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Smile Tokyo this summer
Old 01-14-2014, 07:32 PM   #1
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Smile Tokyo this summer

This summer we plan to visit our son who is at an airforce base outside of Tokyo. Got some good tips from this group for last years New York visit. We plan to see Mount Fuji for sure.

What museums are worth a look see. What about the Imperial Gardens? And where else should we plan to spend a little time playing tourist?

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Old 01-19-2014, 07:00 AM   #2
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Kinokuniya Ryokan in Hakone

We stayed at a traditional ryokan when we visited Mt. Fuji. They have sulfur springs on property. I would highly recommend a traditional Japanese experience. The food was excellent. I remember the rice was so smooth it was like putting little beads in my mouth.

One tip - the express train to Hakone is NOT the non stop train (do not use the word express at the ticket counter - lol).

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Old 01-29-2014, 09:43 AM   #3
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I was stationed at Yokota AB 22 years ago. It's very easy to get around on the trains from there. Absolutely go to the Imperial Gardens. Also go to the Ginza shopping district if you have a chance. It would also be fun to see a baseball game there, either the Giants or the Lions. If possible, go see a Sumo wrestling tournament, though tickets are expensive and hard to get. The Tokyo National Museum was nice when I was there, but I understand it's hit or miss depending on what exhibits they're featuring at the time. The Disneyland park there is not as big as the parks here in the states, so you'd probably be disappointed there. The people there are great and will try to be helpful to you. I once had a guy get on the subway with me to make sure I got off at the right stop. One caution though, riding the trains during rush hour is quite the experience!
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:35 PM   #4
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Well, summers are hot and humid, but there are many festivals then. You can find info on them via Google on events during your stay. Obvious questions are how much time you have, will you be traveling with your son, do you plan on traveling outside of Tokyo?

Yokota is not that convenient for sightseeing in Tokyo but your son can reserve rooms at the Sanno Hotel (a military hotel that is really 5 star) that is convenient. Places in Tokyo to I would recommend are Asakusa and Harajuku to start, each you can spend a whole day seeing. There are so many inside tips but it is good to be able to speak Japanese of be with someone who does. For example, in Harajuku you can visit the Meiji Shrine, call ahead to see when marriage ceremonies will take place, and see quite a nice event.

If you can travel outside of Tokyo, then Kyoto is wonderful. You can spend weeks seeing all the temples and shines in and around the city. Nara is nice too. If you want to travel more then Takayama is a wonderful small city and a good transit point for Shirakawa.

We go to Japan frequently and are planning a trip in the early spring. I am a photographer and have many Japanese galleries here: Travels with Charlie | Japanese Galleries

You are welcome to ask more in depth questions as you firm up your plans.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:27 PM   #5
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chris, we lived in Japan about 30 years, fluent in Japanese, been about everywhere there. Hey, let me go with you as a guide! Japan is indeed more home to us than America we lived there so long. We especially miss the food! And cleanliness. Your son would be at Yokota Air Base, about one hour on the train to Shinjuku Station, Tokyo. The Yamanote Line circles Tokyo, and Shinjuku (New Lodgings) is the busiest station on Yamanote. Right, avoid rush hour trains, 6-9 am or so, then about 5-8 pm. Nights are about always crowded on trains. Especially Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro. I still have an office near Ikebukuro. Oh me, if you like sushi, go to Sugamo Station, 3 stops from Ikebukuro, exit and walk right, as soon as you exit station area you can see a Denny's across the smaller street, not the 4 lane main street. Right under the Denny's is a kaiten (rotating) sushi shop. Plates rotate around, you just pick out what you want, they bring soup, you get your own green tea and ginger and pay for how many plates you eat. It is one of my favorite sushi places in Japan! Eat like a pig for about $9.00, it'd cost $50 to eat like that in America! Also, Ootoya is a great place for good Japanese food.

Your post made me join this forum! Ask away about Japan!
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Kaiten Sushi FTW!
Old 05-28-2014, 04:26 PM   #6
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Kaiten Sushi FTW!

Originally Posted by GuyGene View Post
Right under the Denny's is a kaiten (rotating) sushi shop. Plates rotate around, you just pick out what you want, they bring soup, you get your own green tea and ginger and pay for how many plates you eat. It is one of my favorite sushi places in Japan! Eat like a pig for about $9.00, it'd cost $50 to eat like that in America! Also, Ootoya is a great place for good Japanese food.
Agreed about kaiten sushi... it's a great way for people who don't know much about sushi (or can't read the menus to get a good variety, and try some things they might not have otherwise!
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:18 AM   #7
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I loved the hot springs spa (onsen) on Odaiba Island:
Odaiba's Hot Spring Theme Park Tokyo Review | Fodor's

You can spend several hours there, open almost 24/7.
It is easy for foreigners, as pictures explain everything. The bath areas are seperate for ladies and gents, but you can meet in the very nice food court and other areas.

Spend a sunday morning at Yoyogi Park for people watching. Picnic could be a good idea, too.

At Ueno Park, close to the Tokyo National museum, you can watch open air artists on weekends.

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