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Ueno: Exploring in the Rain. Mostly.

Ueno is one of my favourite area of Tokyo. When you walk around Ueno, you could see, and feel, the layers of the time gone by in Tokyo. In Ameyoko, where you can find a market of fresh food and world-class denim and workwear, it felt like time was frozen in the 80s. At the same time, the train station’s exterior remains relatively unchanged since 1932. And, on the main road, parallel the raised railway tracks, you can find your modern architectures so ubiquitous in urban Tokyo. (more…)

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Asakusa: Maybe Next Time

Before I arrive in Tokyo for the first time, I had already planned to go to Sensoji in Asakusa as simply a check box that I had to tick. The visit was made worse by the rain as a lot of the street vendors were closed. However, the cold gloomy weather made the freshly baked Ningyo-yaki (molded cake with red bean paste) and the piping hot minchi katsu (fried minced pork thing) I ate, along (both) Nakamise Street, extra palatable. I really want to like Asakusa, but it is what it is for now; Just a tick on my touristy check box. (more…)

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Shinjuku Gyoen: The Tale of Two Seasons

Staying in Shinjuku for all of my three trips to Tokyo gave me the opportunity to return to the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen as many times as I want, and I made sure I went there once during my first spring visit, in 2012, and back there when I return in Autumn 2013. Although I never get to witness the garden in its full cherry blossom or its autumn colours glory, it was still amazing… for 200 yen. I really recommend to whoever is going the visit the garden to just buy a bento set from the nearby Takashimaya food market, or a few onigiris from a convenient store, find a bench, and eat a slow lunch while watching people enjoying themselves in the garden. (more…)

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Shinjuku: My Home in Tokyo Part 2

My theory about food in Tokyo is that you won’t get it wrong. At least, that was my experience. When I was hungry, all I have to do was figure out which type of cuisine I craved for, and pick a restaurant of cuisine around my location based on just pure gut, and – boom! – satisfied belly. The best thing about Shinjuku is that it has plenty of delicious and, most importantly, affordable meals. When I looked back, I wished I took more photos of my food. I mean, I am an Asian, for goodness sake! Anyhoo, here are some foodie highlights from Shinjuku. (more…)

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Shinjuku: My Home in Tokyo Part 1

Shinjuku 新宿区 was my base camp for all three of my Tokyo expeditions. The reason is the absolute convenience and, probably with the exception of arts and cultural stuff, you adequately can do everything in Shinjuku. I have indeed grown to love this part of Tokyo from spending a lot time there. Here is what I saw in Spring 2012, and Spring and Autumn 2013. (more…)