Partying With The Gods

When winter finally lets go of Tokyo and the days start to get long and warm, it’s time to take the local deities out and show them a good time! But the kami-sama can’t just wedge onto the train like the rest of us – they have to be taken around in style while being reminded of theContinue reading “Partying With The Gods”

Where To See The Best Chrysanthemums In Tokyo

These eye-popping exhibitions will change your opinion of those humble fall flowers forever! Here’s where to see the best chrysanthemums in Tokyo: • JINDAI BOTANICAL GARDEN Dates: October 25 – November 17th (2019) Admission: Adults: ¥500, Children: ¥250 • Dates: November 1-17 (2019) Admission: Free • YUSHIMA TENJIN SHRINE Dates: November 1-23 Admission: Free • SHINJUKU GYOUENContinue reading “Where To See The Best Chrysanthemums In Tokyo”

Chocolate, Strawberry and…Bean Powder?

Okay, buckaroos, it’s time to play Guess That Flavor with these cones of soft-serve goodness I spotted recently in Asakusa! Our first contestants are the lovely blue ice cream on the left, and the tasty-looking coffee-colored one on the right. (Wily contestants will recognize that’s a hint it definitely doesn’t taste like a cup o’ Joe!) Next up, that delightfully vanilla-ish-lookingContinue reading “Chocolate, Strawberry and…Bean Powder?”

Asakusa Lit Up At Night

Asakusa is always entertaining by day, but it’s totally stunning at night. From theatrically lit temples to glittering reflections on the Sumida River, this neighborhood never disappoints. If you’d like to visit the Asakusa area the next time you’re in Tokyo, visit my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had. And just for fun, here are theContinue reading “Asakusa Lit Up At Night”

How Underwhelming Can You Get?

Tokyo SkyTree. You can’t miss it. It’s that gigantic over-hyped TV tower rearing its unremarkable, yet insistently lit-up head out beyond Asakusa. For twenty bucks you can go up it and see the view. Except today. Today all I could see was, well, this. Fortunately for us view-challenged types, every vista is equipped with massiveContinue reading “How Underwhelming Can You Get?”

Giant Faux White Herons

It’s not every day I nip out to the local shrine for a little photo taking and run into gaggle of women dressed as eight foot tall birds. Japan can be weird, but it’s not usually this weird! They were performing a thousand-year-old dance called Shirasagi no Mai, which means (unsurprisingly), White Heron Dance. It was originally performedContinue reading “Giant Faux White Herons”

The Secret Garden

Behind the long, boring building mostly known for blocking views of the pagoda at Senso-ji is the secret garden of Denpo-in. Within those walls is a serene retreat used by the priests for meditation, closed to the public except for a few days each year. But if you’re in Tokyo right now, woo hoo, it’sContinue reading “The Secret Garden”

Funeral For A Pin

In Japan, February 8th is the day that old and broken needles are laid to rest. Anyone whose work involves sewing stuff together gathers at Awashima Shrine in Asakusa for a requiem service to thank their old needles and pins for good and faithful service. During the harikuyo memorial service, seamstresses, tailors, shoemakers, and milliners approachContinue reading “Funeral For A Pin”