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Thread: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

  1. #1

    Default Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Hi friends
    I did a quick search and actually I wanted to post in an older thread, but it's expired.

    I have 3 nights in Tokyo on my way to USA, so I hope some friends here can give some ideas on places to go and visit, eat and shop etc

    I like food, hi fi, Blu Ray or HD discs, electronics and the main thing I wish to do is have a meal at the Fish Market before it closes.
    I have got myself a room at the Ginza Capitol Hotel, 3 min from the market.

    I hope someone can give me some no brainer directions on how to get from Narita to my station at Tsukiji and also how to get onto the Tokyo circle line.

    Some earlier tips I gleamed:

    (can anyone advise on which are more important?) - like the Takayama idea of a quiet day eating ramen....


    For Tokyo. Must go places

    1) Tsukiji Fish market, go there at 4 to 5am, the whole market shuts down by 9am. Its an experience honestly. After that you can go have fresh sashimi and sushi at the many restaurants at the market. Note however that it is closed on certain wednesdays. Just go to any restaurant in the city that has fish on their menu and ask them to check for you. The owner would have a Tsukiji schedule book

    2) Shinjuku and Kabukicho area
    Go at night to the Kabukicho area, its the red light district of Tokyo, but dont worry, no girls in the streets kind of thing. Its more to see the sights which include men dressed in suits and looking like J Pop idols on the streets trying to hustle girls to "Girl Bars" (Their version of nightclubs for girls) and just taking in the sights.

    3) Shibuya area
    Go and suck in the atmosphere and of course look at the famous Shibuya crossing. Lots of interesting shops here to see

    4) Harajuku, Omentosado Hill
    The fashion crazy locale of Tokyo, from high end LV to lower end far east square type of clothes. Main attraction is the students all dressed up and looking like they walked out of a magazine. Also if cosplayers are a plently here

    5) Asakusa Temple
    Lots of things to buy as there is a big market in front of the temple and good tempura restaurants around.

    6) Roppongi Hills
    There are a few art galleries here which are interesting and its the party scene of Tokyo

    7) Aoyama
    Lots if boutique fashion shops. A more upmarket version of our club street and much bigger too. The iconic Prada building is located here.

    8) Akihabara
    The sim lim of Tokyo only difference is that it is the size of orchard road. Lots of gadgets and also if you are into toys... u will go mad... all sorts of toys abound.

    The above 8 are just some of the places to go.. honestly there are tons of places more to explore. Odaiba, Ginza, and some other areas not on the tourist map. But then for 5days. This should be enough for you. Note that on your last day, unless you have a night flight, u will most likely have to leave for the airport at 10 to 11am. 1 hour to get there, 2 hours for check in and other stuff and then spend rest of time at the airport shops. So dont plan anything major on the last day. Also dont go past boarding until u are almost going to board the plane. At Narita, unlike Singapore airport, the shops are outside the boarding gates not inside, so once you pass boarding gate,s its a dead town inside....
    Thank you all
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Oh did I mention I cannot do Japanese, except konnichi-wa
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Yup...I am also looking for some tips. Where to go to browse camera stuff. Especially Oly. Also, can recommend a hotel? Thanks!
    I have a near-mint Olympus E-620 Underwater Case for Sale. PM me for a great deal!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    For a hotel, my Ginza Capitol hotel costs about $140 / night, and is next to the Fish Market.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Just found this website whilst looking up the Obaida bridge:
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2164.html
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Hotel Green Ochanamizu - when I stayed there it was about 100 per night and 5 mins walk from Akihabara (the gf wasn't too happy that it was so near Akiharbara though.. lol) - reserve through asiahotels.com, cheaper than going to their website also.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Oh and when you get to narita - after you come out of arrival, on the right hand side there's a counter there for JR express. Buy a ticket (with seat number) that takes you to Tokyo station - Tokyo express or something. Costs about 45 bucks per pax. It takes 1 hr, after that you can figure out how to get to Tsujuki.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Thanks, I heard about a bus express, which do you think is better?
    Seems it takes folks to their hotels for similar money, but I am not sure where to get the ride...
    Quote Originally Posted by relaxxjaxx View Post
    Oh and when you get to narita - after you come out of arrival, on the right hand side there's a counter there for JR express. Buy a ticket (with seat number) that takes you to Tokyo station - Tokyo express or something. Costs about 45 bucks per pax. It takes 1 hr, after that you can figure out how to get to Tsujuki.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Uuuupppppzz!!!!
    I have a near-mint Olympus E-620 Underwater Case for Sale. PM me for a great deal!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Ginza Shopping. Seriously the
    you shouldn't be disappointed.
    For starters, 9 floors and more of burberry, 5 floors of salvatore ferragamo, a couple of floors of prada, swavoski, gucci, channel etc. and they're all individual buildings!
    Last edited by seanlim; 23rd March 2008 at 11:00 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Quote Originally Posted by relaxxjaxx View Post
    Hotel Green Ochanomizu - when I stayed there it was about 100 per night and 5 mins walk from Akihabara (the gf wasn't too happy that it was so near Akiharbara though.. lol) - reserve through asiahotels.com, cheaper than going to their website also.
    That was a good hotel and there was easy access to transportation and, as you said, Akihabara.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Bro in case you want to know some eating places, I got some replies here too:
    http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/in...?topic=46702.0


    Looking forward to some nice ramen, sushi and simply chilling ....

    Appreciate all the replies so far.

    Wonder if anyone knows a places to shop for Blu Ray discs...
    Quote Originally Posted by Oly5050 View Post
    Yup...I am also looking for some tips. Where to go to browse camera stuff. Especially Oly. Also, can recommend a hotel? Thanks!
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    I'd go to Shinjuku to look for cameras and general electronics. Yodobashi, Sakuraya, and BIC all sell cameras plus other merchandise. There are also department stores there and good food. Ginza has shopping and fine restaurants but I don't think you'll find a good selection of what you want.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Greeting from Tsukiji!

    Japan Adventures 2008

    So after a successful check in, with little fuss in using the trains to arrive at my hotel, I begin some real side trips


    I must say my fear of the subway system is unfounded, although most signs are in Japanese, they are almost always accompanied by English ones or the station forthcoming is announced in English. If you avoid the 8-9am rush hour, then they are a fast and effective means of travel. Plus a day or 2 day pass to make things even cheap and you are all set. Simply know which color line to take, count the number of stops and listen out for the station name and the Jap word for it “Eki”.

    I manage to cover Odaiba and Shibuya in the first night, the Odaiba bridge was a bit of a letdown since I could not get the perfect sunset, with some smog and fog getting in my way. Nevertheless the Marine Park was nice and eating warm Udon with Tempura was a nice feeling after walking in the cold for a couple of hours. Food tends to be priced like Sydney , with an average meal in a cheap place costing about $10 Sin, and that include tea and a soup usually. Despite the ‘cheapness’ each meal is way better tasting than its equivalent for a lot more money in Singapore .

    Shibuya with its collection of bright neon lights was the epitome of a big city and the throngs of people going through and fro was a trademark of such a place.

    With an intrepid spirit in mind, I deliberately venture into places where no one seems to speak English and wing it from there. Just point to what you want and they can figure out the rest. So far apart from a meal in the Tsukiji Yoshinoya, the tempura udon, I have also gone back to Tsukiji for more tuna on a bowl of rice, plus the finest Unagi I ever had.

    Speaking of Tsukij, this morning was a false start, as I had prepared myself to get up early and brave the cold to walk to the market, but sadly it was closed. So I venture into the nearest sushi place there to comfort myself with a bowl of tuna, knowing that whatever was in that bowl was not caught that day. Still it was satisfying and I was off to take a nap before exploring more.

    The greatest part of a solo holiday that makes up for the sad part of travelling alone is that you are walking about on a working day whilst others you know are at work… the buzz that brings sort of makes up for the lack of anyone to share the adventure with…

    Speaking of work, I wish I had a picture of this, but picture this…

    Japan is the pinnacle of uniformity, with everyone dressed in a black suit, both men and women. They all carry a black briefcase of sorts or a bag to work and its like a carry over from their student days where everyone is in a uniform and here, although the suits fit and look nicely tailored, everyone likes the same. And in the midst of this is a chap in a bright red Nike Micheal Jordan dri-fit tee shirt. Then imagine this red tee shirt guy with a red backpack in the middle of a busy intersection, and the green man to walk flashes and the entire Tokyo population in black begins to move all around him. Talk about a little red dot…


    Well not everyone in the subway or on the streets is in black but almost everyone. Those in brighter colors are clearer on holiday or not your typical salaryman heading off to work. The trains maybe crowded but everything is orderly and even though there isn’t a dustbin in sight, there is no litter on the ground and I can assure you this isn’t like in Singapore where an army of Bangla works exist to clean up after us, but simply because people are civic conscious.

    Another wonderful thing is how bicycles and people can co-exist on walkways. Here in Singapore , people fear being knocked down and a fierce debate on pushing them onto the roads and then the fear of being knocked down there is a perpetual cycle.

    Over in Japan , bikes go past pedestrians, all carefully synchronized in a ballet of crowded streets, bicycles and people standing still or on their phones and no one gets knocked down. Perhaps our weather is hotter but the main difference is how civic minded they are compared to our social Neanderthals.

    So the real day begins with a trip to Ueno, where the last bloom of Sakura hangs on tenuously to await my arrival before dropping off in the Ueno park. Here foreigners walk about gawking at tiny clusters of trees with the remnant blooming flowers and the locals simply taking in the quiet clean air in the middle of the city. I pause for a gelato and the midday sun brings the temperature to a balmy 23 C and this cone in my hand is a welcome coolant and I allow myself to sit back and watch the crowd. At such moments you tend to ask yourself when was the last time you allowed yourself the time to sit back and do practically nothing and not fret about time wasted in such a pursuit. Well, I could do a lot worse then spend it in a nice park surrounded by cherry blossoms.

    Looking about, I also notice a TV crew at work and I quietly take a few pictures of the proceedings. I am patting myself on the back for the investment in a long zoom lens which allows me to sit surreptitiously in a tactical location and still get the shot close up.

    After enjoying a more zen moment I then venture into the Mecca of electronics, Akihabara, where whole buildings the size of Sim Lim Square are placed in a single strategic location for shoppers to come together. The whole area feels very alive as people cajole you to come look at their wares.

    Yet when you gaze closer at their prices, you realized even items which come from Japan are not cheap. Although I sorely wanted to score a few bargains, they were few and far between. Given the 100 v difference and the lack of a warranty. That put paid to my desire to get some hi fi stuff. The main highlight was meeting the star from Heros (the Jap guy) in Yodabashi electronics store.

    Nevertheless, my last stop of the day was at a shop where the entire shop was dedicated to selling headphone related items, and it even comes with mirrors where DJ wannabes can see if the cans look good around their necks rather than on their ears.

    These days even if you do not speak Japanese, there is usually an English or Chinese speaking sales staff on hand and they are polite if not the best of communicators. I walk away with some cables and satisfied that I did score some bargains to quell that shopping crave. Anyway there is always Malls of America in the next phase of my trip…..

    A nice coincidence is my friend is also coming to Tokyo tonight, so I will arrange to meet him in Ginza tomorrow. Plus I have to get up early for the fish market again…

    Thank you everyone for your tips

    Some pics:






    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  15. #15

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    After a whole day I finally found something resembling a good deal.
    They were at Akihabara, a discount from regular Jap prices but nothing to really go wild about. Since I had most of the discs, I didn't buy anything. BR discs were simply too expensive.
    This shop had prices at 980 to 2000Y for discs on offer but as expected new discs cost 3k ++

    At a Ishimuri shop I bought a SACD for 1650Y, this branch specialises in SACDs and DVD-A, and caters to a more eclectic crowd.
    The other highlight was meeting the Jap actor from Heros - Hiro something? at Yodabashi, sadly no photos allowed...
    DVDs
    A more seedy side of the disc business I noticed is that in every shop I go to, there is a comprehensive porn section. In fact I walked into my first video shop only to realize that the entire shop only does this!
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  16. #16

    Default Re: Tokyo in April - please help me with some ideas please

    Oh as for the all important camera item prices, most were not that cheap and since I am off to USA as well, the prices there beat those in Japan by a rather large margin.

    Stick to the food, and the photography would be my advice to travellers to Tokyo.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

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