Source: Tokyo Cheapo
The sweltering days of summer are upon us, and they will continue well into September. For many, keeping cool means staying indoors until the inferno of summer months in Tokyo has passed. But before you get a bout of cabin fever, why not make most of the cooler evening hours and venture out at night? Here are our five favorite self-guided tokyo night walking tours, featuring a bit of everything, from glittering skylines to beaches and quiet leafy promenades.
Source: Tokyo Cheapo
For newcomers to Tokyo, it can come as quite a surprise that Tokyo’s main international gateway—Narita Airport (NRT)—is not really very close to Tokyo at all. In fact, this Tokyo airport is so rural and remote that the view on the first part of the train journey from Narita to Tokyo is predominantly of rice paddies—oh, and a faux-Dutch windmill. In more practical terms, you’re looking at a distance of about 80 km from Narita Airport to Shibuya Crossing.
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Leaving Shiota I walk through the tunnel that carries route 9. The “sidewalk” is about 20 cms wide. Fortunately, they have opened a new By-Pass and the traffic through the tunnel has been reduced by about 95% so it was not so dangerous. Immediately after the tunnel is a small cove down below. There appears to be a path, used by fishermen I suspect, but it is well overgrown so I give it a miss
Source: deep kyoto
Here is the latest installment from Edward J. Taylor‘s ongoing exploration of Kyoto’s streets.
The Okuribi fires have cooled, the ancestors have departed, the aubergine and the cucumbers have been eaten. August is the month of ghosts, and Kyoto in particular feels thick with them, due both to the city’s long and oft-violent history and its heavy, muggy summer air. It seems quite fitting that the anniversary of the end of the Second World War falls during the month, creating an arc that seems to begin with that of the Hiroshima bombing on the 6th, and lasting until Kyoto’s more upbeat Jizo-bon celebrations for children on the 23rd. The presence of dragonflies is perhaps the most obvious manifestation, as if the dead are swirling all around us.
It seems fitting then that the taxi driver is trying to kill me, swerving erratically and jostling me about. An apparent crib sheet has been affixed to his dashboard, written with little hints such as checking the left wing mirror before making turns. At least the heat was no longer trying to kill me, as the nation’s fatality rate this summer had been particularly high. The early morning air actually felt a bit cool.
Kyoto’s western face isn’t her most attractive. More than that, there’s a certain downtrodden look. Some of the characters I see seem to reflect this. There’s a certain desperation out here, although that could simply be that everybody has this sort of look during a hot summer. One guy lopes in a deliberate straight line right toward me, insistent on not altering his path. As I step aside to let him continue his antlike forward motion, he comes to a complete halt and stares at me as I stride by. Beyond him, a woman …continue reading
World-class art museums are dotted all over Japan. Most of them are in the major cities. However, if you’re an art lover looking to explore a world of creativity off the beaten path, these are the 7 must-visit art museums that are worth getting lost in for an hour or two (or more).
Hakone Open-Air Museum (Kanagawa Prefecture)
The open-air museum is located in the mountains of Hakone, covering an impressive 70,000m² filled with outdoor sculptures and exhibitions to explore.
1121 Ninotaira, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken.
100+works of art under the sun
There is a diverse collection of sculptures and installations spread across the grounds, created by both Japanese and international artists. An added beauty of the museum is that no matter what season you visit, the artworks will be set to beautiful backdrops. Towering over the garden, the Symphonic Sculpture offers an unbeatable view, allowing you to climb its stained-glass structure.
The Picasso Pavilion
Get up close and personal with the famous artist’s works including oil paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramics. Note: the whole collection isn’t on display all year round, so if you’re after a certain piece, be sure to check ahead if it’s there waiting for you!
Aomori Museum of Art (Aomori Prefecture)
Housed within a sleek building that is an exhibition piece in itself, the Aomori Museum of Art is host to famous works of art from near and far, many of which offer unique commentary on Aomori’s culture: past, present and future.