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Japan (Tokyo and beyond) Master Thread

Japan (Tokyo and beyond) Master Thread

Old Sep 12, 2022, 11:51 pm
  #46  
 
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thanks bmwe92fan and hijiji. I'll check those areas out.
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Old Sep 13, 2022, 7:04 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by seigex
I usually stay in Shinjuku, Shinagawa or Kinshicho when I'm in Tokyo. But I've decided to mix it up a bit this time. I have 8 days to throw around where I don't have to log on to work, so I'm going to spend a couple days in Sendai, but for Tokyo, does anyone have any thoughts on a neighborhood that gives fairly good walking access to a good station where I can get fairly quick access to the Shinkansen (for jr pass) within a few stops, but is more oldschool wrt the buildings (hasn't undergone modernization yet) with lots of mom-and-pop type shops and restaurants?

I know it's kind of a broad question, but looking to mix it up a little from what I used to do before the pandemic. Currently I am booked at both the moxy kinshicho and tokyo hyatt regency for those 8 days while I decide what I want to do, but now will be canceling them both and finding a much smaller hotel or a botique hotel, based on the cheap hotel thread, in a new area that I haven't stayed in.

Maybe Asakusa? Ueno might be an option too, both have pretty good access.
Like you, I try to switch up the neighborhood each time, so that I can explore different areas in my favorite city. Given that there's no grid layout, however, even when I'm staying in a more popular district such as Shinjuku or Asakusa, I end up on backstreets not yet visited.

Yanaka and Nezu are close to Ueno, sleepier, and have some cool shrines. Or, if you're a densha otaku (really into trains), Ochanomizu has some cool shots.

Kinshicho doesn't have much, nor is it walking distance to any shinkansen.
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Old Sep 13, 2022, 10:51 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by FindingFoodFluency
Like you, I try to switch up the neighborhood each time, so that I can explore different areas in my favorite city. Given that there's no grid layout, however, even when I'm staying in a more popular district such as Shinjuku or Asakusa, I end up on backstreets not yet visited.

Yanaka and Nezu are close to Ueno, sleepier, and have some cool shrines. Or, if you're a densha otaku (really into trains), Ochanomizu has some cool shots.

Kinshicho doesn't have much, nor is it walking distance to any shinkansen.
Thanks for tips, I'm a huge train fan. I'll check out Ochanomizu. I've passed it a lot on the Chuo-Sobu line coming from Kinshicho, but never got off there. Interestingly, when I first saw it, I was wondering why it was called "tea water", and it turns out that during the Edo period, the river that runs through it was used to make the emperor's tea, so it became known as Ochanomizu. Dumb little fact that I just happened to know.
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Old Sep 13, 2022, 11:53 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by seigex
I was wondering why it was called "tea water", and it turns out that during the Edo period, the river that runs through it was used to make the emperor's tea, so it became known as Ochanomizu. Dumb little fact that I just happened to know.
Water for the Tokugawa shoguns' tea came from a spring on the grounds of the nearby Korinji temple.
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Old Sep 14, 2022, 12:16 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by jib71
Water for the Tokugawa shoguns' tea came from a spring on the grounds of the nearby Korinji temple.
Thanks for the correction, my memory of it was from reading Wikipedia on the train 3 years ago, so it's a bit flawed. The names of the districts in the area of former Edo are interesting through.
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Old Sep 14, 2022, 5:01 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by seigex
Thanks for the correction, my memory of it was from reading Wikipedia on the train 3 years ago, so it's a bit flawed. The names of the districts in the area of former Edo are interesting through.
I'm partial to the automated "Takadanobaba."
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Old Sep 14, 2022, 2:54 pm
  #52  
 
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Wondering if anyone can give some insight about the following (mods please move or delete if the wrong thread):

1. Planning to go in mid to late May 2023. Based on the dates it will be about 2 weeks after Golden Week- wondering if crowds would have thinned out by then?
2. Weather wise is late May as stuffy and humid as July?
3. Thoughts on staying in Ginza in Tokyo and Chuo in Osaka?
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Old Sep 15, 2022, 4:27 pm
  #53  
 
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Fellow Travellers,

Hope all is well as you travel through the world, one flight at a time. I haven't been to Japan in at least 5 years and would like to venture on into a post-COVID world. The last time I went, cash was still king and credit was slowly growing access and I got through it using PASMO and loading it using my card.

Is this still the case? Or is contactless payment become preferred since COVID? Thanks!
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Old Sep 15, 2022, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by flipstah
Fellow Travellers,

Hope all is well as you travel through the world, one flight at a time. I haven't been to Japan in at least 5 years and would like to venture on into a post-COVID world. The last time I went, cash was still king and credit was slowly growing access and I got through it using PASMO and loading it using my card.

Is this still the case? Or is contactless payment become preferred since COVID? Thanks!
IME - For the most part credit is accepted everywhere now in major cities -- however at lunch time many places still prefer cash only.... A few months back in western Japan we ate at a place that would normally not ever take a credit card -- zero issues now COVID as has accelerated the transition -- even in Japan lol!
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Old Sep 15, 2022, 6:21 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan
IME - For the most part credit is accepted everywhere now in major cities -- however at lunch time many places still prefer cash only.... A few months back in western Japan we ate at a place that would normally not ever take a credit card -- zero issues now COVID as has accelerated the transition -- even in Japan lol!
I'm assuming most ramen/katsu/whatever shops still use cash-based vending machines to order food?

Last edited by seigex; Sep 15, 2022 at 6:50 pm
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Old Sep 15, 2022, 6:35 pm
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Originally Posted by seigex
I'm assuming most ramen/katsu/whatever shops still use cash-based vending machines to get food?
Yes lol -- that tradition is still alive and well -- even at our favorite 2am Ramen place when operating the *&)%%&(%( machine is somewhat challenging (my wife is the Ramen freak -- and I have no problems indulging her bad behavior)....
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Old Sep 15, 2022, 8:59 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan
IME - For the most part credit is accepted everywhere now in major cities -- however at lunch time many places still prefer cash only.... A few months back in western Japan we ate at a place that would normally not ever take a credit card -- zero issues now COVID as has accelerated the transition -- even in Japan lol!
I second this. Since last week, I have been around Ishikawa, Toyama, and Fukui; save for a couple of temple souvenir stores (where I wouldn't expect cc use anyway), I realized that the number of places accepting credit cards has greatly increased (my last Japan visit was September 2019). This is particularly important for my ritualized visits to food festivals atop department stores ... important, and devastating.
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Old Sep 16, 2022, 9:33 am
  #58  
 
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Thanks bmwe92fan !

Love those vending machines and I'd assume it'll take a long time to retrofit all of them with some sort of NFC, and has financial costs as well, so looks like cash is still king for the mom-and-pop shops. Can't wait to head there again. :-)
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Old Sep 16, 2022, 6:32 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by seigex
I usually stay in Shinjuku, Shinagawa or Kinshicho when I'm in Tokyo. But I've decided to mix it up a bit this time. I have 8 days to throw around where I don't have to log on to work, so I'm going to spend a couple days in Sendai, but for Tokyo, does anyone have any thoughts on a neighborhood that gives fairly good walking access to a good station where I can get fairly quick access to the Shinkansen (for jr pass) within a few stops, but is more oldschool wrt the buildings (hasn't undergone modernization yet) with lots of mom-and-pop type shops and restaurants?

I know it's kind of a broad question, but looking to mix it up a little from what I used to do before the pandemic. Currently I am booked at both the moxy kinshicho and tokyo hyatt regency for those 8 days while I decide what I want to do, but now will be canceling them both and finding a much smaller hotel or a botique hotel, based on the cheap hotel thread, in a new area that I haven't stayed in.

Maybe Asakusa? Ueno might be an option too, both have pretty good access.
If you're still looking for options, I used to live near Monzen-nakacho. A "shitamachi" district that has pretty easy access to Tokyo Station via the Tozai line as well as the fairly convenient Oedo line. There is a Toyoko Inn and Tokyu Stay there if you're looking for budget accommodation.
From there you can walk (if so inclined) to Kiyosumi park or to Tsukushima and have some monjayaki or pick up some of it's local specialty, tsukudani.
Here's some information about nearby historical sights


Another option, also close to Tokyo Station might be Nihonbashi / Kabutocho. Home of the Mandarin Oriental but still a lot of old school restaurants and shops in the area around Fukutoku Shrine.
I'm not sure if I believe it but in 2020, TimeOut proclaimed it as one of Tokyo's coolest neighborhoods...
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Old Sep 16, 2022, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by mongobot
If you're still looking for options, I used to live near Monzen-nakacho. A "shitamachi" district that has pretty easy access to Tokyo Station via the Tozai line as well as the fairly convenient Oedo line. There is a Toyoko Inn and Tokyu Stay there if you're looking for budget accommodation.
From there you can walk (if so inclined) to Kiyosumi park or to Tsukushima and have some monjayaki or pick up some of it's local specialty, tsukudani.
Here's some information about nearby historical sights


Another option, also close to Tokyo Station might be Nihonbashi / Kabutocho. Home of the Mandarin Oriental but still a lot of old school restaurants and shops in the area around Fukutoku Shrine.
I'm not sure if I believe it but in 2020, TimeOut proclaimed it as one of Tokyo's coolest neighborhoods...
Thanks for the tip! I'll check the area out. I did end up booking a Tokyu Stay in Shinjuku, but I can cancel once I find an area I like better.
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