Doing shopping in Tokyo is very easy! You don’t need to seek special places, specific neighborhoods or shopping centers in the center of the city, just look up and you’ll find many shops that, at any time, sell everything and more! You can buy a shirt while crossing the tracks of the train station, buy food and drink while waiting for the bus in one of the thousands convenience stores around town, but the store that attracts more tourists but also the Japanese surely is Don Quijote!
Don Quijote is not a single shop in Tokyo but a chain of stores you can find in the most important city locations, but also in peripheral areas. In Tokyo there are more or less than 23 shops and almost all are open seven days a week for 24 hours! These stores are filled with all kinds of goods, from clothes to gadgets, from food to cigarettes, but also you can find inside all those weird things that only the Japanese can immagine and create! The moment, in my opinion, better to visit a Don Quijote store is the night, perhaps after spending the evening with friends before returning to the hotel a visit from Don Quijote is almost a must!
Don’t be surprised by how many goods are exposed! For the first time may seem to enter into a bazaar of objects and of poor quality and cheap but really, this is not the case! The merchandise is in fact so plenty that to contain it and expose it in the stores they have to put it even on the ceiling! There are even objects on display all over the elevator wall and to find the button to call it you have to move a puppet of Rilakkuma, or a Louis Vuitton handbag! Yes Louis Vuitton! In fact, these stores sell also luxury items such as purses and wallets of the most prestigious brands! Seen how they are exposed you could think of fake goods but is not the case, and the price makes it very clear! I highly recommend to visit the “sexy” corner in the shop! It’s not a real sex shop but it looks like! The entire chain of Don Quixote is practically famous for these sexy corners! Within these areas there are items that I never even imagined could exist! I was very curious about the shelf of lubricants that are packaged like food! Bottles of beer exactly the same as the original and in a liquid of similar consistency, jars of Nutella identical to real ones and bottles of fruit juices which are difficult to distinguish from those bought in the supermarket!!! So funny!!
Eggs per female pleasure, fun tools for men, sexy sailor moon or policeman costumes,and much much more that is more fun to see than to describe! But when you are tired from having walked all day in the hectic hustle and bustle of the city, the department to visit for sure is the electronic massagers one! All massagers are on display and free to try! My favorite is definitely the shiatsu massage one! I could spend hours massaging my back with that tool! The only possibly negative aspect is the song of the store that has spread continuously in all areas of the store! A real brain-washing! You can hear it here!
This is Don Quijote!!!
Today I found a great application on the App Store to remind the Japanese alphabet in a fun way. If you are owners of iPhone, iPad or iPodTouch i really suggest you to try it!!! And you can get it for free! The app is called HIRAGANA PIXEL PARTY.
Hiragana Pixel Party is basically a rhythm game, with a certain facet of teaching. Have you always wanted to learn Japanese? Well, I do not know if this game will help you inyour intent, but at least you can learn to read and write the alphabet. Here is why.
Hiragana Pixel Party is a musical game tap. In fact, our aim will be to replace the cap with the right timing and blow up obstacles to our female lead. Plug the pace is not enough. In fact, we also take care to plug the right letters, or rather the right characters. Before jumping obstacles, the CPU will show on the screen of the letters, and we will repeat them in the correct order by tapping with the correct timing. By the time we repeat the letters, they will be presented on the screen with Japanese characters. Thus, we learn, stage after stage, to associate the sounds of our letters, the Japanese characters. Sometimes, however, the process is reversed, and letters first in Japanese, will be “re-tapped” in english.
The gameplay and mechanics underlying the title is very simple. I do not know if anyone actually is able to learn the Japanese alphabet or a few brief words with this system, but after playing for a few minutes of play, I learned, more or less, as you write the ”I”, the “A” and the ”U” in Japanese characters. Maybe coming to the last stage, I will be able to completely repeat the alphabet.
Putting aside the educational side, Hiragana Pixel Party is a music game really easy, but with the Japanese style which is not bad. The title has a dedicated graphics with pixel art,with figures barely hinted at on the screen. Our young protagonist, in fact, be representedby a simple black silhouette, set against a colorful background. Moreover, during our march we will also sound accompanied by some small doves, which represent our chances of error. With the next update, already announced by the development team, will be loaded with new challenges, with ever more complex words to increase the degree of challenge and fun.
Hiragana Pixel Party has absolutely no advertising in the game and contains more than 200 Japanese characters, which are to be divided into as many as 200 different missions and internships. You have no excuse not to test it, and even if you learn the meaning of the words on the screen, you will know at least recognize the various japanese characters.
Two years ago, when I had to choose the kind of hotel where to spend my days in Tokyo, I found a chain of serviced apartments / hotel called TOKYU STAY. The hotel presents itself as a cross between a traditional hotel and a small apartment with all necessary services. Within each room there are in fact a microwave, a hot plate for cooking, a sink, a work shelf as in classic cuisine, and above all a convenient washing machine with dryer function. The presence of the washing machine immediately caught my attention! Unfortunately, as everyone knows, airlines companies raise the weight limit of baggage to be put in the hold of aircraft. But Tokyo is a city where you can’t walk the streets without buying anything …. indeed, is exactly the opposite! You can not think of spending a holiday in Tokyo without having to deal with everything that you buy and that you have, sometimes doing magic tricks, to bring in your suitcase!
Having a washing machine in the room is of great help! Knowing to be able to wash your own clothes when you want, allows you to pack the bare essentials, leaving free space for all the things you will buy on the way back! So I opted for this hotel and more precisely to the Shibuya Shin-Minamiguchi one.
TOKYU STAY SHIBUYA SHIN_MINAMIGUCHI
Another interesting aspect is how to make reservations. Through various travel booking sites such as lastminute.com or expedia.com when you book a trip, you must pay by credit card. If you are a common man like me and do not have a Gold , Platinum or Black card this could be a problem! When you book for two or more people at once the flight and the hotel, these sites give you the choice of paying with 2 differents credit cards, only 2 …. at least my experiences tell me this …. and you can find you in the condition of not being able to pay for the entire trip! The Tokyu Stay chain allow, after the registration at the website, a reservation without payment, enabling you to pay once your arrival in the lobby!
The hotel is very quiet and there is not a big lobby like in the Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, but it is very organized and clean! In the square below the hotel is open 24 hours a Family Mart (like every convenience stores) very convenient to stock up on food or drink just before going to your room.
THE VIEW FROM MY BALCONY
THE BREAKFAST MENU
The rooms, being like small apartments, are larger than the common rooms of the hotels in Tokyo. Mine had even a balcony! In the lobby there is a free wifi network (indinspensabile in Tokyo) and breakfast is included! The hotel, being very small, there isn’t a space where they could serve the breakfast. But in the same building there is a family restaurant called Jonathan’s where, by submitting name and room number, you can have breakfast for free!
Prices are in line with those of business hoels in Tokyo, so pretty cheap, but the services are definitely more interesting!
Tokyu Stay Shibuya Shin-minamiguchi
Shibuya 3-26-21, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002
I must admit, I’m addicted to Japanese drugstores! I can’t walk near a pharmacy without getting inside a moment to see if I need anything or if there are new products to try! Everything! I love everything about these pharmacies!
I am especially intrigued by the department of products designed for men that are as large as the one dedicated to women! Perhaps it is a depiction of Japanese society in which, unfortunately, the man is at the center of social life, all options are open before to men, secondarily to woman.
An example of the quantities of various items that are in these drugstores is definitely the set of solutions and sponges to wash your face in the morning! Absurd! Needless to say that all these products I have bought in large quantities to have a supply when not in Tokyo! I’m crazy! I know it well!!!!
It all begins with a facial massage to awaken, restore movement, reduceexpression lines …
Then you have to wash the face with the help of special soaps and sponges … There are those that give a feeling of ice on your face, perfect in summer, otherwise there are soaps with fruit extracts or neutral.
ICE-TYPE FACIAL SOAP
DIFFERENTS FACIAL SOAPS
All these soaps come inpaste that is ”mounted”, as you do with the fresh cream, to get a foam with which to wash.
TO SCRUB YOUR FACE
After all this is not done yet! You have to put the products to avoid that the face is polished, because of the sebum, during the day. Having a shiny face, for a Japanese man, is almost a disgrace! But here is so that other products come in handy!
LOTION with inside a powder which is fixed on the skin absorbing excess of sebum
LOTION a normal one
Finally a GEL to control oil during the day.
I know, things are perhaps a little excessive. Not all Japanese men use all these products every day, but go in these drugstores in Tokyo and try everything amuses me so much!
Warning! MATSUMOTO KIYOSHI, the one with the yellow sign, is perhaps the most widespread but also more expensive because many of the stores stay open at night. The chain, which I think is cheaper is the one with the sign written in RED and WHITE!
Tokyo is a city that continues to change! Even after few months, maybe some restaurants or shops that we used to know can be replaced by something else … But not only, there are also spaces created entirely new! It can seems strange because moving around the city does not seem that there are many free spaces to build but … The Japanese take opportunities where you least expect it! A good example is the Shinjuku station! Built over the train tracks as a great bridge that contains shops and restaurants.
A novelty of the last months of 2011 is precisely this type. In the south of Shinjuku, Yoyogi more precisely, was created a village of food and life-style in a space disposed between office buildings, creating a point of interest where before was nothing.
The complex is called Yoyogi Village and is a collection of high quality services such as restaurants, cafes, soups and bakery shops and also a massage center and a travel agency. Everything was built inside of containers, like those that are on cargo ships. To enclose this space is a set of trees and plants selected and cataloged, it was almost like a botanical garden. The tranquility and the colors inspired by nature are the fundamental elements of the complex. Honestly I knew this place thanks to my Japanese friend who occasionally works in the restaurant. The restaurant is called Code Kurkku and looks like an Italian restaurant. I‘m Italian I did not think to get hit by this type of cuisine but I was wrong! The food is very interesting because the flavors mix is Italian and traditional Japanese and the result is excellent!
Prices unfortunately are not as excellent for a tourist visiting Tokyo that, like me, can not afford to spend too much! But a break for soup or coffee is absolutely affordable for everyone and very nice!
To reach the complex from Shinjuku you can also go on foot. From Lumine1 just take the road towards the Sunroute Plaza Hotel and once in front of the Yoyogi Station ( Yamanote Line ) take the second street on your right and you’re soon arrived.
tel. 03 6300 5231
In tokyo, opportunities to eat in a good restaurant, are really a lot! I really liked a restaurant in Shibuya, where the Japanese culinary tradition is merged with the more westerly one of Spanish tapas.
The place is called 209, a name that recalls the most famous shopping center Shibuya 109, and in fact is very close. To reach the restaurant from the famous Shibuya crossing takes very few minutes!
Looking at the building with the biggest screen where they are located StarbucksCoffee and TSUTAYA shop you must take the main road on the left that goes to the Dogenzaka districtt. At the corner intersection where the Shibuya 109 is, go straight until the first road on the right. Just before Mos Burger. Turn right into the street and immediately you’ll see the orange sign of the restaurant 209.
Inside the design is very nice, you get a feeling of warmth as you enter. The scents are is not the classic of Japanese food, but it will be easy to feel the aroma of Gorgonzola cheese with red wine.
In this restaurant, the candles are everywhere and lights and very low but it’s not the classic romantic restaurant, but a place to relax and chat with friends eating delicious Japanese/Spanish tapas drinking some good wine or a fresh beer. The prices are really cheap and central location makes this a landmark in Shibuya.
A strange kind of soup Gazpacho-style
Marinated Salmon, rally tasty!!
The restaurant ( sorry for bad quality )
Shiizu building 1F, 2-28-1, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043
JR Shibuya Station 3-minute walk
Subway Shibuya Station 3-minute walk
OPENLunchMonday - Sunday 11:30-15:30 (15:00)DinnerMonday - Saturday 17:30-04:00Sundays and holidays 17:30-23:00CLOSEOpen everydayPhone03-3462-7422
Prices Average price
- Diners Club
- American Express
Tokyo is famous for so many crazy and fun aspects of Japanese culture! Technology in this city is essential to do everything.People use the mobile phone for any application (payments in shops, train tickets etc. ..), but the device most in use is definitely the camera! The Japanese have a passion for photography as anywhere else in the world. They must photograph everything they eat, see, visit and above all every moment of the day that they share with their family or their friends! Even the most trivial, as the search for a new shirt with a friend, it should surely be remembered with a photograph! And because of that passion in Japan is widespread the practice of PURIKURA, small photographs with applied effects that improve the appearance and with the opportunity to sign something perhaps to remember a date or put your own name!
Truth be told! PURIKURA is longer a phenomenon for adolescents than for adults, but you can’t go to Tokyo without having the memory of a PURIKURA! The machines are like those found in many cities around the world to take photos for the documents. They are like cabins where people come in and see framed on one screen!
At that point you can choose to apply effects to images, backgrounds, and how many images to print. You can choose to have a bit larger and others smaller, all the same size, even on what type of card printing! There is also the option to print photos on adhesive paper and stick them on the back of the phone for example. While you choose among all these options, in the background there is the “dear” Paris Hilton singing Nothing In This World, who knows why …
Then the camera will do everything! A cheerful little voice will tell you how to position yourself in front of the photographic objective, how to put your hands, which expressions to take …. fun to do in the company trying to do the craziest faces! Clearly it is also just a fun experience! You can spend some happy time as you’re waiting for someone who’s late or when you’re tyred to stay outside in the winter cold or in the scorching heat in summer.
Once finished the “shooting”, you must exit the first room of the cabin and go in a second one, smaller, where with a special pen you can directly choose which objects to write or print on your photos. At this point, there are no limits to the imagination!
All machines for PURIKURA are easily found all over Tokyo! Just go to those places full of machines that, by inserting a coin, allow you to fish puppets. On the bottom of the room, behind all the machines, there are booths PURIKURA which usually have pictures of girls with big eyes and smiling, and have the text BF (Best Friends)
I DID IT !!!!
The first time I’ve been in Tokyo, I went to a guest house of a Japanese friend of mine. Although I often went out alone to visit the city, but always I had advices from his family, how to move, which trains to take and how to get home! Not knowing Japanese is not easy to move quickly. The second time, for a variety of circumstances, I decided to return to Tokyo alone.
My main problem was then just where to stay, what kind of hotel, but especially in wich neighborhood. I needed to find a hotel in a neighborhood convenient for travel, easily accessible near restaurants, bars and shops in the middle reach without having to catch trains. I had no idea how the experience would have been in Tokyo all by myself and wanted to have all the amenities and services near the hotel. Tokyo fascinates everyone, but for those unfamiliar with the language and travel to exotic places can also be frightened by the amount of people, lights and colors that Tokyo has to offer.
THE VIEW FROM MY ROOM
Doing several searches on the internet I finally decided. I would spend my time in Tokyo at the hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. The hotel is business-type , rooms are small but with all the comforts, the staff understands English, and the movements are made easier by the fantastic location. In fact reaching the subway or the JR lines takes very few steps and, what is really important when you are tired, you have not to pass through crowds of people running to get to the hotel. In fact the street of the hotel is on the south side of Shinjuku station and is served by the new output of the station called ”NewSouth Exit” which comes out on Southern Terrance directly opposite the hotel.
Single rooms are very small, as most of the hotel business, no closet, but the space is really well designed. The bathroom is small but clean and organized, has a window with an opaque glass, which looks out on the room to filter the natural light and give a sense of openness to the environment. Very important when you have tostay so long in a room. In addition to every room air conditioner is also an air purifier that starts automatically when it detects dirt or odors in the room. In all the rooms of the hotel is available in-room massage service that I have clearly proved! A nice old Japanese came to expertly massaging my back by pressure only with the help of a towel. No oil, no mess in your room, kindness and professionalism. The old lady did not speak a word of English but still managed to understand each others. At 2F you can find a room with free internet computers available and free hot drinks vending machine. At each floor instead, near the elevators there is a vending-machines room for all drinks and snacks on hand at any time without leaving the hotel.
Recommended the Swedish hotel spa. I tried the best massage of my life in that place. I have already done in various Swedish massage massage centers but that of the spa of this hotel is still the best. Maybe a little pricey, but is money really wellspent.
151-0053 2-3-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
TEL. 03-3375-3211 FAX. 03-5365-4110
3 minutes walk from the South Exit of Shinjuku Station, 2 minutes walk from the Southern Terrace Exit.Immediately to the right upon exiting the Toei Oedo Shinjuku Line A1 Exit (Shinjuku Mines Tower Exit)
15 minutes by car from Metropolitan Expressway Shinjuku turnoff 60 minutes by car from Haneda Airport 80 minutes by car from Narita Airport
65 cars (toll parking)
Omotesando is one of the most elegant streets of Tokyo. Along this road there are the Japanese offices and shops of the most important international brands like Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Tod’s, Benetton, Max Mara etc..
It’s very pleasant drive along the road to watch the new designers collections, but most of all to see how people dress in this particular neighborhood. Students of fashion school lurk along the way doing Street-snaps right in this neighborhood because the focus on fashion is really important. It’s right in Omotesando Street that begins the story of Paradise Kiss !!!
Just along Omotesando, however there is also a really nice cafe called Tokyo Apartment Café.
The peculiarity of this place is that every room where you can drink a coffee or eat a japanese burger is decorated as a private apartment. You can eat in the bedroom, have a drink in the kitchen, relax and read a book in the bathroom.
I was also very impressed with the menu printed as a newspaper, and ashtrays filled with ground coffee powder scented to absorb odors. I recommend this place for a pleasant break from shopping. The prices are really low despite the environment is really nice and pleasant.
Tokyo Apartment Cafè @ Harajuku
Green Fantasia 1F, 1-11-11, Jingumae,
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 Japan
Open. 11:00am_1:00am(Fri,Sat _2:00am)
In the middle of skyscrapers jungle in the Shinjuku district, the CocoonTower is definitely one of the most characteristic and particular. Located in the financial district of Nishi-Shinjuku was designed by Japanese architect KenzoTange before he died in 2005 and later realized from his company ”Kenzo Associates“ between May 2006 and October 2008. He was rewarded in 2008 with ’”Emporis Skyscraper Award” as best skyscraper of the year.
THE COCOON TOWER
Top 203 meters has 50 floors inside where there are three schools for about 10,000 students, a fashion one (the Tokyo Mode Gakuen), design one (HAL Tokyo and Shuto Iko) and also a medicine one. For this reason is the second building height dedicated exclusively to the study after the Moscow State University and the seventeenth tallest skyscraper in Tokyo.
On the ground floor ( in Japan marked as 1F ) is open to everybody a small but interesting cafe called Blue Square Cafe. Inside this space you can enjoy drinks on the style of Starbucks Coffee, cakes and breads like in a backery cafe, but the most interesting thing is the kind of entertainment offered to the clients!
In fact, a lot of iPod Touch are available to listen to music, surf the net, check your email, play with a selection of games. For lovers of reading instead there are books placed directly in the structure of the tables, under the glass counter.
iPOD TOUCH “STATIONS”
Of course the cafe is located inside a building dedicated to fashion and design, you can so browse for free the latest Japanese architecture and fashion magazines reporting latest creations of designers.
For foreigners who are interested in this field, have a selection of the highlights of the library is very interesting. Often in Japanese bookshops all publications are organized according to the alphabet in Japanese characters and not put on display. This makes it difficult for those unfamiliar with the language to obtain magazines with latest pictures. Usually then I go to this cafe and I look for publications that interest me most, i take a picture to the cover and I show it in the library where I intend to buy.
Whenever I’m in Tokyo, I like to eat well, and a lot! After all I’m on vacation and I deserve it, like everyone else! In addition to delight me with Tsukune’s restaurant in LUMINE, when I’m in Shinjuku I always go in a fine restaurant which I think is called Tsukino Shizuku.
RESTAURANT IS ON WEST SIDE
The restaurant is located on the west side of Shinjuku station, in the direction of the Cocoon Tower and Yodobashi Camera. It is not hard to find, located above the Starbucks Coffee in front of The Suit Company shop. The restaurant is not at street level but is located at 2/3 floors of the corner building. However, there are several signs to find it.
THE ENTRANCE OF THE RESTAURANT ( 2/3F )
I stumbled into this restaurant the first time accompanied by a Japanese friend. The thing that immediately struck me was how to order food. In fact you do not have to ask for food to the waiter, but you must submit orders through a tablet like the iPad! The tablet is very convenient because there is also the English language with a description of the dishes. Unfortunately dishes pictures are associated only to the Japanese menu, but after a little practice you can identify them, if the English description is not entirely convincing, from the Japanese menu as the structure of the menu pages is the same for both languages.
A LOT OF SAKE
In this restaurant you can eat just about anything … Meat, fish, vegetables, fried foods, but most of all you can drink by choosing from a list of Sake, Shochu and Umeshu really wide! And all is really cheap , but the quality is good!!!!
Here some pictures of the dishes I tried :
ASPARAGUS WITH HAM
EGGS, BEANS AND MISO SALAD, EDAMAME
I really enjoyed!!!!!!!!
Among entertainments that Tokyo offers, certainly the most curious for all the foreigners visiting this city is the KARAOKE!
I think in any part of the world as there are facilities for Karaoke like in Japan. Certainly singing along with the words on a screen is a common practice everywhere, but in Japan goes far beyond! There are whole buildings of several floors, full of small rooms where people go to sing! The feeling is to be in a hotel , where you can choose your room type,a small one or a big one, for 2 or more people, with round or square tables, there are even large rooms with a small theatrical stage to recreate the feeling of singing for an audience.
Singing at Karaoke, for the Japanese is not only a moment of relaxation! Widespread is the practice of organizing meetings between businessmen in special rooms for Karaoke, then celebrating, singing, the success of a trade agreement! Especially it is important to know that the practice of Karaoke is taken very seriously from everyone in Japan. It is NOT important the personal tone, but the diligence that each one brings to sing the song. From beginning to end! Never interrupt a song if you’re singing along with some Japanese! That said, it’s easy to find in the corridors of the buildings of karaoke business men just trying to practice for the songs that will sing in front of the leaders of their company!
In Tokyo there are several chains offering Karaoke services. Among the most famous there are SHIDAX, BIG ECHO and KARAOKE KAN. In all these chains as you sings you can order drinks or food, and the fee system is by hours, with supplements every half an hour of longer occupation of the room! It is very important to know that Karaoke has different prices depending on time of day you want to go and sing! The morning and afternoon is a lot cheaper, while the evening can get pretty expensive! My advice for the evening, which is the moment generally preferred by everyone, is not to exceed 2 hours stay and not to abuse ordering spirits! Otherwise it becomes expensive like a bottle of good Champagne in a top class restaurant!
Once inside you’ll find a tablet like the iPad, where you can search songs organized by artist, by name, sometimes by language, but usually there are songs in English and Japanese. By default the keyboard that appears on the tablet is character-Japanese, often in the lower left corner there is a system folder (such as those that appear on top of the screen when you surf the internet and show you all the pages you have open ) that enables other alphabet keyboards to request the song! Once you find your one the song starts and appears on the screen! Remember to turn off the lights while you sing! When the room light is off, automatically colored lights starts following the rhythm of the song you‘re singing! On the screen of the tablet is also possible to change the tone of the song to bring it closer to your own voice! Usually it is a button with the arrows and dots like this: <…………………. >
To me, the chain that offers better price / quality ratio is definitely Karaoke Kan, and it is also the most widespread in Tokyo! The rooms are perhaps less pretty ( in Shidax each floor is themed, and you can find you in a room with the submarine porthole ) but almost all foreign songs are updated.
Don’t be afraid to try the Karaoke in Japan, once you try it you can understand why it’s so successfull in that country …..
Japan is known worldwide for its beautiful trees Sakura, the Sushi, the tradition of the Samurai, the exciting world of Manga, but also for a traditional ceremony attended by the Japanese: that of theHOT SPRINGS!!
Japan, being one of the “hottest” places in the world, has a system of natural hot springs that come directly heated by the magma under the ground! We could say that is the nicest part of having an earthquake by day!!!
Tokyo as a metropoli,has a lot of places where people can go to relax with water, but in this case we must immediately make clear : the word ONSEN, in Japanese, means that thermal waters are absolutely naturals and only channeled in pools where people can use it, the word SENTO instead means a thermal center where the water is artificially heated and is more similar to the spa concept.
The Oedo Onsen Monogatari is one of the most distinctive and crazy Onsen in Tokyo. Surely it is a very touristic place, it was rebuilt in a small town with EDO-style shops selling souvenirs for foreigners but also very interesting for Japanese people!
Reaching this Onsen is a small ”travel” within the city which will remain in the hearts of many for years! From Yamanote Line Shimbashi station you must take the Yurikamome Line holding your camera at hand! After crossing the beautiful Tokyo Bay and be passed on the Rainbow Bridge, you’ll reach the Odaiba island where the Onsen is at TELECOM CENTER station of the Yurikamome line!
The building of the Oedo Onsen Monogatari can be clearly recognized by its traditional Japanese architecture ( it is the only one in this style in the middle of futuristic architecture ! ).
The procedure for spending a relaxing stay in this beautiful place is very simple, but you must know it well, first times you can do a little bit of confusion!! It is normal!!
1. Once inside you must remove your shoes before stepping on the raised wooden platform, and look for a free cabinet where leave your shoes. You can find the lockers to your left. Keep the key with you! You don’t have to deliver them to the reception, you’ll need only at the end when you’re done.
2. Following the guided tour, you reach the front desk and pay your entry. You will receive a bracelet with the key of your locker, the locker number, and a bar code that you must show, once inside, to charge any extra on your account (massages, treatments, food, drinks, etc. … )
3. Go towards the end of the room to choose your Yukata, a lighter type of kimono that you’ll wear inside the space. Choose the belt color that you want to match. Mens are quite colorful here, don’t be afraid to make crazy combinations!
4. Log into the locker room, take off all your clothes except underwear, and wear your Yukata. You can bring with you, if you want, your camera and cigarettes. Walk to the main space where you can find all the restaurants and shops.
5. Follow the directions to get to the open garden, don’t worry if it’s winter, there are special coats that you can use for free. In the outside garden you can find a water route for the wellness of your feet, but, most of all, the famous DOCTOR FISH, a tank with fish that will feed on dead skin from your feet for 15 minutes and will take care of the beauty of your feet. Experience NOT to be missed! Doctor Fish is an extra!
6. To enjoy the real benefits of thermal waters must go back into the main space and follow the signs for the spa. The spaces are separated for men and women. Once entered inyour side you have to get 2 towels, a big one to dry your body when you’re done, a little one to take with you into bath tubs with water. The towels are given to you by someone at the entrance of the spa. Also take a razor and a toothbrush ( which has the toothpaste embedded in the bristles).
Search for a free locker and remove everything you wear, you put the bracelet with the barcode within this new cabinet. With you, you only have to keep the key to this locker and the little towel, razor and toothbrush. Yout must be completelynaked. Do not be ashamed, the nudity in Japan at the spa is a normal thing, you can find fathers and sons naked, and groups of friends or work colleagues who are resting completely naked without any kind of shame!
Log in space where there are tanks and immediately find showers with stools where you must wash, shave, clean teeth, before you immerse yourself in the spa! You find everything you need: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, shaving cream, everything! Remember that this space is not allowed for people with tattoos! if you have a small one you can keep it covered with the tiny little towel, but if you have the body fully tattooed you can’t enter! Tattoos in Japan are typical for members of Yakuza, the local mafia!
Once clean, you can immerse yourself in the hot tub and …. relax as never before in your life! You will feel a warmth that will cure all your aches and muscle contractures.
When you finish, go back to the showers, wash your body again and then go back to the cabinet to dry and take your yukata! Try all the products you‘ll find near the hairdryers …. they are excellents !!!!!
7. Now you can relax, book massages, eat traditional Japanese food, or simply sleep on massage chairs, until late at night!
Surely this onsen will brake inside your heart like a great time spent in Tokyo! At least I hope so, like it was for me!!
Here’s the official website link:
If you have more questions please, feel free to ask me anything!!!
Usually thinking about food in Japan, the first thing that comes to mind is sushi. I love sushi, I eat it anytime, anywhere, I’m addicted! Turning alone in Tokyo, however, I discovered another food that struck me immediately, skewers Tsukune.
One of the first times I visited Tokyo I was a bit intimidated from going alone in a traditional restaurant because in Japan, unlike many other cities the world, restaurants are not located at street level but they are all gathered inside buildings and can be reached with an elevator that leads directly into the restaurant. The problem is that the signs are all written in Japanese and not everyone have photos that show the food you can eat inside. So I decided to go to the palace LUMINE 1 in Shinjuku, a shopping mall located above the station and managed directly by the transport company JR.
On the 6 and 7 floor there is a gallery of restaurants called ”Meshi Mase” where people can see clearly what they are cooking and then decide what to eat. A great solution for me, at that time still inexperienced. I’m so happened, by chance, in this Tsukune restaurant called KEISHO - AN, chicken skewers that unlike most traditional Yakitori are prepared with the minced chicken and served with different ingredients.
For example, you may find Tsukune cooked over coals and ”rolled” in sesame seeds, or covered with a delicate cheese. One of my favorite is definitely the one covered withMiso, a fermented soybean paste!
The restaurant is very nice, is composed of two rooms, the first at the entrance has a beautiful wooden counter where the chef cook in front of you the skewers on the grill, the second on the back is a small room with tables separated by typical bamboo curtains. The girl at the front desk called Satomi San is really nice and speaks English well enough (she is working very hard to learn English and now she knows it better than me that I must use Google translator to write this blog). I highly recommend everyone to try this restaurant. The prices are great and you will be completely satisfied!
When I’m in Tokyo I usually spend a big part of my days inside Drugstores! I couldn’t imagine how many different and strange products you can find in that shops! The first time I went in Tokyo I wasn’t able to understand how to use all that products (I still can’t read Japanese), but with time, observing people and thanks to some friends I learned when to use some of them!
For example, I didn’t knew that you can buy some special patches to help you when you are sick and you have fever!!! Usually when you are in this unhappy moment putting on your head a wet rag you feel a little better! In Japan this is something that only grandmothers could imagine to do!
Everyone buy these patches with a special mentholated gel that keep your head fresher for hours!!! I live in Italy, in Milan, not in a remote little island on the ocean but I never heard about something like that!!!
This is only a little example of what you can find in drugstores in Japan!!!
I’ll post more strange products that, maybe, anyone outside Japan knew!!!
I’ve been many times in Tokyo, every time in a different Hotel. The last time I’ve been in that amazing city I decided for the hotel named THE B IKEBUKURO.
Located in the North of the city it’s a modern and clean buisness hotel. Rooms are small but really comfortable and with a fresh and young design. You can find a big shower with all kind of amenities, there is of course the typical modern japanese toilet with all the buttons that everyone should try!
The room charges are with breakfast included! To have your breakfast you have to go to the restaurant of the hotel placed at 2nd floor where you can find a rich buffet with a continental and international food.
Maybe the most important thing it’s you can find a FREE WIFI in the lobby!!!!! Why is so important???? I know it’s unbelivable but in Tokyo you can’t find a free WIFI connection as simply as you think!!! Only at APPLE STORES (Shibuya and Ginza)
Speaking about prices I paid something like 60/70 EURO per night and I booked my room via Expedia.com
If you try to book on the official website will be more expensive for sure!!!
If you have any questions about this Hotel please, feel free to ask!!!!