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Hidden Gems in Tokyo? :) 2007/10/24 03:24
Tokyo 23-ku
Hiya,
My partner and I are heading to Tokyo next year in April for a month. Of course we will visit all the common cool places but I was just wondering if anybody had any suggestions or recommendations of cool, unknown hidden gems in Tokyo. Like funky stores, places, restaurants, that they visited that aren't really talked about that often, or maybe places off the beaten track?
Thanks :)
by Takoyaki Monster  

Sengakuji 2007/10/25 02:06
You might consider visiting Sengakuji, the burial place of the 47 loyal retainers of Ako. Reading a bit about them will give you historical perspective and make the trip meaningful. There's also a small museum there that's moderately interesting.
by Tay rate this post as useful

..off the beaten track... 2007/11/7 12:52
Toden Arakawa Line from Waseda to Minowa, the only surviving tram line in Tokyo, passes by the old and "forgotten " neighborhood in Tokyo. The 60 minutes ride was enjoyable that took us to places not normally frequented by the tourists. We like to explore off the beaten track like Sengakuji and would appreciate more suggestions. Thanks!
by tju rate this post as useful

Gems 2007/11/7 17:04
these 2 places are my Fav. When riding the Arakawa tramline try to stop at the Zoshigaya cemetery and look for Lafcadio Hearn burial place. The Arakawa tram and that area are featured in "Cafe Lumiere" a lovely film-an homage to Ozu-- by Hou Hsiao Hsien that came out in 2003 won quite a few awards and is available on DVD in the USA.
by Plantagenesta rate this post as useful

Toden Arakawa Line 2007/11/7 17:21
I would second the suggestion of a trip via the Toden Arakawa tramway: we took it this September as it had been featured in the Café Lumière film and we enjoyed it a lot. It will take you through the old areas of Tokyo where hardly a tourist comes and it will show you how Tokyo was.
http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2940217370037002407WAgYEu
by Kappa rate this post as useful

Economical ticket 2007/11/7 20:17
If you like to travel on the Arakawa tramline, I recommend you to get a one-day pass that costs only 400 yen though the regular fare is also very cheap (160 yen for all the way up to the end.)

http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/english/ticket.html

And a ramble around Yanaka-Nezu area is also recommended for those who want to get a feel of an old neighborhood of Tokyo.
by mica rate this post as useful

Suggestion 2007/11/8 00:56
I'm not sure if this falls into the category of your request, but I thought I'd throw something out there that we stumbled across.

You've probably heard of Harajuku and the kids that hang out dressed up there (bloody nurses are one of the 'in' costumes now, apparently). The day most of them hang out is Sunday (later in the day is better, it seems), FYI, so we went there this past Sunday.

Well, that isn't the tip I wanted to give. The tip is that there is a nearby shrine, and when we went to Harajuku Sunday (November 4th) there weren't that many kids yet. So, we decided to see the shrine too. I'm so glad we did, we almost left.

We were fortunate enough to see dozens of children taken for Shichigosan, which I was told was an event for children (7, 5 or 3 years old). Most of the kids were dressed up in little cute kimonos, some of the mothers also. However, I'm unsure if this is just an event for the winter or not.

Also, we were lucky to see 3 or 4 wedding parties at the shrine also. I would assume April is a popular time to get married because of the cherry blossoms, so I'm guessing you'll see wedding groups at various shrines on the weekends.

Good luck with this thread, and your trip. I'm trying to go back again, in April to see the cherry blosssoms and see a lot of the things I feel I missed. I hope you get a lot of responses to this thread, as I was disappointed in our time with Tokyo. We saw many of the tourist sites, but we enjoyed our time in Okayama, Kyoto and other cities more than Tokyo. Perhaps that's because we were more interested in 'old Japan,' so to speak.
by Paul H rate this post as useful

Shrine 2007/11/8 03:19
the shrine that Paul H mention is of course the famous Meiji shrine. I too have seen weddings and kids in kimonos at different times of the year. Not to be missed is a garden that is somewhere in the park (there are signs). last time I was there it looked a bit unkempt or, to use a nicer expression, very natural looking (the whole park isn't an old bit of Tokyo original wilderness but an arboretum planted when the Meiji shrine was built). Hardly anyone goes there as most visitors only walk to the shrine and back and it feels as quiet and relaxing as any place way out in the countryside. .
by Plantagenesta rate this post as useful

Statue of Liberty 2007/11/8 04:42
I came across a scaled-down version of the Statue of Liberty (about 45 feet tall on a 40 foot base) near the harbor in Odaiba. It was a cool surprise, not in my guidebook.
The Atagojinja Shrine, walking distance from Tokyo Tower, has a single, steep, 60 foot stairway leading to the street below. You can take an elevator up and walk down. Also, in the area between Tokyo Tower and Roppongi is a large, modern Buddhist meeting hall that looks like it came straight out of Star Wars. Sorry, don't know the name.
by Joe in San Diego rate this post as useful

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