TenguLife Interview Tokyo by Printing Japan

@TenguLife | www.TenguLife.com from Printing Japan

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What’s the cheapest way to enjoy this city at night?

Relax at Hachiko Crossing on a Saturday night and watch the world go by. Here every friend, every couple, colleague, girlfriend, boyfriend, tourists and local alike arrange to meet for their night in Shibuya. It will cost you nothing and if you’re meeting someone yourself and they’re late, you’ll see a little bit more of life in Japan.

Ameyoko-Market-Ueno-District-Tokyo

What’s your favorite restaurant here? What’s so special about it?

Hayashi in Akasaka. Walk into an old office building near the subway station and step out of the elevator straight into a seventeenth century ryokan. The food is traditional mountain cuisine that is actually also very foreigner friendly (not everyone is up for raw fish and live shrimp).

The evening is designed around fixed sets, you choose one and literally cook it on an open charcoal fire at the centre of the table in front of you. Forget wine, it’s sake, shochu or beer. Traditional. And it will be one of the finest meals you’ll ever have enjoyed. And after twenty years of going there, I’ve just found out the Mama-san speaks English! Also see Printing Japan.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a warm Sunday morning in this city?

Walk along the river in Nakameguro. The world is just waking up and some excellent coffee is available. The turtles are sunbathing on the rocks and if you go at the end of March you’ll have the sakura (cherry blossom) all to yourself; the crowds won’t arrive until evening.

What were some of the hidden gems in that city? Why?

– Nombeyokocho (Drunkard’s Alley) in Shibuya with 47 tiny bars packed into an area smaller than a tennis court. Each bar takes about five people and you’ll make instant friends even if you can’t speak a word of Japanese

– Daikanyama is a small neighbourhood sandwiched between Shibuya and Ebisu. With an atmosphere similar to SoHo or Wimbledon, a perfect place for brunch on a Sunday.

– Television, it really is as weird as you heard it was.

– Take the boat along the Sumida River to Asakusa and have a beer with your friends.

– Smash Hits in Hiroo. If you’ve never tried karaoke there’s nowhere better to start. With a huge range of English songs, remember it’s about the effort, not so much the skill.

– A window side seat in the bar at the top of The Cerulean Hotel. The best place to watch sunset over Mt Fuji.

Anything else you want to add?

Tokyo is one of the world’s true international metropolises in the fashion of New York or London (though it has to be said there’s a lot less English). There’s more to do than see but, that said, the city at night is spectacular. Remember not to touch your taxi door and try sushi at least once. You’ll be surprised.

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