Time Travelling in the Gritty Alleys of the Golden Gai

2019-01-28T14:27:36+07:00By |

I’m not going to name names, so don’t ask. But a Tokyo-based guide recommended to us emailed me to say he was away on a tour while we were in town. He apologised for not being there to meet us and kindly gave us his number in case we needed help. His one piece of …

Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku — A Mouthwatering Walk Down Memory Lane

2019-01-28T14:29:43+07:00By |

Omoide Yokocho or Memory Lane in Shinjuku, Tokyo, is also called Shonben Yokocho or Piss Alley. Home to dozens of smoky yakitori and motsuyaki joints, noodle bars and izakayas, its atmospheric alleyways are popular post-work stops for Japanese salarymen looking for cheap food and drink. Many people think of Japan's capital Tokyo as a high-tech, high-rise …

Aloha Yanaka: Vintage Tokyo

2019-01-28T14:31:01+07:00By |

Strolling the leafy lanes of the atmospheric quarter of Yanaka is like stepping back in time. Dotted with historic temples and traditional low-rise wooden houses, this laidback area is one of Tokyo’s oldest neighbourhoods, dating back to the Edo period (1603-1867). It’s also one of the few areas of the city to survive World War …

Cat Cafes and Other Tokyo Eccentricities

2019-01-28T14:31:27+07:00By |

It’s no secret that the Japanese love the kawaii or cute character Hello Kitty, but also wildly successful has been a more tangible rendering of cats — the cat café. While pet ownership is up in Japan apparently — pet shops are everywhere and small breeds of dogs are hugely popular here — many apartment blocks …

Sake 101 — Tokyo Sake Tasting

2019-01-28T14:32:12+07:00By |

We’ve always loved sake – since we used to hit the karaoke bars with friends in Sydney’s Kings Cross years ago. We wouldn’t think of eating Japanese food with anything but sake*, but, unlike wine, we knew very little about the drink until recently. Being in Tokyo seemed to be a good excuse to learn, …

Tokyo Take-Homes: Kitsch Keepsakes for Kids (and Big Kids)

2019-01-28T14:32:38+07:00By |

My, how the souvenirs for kids sold in Tokyo have changed since my mother returned from Japan when I was a kid in the early ’70s, bringing back suitcases bursting with gifts. Then, my Mum brought me a beautiful white-faced geisha in a fragile glass case with black lacquer trim, dressed in an exquisite kimono …

Tsukiji Outer Market, Tokyo — A Food Lover’s Idea of Food Shopping Paradise

2019-01-28T14:32:59+07:00By |

Tsukiji Outer Market is a must after visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market proper. The Outer Market shops specialise in everything from Japanese handmade knives and kitchen supplies to cooking ingredients and products from towns and regions across Japan. Tsukiji Outer Market is a must for food lovers and cooks, both professional chefs and home cooks …

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

2019-01-28T14:34:30+07:00By |

Although many of our readers seem to think we’re on a one-year round-the-world food odyssey rather than a grand tour of the globe, we just like visiting food markets and talking to chefs, waiters, restaurateurs, and food enthusiasts. All the same, I was ambivalent about visiting the tuna auction at Tokyo's famous Tsukiji Fish Markets. …

Tokyo Take-Homes: Stationery Souvenirs

2019-01-28T14:35:06+07:00By |

Stationery makes for terrific Tokyo souvenirs, especially for long-term travellers, because it’s not only pretty, but it’s practical, affordable, and weighs nothing at all. I’m an incessant scribbler, so wherever I go, I’ll buy a few notebooks. Postcards also make a light souvenir for the kilo-conscious traveller. I also use postcards as ‘thank you’ cards …

Tokyo Take-Homes: Quintessential Keepsakes

2019-01-28T14:36:42+07:00By |

Tokyo take-homes must be the most covetable in the world for travellers who appreciate beautiful things. I don’t need to give you ideas as to where to find lovely locally made mementoes, although it’s a task I've relished, as there’s no shortage of elegant shops selling enchanting souvenirs, or omiyage in Japanese, all over Tokyo. Tokyo Take-Homes: Quintessential Keepsakes What …

Why Would You Cook in Tokyo When You Can Eat Out So Well?

2019-01-28T14:37:51+07:00By |

Why would you cook in Tokyo when you can eat out so well is something I've been asking myself every day. Tokyo is the first destination of our year-long grand tour where I haven't cooked. If you've been to Tokyo, you can appreciate why. If you haven't, then read on. One of the huge advantages of …

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