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We went to the Tsukiji fish market two days in a row (my boyfriend is a chef). The place is fascinating, and has the best sushi in the world (if you like sushi, this is the place to go). That was one of our highlights. We visited friends in Kagurazaka, which is in NE Shinjuku. This is a little known, but wonderful section, full of fantastic restaurants, bakeries, and great shopping areas, but with very few tourists and crowds. It is an ex-pat area with a lot of French and German people living amongst the locals. They all speak Japanese fluently as well. I highly recommend it.
We visited Kyoto during the last week of July. Enjoyed visiting the Temples, Shrines, and the Emperor''s Palace, but the place is very hot during summer. We found Taxi to be the most convenient way to see the sites in a relatively short time. Don''t miss the evening show of watching fishermen using diving birds to catch fish. Tokyo was tolerable in heat, but humidity was not very comfortable. Metro system is truly outstanding and one doesn''t need to know Japanese to quickly figure it out. Get the 1000 Yen Passnet which almost serves all Metros and makes life a lot easier. It is like having a Metro debit card, thus one does not need to buy tickets every time. During our one week stay, we experienced a 6.1 earthquake, a typhoon, and another 4.7 earthquake, but that is nothing unusual in Japan. Visiting Japan is an amazing cultural experience.
Good location. Just 5 walking minutes from Roppongi Station. Japanese restaurants and international cusine are within walking distance ( 5 - 10 minutes ). For those who look for the Hard Rock Café, it''s 10 Minutes from the Mansion. The only thing is: Have the phone number ready when you come with a taxi. Even though they have GPS they couldn''t find it. They had to call. Take the "Friendly Limousine" Bus Service from Narita Airport to ANA Hotel Tokyo and then take a cap. It''s 3000 Yen for an adult and 1500 for a child (Airport transfer) and the taxi from ANA Hotel Tokyo to the Mansions is about 740 Yen (depends on how quick he finds the hotel - lol). Tokyo Tower one of Tokyo''s attractions is within walking distance. But when you come there, I would recommend that you do one of these day tours to see the highlights. For all families: Disneyland and Disney Sea are very easy to reach from the Mansions. It just takes 30 Minutes. The waterpark "Summerland - Water Adventure" is two hrs. away. But in the summertime a blast for kids. And the train ride is fun anyway.
When in Tokyo, at least visit Tokyo National Museum, Asakusa temple, Meji shrine and Ginza. And always try and visit the beautiful and much smaller cities of Kamakura and Nikko.
To find food near the hotel, take the lift that serves directly to B2, walk a short distance to nearby buildings such as Shiodome City Center or Caretta Shiodome and be spoit for choice by the extensive range of restaurants and cafes. At lunch time, you can easily find a great set meal for about US$10. There are many shops, cafes, restaurants located along the linkway between the hotel and Shimbashi Station. For a nice day trip, visit Yokohama and see the reputed world''s biggest Chinatown. The place is really buzzing with activities. Take the subway from Shimbashi to Shibuya (Ginza Line) and transfer directly to Yokohama line. It takes about 40 minutes on the express train.
Tokyo is exciting and fun. there is a lot to see and do. Try to take a water bus down the Sumida River for an interesting way to see Tokyo.
I would recommend Hotel Senkyoro in Hakone. Great onsen, very courteous staff and best of all, there is a studio for guests to make their own Japanese ceramics. (There is an instructor there to show you how of course.) My plate is sure to win many design awards! :)
Awesome place for lunch - Danto, about a couple blocks from Ginza station - located in the basement of an office building. Cute, traditional style lunch establishment with very friendly staff. One of the waitresses was especially amused at the size of my gaijin Born loafers ("Oki-desu!") which failed to fit in the shoe cabinets. Food is great, and you cannot beat the set courses for value and taste. Check out Frommer''s Tokyo Guidebook for more details. We also loved a Koren BBQ place in the mall ourside of the Disney Resort - a bit on the expensive side (naturally, given its location), but DELICIOUS. Take a Japanese friend, as (surprisingly, again given its location) there are no English menus.<br> <br> Freshness Burger - not so much. Avoid this place unless you need something to soak up the booze after a night in Roppongi/Shinjuku/etc. Getting around: incredibly easy. Public transport in Tokyo is a completely hassle-free experience. Read the maps carefully (if possible, plan out your trip beforehand using a site like zone81.com''s subway planner) and check out the Romanji translations in all stations, and you are set! We loved Tokyo (and our one day in Kyoto). We hope to come back very soon to experience more of the city - eight days and we only scratched the surface!
People watching takes a lot of beating in Tokyo. Go to Harajuku station to see the bizarre clothes of the ''Harajuku girls''. We thought that ''Electric Town'' was disappointing, but really enjoyed the Sunday markets.
Try nearby Spago for a bargain lunch (2500 yen) at a Wolfgang Puck top line restaurant which would cost triple in the evening.