 三猿, san'en or sanzaru, or 三匹の猿, sanbiki no saru, literally "three monkeys"). Together the three monkeys embody the proverbial principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". The monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil.

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The 17th century carving over a door of the Tōshō-gū shrine is the source that popularized this pictorial maxim. However the maxim probably came to Japan with a Tendai-Buddhist legend around the 8th century, possibly from India via China.

Some more detailed information about Nikko from the Nikko Tourist Association can be found here.

My original idea was to stay in Nikko for a night (but this has unfortunately been vetoed), so arriving early one day and leaving late on the second day. With a sleepover there was two distinct styles of accommodation:

Either the Nikko Kanaya Hotel. This hotel, mainly built of wood, was founded in 1873 and is a distinguished-looking place on a hill above the Sacred Bridge. It is probably the most famous hotel in Nikko. It combines elements of a European country lodge with elements of old Japan. During the years it has been host to a number of distinguished guests from from Charles Lindbergh to Indira Gandhi to Shirley MacLaine; Frank Lloyd Wright is to have left a sketch for the bar fireplace while waiting in the lobby. The main building includes a museum that shows the furnishings, chinaware, menus and photos of the hotel about 100 years ago. Unfortunately their english language pages have been removed within the last week or two, so at the moment there is only a Japanese version here.

Or as an alternative would have been one of the Ryokan style hotels further away from the station. They typical look like concrete block towers on the outside, but are furnished with traditional Japanese style rooms inside. There is an example of one here which is close to the station and has a more traditional hotel-like look.

Nikko would require at least a full day, I will try to dig out some locations and create a map for a later update.

Nikko is located on Earth about here.

Trip #20: Miscellaneous

This is not an actual trip suggestion, but more a list of things I would like to do while in Tokyo. The list is not very specific as quite a number of the things mentioned have already been suggested as part of the other trips.

Art museums and galleries
Some art galleries (at least one), both with more classic exhibitions a la Hiroshige and Hokusai, but also more contemporary ones, like Roppongi Crossing 2007. In particular I would like to see some photo exhibitions. A couple are already listed in connection with the other trips.

Performing Art
Kabuki, there is the Kabuki-za theater in Ginza, we just need to go there early and buy the tickets. Information about the theater is available here. So we need to decide on a day when we are there, best seems to be a weekday. They probably will not be to strict on the dresscode on a weekday.

Nihon buyo, Japaneses dance. I have had trouble finding anywhere where we can see this while we are there.

Bunraku, traditional Japanese puppet theater. Again I have had trouble finding anywhere to see this.

Butoh, avantgarde dance originally from Japan. Again it seems to be easier to find establishments in the USA than in the Japan.

Traditional music, if one can use that word. Here meaning music with traditional Japanese instruments. Still digging.

Both technical (including aircraft and military) as well as more historical oriented museums. There are a couple listed in connection with the other trips.

Would like to try Unagi and Sashimi (at least once in Japan). Some Curry dishes would be nice also.

Also would like to buy some pre-made (both handmade and factorymade) Bento boxes and of course some of the different bread types, eg. Curry and Melon.

But I think we will do this more or less on impulse and what is available, when we get hungry.

Would like to go to a J-Pop or J-Rock concert, but I could only find chatmonchy doing a concert on the last friday and saturday we are there.

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The location ZEPP TOKYO in Odaiba, should not be a terribly good one for music, and the site is only in Japanese. So it will be an impulse thing. It seems we have already been there though (I believe this was where the race car exhibit was last time), but here is the location on the map.

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On the first sunday, 凛 として時雨 (Rin Toshite Shigure) is playing at SHIBUYA-AX, a guitar, bass and drum trio, which definitely plays rock.

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They are hard to get any kind of records with, but there are a couple of videos on YouTube, eg. Security and Sadistic Summer.


Do not think there is too much point in going to the cinema in Japan as with my very very few words of Japanese it would be a slight pain. There are some possibilities to visit TV studios and even to attend a show. This is mentioned for the Harajuku or Shibuya trip.

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