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Quick Guide to Visiting Tokyo

Quick Guide to Visiting Tokyo

Visiting a foreign country alone can be challenging, especially if you don’t know the local language; however, you can easily access Tokyo by hiring a travel guide to help you.

Tokyo has so much to offer from the colorful and busy streets to the serene parks, beautiful landscape, and rich history and culture. There are many attractions in Tokyo, and you will never be bored during your visit.

Guide to Tokyo: What to do in Tokyo

Apart from delicious cuisines, Tokyo has many exciting activities for you, for instance, singing karaoke with the city’s residents or visiting the Imperial Palace. The city incorporates both modern and traditional elements.

The list below will guide you on places to visit and exciting activities to do:

At the Airport

There are 2 International airports in the city; Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport. Although the latter is closer to the city, few international flights use it compared to the former which has many connections.

Since you will most likely use Narita International Airport, you can use the Narita Express, Taxis, Tokyo Airport Bus, or the Keisei Skyliner. Choose the most suitable transportation, depending on your budget and where you will be staying.

Navigating the City using the Tokyo Map

Navigating Tokyo with Map

Although the population of Tokyo is over 30 million, their public transport is one of the best in the world. You can use the trains or the subways to get around town.

Your Tokyo guide can show you various sites during the multiple stops. Since you are only visiting and not going to work, avoid using the train or subway during the rush hour as the locals will be hurrying to work.

The taxis are also convenient to use, especially where the trains cannot access. You can also use the bus, and an excellent way to do this is to use a Pasmo card. You top up the card and use it for your travel experiences instead of carrying cash.

Accommodation

where to stay in Tokyo

The city has numerous hotels depending on how much you plan to spend on accommodation.

Your Tokyo map should guide you on the locations of different hotels depending on the district.

Remember that hotel rates change with seasons, for instance, the prices are slightly higher in spring. You can stay in hotels, traditional inns (Ryokan), capsule hotels, guesthouses or a local home using AirBnB.

Where to Eat

Eating in Tokyo

Some of the places to visit in Tokyo are their eateries. You cannot leave without trying various delicacies such as sushi, their unique noodles, and many more. There are affordable restaurants that serve traditional and vegan cuisines.

If you would like to taste many traditional delicacies you need to dine like a local.

Use a Tokyo map to navigate to places like Ueno where you can eat buckwheat noodles served with chicken and Japanese leeks. You don’t have to worry about prices because here you will find local joints with reasonable prices. You can also visit Shibuya for inexpensive, delicious sushi.

Places to Visit in Tokyo

What to see in Tokyo

There are so many places to visit in Tokyo, for instance, the Tokyo National Museum to view the largest collection of Japanese artifacts and art, which includes many national treasures.

The Meiji Shrine is among the most significant Tokyo attractions. It incorporates traditional designs with nature. This shrine provides a serene environment, and you might be lucky to experience a wedding taking place here.

Meiji Wedding Ceremonies

If you’re a history lover, visit the Senso-ji temple, which dates back before the Second World War. Although most of the parts were destroyed in the war, it was restored to its former glory.

This temple should be on your Tokyo sightseeings list because of its unique features. The entrance is fortified with a gigantic Thunder Gate and hanging lights.

Things to Do

Every city has unique activities to offer its visitors.

When you don’t know where to start, you can consult Tokyo travel guides who will assist you in planning your visit.

For instance, you can visit the Robot Restaurant. Located in Shinjuku district, this restaurant showcases Japan’s culture through dancing and songs. They use robots in the shows which run throughout the day till 10.00 PM. There are lots of flashy lights, colors, and interior décor is full of colorful decorations. If you arrive early, you can get the time to explore around and take a few selfies.

Robot Restaurant

The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku is a must stop on your Tokyo journey.

Another unique thing about Tokyo is the presence of pet cafes. Although cat cafes are not new, the pet cafes here incorporate other animals such as rabbits, owls, hedgehogs and more.

The Tokyo guide can help you to locate several pet cafes, depending on your taste, we’ve linked to a few below.

Tokyo Shopping

The best thing about visiting a new place is shopping and taking back unique items. Tokyo shopping provides you with traditional designs, housewares, high-end fashion, vintage attire as well as souvenirs.

If you are a fashion enthusiast, you need to visit Ginza which has luxurious boutiques, department stores, and a fashion mall. If you love electronics, Akihabara is the place to be where you can watch avid video game players showcase their skills.

Conclusion

Tokyo is a great city to visit where you will have fun until the last day. You can consult a Tokyo guide to help with planning the trip. Apart from the beautiful sites, the locals are quite friendly, and you are bound to enjoy your experience.

Author Bio:

Catherine Wiley is a freelance writer who loves traveling around the world and documenting her experiences. She loves writing about traveling to places where the locals value their culture and where she can indulge in traditional delicacies. She researchers extensively to ensure that she provides useful information to her readers at gearexpertguides.com.

All About Sushi – Japanese Vinegared Rice

Sushi Set and Chopsticks

It’s a common misconception with Japanese cuisine that sushi means raw fish, and while the jokes about eating it for the first time can be funny, it’s also misleading.

Like this old chestnut: A couple walk into a Japanese restaurant and pause to admire a tank full of tropical fish. They ask the waiter what the fish are called. “Sushi,” the waiter replies. But as any good waiter would know, sushi actually refers to the vinegared rice, with which raw fish – called sashimi – is often served.

Sushi actually refers to the vinegared rice, with which raw fish – called sashimi – is often served.

Sushi is believed to have started 14 centuries ago, when a common method of pickling fish and rice gained popularity in Japan.

Bamboo Sushi Roller, two hands, rice

The fish was slit open and packed with rice, and as the whole thing fermented for anything up to two years it took on a tangy pickled flavor. Later this process was speeded up, and later still, 19th century food stall owner Hanaya Yohei started creating sushi dishes with vinegared rice and raw fish in Tokyo.

In the 1970s, sushi travelled to the US and other parts of the world, and became part of a new age food revolution. Out of the simple seaweed, rice and raw fish combinations came the California Roll, characteristically bigger than the Japanese delicacies and packed with fish, meat and vegetables and wrapped in a sheet of seaweed, or presented ‘inside out’ with the rice on the outside and the seaweed tucked away with the filling.

California Roll

But Japanese sushi chefs continued to evolve the delicacies known collectively as sushi into ever more graceful art forms.

There are several different forms of sushi, including:

  • maki-sushi, which is the ‘inside out’ sushi that evolved into the California Roll;
  • Nigiri Sushi, which is vinegared rice shaped by hand into a small bed for seafood;
  • oshi sushi, which is sushi rice shaped into squares or rectangles and covered with a variety of toppings;
  • chirashi sushi, which is vinegared rice scattered on a plate and served with toppings.

To make sushi at home you need to buy the right ingredients.

There are only two of them – Japanese short grain rice and sushi rice vinegar. You can get them both from an Asian grocery store.

  1. Rinse two cups of rice in a colander under a running tap to remove the starch and ensure the rice is sticky when cooked.
  2. Put the washed rice into a large pot, and add two cups of water, or into a rice cooker following the manufacturer’s instructions. If in a pot, bring it to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the rice has absorbed all the water.

Japanese Short Grain Rice

Your Asian grocery store may stock sushi rice vinegar, pre-mixed and ready to use.

If not, buy rice vinegar and mix half a cup of vinegar with three tablespoons of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a small pan.

Heat until sugar dissolves, and sprinkle over the rice in a non-metal bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spatula, and your sushi rice is ready to roll and shape, using a sushi fan as you work to cool the rice. Store any leftover sushi vinegar in the fridge.

Whether you choose to make maki, nigiri, oshi or chirashi sushi, it is important to have the freshest ingredients possible.

Raw fish, such as tuna and salmon, are among the most commonly used ingredients, but if you cannot obtain these really fresh from the ocean, you will be better off using canned, smoked or cooked fish.

Avocado is a popular ingredient in California Rolls and most sushi sold today, but you can also include carrot sticks, celery, prawns, crab, chicken, lettuce strips, tomato and cucumber.

cutting sashimi in kitchen

If you are rolling the sushi in seaweed sheets, a bamboo hand rolling mat (see photo above) will make the job easier.

This won’t stop people making jokes about raw fish, of course, but at least while you are laughing, you can gently correct them as you hand them your own delicious sushi creations.

Bonus: How to Make Sushi [Video]

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