Japan
Taito

Here you’ll find travel reports about Taito. Discover travel destinations in Japan of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

94 travelers at this place:

  • Day6

    Tokyo Tales

    July 4, 2017 in Japan

    Back on the Bullet Train from Kyoto to the nation’s capital, Tokyo. From the train I caught a glimpse of Mount Fuji shrouded in mist. There was no snow or cherry blossom - it could easily have been Ben Lomond.

    Well, if I thought the other Japanese cities were busy, Tokyo is in a league if its own. What a huge city, teeming with people everywhere. A city of contrasts too, with noise, neon lights, huge concrete and steel buildings, as well as quieter areas with old wooden houses, temples and shrines. A myriad of train lines and subways - and yet everything seems to run on time. People seem smartly dressed, politely waiting in line even during rush hour.

    In my two and a half days here I have seen only a fraction of what is on offer. My hotel is located in the popular Asakusa area, and is adjacent to the magnificent Senso-ji temple which is thronged with people day and night. I visited Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower - the only structure to beat it is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. It was an exhilarating ride to the top and great views, although a bit overcast. I had a pleasant morning sail down the river to the traditional garden of Hama Rikyu Onshi Teien. I enjoyed more green tea in a lovely tea house in the centre of the small lake. (Their green tea is an acquired taste, Anne - thick and foamy like pea soup).

    I had an interesting free tour of the gargantuan Gotham City style Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building including its impressive Assembly Hall. I had Veritable Vera the Volunteer showing me round (on my own), and she kept laughing and saying how she wanted to see me in a skirt (I assume she meant kilt).

    Most of the rest of the time was spent wandering around Shinjunku - the modern heart of Tokyo. You can find anything you need here (and plenty you don't). There are some crazy things. They have what's known as Maid Cafes where girls in costumes serve food and drink in a cute manner with their voices screeching in high pitched tones. A girl in a candy striped short maid’s outfit and feather duster tried to tempt me in, but I just told her, ‘sorry, hen, but I've already got a cleaner’. There are Butler Cafes too, where buff guys try to tempt the ladies in. (Now, I don't have a butler!). There are even Cat Cafes, offering the chance to spend quality time with up to 50 pussies without the commitment of ownership. The nation is devoted to cartoons, which are prevalent everywhere, and there are even museums dedicated to the culture of Anime and Manga.

    There is a whole range of accommodation available from luxury hotels to capsule hostels. They also have what are known as Love Hotels. Instead of having to spend the whole night, you can rent a room for a ‘Rest Period’. Like Elsie in the song ‘Cabaret’ they rented by the hour. Due to the humidity I was fair wabbit, and felt like going in for a wee lie doon masel!

    There are literally thousands of restaurants and you really are spoiled for choice.

    Well, packing tonight for the long journey home tomorrow (although not as long as the journey to get here). Still pleased that I managed to travel overland (and sea) from Scotland to Japan by public transport - and no flights. I have been on a variety of other transport however - local train, Eurostar, Trans Siberian, tram, bus, subway, marshrutka, ferry, trolley bus and the Bullet Train, as well as Shanks’s pony! It's been the experience of a lifetime, and an adventure I will always treasure. Thanks for following my rambles - it's been great fun!
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  • Day44

    Tokyo arrival

    April 27, 2017 in Japan

    Made it. If I have one useful piece of information about the Tokyo subway to pass on it's this. It's not like London where trains are tied to lines, so unless you actively change train you will stay on, say, the Northern line. Nope. That confused me and I haven't seen it written anywhere. Luckily a station guard (literally) pushed me onto a train and it went where I needed, through a number of Keikyu Main Line stations to Asakusa Line stations.

    Then it's a short and very pleasant walk from Asukasa station to my hostel. It hadn't looked much on the Google live view thing, but the area has a really nice feel. I'm gonna be ok here 😥

    Just by way of contrast with last week's thunderbox, I now have a heated toilet seat! Which reminds me of the toilets at Hanida airport. They play the sound of running water; to encourage or to mask I know not!

    I'm not exaggerating when I say there must be 300 small restaurants and cafes within 5 minutes walk of where I'm staying. All rather bewildering, but I've found a shop that sells milk and got a hot pork dumpling at the same time, so immediate problems solved!
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  • Day52

    Samurai & Ninja Safari

    May 5, 2017 in Japan

    Yes, really!

    I was offered a free trip this morning by 2 guys drumming up custom for their ... erm... theatrical sightseeing trip around Asakusa. It started off in a normal way, picking out the local sights...then it all went panto!

    There's a wicked ninja warrior creeping round the streets, a brave but slightly dim Samurai, a moon-walking Geisha and other incidental characters played by innocent bystanders. All wrapped up with plenty of slapstick on and off the bus. A complete hoot, and free because they had TV cameras on board and wanted a larger crowd. As it was there were only 7. Brilliant fun 😂Read more

  • Day57

    Leaving Tokyo

    May 10, 2017 in Japan

    Last hours in Tokyo and the inevitable has happened. My budget has been blown and I've ended up in McDonald's - albeit having a teriyaki burger 😉

    I had a few hours spare this morning so took a final wander around the area, down some untrodden (by me) streets. One street caters for all things culinary, including at least one shop that sells, and run classes in making), fake food (big business since displays are outside every eatery). Well that was so intriguing and the shop so alluring I went in. Big mistake. I've been seduced by a segment of satsuma. Life really is full of surprises.Read more

  • Day48

    Went to the National Museum of Nature and Science today to see a special exhibition put on by the Natural History Museum. Amongst the exhibits on tour is the fossil of archaeopteryx, which I've heard won't be on show in the UK on its return. I'm really pleased to have seem it, though a little odd to be in Tokyo rather than London!

    It was a good exhibition, covering the history of the Natural History Museum in London as well as the exhibits that have travelled to Tokyo. Seing it here really got me thinking about what it was culturally that supported that era of (mostly) European (many British) gentleman collectors and explorers and the consequent shifts in scientific understanding. Surprising to me was the inclusion of Marie Stopes who was a recognised paleobotanist before her work on birth control. For the first time I wondered how Darwin's explorations were funded. Wikipedia tells me he was a grandson of Josiah Wedgwood, and he married his cousin Emma Wedgwood. I never knew that!

    After lunch and a wander around some of the rest of the museum I decided to look round more of Ueno Park. I'll go back, probably tomorrow, to the Peony Garden, but while I was pondering what to do next I was acosted by a well dressed young woman with pretty good English who asked if she could pray with me. Her energy was friendly, so I asked what religion but couldn't quite understand her answer, but she said it was an energy thing, a bit like yoga and she seemed to indicate the highest 2 chakkras. Up for new experiences I said yes, so she asked me to step off the path ... she said she was a bit embarrassed in public ... then hold my hands a certain way and close my eyes. Well I confess I kept one eye partly open just in case I was about to be jumped by an accomplice. But no, it was all above board. She asked hopefully if I'd felt anything. I wish I could have said yes, and I did try to relax as well as be on alert! Her intention was to purify my spirit, and in a way I think she did 😊 I've since found out, since she recommended visiting the Miho Museum, that she was practicing Shinji Shumeikai. Another interesting Tokyo encounter!
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  • Day49

    Looked around the Highlights of Japanese Art exhibition in the Tokyo National Museum with the aid of the very good audio guide (¥500 ~ £3.50). It covers national treasures of the last 12,000 years. Very good, but also quite overwhelming!

    I think I may have made an etiquette faux pas as I left the museum. After getting the photo I bought a mango cornetto from a vending machine in the basement (great!) and strolled out into the warm sunshine in the park enjoying it. I'd nearly finished when I had a moment of realisation that couldn't see anyone else eating icecream and that I'd read that it's impolite to eat while walking. Oops. Although there's lots of street food sold I think folk normally sit nearby to eat. Gobble, gone.
    Perhaps related I've seen several signs on the pavement saying 'Don't smoke and walk'

    Now I may have missed the cherry blossom, but really I'm a peony type of girl, so my timing in Tokyo is perfect, with the flowers in the Peony Garden in Ueno Park in full bloom. It's a lovely snaking walk, with gentle music wafting over the garden. Very peaceful and gently reinvigorating; just what I needed.

    The Peony Garden ends at Toshogu Shrine and in its grounds is 'the flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki' which burns with the hope of ending nuclear weapons. The Hiroshima element of this flame was collected from a burning house after the Hiroshima bomb and kept alight since. The Nagasaki element was symbolically created, and added to the Hiroshima flame, by sparking 2 Nagasaki roof tiles together. It's a very, very powerful link to the past.

    I have to say it's extremely sobering to be here when the potential use of nuclear weapons in this region is talked of as a possibility. I really can't imagine what that would mean.
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  • Day52

    Ramen

    May 5, 2017 in Japan

    Done it! I've finally eaten out (Mister Donut doesn't count). I'd noticed this place before, the pictures of the pork ramen looked enticing, so went in on the spur of the moment. Perhaps I shouldn't have just eaten a bag of pea snap crisps ...

    It went relatively smoothly. The waitress (with face mask😷, not uncommon in Tokyo) pointed at the machine by the door. So having inserted my ¥1000 note (about £7) I selected Set Meal A. Out popped a ticket which I gave to her. All good so far. She sat me at the bar along the window, next to 2 young Japanese guys. There was a nice big jug of iced water just in front of one of them, handy because I hadn't ordered a drink, so I filled a glass and sat down. Then the waitress brought me my jug of iced water. Thus I blunder my way around Tokyo!Read more

  • Day6

    Asakusa & Odaiba

    July 16 in Japan

    After the hotel breakfast this morning we headed out to Asakusa to the Senso-ji temple. The neighborhood is older and very quaint, and the approach to the shrine is full of touristy shops with lots of trinkets and street food. We had mochi balls, even though we’d just had breakfast.

    The Buddhist shrine is beautiful. It's a very old shrine, but was demolished in WWII and so needed a lot of repair. It's interesting that all these shrines (we’ve been to around 10) are all active places of worship even when they are swarming with tourists. Many of the tourists come and genuflect and pray, clearly moved by the experience of being there.

    The boys got their fortunes - you shake a box of sticks & pull one out, then take a fortune from the drawer with the number that corresponds with the stick. We needed some help there from a friendly Japanese girl, the numbers were in kanji and we were having some fun trying to match the figures up. They are close to the ones Alex learned in Mandarin class, but I think he only got to 20 this year. Alex’s fortune was unhappy so he tied it to the string so it would be changed.

    On to Odaiba and the science museum, which was big and beautiful and full of interesting exhibits. We spent about 90 minutes there and moved on to Joypolis, a video game/amusement park mashup that looked amazing, but was so crowded that they boys got one ride and one game in 90 minutes. Everything here is just mobbed all the time...
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  • Day153

    Ein Tag für Tokio

    March 29 in Japan

    Nach einem etwas gewöhnungsbedürftigen Frühstück mit kleinem Croissant, Stückchen gegarten Hühnerfleisches und einer kleinen Kugel Zitronensorbet stürzten wir uns in das Abenteuer Tokio. Aber vorher buchten wir noch eine zweite Nacht im Hotel mit 20 Euro Rabatt. Von unserer Unterkunft als auch Airbnb hatten wir trotz unserer mittlerweile getätigten Stornierung noch nichts gehört und sollten wir auch nichts mehr hören.
    Also los zum Asakusabahnhof und am Computer Fahrkarten für die älteste U Bahn Linie Asiens (...das haben wir vorher nicht gewusst....), die Ginza Linie = gelbe G-Line und für die Marunochi Line= rote M-Line gekauft. Marc entpuppte sich beim elektronischen Fahrkarten kaufen als Spezialist.😉😘
    https://asienspiegel.ch/2018/02/ginza-linie-die-aelteste-u-bahn-asiens

    https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/line_ginza/index.html

    https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/line_marunouchi/index.html
    Nach 20 Stationen U Bahn Fahrt im Berufsverkehr (die U Bahn war proppenvoll mit super gestylten Menschen, fast alle Männer in perfekt sitzenden Anzügen...) kamen wir pünktlich am Treffpunkt an.
    Die Sightseeingtour Tokio konnte beginnen.
    https://www.getyourguide.de/tokyo-l193/tokio-sightseeingtour-mit-bus-und-schiff-t103157/?referrer_view_id=af31b4d34912dd72d2bada4aff5d4a9d&referrer_view_position=4

    Nachdem wir alle plaziert wurden und uns ein minutiös aufgestellter Ablaufplan in die Hand gedrückt wurde, ging es auf die Minute pünktlich los.
    Zuerst ging es mit zum Meiji Schrein. Unser Guide hatte scheinbar Jagdwurst gegessen oder einen Plan zu erfüllen....er hetzte mit uns durch die Gegend, dass es kaum gelang Fotos zu machen.
    https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji-Schrein

    Laut Buchung, sollte es jetzt in den östlichen Garten des Kaiserpalastes gehen.....wenn große akkurat geschnittene Rasenfläche mit zurechtgeschnittenen Pinien der östliche Kaisergarten war....🤔...armer Kaiser....
    https://www.alamy.de/fotos-bilder/tokyo-imperial-palace-east-gardens.html

    Neben diesem Garten standen mehrere tausende Menschen Schlange....laut unserem Guide, um in einem Garten, der nur eine Woche im Jahr öffnet, die Kirschblüte zu bewundern.....man müsse mindestens den halben Tag zum Anstehen einrechnen....oh mein Gott....das wäre nichts für uns....
    Aber in Tokio leben ja auch viele Leute, laut unserem Guide 13 Millionen....
    https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokio

    Das Schlendern über die Elekteonikmeile, laut Beschreibung unserer Tour der nächste Höhepunkt, wurde zu einer Busfahrt an der Meile vorbei.
    Das schönste an der ganzen Tour war der Besuch des Senso-ji Tempels, der älteste Tempel Tokios im Stadtviertel Asakusa, um die Ecke von unserem Hotel.

    https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensō-ji

    Diese alte schöne Tempelanlage, die wunderschöne Kirschblüte und die vielen traditionell gekleideten Menschen....das war schon sehr beeindruckend und schön.
    Für uns war hier die Tour zu Ende....und damit auch unsere erste und letzte geführte Stadtrundfahrt. Ab jetzt machen wir alles nur noch individuell....😊
    Und wir fingen gleich damit an....wir gingen in eine winzige Gaststätte frisch zubereitetes Sushi essen....der Sushimeister stand am Tresen und bereitete das Sushi vor, servierte und erklärte es...das war unser bestes bisher gegessenes Sushi...so lecker....
    Wir hatten uns in einigen Blogs belesen und uns Gedanken gemacht, was uns an dem einen Tag in Tokio wichtig ist....
    https://wanderweib.de/101-dinge-die-du-in-tokio-getan-haben-solltest/

    https://www.loveandcompass.de/tokio-reisebericht-tipps-sehenswuerdigkeiten/
    ...und so ging es weiter mit der Metro in den Ueno Park. Dieser soll der schönste Park Tokios sein. So viele blühende Kirschbäume...wunderschön ...und das sagten sich die Tokioter auch...Massen an Menschen waren unterwegs....die Menschen saßen im Park beim Picknick oder gingen spazieren.....
    https://asienspiegel.ch/2018/02/die-besten-kirschblueten-orte-in-tokio
    https://www.22places.de/tokio-reisetipps-sehenswuerdigkeiten/

    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3019.html
    Zum Abend schlenderten wir im Stadtgebiet von Shimbashi durch die Straßen.....ein Restaurant neben dem anderen, dazwischen Bars und alle voll....die Leute gehen hier scheinbar direkt nach der Arbeit in die Restaurants und Bars....und damit die Anzüge den Essensgeruch nicht so annehmen, gibt es auch Kleidersäcke zum Verstauen der Anzugsjacken.
    Wir waren hier lecker in einem Grill-Restaurant essen....so etwas würde in Rostock bestimmt auch gut laufen. Wir hatten Glück, wir bekamen gleich einen Platz. Bei vielen Restaurants sitzt man draußen Schlange, um einen Platz zu bekommen.
    Da wir morgen mit dem Shinkansen nach Kyoto fahren wollen, ging es für uns noch weiter zur Tokiostation die Fahrkarten kaufen. Aber mit dem Metro fahren in Tokio kannten wir uns ja nach einem Tag immer Hin-und Herfahren jetzt aus. Es gibt verschiedene Shinkansen, um nach Kyoto zu kommen. Wir entschieden uns für den schnellsten, den Nozomi.

    https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinkansen

    http://www.hochgeschwindigkeitszuege.com/japan/jr-baureihe-700.php
    Abends gegen 23.00 Uhr fuhren wir wieder ins Hotel. Während um diese Zeit in Rostock die öffentlichen Verkehrsmittel leer sind, hatten wir hier das Gefühl mitten in den Feierabendverkehr gekommen zu sein...die Metro war voll, die Männer in ihren Anzügen sahen genauso tadellos und gestylt wie am Morgen aus....Wie machen die das?🤔 Und wir fragten uns wie die Arbeitszeiten in Japan sind....
    Angekommen am Bahnhof Asakusa, war da schwere Technik aufgefahren und große Straßenbauarbeiten im Gange....
    Für uns hieß es aber nur noch schnell ins Bett und Gute Nacht....nach einem Tag, wo wir gefühlt ständig auf einer Massendemonstration waren
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  • Day3

    Fans Favorit Foodblog

    March 23 in Japan

    Nach der Besichtigung des Asakusa-Schreins und ein bisschen ziellosem herum wandern im Stadtviertel Asakusa kann man sich schonmal eine traditionell japanische Nudelsuppe gönnen. Es ist allerdings physikalisch nicht möglich diese zu essen, ohne zu kleckern :D das erklärt wohl auch warum die meisten Japaner keinen Bart tragen

You might also know this place by the following names:

Taitō-ku, Taito-ku, Taito, 台東区

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