Tokyo

Put the Tokyo Subway in Your Mouth!

Among both train nerds and the general public, the bright red 300-series cars that originally ran on the Marunouchi subway line in Tokyo are much beloved. This year, that line celebrates the 50th anniversary of the completion of its full length, and someone has fittingly made it a cake. Literally.

The cakes, called Marunouchi Line 300-Series 3D Cake, are being sold for a limited time at the price of 7980 yen (about $97).
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JoJo fans rejoice! Special 25th Anniversary JoJo Exhibit to take place in Sendai and Tokyo

You have to say 25 years – a quarter of a century – is a very long time to be working on a single story telling project. Well, that’s exactly how long manga artist Hirohiko Araki has been producing the series “JoJo no Kimyo na Boken – or JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, commonly referred to as “JoJo” by fans.

Not surprisingly, after 25 years in the making, the comic has a huge following of loyal fans of varying ages. The story line, which revolves around battles of good vs. evil fought between characters with supernatural powers spanning over several generations, is certainly unique, but the comic is also loved for Araki’s distinctive sense of graphic style and color, which leaves quite an impression and which once seen, is not easily forgotten.

Fans of the comic will be delighted to hear that a special exhibition of original JoJo artwork by Araki will be held later this year in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture and in Tokyo to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series.

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Fun Do-It-Yourself Mini Cherry Blossom Kit

Who doesn’t love cherry blossoms (sakura) and cherry blossom season? That exquisite pink everywhere. Refreshing, energizing, even. It’s fun just to wander around checking out the different parks with cherry blossoms. Sadly, time flies and the petals blow away… Read More

Free Umbrellas With A Purpose

Since March 8, you may have been seeing umbrellas around Tokyo printed with graphics for a new Xbox 360 and PS3 mahjong game.

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Six Tokyo Starbucks Try All-You-Can-Read Offer

Starbucks is quite nice, isn’t it? Their shops provide a comfortable, non-smoking place to enjoy a delicious coffee, they have a hip food menu, and you can even get a hundrend yen refill on the day’s coffee. The service isn’t half bad either. Of course, there’s the fact that it’s not exactly cheap, but we’ll forgive them that little foible.

There are six Starbucks locations in Tokyo that have just gotten even cooler, though. What’s so special about those six shops, you ask? Well, let me tell you! In short, the six stores listed below will allow you to take books from their attached bookstores to read while you enjoy your coffee.
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Celebration of Pakistani Music, Food, Fashion, and More to be Held in Tokyo

This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan began.  Since then the two countries have maintained a very strong diplomatic and economic relationship.  However, culturally the two countries haven’t gotten as close as they could have.

Thankfully the Pakistan Embassy in Japan along with members of the Pakistani community in Japan have organized the Pakistan Bazaar in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo.  Anyone in the Tokyo area on 24-25 March is welcome to experience the historical and cultural beauty that fills Pakistan with free admission.

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We Order A Massive 2 Kilogram Steak And Feel Manlier Than Ever!

When western people visit Japan they often complain about the small size of the portions served to them at restaurants, especially when it comes to steak.  The average Japanese steak weighs in at around 150-200g (5-7oz) which would make for a decent sized American hamburger but little more than a frozen dinner-caliber steak. Read More

North Korean Souvenirs Unwelcome in Japan, Travelers Must Throw Everything Away

Our correspondent who travelled to North Korea recently met with an unwelcome reception at Narita airport as he returned via Beijing.  “Customs officials, without any idea it was about to happen, spent about 10 minutes going through my things” he described. “It’s a sketchy country, so I guess they have to do these things, but still – it’s disappointing.”

The result of the search was that he had to give up every single souvenir he got in North Korea.

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On the 16th of this month, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department announced the results of a bicycle safety enforcement campaign they implemented on the 10th. In those six days, 1571 people were issued warnings for illegal behavior, and over half of those were to people wearing earphones or headphones while riding. An additional 27 people were issued tickets. Read More

Ramen Shop Serves Mountains of Meat, Gets Customers and Laughs

There is a ramen shop in Japan that will pile the sliced pork higher than anything you’ve ever seen. It’s name, fittingly enough, is Niku-ya (Butcher Shop), and according to their sign, “We’re not a ramen restaurant, we’re meat specialists.” It definitely seems like they want to emphasize that end of the business rather than the noodles.

While it does look like a ramen shop and their customers are there to order ramen, their main selling point is definitely their meat. It’s said that their pork ramen has the largest portion of roasted pork slices of any shop in Japan! Well, we had to go check that out. Read More

Otomo Exhibition Features Original Drawings from Akira, Domu and More

This is an exhibition you won’t want to miss, particularly if you have even the slightest artistic inclination. 3331 Arts Chiyoda is hosting a collection of renowned manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s original drawings. Read More

Tokyo Clinic to Test Internal Radiation Exposure

On January 16th, a clinic was opened in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward to check the levels of internal radiation exposure. The clinic, loosely translated as Radioactivity Premium Dock, offers a complete body scan for radiation levels, among other services, which the general public can access for a fee. The company hopes to reduce anxiety resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster and to help the public manage their health.
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Discovering the Best Strawberry Shortcake in Japan

Japanese strawberry shortcake is different from the kind usually eaten in the United States in that it’s more like an angel food cake with whipped cream icing and sliced strawberries. Amongst Japanese people, strawberry shortcakes are considered a classic dessert. In Sugamo, Tokyo, is a bakery where it is said that the finest shortcakes in Japan are produced. The French Pound House Bakery is found in a quiet residential district, only a five minute walk from JR Sugamo train station.

Because they have received a lot of media exposure, their strawberry shortcake is still their top selling item. Even though they try to keep up with demand, they often run completely out of sponge cake.

For such a good reputation, I felt that it was necessary to find out for myself.

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Six Business Hotels in Tokyo You Can Spend the Night in For Under 3,500 Yen

When deciding to travel in Japan we are faced with a rather large assortment of hotels that don’t exist in our home countries, one of which is the “business hotel”. The label of business hotel may conjure up images of the infamous “capsule hotels” for some, while for other’s it may have the sense of a dank, narrow, room that was occupied by the cast of Mad Men. I suspected such things at first until, in an effort to save money, I bit the bullet and tried a few out.

I can now confidently say that despite their label, business hotels are actually rather comfy – some of them downright elegant!

These hotels don’t skimp on the amenities. For instance, it wouldn’t be hard to find a business hotel that offers air conditioning, humidifier, or even an air purifier. Most have fairly spacious bathrooms and offer a complimentary breakfast. Even if you are just looking for a place to have a brief romantic rendezvous, a business hotel can be a cheaper alternative to a dingy motel or robotic love hotel.

Let’s take a look at 6 prime business hotels that can be found in the Tokyo area. All hotels charge rates less than 3,500 yen (US$44.80) per person when two people are staying in the room at a rate of 7,000 yen total ($89.60).

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What Recession? World’s Largest Uniqlo to Open in Ginza

Uniqlo, the clothing retailer who has achieved ubiquitous status in Japan is continuing its ambitious plans to expand worldwide. In order to achieve their goal of earning 5 trillion yen (US$60 billion) by 2020, they have been aggressively building larger and larger flagship stores around the world.

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BREAKING NEWS: Captain Jack Sparrow Now Manages Cake Shop

As I was taking a walk through the city the other day, I encountered a cake shop with a fantastic exterior like something out of a fairy tale. It had a very cheerful ambiance, and on closer inspection, I noticed a remarkable figure. Could it be? Star of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Jack Sparrow, selling pastries? Captain Jack managing a cake shop?
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6 Reasons Disneyland’s Secret Restaurant Club 33 Is Awesome

Did you know that there is a secret, members-only restaurant in Tokyo Disneyland called Club 33? The majority of memberships are corporate accounts, allowing them to do business entertaining there, but there are also individual members. Don’t get your hopes up, though, because they aren’t accepting applications. If you want to get in the door, no matter who you are or how much money you have, you have to be invited by a member.

But what is this mysterious Club 33 actually like? We’ve tracked down someone who was invited to enjoy a luxurious evening there, and according to him, these are the six most amazing things about Club 33.
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Calling All Boozehounds! All You Can Drink for 30 Minutes, Just 299 Yen!

The weekend is almost here! You’re off tomorrow, so how’s about hitting the bars? Come on, you’re probably sitting at your desk right now sneakily checking out your options for a post-work tipple.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: if you want to drink the good stuff and actually manage a buzz, it’s going to cost a pretty penny. Well, think again. Rocket News has found the best, cheapest nomihoudai in town.
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“Gourmet” fans, add Ikebukuro Station to your list of stops for fine fare. Platform 3/4 for the Tobu Tojo Line, to be exact. HOT DOG 59 is the name, hot dogs are their game.

Folks in gourmet circles rave about these sizzling sausages available only at this single location. HOT DOG 59 spares no expense on the quality of the buns and dogs, said to be a step above New York’s famed red hots.

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Japan’s World Heritages Fly Well Under Radar

Did you know that Japan has 16 locations on the list of UNESCO World Heritages? Could you name them all with any sum of money on the line?

Survey Research Center, Co. Ltd. conducted a survey that showed that most people could not. When asked whether they were interested in Japan’s world heritages, 67.8% of those surveyed responded affirmatively. However, only 4% of respondents knew all 16 Japanese sites.

See how many you can name before looking at the list below:

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