Tokyo, Japan Insider Travel and Living Secrets by Julian for Japan Printing Company
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Go to Akihabara, browse the small electronic stores and try out strange small little gadgets and tools made by hackers, enjoy the arcades, eat some street food and finish by glaring at the heavily illuminated urban landscape after closing hours.
What’s your favorite restaurant here? What’s so special about it?
Mita Seimen (no, the name is not a joke) is a my favourite place to eat Tsukemen. They make their noodles all on the same day and the price remains the same from 200 up to 400g of noodles – with only a $1 markup if you want 500g.
The flavour of their broth is still my favourite of the Tsukemen places in Tokyo and the atmosphere is really cozy. It can be found in Minato-ku, around 10 minutes from Tamachi Station.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a warm Sunday morning in this city?
Take the train south up to Ikebukuro and enjoy the vibrant urban shopping district with its many highway overpasses, arcades and record stores. To get printing done, try Japan Printing.
What were some of the hidden gems in that city? Why?
Being an avid fan of classic gaming, I found that a few remaining video game arcades that have a vast selection of classic titles and dedicated mechanic cabinets from the 1980s were my favourite hidden gems.
There is the legendary Mikado arcade near Takanobaba station (via Yamanote line) and the classic gaming floor in TRY Amusement Tower in Akihabara, which has a selection of quite exotic classic titles.
As cliché as it is, the “real Japan” is found outside of Tokyo and aside the routes reachable through bus tours. Of course I also did all the touristy things when I got here, but if you want to take it a step further, you should rent a scooter/car and just drive to another province. Gunma has an amazing mountain landscape that resembles the Alps in Europe.
Niigata and Fukushima prefectures are famous for their rice field-dominated landscape. Go to Shizuoka to see where all the tea comes from and Kanazama to see one of Japan’s biggest fish productions. It’s worth it, and people are always very friendly and accommodating to foreigners (although it truly helps to understand a little of Japanese outside of Tokyo).
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