Top 10: Tokyo & Kyoto

Jun 28th, 2005, 06:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 18
Top 10: Tokyo & Kyoto

Hi Folks,

My family and I will be heading off to Japan soon, spending most of our time in Tokyo and Kyoto and their surrounding areas. I wonder if any of you veterans out there would like to put together a list of the top 10 places/activities you experienced for each of the two areas--anything from shrines to baseball games to tea shops to manga stores and so on. If you could provide specific names/locations, say, of the tea shop, for example, that would be helpful.

ebishop is offline  
Jun 28th, 2005, 11:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 333
That's a tough question, but I'll think about it. For now, I'll just say I really like the Luxe City Guide Tokyo.
Mealea is offline  
Jul 1st, 2005, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 574
Bonjour Ebishop,

from the top of my head:


- Edo-Tokyo Museum

- Boat cruise (take a dayticket, around Yen 1900)on the Sumida from Asakusa to Odaiba or the Maritime Museum and Oedo Onsen Monogatari(recreation of a traditional bathhouse/kids friendly pleasure quarters)

- Strolling from Nippori station (JR yamanote circle line) through Yanaka cemetery (not scary at all) to Yanaka Ginza, then through the small streets to Ueno park and its museums.

- permanent fleamarket along Shinobazu lake next to Ueno Zoo, and visit Shitamachi (low city) museum.

- shopping for cooking/kitchen items (no food except as plastic models) in Kappabashi near Asakusa

- Drums museum in Asakusa not far from the temple and its shopping arcades. You can play most of the exhibits rom all over the World, you're even encouraged to do so. First floor is a shop that specializes in Japanese festivals implements, you enter the museum through the shop.

- In Ginza, Itoya paper shop, Yamaha exhibition rooms, Toto Kitchens exhibition salon (hands on experiences and free recipes), Okome (rice) gallery.

- In Shinjuku, Toto bathrooms and kitchen exhibition salon (mostly for the free view over Shinjuku and vicinity from the 26 & 27th floors - but the exhibits are quite interesting too).

You can find the addresses and maps in the book "Tokyo for Free" by S. Pompian (lots more inside).


-any fleamarket (see list here ) - pick a paper copy once there, good maps and lots of infos on shopping etc.

- same website, look for daytrips to Ohara, Kibune, Sagano, etc.

- Nishiki food market

- stroll along Takase canal from Gion up North (prestigious restaurants and neighborhood) or South (prestigious restaurants, geishas or maiko strolling especially at dusk, then nice quiet neighborhood down Gojo street)

- Craft Gallery not far from Gion in Shijo avenue (not to be confused with Handicraft gallery near Heian Jingu - rather a tourist trap).

- All of Shijo for traditional and less traditional shopping.

Go on food (or rent bikes) in the small streets as much as you can. Zillions things to see and taste that are not mentionned in guides, and given the plan of the city, very little risk of getting seriously lost.
Florence is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 10:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 18
Thank you, Florence. I was hoping for some eclectic lists and yours fits the bill.
ebishop is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 249
In Tokyo, the fish market (I think, in Tsukiji) just before dawn is quite an experience.That's when fish auction happens. I saw all sorts of seafood creatures, some I did not even think were edible. Also giant fish that need power equiment to slice. And if you'd like sashimi for breakfast, that's the place to get it. There are also many vendors around the selling all sorts of Japanese food.
banares is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 94
Sorry, banares, but there was a post last week that said no more tourists at the fish auction. So, I would check out this before going.
daryleann is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 585

the auction is closed to tourist BUT the market is still open.
KMLoke is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 11:26 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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- Don't miss the plastic food district (where restaurant owners go to buy their plastic menu items). Haven't been there for a while, so I can't remember the exact location. The kids will love it.
- Also, be sure to eat in a department store
crosscheck is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 01:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 574
Bonjour Crosscheck,

I mentionned the "plastic food district" in my post. It is called Kappabashi, is near Asakusa (close to Tawaramachi station on the Ginza line but can be reached in about 15 min on foot from Asakusa or Ueno). See here for a picture of the main landmark
Florence is offline  

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