Imperial Palace + Kitanomaru Park

Name: Imperial Palace + Kitanomaru Park

Kind: Castle + Park

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°41’31.72″ N 139°45’03.45″ E

Station: Kudanshita Station, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, Toei Shinjuku Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? A must-see.

Updated 8/11/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Just north of the Imperial Palace is a huge park called Kitanomaru Park.

The park includes a huge pond, gardens, and the Nippon Budokan – which was originally built as a Judo arena for the 1964 Olympics.

The Imperial Moat runs along the west side. If you head northwest or further west and down south a bit, you’ll arrive at the fabulous Akasaka. Just across the street to the south before the Imperial Palace is the Imperial Guard Division HQ. Just east of that is the Japan National Archives. Just across east of that on Uchibori-Dori is the Parkside Building, which is down into Otemachi.

There are also 2 large car parking lots.

Uchibori-Dori, facing west. The entrance to the Imperial Palace is on the left, the Parkside Bldg. on the right. Kitanomaru Park is ahead up the street on the right.

Access

To get to the park, take the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, and exit Kudanshita Station. You can also take Toei Shinjuku Line. Get off at Kudanshita Station around 35°41’44.45″ N 139°45’05.70″ E. Head west down the street, then south in the next block.

Entrance is free and is easiet on the south side of the street at the Tayasumon Gate near the Imperial Palace from the main street. There’s a small bridge to cross the moat into the park. You’ll be right at Nippon Budokan so head southwest around the walkway and further south into the park.

2 Museums

Inside the park there are 2 great museums: National Museum of Modern Art and the Science Museum. The Science Museum is way out on the southeast side.

There are also a few other small things to do, and shops including an ice cream place and a few small other food shops.

The leaves in the fall are spectacular.

If you’re in central Tokyo, you don’t want to miss it.

Enjoy!

LINKS

Kudanshita Station – Wikipedia

Kudanshita Station/T07/Z06 | Route/Station Info

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitanomaru_Park

A visit to “Kitanomaru Garden” – This is where you’ll find your new favorite museum! – Visit Chiyoda

Nippon Budokan

National Archives of Japan – Wikipedia

Tokyo Imperial Palace | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace: Mega Guide for What to Do and See | Tokyo Cheapo

Imperial Palace Tokyo – a travel guide for visitors

Tayasu-mon Gate, Tokyo

旧江戸城写真ガラス原板  田安門 | Tokyo Museum Collection

Kitanomaru park, Tokyo, Japan [RESULT] – SketchCrawl.com™

Parc Kitanomaru – Le jardin du château d’Edo

Tokyo Travel Tips. Advice, Reviews, How to get Around, Things to See

Breakfast at Yaesu Hatsufuji (again), Ueno Park, and Kitanomaru Park – mmm-yoso!!!

Kitanomaru Square The Terrace – Luxury Apartment for Rent in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

VIDS

Museum of Modern Art Tokyo

Name: Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MOMAT)

Kind: Museum

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°41’25.15″ N 139°45’16.30″ E

Station: Takebashi StationMetro Tozai Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? A must-see.

Updated 6/14/2021

©2021 tenmintokyo.com

Just north of the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo is the Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (not to be confused with the Museum of Contermporary Art, Tokyo further to the east). This excellent and modern museum lies just west of the Parkside Bldg., just north of the moat north of the Imperial Palace, and also just west of Hibiya. Just beyond Hibiya to the east lies central Tokyo and the Marunouchi district.

Further to the west around the moat to the south lies the fabulous Akasaka.

Just northeast lies Otemachi.

The complex also houses the National Craft Museum. For the craft museum you must make a reservation online in advance.

Just northwest of the museum is Kitanomaru (North Circle) Park – so named because it is on the circular route that rings the Imperial Palace. The park has other stuff to do – such as a large science museum, walking paths, and Nippon Budokan (built for the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics). Budokan is now used for various sporting events and concerts.

Access

To get to the museum, take the Metro Tozai Line and exit Takebashi Station to the street. At street level, head west down the sidewalk, pass the Parkside Bldg. on your right, and the museum will be up a block on your right – across from the Imperial Palace. Note that for Takebashi Station there is no above-ground station – the entire thing is under street-level.

Takebashi Station exit, right, Parkside Bldg., left. One block left of that is the museum.

Area Layout

Takebashi Station exit, far right, Parkside Bldg., upper center. One block left of that is the museum. South of the museum is the Imperial Palace. You can also walk all the way around the palace by walking the sidewalk along the moat. The science museum is in the upper left corner of the frame. To the very upper right of the frame is Otemachi. Way off to the right out of frame is Hibiya.

There’s lots to do here, although the museum isn’t terribly large. The building itself is impressive, as is its collection of art. Most of the art is from Japan but it’s impressive nonetheless and worth a look. If you have time, stop in and look around.

Enjoy!

LINKS

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Takebashi StationMetro Tozai Line

National Craft Museum

National Museum of Modern Art | JNTO

Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Chiyoda

Jimbocho: Tokyo’s “Book Town”

Name: Jimbocho

Kind: Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°41’45.95″ N 139°45’41.43″ E

Station: Jimbocho Station, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line

Worth it? For a nice stroll, books, music, or sports.

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Updated 3/12/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Jimbocho is a small town in north central Tokyo about 1/2 a mile to the north of the Imperial Palace and the Otemachi area. It’s known as Tokyo’s book town. But it also has a wide variety of sports + music shops – especially for skiing and snowboarding. You can spend a whole day strolling east-west on Yasukuni-Dori Ave (Rt. 403). checking out the shops. There are endless bookstores in the area with every kind of book imaginable.

Access

To get to Jimbocho, take the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line and get off at Jimbocho Station. You can also easily walk/bike from Akihabara/Otemachi/Tokyo Dome City.

Area Layout

Central Jimbocho facing north. Yasukuni-Dori runs east-west in sort of an inverted arc shown here running throught the center of town. This street is lined with endless sports/book/music shops, cafés, and restaurants. To the north is Ochanomizu, to the east (right) is Akihabara and Kanda, and to the south is Otemachi and the Imperial Palace. Tokyo Dome City is to the northwest, out of frame.

Extended view facing north. Jimbocho is in the center, Akihabara on the right, TDC at the upper-left, and Imperial Palace to the south, just out of view.

The central + west side of Jimbocho is better described in our Kanda Superguide. We’ll detail just the basic area here. Essentially Yasukuni-Dori (Rt. 403) runs east-west in an arc through the center of town.

There are endless backstreets + streets full of book stores. Most of the major sporting + music shops are along Yasukuni-Dori. There are dozens of interesting guitar shops along the way.

The Hidden Pedestrian Side Street

At around 35°41’43.31″ N 139°45’39.23″ E – just across from a Xerbio Sports store and right next to an ABC-Mart shoe store is the entrance to a charming little side street off-limits to vehicle traffic. There are dozens of nice restaurants + cafés and other shops up + down this street. If you walk this street a few blocks to the west and then turn right on Rt. 301 (Hakusan-Dori) it will take you right into TDC. Turning left on the main street next to ABC instead of taking the side street will lead you to glitch Coffee (discussed next). If you continue walking far enough south past glitch Coffee it will take you to the Imperial Palace and Otemachi.

This street is shown in the 1st video below by NIPPON WANDERING TV.

glitch Coffee

At around 35°41’37.52″ N 139°45’40.50″ E just to the south of Yasukuni Dori is glitch Coffee. The shop is excellent, but’s in a run-down non-descript old office bldg. with only a sign in the window. Don’t let the appearance fool you – it’s worth a trip. See our full review.

Facing north into Jimbocho from Otemachi. glitch Coffee is the small pink bldg. on the right. Yasukuni-Dori is just a few blocks straight ahead.

Yonemoto Coffee Shop

At around 35°41’32.82″ N 139°45’48.60″ E just to the south a few blocks off Yasukuni-Dori and several blocks east of glitch is the Yonemoto Coffee Shop – it’s on a corner and a very nice place to rest + get a brew. It’s popular with early-morning local workers. There is a larger main shop by the same company east of Ginza near Tsukiji.

Yonemoto Coffee Shop – just a few blocks east of glitch.

4-11-1, Tsukiji, Chuo 104-0045 Tokyo Prefecture+81 3-3541-6473

WATERRAS + Ochanomizu

If you walk a mile or so west on Yasukuni-Dori, then turn north (left) onto Rt. 405 (Sotobori-Dori), you’ll come to the sister city of Ochanomizu where there is a spectacular complex called WATERRAS around 35°41’50.39″ N 139°46’03.98″ E. There is also a very nice organic Olympic grocery in the basement of WATERRAS. If you’re up for a bit of a walk, WATERRAS is worth the quick tirp.

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Just to the west of WATERRAS 2 blocks is a Greek Orthodox church with spectacular Russian architecture called Holy Ressurection Cathedral.

North to Ueno, east to Akihabara.

If you head north of WATERRAS and cross the Kanda River, then head onto Rt. 452 north for about 1 mile you will come to the famous Tokyo district of Ueno.

You can also cross the Kanda River, then head east a few blocks, then north a few blocks again to Akihabara which is only a few miles to the northeast.

Additional Photos

Facing west on Yasukuni-Dori. Note the sidewalk Metro portal on the right.

Head north off Yasukuni-Dori here for WATERRAS.

Conclusion

Jimbocho is a nice little town worth a stroll. It’s usually low-tourist, and low-crowd, which makes it easy. It’s well worth a quick trip or day trip from any of the other local major areas such as Otemachi, Akihabara, or TDC. Check it out.

LINKS

Jimbōchō, Tokyo – Wikipedia

Jimbōchō Station – Wikipedia

Hanzomon Line

Hanzomon Line Posts | Ten Minute Tokyo

Ōtemachi Superguide | Ten Minute Tokyo

Kanda Superguide | Ten Minute Tokyo

Glitch Coffee, Kanda-Jimbocho | Ten Minute Tokyo

Chiyoda City

Kanda & Jimbocho | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

Jimbocho Book Town Things to Do

Jimbocho Book Town

Jimbocho Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

10 Great Things to Do in Jimbocho | Tokyo Creative Travel

Jimbocho: Spending A Day In Tokyo’s Book District – Savvy Tokyo

Jimbocho Winter Sports Shop Street – Japan Travel

Jimbocho Guide – Japan Talk

Jimbocho: Tokyo’s Used Bookstore District

Japan Trip 2009: Jinbocho – Comics212.net

VIDS

Ootemori

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Ootemori

Kind: Shopping/Mixed Use

Location: 35°41’06.13″ N 139°45’56.04″ E

Station: Tokyo Station, Otemachi Station (C11) on Metro Chiyoda Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Do not miss it.

Updated 10/24/2020

Just 2 blocks east of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is a fabulous mixed-used shopping/food complex called Ootemori. The complex is embedded in the Tokyo Metro’s Otemachi Station. It’s also reachable from Tokyo Station via a long labyrnth of underground tunnels, stairs, and escalators inside the station. For those not familiar with the area, the central part of Tokyo has 4 small sub-areas: Marunouchi where Tokyo Station and the financial district are, Otemachi, just to the northeast a few blocks, the Imperial Palace area just to the west, and Yurakucho just to the south. Underground, Tokyo Station and Otemachi Station are linked with vast levels of buildings, tunnels, escalators, and walkways.

Getting Here

The easiest way to Ootemori is to take the Metro Chiyoda, Hanzomon, Marunouchi, or Tozai Line and get off at Otemachi Station. You can exit above ground and walk to the building, or you can brave the long tunnels underground to get to it. You can also get here from Tokyo Station by following the underground signs to the Hanzomon Line, but that approach is quite a hike – several miles. You can also exit Tokyo Station to the street, and head northwest on surface sidewalks to reach Ootemori.

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Metro line map for 3 of the 4 lines. Otemachi Station is roughly mid-way on each line, shown here in red on each line map.

The complex + station is a vast 6-level labyrinth that overwhelms any first-time traveler to the area. It will take several trips through the complex before you become thoroughly familiar with all its intricacies. All 4 Metro lines are on different levels. The Marunouchi platform was recently renovated for the 2020 Olympic Games. There are over 100 exits in the station.

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Entering Ootemori complex underground from Tokyo Station. Ootemori features spectacular soaring ceilings, and food/shopping galore. Do not miss it.

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One of many long underground passages from Tokyo Station to Otemachi Station.

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Otemachi Station street-level entry/exit. There are several such exits at street level around the Otemachi area.

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Ootemori is housed in the B1 level of this bldg. in central Tokyo. But the complex and station levels span miles below the surface streets.

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The Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station at night, facing northeast. Otemachi is to the northwest (left) of this photo. There are vast underground tunnels connecting the two areas beneath the station. To the south (right) is Yurakucho, and beyond that, Ginza to the east.

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Ootemori is beneath this bldg. in Otemachi.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Inside one of many soaring office bldgs. in Otemachi.

Otemachi 1st Square

Just 1 block back to the west from Ootemori is Otemachi 1st Square – another large mixed use complex filled with great shopping + food. There is also a small outdoor park between the two bldgs. If you’re at Ootemori, it’s worth a stop too. Around Halloween time there’s a huge outdoor Halloween festival @ Otemachi 1st Square, so if you’re in the area around that time, be sure to stop by.

Marunouchi OAZO

1 block diagonally to the southeast of Ootemori is another nice mixed use complex called Marunouchi OAZO. It’s also worth a look, although there’s not as much to do @ Marunouchi OAZO as at the other 2 complexes. Marunouchi OAZO is mostly a mixed use corporate office park so the focus is more on work, but there are some things here worth a quick look.

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Marunouchi OAZO complex. There are interesting shops on the 1st floor and a restaurant level on the top floor. There’s also a hotel here.

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Otemachi One

2 blocks to the northeast of Ootemori is the new Otemachi One mixed-use complex which is a great new attraction in the Maronuchi area. Built in 2017, this new complex is definitely worth a stop. The new complex features a new 2-block park + water park for visitors to relax around, a Four Seasons Hotel, and a host of other shops, cafés, and amenities.

You can spend hours or even days wandering around the subterranean levels in Ootemori exploring all it has to offer. Dozens of great restaurants, cafés, and shops abound.

Additional Photos

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Newly renovated Marunouchi Line platform. This level is one of many connected together inside Otemachi Station and, if you walk far enough, all the way to Tokyo Station.

Massive Metro lines map inside Tokyo Station.

One of many Otemachi Sta. Metro street entrances in Otemachi – this one right next to Sapia Tower.

Well, that’s it for now. Ootemori is definitely worth a look/trip. It’s easy to get to on the Metro lines and can keep you interested for an entire day or night.

Enjoy!

LINKS

http://www.ootemori.jp/index.php

https://www.marunouchi-hotel.co.jp/

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

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

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g14129477-d7711565-Reviews-Ootemori-Otemachi_Chiyoda_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

http://www.1st.co.jp/

Tokyo Station City

marunouchi.com

https://otemachi-one.com

http://www.otemon.net/index_g

Ootemori on YouTube

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Ootemori

Toranomon Superguide Part 2

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

©2020 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Toranomon

Kind: Town

Where: 1-chome, 23-1~4, Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Location: 35°39’55.04″ N 139°44’46.09″ E

Station: Toranomon Sta. on the Metro Ginza Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Don’t miss it.

Last updated 8/7/2020

Page may take some time to load due to photos.

Be sure to see Part 1 of this guide.

For info on how to get here, also see Part 1.

A Few More Photos

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Facing north on Rt. 405 looking at Toranomon Hills at night. Note the spotless street pavement.

There are plenty of interesting side streets in Toranomon. Feel free to wander around + explore. If you head south on Rt. 405 towards Shimbashi, there’s a lot of good food + there’s also the Avant Cycles shop on the west side of the street.

Avant Cycles shop. High-end racing bikes. A bike is a must-have in Tokyo.

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Plenty of high-end Japanese shops fill the areamany of them with astonishingly good nighttime lighting.

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Caffé Veloce has a retro 1950’s vibe – but it’s known for not having the best coffee in Tokyo. It does have some pretty decent cheap food, though – such as hot dogs for around $2.00 USD.

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Just across from the main Toranomon Hills complex is the Good Morning Cafe + Grill. It’s right on the corner and has lots of open air outdoor seating. Be sure to give it a try. There is also one in Shibuya and Harajuku.

TREX Toranomon Café

Just behind Good Morning Cafe + Grill is TREX Toranomon Café + bike shop. You can rent bikes here – or take a paid bike tour around Tokyo. The bike shop is out front, and the café is in a smaller bldg. around the back. Both definitely worth a look.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

More Good Stuff

Rt. 409 (Hibiya-Dori) which runs E-W + intersects Rt. 405 (the main street in Toranomon) has some interesting things to see + do. At the southwest corner of this intersection is The Monument of the Site of Asano Takuminokami’s death (Asano was involved in the famous medevial Japanese Legend of the 47 Ronin – which was made into a US film in 2013).

Directly across the street to the east of this is the SHINTORA-DORI CORE – a mixed used development which also has a huge coffee shop on the ground floor.

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SHINTORA-DORI CORE

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SHINTORA-DORI CORE

If you head west on Rt. 409, Ueshima Coffee Lounge No. 11 is at 35°39’45.62″ N 139°45’10.39″ E. They also have a wide variety of sandwhiches + other food. The Iwatani HQ mentioned in Part 1 is right across the street.

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Ueshima Coffee Lounge No. 11. The place is spotless. There are several of these around Tokyo – and one in Taipei also.

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Ueshima Coffee Lounge No. 11

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Rt. 409 (Hibiya-Dori) facing east. At night this is an interesting stroll. If you follow 409 far enough east for several miles, it will eventually take you to Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Stunning fall trees in Hibiya.

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Heading in the opposite direction – east – leads to this monster Family Mart + Miyamoto Drug.

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… and a Maruetsupetit organic supermarket.

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Facing south on Rt. 405 towards Shimbashi/Shiodome. Again, note the spotless pavement.

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There are all kinds of other interesting side streets/paths to explore.

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Even small side streets are usually clean + well-lit.

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Tokyo has spotless pavement – mainly because all plastic waste is collected, recycled, and plowed into new road pavement to make it rubbery + elastic so it doesn’t chip or crack. The plastic gets reused, and the country gets better roads. Brilliant. You rarely see any road gravel in Tokyo. The only downside is Japan hasn’t mastered bike lanes yet – as indicated by the double arrow + cyclist icons on the right.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Vending machines are good for quick, cheap drinks. You can now also pay electronically via IC railway cards such as Suica in most places. Suica also supports payment via smartphone or Apple Watch.

沖縄でもSuica利用へ、国交省が仕組み導入検討 「来県者に利便性 ...

Japan’s Suica electronic rail IC card. You add money to the card, then use it at electronic turnstyles at train stations to pay your fare. You can also use them at convenience stores and most vending machines.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Another abandoned bike in Tokyo – an all too common occurrence.

Atago Green Hills Mori Tower

Just to the west of Toranomon Hills complex is Atago Green Hills Mori Tower – another mixed-use complex worth checking out at 35°39’50.56″ N 139°44’58.20″ E. This complex includes a huge park + a nice restaurant with a view of Tokyo looking down on Tokyo Tower. The NHK Museum of Broadcasting is also here.

Zojo-ji Temple

Further to the west down Rt. 403 just south of Tokyo Tower is world-famous Zojo-ji Temple. You can easily walk to it from Toranomon.

Conclusion

Well, that’s it for the Toranomon Superguide. We hope you found it useful. Enjoy your stay. You can easily spend a few days in the area and see everything. If you also want to see Shimbashi + Akasaka too, plan on a week or so for all 3. You can stay in one of the inexpensive hotels in Toranomon (such as APA), or one in Akasaka. There is also a First Cabin on a main street in Akasaka. It is conveniently located + has a Key’s Cafe embedded right inside it. There is also a Tully’s Coffee just around the corner. Or choose the very nice APA #215 Hotel Shimbashi Toranomon. If you do stay in Akasaka, be sure to check out the excellent Akasaka SACAS area.

Additional Photos

Looking east in front of Toranomon Hills.

There are lots of great restaurants and shops on the backstreets.

And some great restaurants under overpasses + between streets.

LINKS

New subway station opens near Tokyo’s Toranomon high-rise complex

SHINTORA-DORI CORE

Ueshima Coffee Lounge No. 11 @ cia.tokyo

Ueshima Coffee Lounge Taipei

Good Morning Cafe + Grill

TREX Toranomon Café

Saddle Up: Getting a Bicycle in Japan

Atago Green Hills

NHK Museum of Broadcasting

Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

Zojo-ji Temple

47 Ronin

Samurai Archives Japanese History Page

VIDS