Monthly Archives: December 2013

Tokyo City Guide

Skyscrapers, lightning-fast trains, crowded crossings, ancient shrines, lantern-lit lanes and traditional wooden buildings, all found in Tokyo. Greater Tokyo is the world’s most populous metropolitan area with 12 million people in center Tokyo alone, and is the center of Japanese culture, finance, and government. This huge, wealthy and fascinating metropolis brings high-tech visions of the future side by side with glimpses of old Japan, and has something for everyone.

In 500 years, Tokyo has grown from a modest fishing village to a world renown city.Originally named, Edo, Tokyo began to grow when it became the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1603. While the emperor ruled in name from Kyoto, the true power was concentrated in the hands of the Tokugawa shogun in Edo. After the Meiji restoration in 1868, during which the Tokugawa family lost its influence, the emperor and the imperial family moved here from Kyoto, and the city was re-named to its current name, Tokyo

The sheer size and pace of Tokyo can intimidate the first-time visitor. The city is a jungle of concrete, with neon signs and blaring loudspeakers. At rush hour, crowds squeeze together in packed trains and the streets are jammed. Tokyo is indeed vast and its districts vary wildly by character. The biggest part of experiencing Tokyo is just by wandering around the different neighborhoods and absorbing the vibe.

Tokyo is divided into 23 self governed wards. Each of these wards has a distinct shopping, business and entertainment center. Metropolitan.Metropolitan Tokyo is generally defined by four prefectures, Saitaima, Kanagawa, and Chiba, while the city of Tokyo proper refers to the 23 wards in Tokyo prefecture itself.

If you stumble into the Shinjuku district, you’ve found the perfect place to grab a shot of sake or a cold Sapporo beer.Be sure to check out the electronic blare of Akihabara, the Imperial gardens and shrines of Chiyoda, the youth culture mecca of Shibuya to the pottery shops and temple markets of Asakusa.

There isn’t a bad or good neighborhood. Each one offers something different. Just by poking your head into shops selling weird things, eating unrecognizable things from a menu, to finding unexpected surprises, it’s all safe and exciting. And if you don’t like what you see, hop on the train and head to the next station. You will find something entirely different.

Tokyo is the cultural center of Japan . Having originated from the ethnic Jomon culture, Japan developed its own unique culture. It’s mixed with influences from the Chinese, Korean, Greek and Indian, and as well as Western influences.

Tokyo’s unique culture is reflected in its traditional arts such as origami(making objects by folding paper), kabuki (complex dramas performed in elaborate costumes), and kamishibai (storytelling with animation, sound, and music).The large number of festivals, rituals, observances and celebrations in Tokyo are also all part of Japanese culture.

Top 3 Tokyo Fine Dinning Establishments

Kozue-Tokyo-007Located high, far above the fray on the 40th floor of the Park Hyatt, no other restaurant in Tokyo has such a setting. It opened its doors in 1994 and has booked ever since. Inside is a contemporary look with high ceilings and stylish tables and chairs. The menu features torafugupuffer fish in winter, ayu sweetfish in summer, matsutake mushrooms in autumn, and year­round shabu­shabu of marbled beef from premium wagyu cattle. Besure to book early and try to reserve a window seat. While you enjoy your meal, you can enjoy the view of the western hills and Mt. Fuji.

Park Hyatt Hotel, 3­7­1­2 Nishi­Shinjuku, Shinjuku­ku, +81 3 5323 3460

Aronia de Takazawa

aronia_de_takazawaChef Yoshiaki Takazawa’s bijou restaurant has long been one of Tokyo’s most intriguing restaurants. Aronia only sits two tables (maximum eight people) each evening. So it is no surprise it’s more talked about that visitited. Takazawa stands centre stage in a windowless room with sleek wood panelling and cooks. His wife Akiko serves the meal and explains in perfect English. Takazawa’s French­Japanese signature dishes include a ratatouille terrine, with vegetables layered into multicoloured cubes; carpenter’s salade niçoise, with sashimi tuna and tapenade sauce solidified in the shape of spanners and screws.

Sanyo Akasaka Bldg 2F, 3­5­2 Akasaka, Minato­ku, +81 3 3505 5052


kIf you can splurge on only one Tokyo sushi experience, make it Kyūbey. Established in 1936, Kyūbey’s quality and presentation have attracted a celebrity following ever since. Kyūbey made headlines in 2009 when it bought at auction half of a single bluefin tuna that sold for a ¥9.63 million (and sold single cuts of toro from it for ¥2000). Try the kaiseki (course menu, lunch/dinner from ¥10,500/15,750), or have it served on pottery by famed artisan Kitaoji Rosanjin for ¥31,500.

7­6, Ginza 8­chome, Chuo­ku +81­3­3571­6523