Tag Archives: tokyo

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Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

I stayed in Shimokitazawa in Tokyo in January, 2016

The girl working at the record store was extremely helpful, following me through the store, finding all the records I asked for. I did not know what bands to get, only asked for certain categories. I ended up with six LPs with Japanese bands. Some rock, both old and new, and some older jazz. If I only had an LP-player in Japan, I wanted to listen to the records straight away, would have to wait almost two weeks before I got.
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Book Review: Coin Locker Babies

Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami

I read Coin Locker Babies by Ryu urakami in June 2016

Coin Locker Babies is  a novel by Ryu Murakami, first published in 1980 in Japan, and translated into English in 1995.

Murakami is known for his dark, gritty books, and Coin Locker Babies does not disappoint. The book introduces us to Toxitown, a neighboorhood in Tokyo known both for its toxicity and its black market, where everything is for sale. Drawn to this place are the two orphans, Hashi and Kiku, coin locker babies who were left by their mothers in coin lockers at a train station. Growing up in an orphanage they then move to fosterparents in Kyushu before running away to Tokyo when they turn 16.

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Nezu Shrine in Tokyo

I visited Nezu Shrine in Tokyo in August, 2015

One of the reasons I love Tokyo so much is all the hidden treasure, the hidden places just waiting for you to find them. A serene park hidden amongst the high-rise, a nice little restaurant, a cool store or a beautiful shrine. Walking around in Tokyo, no map and no plan, can be a rewarding experience, you never know what you might find around the next corner.

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A Heavy Metal Yakitori Restaurant in Tokyo

I visited the heavy metal yakitori restaurant in Tokyo in January, 2015

‘Lemmy is not dead,’ he kept saying. ‘Not dead.’ He kept eating and drinking while talking, washing large bites of yakitori down with large sips of bear. ‘Not dead.’

A heavy metal yakitori restaurant in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, Japan.

The kitchen

I kept smiling, a bit uncomfortably, not sure what to say. It was as he was living in denial. This big, tough bloke, leather jacket, skinny black jeans, piercings, he looked almost in tears at the thought of losing Lemmy. Like the death of Lemmy had taken away his meaning in life. I knew of only one thing to do.

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Oedo Onsen in Tokyo, Japan

I visited Oedo Onsen in January, 2016

Going to an Onsen (hot spring) is certainly one of the Japanese experiences you must try. Relaxing in the very hot water can be really nice, but for me it has mostly been a quick experience. Sitting around in hot water for an hour or so isn’t really my thing. I get bored, I leave. It can be nice for ten, fifteen minutes, but that’s it. Oedo Onsen was quite a different experience.

Oedo Onsen

Oedo Onsen

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Tokyo Cruise from Asakusa to Odaiba

I took a boat ride with Tokyo Cruise in January, 2015

The boat almost looked like something out of a science fiction movie. Long, sleek, all courners rounded. Most of it covered by large glass panels, perfect for taking in the view. I was boarding the boat in Asakusa, it would take me to Odaiba, a little over an hour’s ride. As the boat arrived, people got out, then the gate opened for us.

Tokyo Cruise

The boat

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Hanayashiki Amusement Park

I visited Hanayashiki Amusement Park in Asakusa in January, 2015

The rides are old, worn out, almost look unsafe, but this being Japan I am sure they are not. Paint is flaking off, the colors already faded. This amusement park has seen better days, but there is still lots of people here, mainly families with small kids. Most of the rides are for kids as well, no room for the large rides for adults here, Hanayashiki is in between the buildings in the middle of Asakusa. You can walk from one end to the other in one minute.

Hanayashiki

The entrance to Hanayashiki

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Asakusa, Tokyo

I visited Asakusa in January, 2016

I hadn’t eaten yet, had gone straight from home and to the train, then the subway before I arrived in Asakusa. I was getting hungry, was looking for something to eat.

I found a street vendor by the entrance to Nakamise-dori selling Nikuman, the delicious Japanese steamed buns with meat filling. I got two filled with pork along with a bottle of green tea. Brought them with me as I made my way through the crowds at Nakamise-dori toward the tempel, looking for a place to sit down and enjoy my breakfast.

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Ramen, the Best Japanese Food

I have eaten ramen on every visit to Japan. The following episode happened in Okayama in July, 2015.

It was late when I left Aussie Bar in Okayama, it had been a long night. I was tired, needed to sleep, but hungry as well. I’d heard of a ramen shop, Poku Ramen, just around the corner. It was open until 5am, perfect for a visit after some time in the bar. I headed for it. What could be a better meal before going to bed.

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