• 12/18/2014
  • 02/27/2021

Winter Wonderland: Ice skating in Town

Winter Wonderland: Ice skating in Town By Richenda Elledge This winter has gotten cold fast. And with the festive season upon us, ice skating is an ideal pastime for this time of the year. In addition, there is nothing better than to ice skate outdoors in Tokyo. With that in mind, some outdoor ice skating rinks crop up in super convenient locations in town every year during wintertime. Anyone is welcome at these rinks, whether it???s families or couples, beginners or pros. Also, most rent out skates, which offer flexibility to coordinate a day out with ice skating as one activity on a full itinerary. Here’s a summary of some of the best venues in town, including both winter-only outdoor rinks and year-round, indoor facilities. This list is by no means inclusive but lists some of the venues that are close to the center of town. Please note that gloves are required at most venues. Seasonal Outdoor Rinks Akasaka Sacas Now until Mar 6, 2015 Every year, Akasaka Sacas hosts one of the largest outdoor rinks in Tokyo and is one of the best lit places for nighttime skating. Every winter, The Rink at Akasaka Sacas features skating classes, shows, […]

  • 12/01/2014
  • 02/27/2021

Christmas in Tokyo

Illuminations around Town By Richenda Elledge Christmas is a very special time in Tokyo. Many places have beautiful illuminations that come alive in the evening as the days become colder and darker. Around town, one can enjoy the glittery and sparkling winter wonderland as trees, buildings and open areas are decorated with millions of colorful lights. Even landmarks like Tokyo Skytree or Rainbow Bridge flaunt the festive lighting. Don???t miss out on this opportunity to share a moment with your significant other or loved ones gazing at the amazing sights that can be found around town. Not a conclusive list, here are a few in the major areas of Tokyo. Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills In Tokyo Midtown, the Starlight Garden, is the main attraction and takes place at the back of the complex where the park is located. It is a light show set to music that runs continuously every day. While it gets rather crowded, it is possible to get good views due to its size and because the show runs several times an hour, everyone comes and goes pretty quickly. In Roppongi Hills, a Christmas marketplace takes place along with the Whisky Hills event. The old-world style […]

  • 03/10/2011
  • 02/27/2021

Blog Entries from 2011: Tenugui, Japanese Handkerchief

Please note that the blog entries from this point below were published back in 2011 and earlier. The information contained in them may not be relevant as of today. Thank you for your understanding; and we look forward to you continued readership of our current articles. Please let us know if there is any information you???d like us to write. Tenugui is a piece of dyed cotton cloth, about the size of 35 cm by 90 cm.? Tenugui means ‘the thing to wipe hand’, and the main use is as?a hand towel, but it can be used for anything, such as wrapping, and interior accessories. Tenugui has been used for more than 1000 years in Japan.? In the Edo period, the variety of designs increased.? Many people designed their own Tenugui, to show their taste. In the left picture is a popular traditional pattern, called Kamawanu.? There was?an?huge hit?of?this?design in the late Edo period, after a leading Kabuki acter Ichikawa Danjuro ? (絽?綏???e?????) wore it on his stage. The motifs are a sickle (???, kama), a circle (莠?, wa), and a Hiragana (Japanese letter), Nu (???).? Kamawanu means ‘I don’t care’ or ‘never mind’?in Japanese.? The motifs don’t have much […]

  • 03/09/2011
  • 02/27/2021

Blog Entries from 2011: Gourmet and Shopping at Tokyo Station

Please note that the blog entries from this point below were published back in 2011 and earlier. The information contained in them may not be relevant as of today. Thank you for your understanding; and we look forward to you continued readership of our current articles. Please let us know if there is any information you’d like us to write. Tokyo station is one of the largest and oldest stations in Japan, and is also the starting poing of Shinkansen rails.? There are many chances to use Tokyo station in both?moving inside central Tokyo and?traveling to distant areas. Tokyo station is not a place only for transport.? There is a shopping street in the underground of the station. First Avenue Tokyo Station (??延根薈?筝??????) is a shopping and gourmet area in the underground floor of Tokyo station, right outside Yaesu gate (?????羇峨??).? There are about 100 stores,?such as?restaurants, cafes, and shops where you can purchase souvenirs of Tokyo. In the south end of First Avenue are many popular Ramen restaurants.? This?corner is called ‘Tokyo Ramen Street’. In the north end is an area called ‘Tokyo Character Street’.? There are shops of various characters, such as Ultraman and Hello Kitty.? There are […]

  • 03/08/2011
  • 02/25/2021

Blog Entries from 2011: JRPG Dragon Quest Cuisine

Please note that the blog entries from this point below were published back in 2011 and earlier. The information contained in them may not be relevant as of today. Thank you for your understanding; and we look forward to you continued readership of our current articles. Please let us know if there is any information you???d like us to write. Tokyo is the city where the line between real life and fantasy melts.??This is obvious if you visit Akihabara,?the shrine of Japanimation and other subcultures. Such places are not only in Akihabara.? In?Roppongi is a bar that came from the world of a game. The name of the bar is “Luida’s Bar”.? It?is the name of a bar which appears in the famous JRPG, “Dragon Quest”.? Waitresses are wearing the uniform of Luida, the owner character of the bar, and there?are many displays?of goods from?Dragon Quest, such as swords, armors and emblems. The character Luida Foods and drinks also related to the game.? There are cocktails and soft drinks with names of portions in the game, such as Passion Merazoma (Merazoma is a magic word?in the game).? In the food menu is a steamed meat bun with a face of […]

  • 03/07/2011
  • 02/25/2021

Nakamise, Asakusa

Nakamise (篁画??筝?) is one of the oldest shopping avenues in Japan. After the Tokugawa Shogun settled in Edo (羆????, the former name of Tokyo), the population of Edo grew, and visitors to Sensoji temple (羌????絲?) increased.? Afterwards, neighbors of Sensoji were granted permission to set up shops on the approach to the temple.? This is the origin of Nakamise, and?it?is said that?this was?around 1688 to 1735. Near Sensoji were cafes (though it is very different from the Western ones), and near Kaminarimon (??潔??), the entrance gate of Sensoji, were shops of toys, sweets, and souvenirs. In?1885, the government of Tokyo ordered all shop owners to leave.? The area was reconstructed in Western-style brick in the same year. ?During the?Great Kanto earthquake in 1923, many of the red-brick shops were destroyed.??They were?rebuilt in 1925 using concrete, only to be destroyed again during the bombings of WW2. After the war, the people of Asakusa restored Nakamise, and in 1985, they celebrated the 100th anniversary of the modern Nakamise.? Illuminated signs were renovated, and the pavements were repaired. In 1989, having Ikuo Hirayama, professor of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music as editorial suprvisor, the shutters of Naakmise were painted with […]

  • 03/06/2011
  • 02/25/2021

Tour to Bank of Japan

The Bank of Japan is located in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.? Currently, the new wing, which is a modern building, is used for?most the operations.? The old wing, designated as important cultural property, can be visited as a guided tour.? The tour includes an introductory video about the Bank and a visit to exhibits of historical interest and the underground vault of the Old Building, which is registered as an important cultural property. The old wing of the Bank of Japan was completed in 1896.? In the Edo period, there was a gold mint in the site. The building was very modern for that age.? It was the first building in Japan to install a flush toilet, and the 2nd elevator made in Japan was used. In the basement is a vault, which was used for more than a hundred years from 1896 to 2004.? Expansion work was made in the early Showa period, which?expanded the width of the?vault to about 1426 sqm.? The door is 90cm thick, and weighs 25t.? It takes 2 men to open the door.? Inside the?vault are rails, which were used for lorries. English guided tours of the Bank of Japan are available free of charge.? Reservations […]

  • 03/05/2011
  • 02/25/2021

Earthquake Museum

Living in Tokyo, you must be surprised by the frequently occuring earthquakes.? Most of these earthquakes are weak, at most level 3 at the Japanese earthquake scale. ?Japanese people are so used to it, that they won’t be surprised, and some are even unresponsive. These small earthquakes aren’t very grave.? You don’t have to panic at these.? However, there are possibilities that large earthquakes would occur, causing a disaster.? It is better that you?know about earthquakes and make ready for them. It is difficult to picture what a huge earthquake would be like from writings.? It would be easier if you?feel it. At the Earthquake Science Museum (??育???????絖?え), you can experience earthquakes from level 2 to 7 in a mock-up of a Japanese room.? Level 7 is the maximum intensity of the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, which destroyed the cities in Hyogo prefecture.? The quake is very strong – you can’t stand still, and furniture fall with a crash. The experience might frighten you, but don’t worry.? The instructor will teach you what to prepare, and how to act in case of disastrous earthquakes. There is a Japanese proverb, ??????????????井?????????? (if you are prepared, you don’t have to worry).? […]

  • 03/04/2011
  • 02/27/2021

Monja, Cheap Gourmet in Tsukishima

Monjayaki (??????????????若??), or Monja, is a Japanese fast food.??Monja is a?fried batter with various ingredients.? It is similar to Okonomiyaki (???絅純?睡?若??), another Japanese fast food, but Monja is made with a more watery dough. The ingredients are finely chopped and mixed into the batter before frying.? After heated up, it is eaten directly off the grill using a small metal spatula.? The appearance is not so nice (it can be said that it looks like slop), the taste is delicious 🙂 Many Monja restaurants can be found in Tsukishima (???絣?), where?Monja is said to have originated.? On a shopping street which is called ‘Monja street’, there are about 75 Monja restaurants.? Most also serve regular Okonomiyaki. Monja was at first simple snacks for children in Tsukishima, a district that started as?a downtown with many row houses.? Today,?the range of?ingredients are very wide, including vegetable, meat, cheese, and sea food.? There are even sweet Monja with fruits in it! — Higherground Co.,Ltd. 2-8-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan TEL:03-6459-2230 HP:http://www.higherground.co.jp/ TOP PAGE:?https://livingtokyo.net/

  • 03/03/2011
  • 02/27/2021

Pokemon Center Tokyo

If you want Pokemon goods, you know the Pokemon Center is the place to go!? The Pokemon Center is a specialist store for Pokemon goods.? They have?a wide range of original goods, and many Pokemon events are held.? For example, there are walk rally events around the shop, and Pokemon card game classes.? You can battle your Pokemon against the shop staffs too! Pokemon Center will be a great place to visit for your children’s birthdays.? If you have the game soft Pokemon Black or White, the shop will present you a Pokemon, ‘Tabunne’, with a birthday ribbon.? This version is only available at Pokemon Center! They will also present you an original Pokemon card with your name on (not for battles), and a sticker. These services are available 1 week before and after your birthday. Pokemon Center Tokyo Location: 1-2-3, Kaigan, Minato-ku Open Hours11:00-20:00 (10:00-19:00 on Sat. Sun. Holidays) Website: http://www.pokemon.co.jp/gp/pokecen/english/?inc=pokecen (Eng) — Higherground Co.,Ltd. 2-8-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan TEL:03-6459-2230 HP:http://www.higherground.co.jp/ TOP PAGE:?https://livingtokyo.net/