Memorializing Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, this Shinto shrine was originally constructed in 1920 at the site of an iris garden known to have been favored by the royal couple. Ascending the throne in 1867, Emperor Meiji spearheaded the Meiji Restoration, drawing Japan from the veils of feudalism. The traditional nagare-zukuri shrine is built amid an evergreen forest comprised of numerous trees from across Japan; a token of gratitude donated by the people. Simple, yet elegant, the Meiji Jingū is isolated from the bustle of Tokyo, its verdant shroud softening the sounds of the vibrant metropolis. Nearby lies the enchanting inner garden, a field of iris blooms in June. The Imperial Treasure House at the shrine also exhibits the coronation carriage and several other intriguing mementos. What stands today is a reconstruction of the original shrine, built in 1958 after its predecessor sustained severe damage during World War II.
As the premier jazz venue in Tokyo, the Blue Note is the place to hear some of the world's greatest jazz musicians. Tied in with other clubs in such cities as New York and Milan, Blue Note is able to attract such names as Natalie Cole, Oscar Peterson and Taj Mahal. Arrive early for dinner and enjoy a wide ranging menu offering everything from steaks to seafood. A rustic, elegant setting provides the perfect vibe to enjoy dinner and music and is a must-visit for jazz lovers while in Tokyo.
With Totoro greeting you at the entrance, step inside this colorful and whimsical museum and learn all about Studio Ghibli animations. Stroll through the beautiful exhibits and discover how animated films are created. After learning about the movie process, you can catch the screening of short museum-exclusive films. Kids will love playing on the plush Cat Bus from My Neighbor Totoro and later, you can visit the rooftop garden to see the five-meter (16 feet) tall statue of Robot Soldier from Laputa Castle in the Sky. Pay a visit to the Ghibli Museum to learn more about an iconic animation studio.
This naturally wooded park adjoins the Meiji Jingu Shrine, and until 1996, it hosted Tokyo's amateur rock and roll bands, who strutted their stuff every Sunday. They have since moved to Omotesando, and Yoyogi Park has become quiet, and ideal for groups of friends and families who like to enjoy a tranquil Sunday afternoon strolling by small ponds filled with koi (Japanese carp). Rental bicycles are available within the grounds during summer.
This huge, two-building general science museum was established in 1877 and covers a wide variety of scientific knowledge including the evolution of living things, the Earth's formative history, nature, and astronomy. The giant dinosaur fossil, a moon rock and the stuffed body of Hachiko, the famous loyal Akita dog are some of the unmissable exhibits here. Taxidermy specimens, steam engines and the life of Japanese people are also some of the intriguing permanent exhibitions. If you cannot read Japanese, it is better to bring along a Japanese friend who can translate things for you.
This magical wonderland is a fitting embodiment of Walt Disney's legacy. Opened in 1983, Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney theme park to be built outside the United States. The park is centered around the iconic Cinderella Castle, and features a troupe of attractions scattered across numerous themed arenas such as World Bazaar, Adventureland, Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. In addition, this gargantuan facility is also home to an arsenal of shops and dining facilities. Here, Mickey Mouse, along with his clan of iconic Disney characters, parades around, sparking joy and jubilation among both young and old.
This museum provides an overview of local folklore, history and archeology relating to an area famous for a shell mound identified by Edward Sylvester Morse. Ota Ward faces Tokyo Bay and at one time it was the major source of laver, a common Japanese food. The cultivation of this product is well documented in the museum displays. Clay figures (haniwa), implements made of bone, and ancient tools which were excavated nearby, are on view.
In a city where high fashion meets urban culture, the Dior Omotesando Buildling embodies the ideal of chic ingenuity. The architects, Sejima and Nishizawa, formed the exterior of the building with glass and acrylic, letting the shifting play of sunlight bring out the building's architectural beauty as the day winds down. At night, the building glows softly on the skyline. Interested in fashion or not, locals and tourists alike pause to appreciate the sight.
Azabu-juban is an upscale neighborhood of Tokyo in the Minato-ku. Which is why here one can find mega sized residential buildings, hotels, trendy restaurants, schools and universities as well as eminent embassies of various countries. This municipality is also home to various retail stores, services shops, gourmet shops as well as household stores. With a handful of attractions to explore, Azabu-juban has its own share of history and has gone on to become an integral part of Japan's rich tourism sector. The entire neighborhood comes to life when events like the February Setsubun and the Flower Festival kick-off.
Founded in 2008 and located in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo metropolis, Totem Pole Photo Gallery is a refined center for display of contemporary photography. The spacious facility of the center serves as a platform for talented amateur artists and provides various elements like aluminum and wooded frames, adequate lights and LCD projectors to make the exhibition successful. A perfect place to view skillful photography display by professional artists from time to time. Call or visit their website for more information.
The term art has come to mean a lot of things other than the cliched painting and music. Song, music, dance, visual art, graphic designing and sculpture are a few of the other art forms which have become popular over the years. ASK? Art Space Kimura promotes various forms of art and culture in the city of Tokyo. To know more about the events and the place, do visit their website.
Some believe that medieval times were barbaric, with all kinds of torture and marauding taking place. Well at Castle Tintagel you can experience the more chivalrous aspects of those times of yore. Learn the knightly virtues of prowess, courage, honesty, loyalty, and courtesy. Take lessons in the broad sword and shield, the dagger, spear and pole axe. Attend Knight School, the Academy of Chivalry, and learn renaissance dance and calligraphy or join an authentic outdoor battle reenactment. Castle Tintagel boasts the most authentic medieval combat education in Asia. Attend theme parties or get married in the style of the period. As a regular member or a one-time visitor, Castle Tintagel is an experience for the whole family like no other. -Stephen Lebovits