japan feature

Japan 101 – Ogikubo – A Trip From Tokyo

***

If you’re fed up with tiresome shopping and the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo, why not spend a leisurely afternoon in a nearby town?

Ogikubo seems an attractive choice.  It’s just less than ten minutes by train from Shinjuku. Just hop into a Chuo Line train bound for Takao and drop off at Ogikubo.

Choose the south exit.  Go to the nearest 7-11 and grab one of those Tokyo walking guides among the magazine racks.  They usually recommend an easy two-hour walk.

The guides are pretty comprehensible without a Masters degree in Japanese.

Besides a quiet, clean, and friendly neighborhood, Ogikubo is dotted with an assortment of modern architecture and cozy homes.

One may also, accidentally, bump into some interesting cultural spots or historical monuments.

—–

Useful tips for staying in Tokyo: Keio Plaza Shinjuku offers excellent accommodation and hotel services, with a wide range of restaurants serving traditional Japanese, Chinese and western fare.  A lucky guest may be given a room facing the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.  On a clear sunny day, the snow-capped Mount Fuji is visible.

Light meal: the Soba Area (いろり庵きらく 上野店) in Ueno Train Station offers no-frills Japanese noodles and snacks that refresh weary travelers.  Try sake the Japanese way. Don’t feel upset if the waitress lets the wine overflow your glass.  This is deliberate. The little saucer (sometimes a wooden container) that holds the glass is supposed to catch the spilled drink so you can pour it back into the glass after your first gulp.

***

japan 1a

***

japan 8

***

japan 9

***

japan 5

***

japan 4

***

japan 6

***

japan 2

***

japan 3

***

japan 1

***

Have a news or Japan story that you’d like us to cover or review? Contact NewsWhistle’s Tony Church at Tony@NewsWhistle.com.

***

All images courtesy of Tony Church