Save on transportation and admission tickets with the Mt. Fuji Tourist Pass

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From the adrenaline-packed roller coasters at Fuji Q Highland, to the pacific waters of Lake Kawaguchiko reflecting the iconic shape of Mt. Fuji, the area surrounding Japan’s most iconic mountain is filled with sightseeing spots for you to discover.

The best way to explore them all while saving on transportation fees and admission tickets is to plan ahead and purchase the Mt. Fuji Pass, which includes all local buses in the area as well as Fujikyu Railway trains. The pass also gives you access to popular spots such as Fuji Q Highland, the Pleasure Boat Cruise “En Soleil” on Lake Kawaguchiko, and a ride on the Mt. Kachi Kachi ropeway just to name a few.

Holders can choose between 1-day, 2-day and 3-day passes according to their travel plans and are eligible for endless discount privileges at more than 12 facilities such as Fujiyama Onsen hot spring and the Oshino Ninja Village, as well as several restaurants and shops.

Three of our WAttention Ninjas had the opportunity to explore Mt. Fuji area using the Mt. Fuji Tourist Pass and this is what they had to say about their trip.

Hjalte Hellenberg

Taking the first steps towards Mt. Fuji seemed confusing without a guide, but we had a precise plan of what to visit and how to get there, we just had to follow our itinerary and everything turned out to be very easy. I can’t decide what was my favorite of all the places we visited, the boat trip on Lake Kawaguchiko, the Oshino Ninja Village, the incredible view atop Mt. Kachi kachi Ropeway or the cool rollercoasters of Fuji Q Highland.
The buses and the trains that we rode along the way offer amazing sights themselves, and are easy to use, with helpful signs in English at stations and bus stops.
A shoutout to the Japanese people for their kindness, to Mt. Fuji and Mt. Kachi kachi Ropeway for their beauty, to the Oshino Ninja Village for inspiring young ninjas and to Lake Kawaguchiko for its peacefulness! I would love to come back to the area sometime and even attempt to climb Mt. Fuji itself!
lake-kawaguchiko
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The Mt. Fuji Pass gave us the opportunity to discover new places, admire awe-inspiring landscapes, explore a great lake and enjoy ourselves at an amusement park where we could have spent a whole day. I really liked the fact that while we already had a clear plan for which trains and buses to take, it still felt like a relaxed trip, where we had the freedom of enjoying the sights at our pace, without a guide telling you every minute what to do next.
The different attractions added variety to our sightseeing itinerary making the whole experience feel like an epic adventure, combining perfectly peaceful landscapes at Lake Kawaguchiko or the ropeway at Mt. Kachi kachi Ropeway, with the thrill at Fuji Q Highland and the fun activities at the Oshino Ninja Village. Even though the weather didn’t allow us to admire Mt. Fuji in all its glory, we had an amazing time and enjoy the attractions to the fullest.

Yann Barbaras

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Andreas Stabursvik

We took an early train ride from Shinjuku to Lake Kawaguchiko, in which we were able to admire the beautiful landscape and take some pictures. When we arrived to Lake Kawaguchiko we first headed to the Mt. Kachi kachi Ropeway, offering great views of the lake and the surrounding nature, despite it being a cloudy day. We continued our journey by local bus, getting off at the Oshino Ninja Village, a fun attraction where you can learn “the ways of the ninja”, ideal for kids. Lastly but not least, we visited Fuji Q Highland, an amusement park filled with record-braking roller coasters and La ville de Gaspard et Lisa, an area that looks straight out of a French village. Since our pass included not only admission to the park but also one attraction, we decided to try Fujiyama, which left me speechless. With both transportation and admission tickets included in our pass, I cannot think of a better way to enjoy our trip and I’m looking forward to visiting the area again.
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Plan your trip in advance and consult the bus and train timetables and learn more about Mt. Fuji Pass and all its benefits by visiting this website.

Sample schedule for a day visiting various attractions using the Mt. Fuji Pass
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The Mt. Fuji Pass

Cost:1 day ticket: Adult 5,500 JPY, Children 2,750
2 day ticket: Adult 8,000 JPY, Children 4,000
3 day ticket: Adult 10,000 JPY, Children 5,000
URL: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
*Adult (Junior High School or older)
**Child (Elementary School)

redIncluded
blueSale Location
yellow3Exclusive Privileges

Enjoy the Mt. Fuji Area to the fullest with these useful tools

・Mt. Fuji Pass
This is a tourist pass especially made for foreigners visiting Japan. Save on sightseeing and transportation and get preferential access to different tourists facilities, including Fuji Q Highland.
Find out more here: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
fuji-q-resorts-
・Fuji-Q Resorts App
Get insider tips to make the most out of your visit to the Mt. Fuji area
The app is available in Japanese, Chinese, English and Thai
Find out more here: http://app.fujiq-resorts.com/fuji-qresorts/lp/
apli

September Giveaway! Pair ticket to Fuji Q Highland!

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🎉Win FREE tickets to FUJI Q Highland!🎉

Japan’s most famous amusement park at the foot of Mount Fuji.

LUCKY WINNER will get two FREE PASS INVITATION ticket to Fuji Q Highlands which can transform to ONE DAY FREE PASS at the gate. There are around 40 different attractions available for every age.

ABOUT FUJI Q HIGHLAND
Experience the thrill of 40 different rides, with some of the fastest, steepest and scariest rollercoasters in the world, including the recently opened Dododonpa, the fastest roller coaster in Japan. Visitors can also enjoy “Thomas land”, filled with rides for kids, a variety of shops and restaurants and of course, great spots for breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji.

The expiration date for tickets: 2018.3.31


CONDITIONS

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Click link below to Apply for GIVEAWAY

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WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED TO THIS TICKET

Coin games and coin attractions, rollerskating, Special events like (attack on titan etc.), Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear, Fuji-yama Onsen.


 

 

Lake Yamanaka: The Perfect Weekend Getaway

Lake Kawaguchiko is probably one of the most known out of the Fuji Five Lakes, but we decided to explore Lake Yamanakako. In the morning, the bus ride from the Fuji 5th Station to Mt. Fuji Station, plus the bus ride from Mt. Fuji Station to Lake Yamanakako, together takes only 30 minutes. This summer resort town is the perfect place to unwind!

Once arriving, we made our way to PICA Yamanaka Lake Village (for those spending the night, check out their cabins), where we rented vintage-like, colorful bicycles. Crossing the street over to Lake Yamanakako, we found a safe bicycle lane that goes around the entire lakeside (about 14 kilometers), making it the perfect family activity. Along the way, we passed cafes, a craft shop, an antique shop, parks, and docks where you can board pedal boats in the shape of swans or tea cups. Also, there are multiple spots where you can park your bicycle to take picturesque photos of the lake and Mt. Fuji, so you will want your camera out all times!

Being adventurous, we strayed from the path to visit Yamanakako Hana-no-Miyako Park, where we were met with a vast field of colorful cosmos (when the weather cooperates, you even get a stunning view of Mt. Fuji!).

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Making a full circle, we decided to have lunch at FUJIYAMA KITCHEN, which is also located in the PICA Yamanaka Lake Village. Here they serve fresh, healthy meals; perfect after a day of fun summer activities! On such a beautiful day, we decided to enjoy our meal on the patio, overlooking a garden where they grow vegetables for their dishes. With the lake breeze, it was the ultimate resort experience!

fujiyama-kitchen

Do you ever find yourself wanting to take a take a nap after a good meal? Well PICA Yamanaka Lake Village also offers a cafe where you can order a refreshing drink while swinging in a hammock. For those who want to explore, there is also a tree house where you can take your drinks.

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With our stomachs fed and our bodies rested, we were off to catch the Lake Yamanakako Pleasure Cruiser “Swan Lake,” which was in the form of a queen swan! The elegant interior designed by the famous Japanese industrial designer Eiji Mitooka, it feels as though you are royalty. You can either relax in comfort with the indoor seating inside or enjoy the fresh breeze on the dock upstairs. Taking you across the lake in just 25-minutes, it is the perfect place to look back and share the highlights of your trip!

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After being fully rejuvenated, with a heavy heart we made our way back to Tokyo by catching a Fuji-Q Highway Bus from Lake Yamanakako. Throughout this adventure, the transportation and attractions were so well thought out for visitors that it was truly a stress free trip! Lake Yamanakako is the perfect summer resort destination for those looking for a weekend getaway!

Although we have to make our way back to Tokyo from here, Fuji-Q Highland is a strongly recommended attraction. First, hop on a local bus headed for Fuji-Q Highland here. After reaching Fuji-Q Highland, you can tour the premises with a free shuttlebus, stopping by Fujiyama Museum to appreciate paintings of Mt. Fuji and enjoy images of Mt. Fuji’s four seasons projected on a gigantic screen. You can even experience the Fuji Airways virtual flights. Enjoy Mt. Fuji to the fullest even on rainy days by visiting the two attractions.

PICA Yamanaka Lake Village

Address: 506-296 Hirano, Yamanakako-mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture
URL:http://yamanakako.pica-village.jp/en/index.html (English)

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Mt. Fuji Pass can be used on
–local bus
–pleasure cruiser “Swan Lake”
–Fujikyu railway
–Fujiyama Museum
–Fuji-Q Highland (admission + attraction pass)

Discount fare: 10,240 Yen (2 days). As the two-day bus pass costs 8,000 Yen, you save 2,240 Yen immediately with Mt. Fuji Pass.
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Go back to DAY ONE

Enjoy the Mt. Fuji Area to the fullest with these useful tools

・Mt. Fuji Pass
This is a tourist pass especially made for foreigners visiting Japan. Save on sightseeing and transportation and get preferential access to different tourists facilities, including Fuji Q Highland.
Find out more here: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
fuji-q-resorts-
・Fuji-Q Resorts App
Get insider tips to make the most out of your visit to the Mt. Fuji area
The app is available in Japanese, Chinese, English and Thai
Find out more here: http://app.fujiq-resorts.com/fuji-qresorts/lp/
apli

Mt. Fuji and Its Less Known Gems

During the summer, many head to Mt. Fuji to either visit the Fuji 5th Station or climb to the summit, but we decided to switch things up and explore less known spots around and on Mt. Fuji.

We started our journey at Shinjuku Station, transferred at Otsuki Station, and finally arrived at Fujisan Station. For those exploring the area, the Mt. Fuji Pass is the perfect way to travel with ease as it can be used on local transportation and other tourist attractions and facilities (including entry to Fuji-Q Highland!) in the area.
※Since the Japan Railway Pass is not valid between Otsuki Station and Kawaguchiko Station (Fuji Kyuko Line), purchase the Mt. Fuji Pass in addition, to discover the area around Mt. Fuji to its fullest.

mt.-fuji-pass

From Mt. Fuji Station, we took a local bus to Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinjia Shrine, which was originally the starting point for pilgrims climbing Mt. Fuji over 500 years ago. Walking up the peaceful path lined with enormous cryptomeria trees and moss-covered lanterns, you feel as though you stepped into a magical realm. After saying a prayer at Fuji Sengen-jinjia Shrine, we purchased a shuincho (translates as “red seal booklet”) where you can collect seals from government registered shrines. It’s truly mesmerizing to watch the penmanship as the shrine’s name is inscribed before the seal is stamped.

shuincho,-red-seal-booklet
Fuji-Sengen-jinjia-Shrine

Walking back to Mt. Fuji Station, we came across a charming street with a historical vibe called Fuji-michi. Here, oshi (lodges for pilgrims) use to line the road, offering a place for pilgrims to rest and bath (in water from Mt. Fuji) before their religious journey up the holy mountain. We stopped by The Togawa Oshi House to learn more about the history of the Mt. Fuji pilgrims and oshi, giving us a new perspective of the significance of Japan’s iconic mountain.

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rest-house-Okuniwaso

We hopped on the bus headed for Fuji 5th Station and got off at the Okuniwa Bus Stop to explore the Okuniwa National Park First. The 40-minute walk from the bus stop to the park is a very family-friendly trail. As we walked down the moss covered forest, we came across a rest house (Okuniwaso) where many bird watchers gather. Here we stopped to have lunch, which entailed a feast of homemade Japanese cuisine with kokemomo juice (cowberry). Perfect way refuel for our hike ahead!

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kokemomo-juice-(cowberry)
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Next off, we crossed the street over to the Ochudo trail, which is said to be the border between the human and spiritual realm. We walked for 70 minutes to get to Fuji 5th Station and this was a journey that left us in awe. Never a dull moment, this family friendly trail offers scenery that is continuously changing with every blinking moment, revealing mother nature’s grandness. It is the perfect way to enjoy Mt. Fuji without having to climb to the summit!

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After a peaceful time hiking, we are met with civilization again at the Fuji 5th Station where there is the Fuji Komitake-jinja Shrine, gifts shops and restaurants. What better way to let your family and friends know about your adventure than by sending a postcard from Mt. Fuji Post Office!

Mt.-Fuji-Post-Office

We called it a day at Unjo-kaku, where we spent the night at their lodging where they offer capsule beds, showers and toilets. Ever sleep in a capsule before? Well, FUJIKYU UNJO-KAKU offers spacious and comfortable cocoons for a good night’s sleep! After picking our Fuji-themed souvenirs at the gift shop on the first floor, we enjoyed a warm and nutritious meal at the restaurant on the second floor while reflecting our experience that day.

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3a.m. time to wake up! Yes, we woke up in the middle of the night to hike to Fuji 6th Station to see the sunrise; completely worth it! It’s chilly and dark as you hike up the somewhat challenging trail, so it is wise to dress warm and take a headlamp. Watching as the sky slowly lights up in many shades of colors with the grand entrance of the sun was the perfect way to start the day for our next adventure!

Fuji-6th-Station-sunrise
Fuji-6th-Station-sunrise-nice

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Mt. Fuji Pass can be used on this route.
— local bus
— bus headed for Mt. Fuji
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Continue reading, go to DAY TWO

Enjoy the Mt. Fuji Area to the fullest with these useful tools

・Mt. Fuji Pass
This is a tourist pass especially made for foreigners visiting Japan. Save on sightseeing and transportation and get preferential access to different tourists facilities, including Fuji Q Highland.
Find out more here: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
fuji-q-resorts-
・Fuji-Q Resorts App
Get insider tips to make the most out of your visit to the Mt. Fuji area
The app is available in Japanese, Chinese, English and Thai
Find out more here: http://app.fujiq-resorts.com/fuji-qresorts/lp/
apli

A full day of adventure at the Yoshida Fire Festival & Fuji Q Highland

firewood-burning-at-yoshida-fire-festival-in-japan

The Yoshida Fire Festival held every year on August 26 and 27 is considered by many Japanese to be one of the great three unique festivals in the country. It takes place at Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine located in Fujiyoshida City at the foot of Mt. Fuji. It features 3 meters tall firewood bonfires that are set on fire along 2km of the city’s main street.

While its origins remain unclear, currently the festival is held to pray for public welfare and peace, as well as to prevent Mt. Fuji from erupting. It also marks the end of the climbing season to Mt. Fuji.

If you ever happen to visit during the end of August when the festival is held, we recommend you head over to Mt. Fuji area early in the morning to enjoy the many other attractions the region has to offer. A good option is to spend the day at Fuji Q Highland, an amusement park offering some of the most thrilling roller coasters in Japan, including the recently opened DODODONPA, Japan’s fastest roller coaster shooting up to the speed of 180k/h in just 1.56 seconds. Fuji Q Highland also offers VRT experiences, areas for kids, and a variety of shops and restaurants.

Three of our WAttention Ninjas got to experience this unique itinerary that blends centuries old traditions and the thrill of roller coasters, and this is what they had to say about the trip.

Jackie De León

We took the bus at 9:55 from Shinjuku Bus Terminal, which was right on time. Our arrival station was really close to the entrance. First, we passed through La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa, with great decorations that made it feel like we were in a little France made for kids. The roller coasters were so much fun, but definitely not for the faint-hearted; meanwhile, the water rides proved to be the best way to fight the suffocating heat of Japanese summer. We left the park at five and took the bus for Mt. Fuji Station. We encountered a flaming cultural display: the Yoshida Fire Festival. We saw people running around with lanterns and piling lots of firewood. For a few moments, wherever you look, we saw torches lighting up the way. The experience is definitely worth it.
©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre
©2017 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre
roddy3
Our trip took us to the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park and the Yoshida Fire Festival, both of them exciting in its own unique ways. I really enjoyed the bus ride from Shinjuku Bus Terminal for its impressive sights along the way. The attractions in the amusement park were also amazing with the roller coasters really worth the wait, my favorite was the newly opened DODODONPA, with exhilarating speeds of up to 180 km/h. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit cloudy and we couldn’t see the Mt. Fuji, but that didn’t stop us from going to Fuji Airways, a flight simulator that takes you soaring through the skies around Japan’s tallest mountain. Afterwards, we made a short trip to the Yoshida Fire Festival. I wasn’t pleasantly surprised by the sheer amount of different traditional food, challenging me to try them all. The highlight of this festival was when they set fire to piles of wood in the middle of the street. It felt amazing to stop and take a look downhill, only to see a long line of fire with what seemed to be an endless stream of people on both sides of it.

Thierry Kohler

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Ana Rita Cavalheiro

Despite having to wake up early, we took advantage of the comfortable bus ride to get some extra sleep and arrived well rested at Fuji-Q Highland .The park was not crowded, which made our experience a lot more enjoyable. We couldn’t go to all of the rides but we got to experience the exciting Fujiyama and DODODONPA, as well as the temporary exhibition about the manga series “Black Buttler”, which allowed fans like me to immerse ourselves in the world of Black Buttler, and offered hilarious photo oportunities. We then took a train to attend the Yoshida Fire Festival, at first, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was captivated to witness the traditional ritual and the hundreds of torches that were lifted up and turned the streets into glowing paths. Also, the small tents along the side walk, the delicious food, drinks and original snacks gave life and excitement to the festival. I felt a bit sad for not being able to follow the whole procession of the festival, but inspired me to do some research and learn more about this tradition and its meaning.
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To fully enjoy all the attractions and natural spots surrounding Mt. Fuji, it’s a good idea to stay overnight and turn a one-day visit into a longer trip. The Fujisan Station Hotel offers comfortable and affordabe modern guest rooms, including free breakfast and wifi access in a great location, just a 2-minutes walk away from Mt. Fuji Station and offering easy connectivity to Fuji Q Highland and the Lake Kawaguchiko area. For reservations and more information, visit their website here.

Sample schedule for a day visiting Fuji Q Highland and the Yoshida Fire Festival held at the end of August every year.
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The Yoshida Fire Festival and Fuji Q Highland

The Yoshida Fire Festival
Dates: 26 and 27 of August
Entrance fee: Free
Address: Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine, Kamiyoshida, 5558, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture
Access: Take a 5-min train ride on the Fujikyuko Kawaguchiko line from Kawaguchiko station to Mt. Fuji station
URL: http://sengenjinja.jp/english/

Fuji Q Highland
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday from 9am to 17pm. Operation hours vary according to the season.
Admission: Park admission is 1,500 JPY for adults and high school students, 900 JPY for children. One-day free pass ticket is 5700 JPY for adults, 5200 JPY for high school students and 4300 JPY for children.
Address: 5-6-1 Shin-Nishihara, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture
Access: Take the Fujikyu Express bus at Tokyo Station bound for Mt. Fuji and get off at Fuji-Q Highland. Direct buses also operate from Shinjuku and Shibuya station, while daily night buses from Osaka and Kyoto are also available.
URL: https://www.fujiq.jp/en/
Contact: [email protected]

Enjoy the Mt. Fuji Area to the fullest with these useful tools

・Mt. Fuji Pass
This is a tourist pass especially made for foreigners visiting Japan. Save on sightseeing and transportation and get preferential access to different tourists facilities, including Fuji Q Highland.
Find out more here: http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
fuji-q-resorts-
・Fuji-Q Resorts App
Get insider tips to make the most out of your visit to the Mt. Fuji area
The app is available in Japanese, Chinese, English and Thai
Find out more here: http://app.fujiq-resorts.com/fuji-qresorts/lp/
apli

Another 3 hr trip – Ueno

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another-3-hrs-trip-red

How to Make the Best of 3 Hours in Tokyo

It is the last day of your trip and you have three hours left before departing for the airport. Don’t know what to do with the time? WAttention did the homework for you. Here is a three-hour itinerary that will leave you entertained, refreshed and with lots of memories of Japan!

UENO

Making the most of your time in Tokyo’s Shitamachi

Ueno Station is one of Tokyo’s gateways to Narita Airport and the northern part of Japan. If you still have some time in your hands after visiting Ameyoko shopping street and the various museums in Ueno Park, why not experience a different side of Ueno? To save time getting from one place to another, just hop on the local mini Megurin bus!

1-purple Start from Ueno Station
Catch the Megurin bus at the number 2 bus stop in front of Ueno Station’s “Koenguchi”. The bus runs every 15 minutes and the fare is 100 Yen each way for both adults and children.
See Tokyo National Museum, Kaneiji Temple, Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street and many other attractions from the bus window (20-minute ride). Get off at Sendagi Station at bus stop number 13 Walk for 5 minutes
Hours: Depart all 15-20 min
Fare: 100 yen
Access: Various stops within the area.
Url: http://www.city.taito.lg.jp/index/kurashi/kotsu/megurin/rosenzu.files/eigo_1.pdf
Megurin-bus

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Nezu-Shrine Otome-Inari-Shrine

2-purple Nezu Shrine and Otome Inari Shrine

Nezu Shrine
is a historic shrine known for its natural beauty. Surrounded by lush green trees and 3,000 azaleas that come in full bloom every spring, this photogenic shrine is popular among couples as a traditional Japanese wedding venue.

Otome Inari Shrine
Famous for thousands of bright red torii gates that form an impressive tunnel, is on the grounds of Nezu Shrine. Otome means “maiden” in Japanese, so many single women visit to pray for a good marriage. Walk for 1 minute

Hours: ~6pm (Mar – Sep), ~5:30pm (Feb & Oct), ~5pm (Nov – Jan)
Access: 5-min walk from Nezu Station ・ Sendagi Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line), Todaimae Station (Tokyo Metro Namboku Line)
10-min walk from Hakusan Station (Toei Mita Line)
Address: 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.nedujinja.or.jp/ (Japanese only)

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3-purple Nezu-no-Taiyaki
Taiyaki is a sea-bream shaped waffle-like snack filled with a sweet paste and often found in traditional pastry shops in Japan. Located within a five-minute walk from Nezu Station, Nezu-no-Taiyaki serves homemade taiyaki fresh off the iron grill. The outside is light, crisp and nicely browned while the inside is filled with rich, sophisticated red bean paste to the very tip of the fish’s tail. Be sure to factor in waiting time because there is always a long line in front of the shop. Walk for 1 minute
Nezu-no-Taiyaki

Hours: 10:30am – sold out
Closed: Tuesday, Friday & other days occasionally
Access: 5-min walk from Nezu Station Exit 1 (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
Address: 1-23-9-104 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Url: https://twitter.com/taiyaki_nezu (Japanese only)

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Hantei
4-purple Hantei
The area in front of Nezu Shrine used to be bustling and filled with store fronts. Hantei is an establishment representative of the area’s historic character. This classical, wooden three-story building, renovated in the Meiji period, now doubles as a fun, modern sweets shop and a kushiage (fried foods) restaurant.

Hours: 11:30am – 3pm (Last Order 2pm), 5pm – 11pm (Last Order 10pm)
Closed: Monday
Access: 3-min walk from Nezu Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
Address: 2-12-15 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://hantei.co.jp/ (Japanese only)

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Nezu Ginza Dori

The slope between Shinobazu Dori and Kototoi Dori is called Nezu Ginza Dori. It is a shopping street that locals like to frequent. Offering a mix of old and new shops, the street radiates both nostalgia and vibrancy. Walk for 1 minute

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6-purple Kayaba Coffee
Beloved by locals and visitors alike, Kayaba Coffee has been serving aromatic coffee and comfort foods in the Yanaka neighborhood for 70 years. Their bestseller egg sandwich, warm and hearty, is a must try for starters. This two story nostalgic, wooden building has traditional Japanese seating on the second floor, which people often line up for.
Kayaba-Coffee

Hours: 8am – 10:30pm (Tue – Sat), 8am – 6pm (Mon & Sun)
Access: 11-min walk from Nippori Station
Address: 6-1-29 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://kayaba-coffee.com/top.html (Japanese only)

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Shitamachi-Museum
7-purple Shitamachi Museum
Shitamachi Museum showcases the history and life of Tokyoites between late 19th century and early 20th century. Shitamachi is the Japanese word for “downtown” or the low-lying parts of the city. Although the museum is small, it is worth visiting for its fascinating displays of houses, informative boards and multilingual guides who always greet visitors with a warm smile, just like in the olden days.

Hours: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Closed: Monday
Admission: 300 yen (adults), 100 yen (elementary school, junior high-school, high-school students)
Access: 5-min walk from Ueno Station
Address: 2-1 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.taitocity.net/zaidan/english/shitamachi/
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8-purple Get on the Megurin bus at bus stop number 17 facing the Shitamachi Museum. The bus runs along Shinobazu Pond, a famous attraction that dates back to the Edo period. The pond is often seen in ukiyo-e, a genre of Japanese art that flourished from the 17th century. 15 minutes by bus.

Another 3 hr trip – Ginza

ginza-intersection

another-3-hrs-trip-red

How to Make the Best of 3 Hours in Tokyo

It is the last day of your trip and you have three hours left before departing for the airport. Don’t know what to do with the time? WAttention did the homework for you. Here is a three-hour itinerary that will leave you entertained, refreshed and with lots of memories of Japan!

GINZA STATION

 

Unlike most streets in Tokyo, which are nameless and often curve off, the ones in Ginza are laid out like a grid. Every street has a name as well as a history worth investigating. Besides being awe struck by impressive business complexes and international fashion brand that line the main streets, why not take a stroll to discover the best that Ginza has to offer?

ginza-monument-at-chuo-dori

1-redOrigin of Ginza
The name Ginza originated in the Edo period as a site for silver coin mint. In Japanese, Ginza literally means the “place where silver is minted”. The monument that marks the origin of Ginza can be found on the east side of Chuo-dori.

Access: 2-min walk from Ginza-itchome Station (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line)
Address: 2-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

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2-redNoritake Ginza Store
Noritake, a leading Japanese ceramic company with more than 100 years of history, is loved by people all over the world for its chinaware. Visit the Noritake Ginza Store to get a glimpse into the dedication behind their artistic collections and see how beauty is defined through dinnerware.

Noritake-Ginza-Store

Hours: 11am – 7:30pm
Closed: around new years
Access: 2-min walk from Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, Marunouchi Line)
Address: Bunshodo Bldg. 2F, 3-4-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.noritake.co.jp/eng/
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3-red Namiki-dori
Namiki-dori is a shopping street that features a red granite path bordered by tall lime trees. Feel the authentic atmosphere of Ginza on this iconic street lined with high class fashion flagship stores.

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4-red Mikasa Kaikan
After passing the Harumi-dori, you will see Mikasa Kaikan, an old restaurant complex that serves as a Ginza landmark. Dedicated to introduce authentic western cuisine to Japan, Mikasa Kaikan first opened in 1925 and has had a branch in Ginza since 1947. Choose from all kinds of cuisine, including Japanese, Italian and more, here.
Mikasa-Kaikan

Hours: Vary by restaurant
Access: 3-min walk from Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, Marunouchi Line)
Address: Mikasa Kaikan Honten, 5-5-17 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: https://www.mikasakaikan.co.jp/ (Japanese only)
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Ginza Shiseido Building
The headquarters of Japanese cosmetic maker Shiseido is also located on Namiki-dori. This modern architecture cleverly incorporates the tsubaki (camellia) motif symbolizing Shiseido and embodies the company’s sense of aesthetics and beauty.
Hours: Vary by store
Access: 6-min walk from Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, Marunouchi Line)
Address: Shiseido Head Office, 7-5-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

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6-red S. Watanabe Color Print Company
Founded in the Meiji period, this old standing woodcut print store collects works by famous ukiyo-e masters like Utagawa Hiroshige as well as modern artists. Get your hands on not only rare collections but also reasonably priced art as a gift for friends back home.

watanabe-printing

Hours: 9:30am – 7:30pm (Mon-Sat), 9:30 – 5pm (national holiday)
Closed: Sunday
Access: 4-min walk from JR Shimbashi Station
Address: 8-6-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.hangasw.com/map/index.html (Japanese only)
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7-red Ginza Konparu-dori
Walk to the very end of Namiki-dori and wander back on Konparu-dori, a nostalgic street where geishas used roam, to immerse in a different atmosphere. This street got its name in the Edo period, when the area was home to the estate of the Konparu School of Noh Theater. Today, Konparu Festival is held on August 7 every year. Compared to Namiki-dori, Konparu-dori is lined with shop smaller in scale, but equally rich in traditional and personality.

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Ginza-brick-town-monument
red A monument commemorating Ginza’s past as a brick town
In the old days, Ginza used to be a large brick town that extended for as long as 10 kilometers. Although most brick buildings were destroyed by a fire caused by the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, there is a monument to remind people of the past.
Access: 6-min walk from JR Shimbashi Station
Address: 8-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

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9 Konparu-yu
Konparu-yu is a sento, or public bath house, with rich cultural heritage. In the Edo period, Tokyoites loved hot baths and that love has contributed to the making of sentos in the middle of busy commercial districts today. When founded in 1863, Konparu-yu was a wooden establishment. Now it has taken up the space of a modern building. The old fashioned bathhouse has tile paintings of Japanese carp fishes and a wall painted with Mount Fuji—something you don’t come across every day.
Konparu-yu-sento

Hours: 2pm – 10pm
Closed: Sunday, national holiday
Admission: 460 yen (adults), 180 yen (elementary school students), 80 yen (preschool children)
Access: 5-min walk from JR Shimbashi Station, 5-min walk from Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, Marunouchi Line)
Address: 8-7-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www002.upp.so-net.ne.jp/konparu/index.html (Japanese only)
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Irizake-no-Mikawaya
10-red Irizake-no-Mikawaya
Located on Konparu-dori, Mikawaya is a one-of-a-kind shop selling condiments that most people in the Edo period would recognize. Irizake and Ninukijiru are popular food seasonings among Japanese women, who are keen to learn the secret of Japanese cuisine and want to give more variations to their cooking rather than just using soy sauce and miso paste as main ingredients. There are a lot of counter-style restaurants on Konparu-dori serving oden, yakitori, sushi and various Japanese street food. How about giving your taste buds a tasty treat?

Hours: 11am – 8pm
Closed: Sunday, national holiday
Access: 7-min walk from JR Shimbashi Station
Address: 8-8-18 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.ginza-mikawaya.jp/ (Japanese only)

Another 3 hr trip – Tokyo

shibuya

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How to Make the Best of 3 Hours in Tokyo

It is the last day of your trip and you have three hours left before departing for the airport. Don’t know what to do with the time? WAttention did the homework for you. Here is a three-hour itinerary that will leave you entertained, refreshed and with lots of memories of Japan!

TOKYO

Explore Japan’s Wall Street


Not many people know that the financial district, considered the hub of the Japanese economy, lies just a stone’s throw away from Tokyo Station. While it’s mainly a business area, visitors can still spot well-established old shops that have inherited traditions and ways of living from the times when Tokyo was still called Edo.

1-green Start at Tokyo Station / Yaesu Shopping Mall
Yaesu Shopping Mall, directly connected to Tokyo Station Yaesu exit, is an underground shopping mall boasting close to 180 top-class shops and restaurants. If you walk away from Tokyo Station all the way across the shopping mall, you will reach Chuo Dori Avenue. To your right, lies Ginza, to your left, Nihonbashi. Since the Edo period, Chuo Dori Avenue has long been considered Tokyo’s most prestigious street. Continuing along this avenue, you will see a lot of high-rise buildings, but you can still find many shops with a long history. One historic and imposing building stands out in particular, Nihonbashi’s Takashiyama Department Store. We will return, so for now, let’s keep moving along. Five-minutes walk.
tokyo-station-yaesu-exitHours: Differ by facility
Access: Direct access from Yaesu Central Entrance, Yaesu South Entrance and Yaesu North Entrance of JR Tokyo Station.
Address: Floor B1 & B2, 2-1 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.yaechika.com/english/index.php

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haibara
2-greenHaibara / Shugyoku Bunko Gallery
Haibara is a store with a chic, black and modern facade and decorated with a noren, a traditional Japanese shop curtain that somehow suits it well. Surrounded by taller buildings, this washi or traditional Japanese paper seller has been in the area for more than 200 years. The store’s hand-made beautiful stationery products made with washi are certainly eye-catching. The history and culture of washi paper that Haibara has cultivated is showcased to the public at its Shugyoku Bunko Gallery. 12-minutes walk

Hours: 10am – 6:30pm (Mon-Fri), 10am – 5:30pm (Sat-Sun)
Access: Direct access from Nihombashi Station Exit B6 (Tokyo Metro Ginza Lina, Tozai Line, Toei Asakusa Line)
Address: Tokyo Nihombashi Tower, 2-7-1 Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.haibara.co.jp/en/

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3-greenKabuto Jinja Shrine
If you continue walking on the same direction you will reach Nihonbashi. Then, turn right at the intersection in front of you. After passing the highway, you will find yourself at the Kabuto-cho area, home to Tokyo’s financial district and filled with banks and securities companies. This area is also considered the birthplace of Japanese banks. Here you will find Kabuto Jinja, a small shrine frequented by people working in the financial industry. One-minute walk
Kabuto-Jinja-Shrine

Access: 6-min walk from Nihombashi Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Lina, Tozai Line, Toei Asakusa Line)
Address: 1-12 Nihombashi Kabuto-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
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Tokyo-Stock-Exchange
4-greenTokyo Stock Exchange
Located to the south of Kabuto Jinja Shrine is TSE Arrows, a space offering information about the stock exchange as well as tours that anyone can join. See the economy in motion as Japanese companies trade in real time. Guided tours in English are offered twice per day. Six-minute walk

Access: 5-min walk from Kayabacho Station Exit 11 (Tokyo Metro Tozai Line), 7-min walk from Kayabacho Station Exit 7 (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line), 5-min walk from Nihombashi Station Exit D2 (Toei Asakusa Line)
Address: 2-1 Nihombashi Kabuto-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.jpx.co.jp/english/
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5-greenKabutocho・Kayabacho Machikado Museum
Traditional festivals have long been held in this area. But even if no festivals are scheduled when you visit, this musem’s year-round exhibition features the wonderful mikoshi and floats used during the festivals.10-minutes walk
Hours: 8:30am – 8pm
Access: 2-min walk from Kayabacho Station Exit 12 (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Tozai Line)
Address: 15-3 Nihombashi Kabuto-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://chuoku-machikadotenjikan.jp/tenjikan/kabutocho_kayabacho/
machikado

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takashimaya-department-store
8-greenNihonbashi Takashimaya department store
The final spot on this tour is the previously mentioned Nihonbashi Takashimaya department store. This famous building is an interesting blend of European elements and Japanese construction methods and has been designated an important cultural property. From the marble colonnade at the entrance to intricate decorations, there is much to admire. The store’s duty-free counter and tablet assisted, multilingual interpretation service make your shopping experience more comfortable. 10-minutes walk

Hours: 10:30am – 7:30pm (restaurants open until 9:30pm)
Access: 5-min walk from JR Tokyo Station (Yaesu North Entrance)
Address: 2-4-1 Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Url: https://www.takashimaya.co.jp/tokyo/store_information/index.html

Another 3 hr trip – Asakusa

asakusa

another-3-hrs-trip-red

How to Make the Best of 3 Hours in Tokyo

It is the last day of your trip and you have three hours left before departing for the airport. Don’t know what to do with the time? WAttention did the homework for you. Here is a three-hour itinerary that will leave you entertained, refreshed and with lots of memories of Japan!

 

ASAKUSA

 

Senso-ji temple, one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist spots, teems with tourists all year round. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle and spend some quiet time in the area, stroll through the park that lines the Sumidagawa River, or go across it and tour temples, shrines and the old sweet shops of the Mukojima area.

1-yellowAsakusa Culture and Tourism Center
A tourist information center located inside a unique building in front of the Asakusa Kaminarimon Gate. The building is designed by Kengo Kuma, one of Japan’s best-known architects. The building’s ceiling and interior are quite interesting so don’t consider skipping a visit. The night view of Asakusa from the observatory on the 8th-floor terrace also comes highly recommended.
asakusa-information-center

Hours: 9am – 8pm
Access: 1-min walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
Address: 2-18-9 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://tic.jnto.go.jp/detail.php?id=1078
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The Sumida Park covering the east bank of the Sumidagawa River is a waterfront oasis. It’s known for its cherry blossoms, and except from that season, it’s the perfect place to escape the crowds and relax. Let’s continue upstream along the river.

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sakurabashi-bridge
2-yellowSakurabashi Bridge
Sakurabashi is a unique pedestrian bridge crossing the Sumidagawa River. Approximately 170 meters in length and forming a unique “X” shape, it connects both banks of Sumida Park. The bridge features an original sculpture based on a design by well-known Japanese painter Ikuo Hirayama. Cross the bridge and head toward the east bank of the river.

Access: 15-min walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line), 15-min walk from Hikifune Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
Address: 1-5 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
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3-yellowChomeji Temple and Sakuramochi While continuing upstream along the east bank, take a look at the old night-light that once doubled as a lighthouse for boats crossing the Sumidagawa River. You will then find Chomeji Temple, made famous by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty. He held the natural spring water inside the temple in high regard, saying it granted drinkers a long life. But, perhaps more famous than the temple itself, are the sakuramochi sweets sold in front of its gates. Sakuramochi are rice cakes wrapped with the pickled leaves of cherry blossom trees from the embankment of the Sumidagawa River. The pickled cherry tree leaves perfectly match the sweetness of the anko or red bean paste and the sweet is as popular now as it was back during the Edo period.
Chomeiji-templeHours: 8:30am – 6pm
Closed: Monday
Access: 12-min walk from Hikifune Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
Address: 5-1-14 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://sakura-mochi.com/ (Japanese only)

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kototoi-dango
4-yellowKototoi Dango
Sweet tooths can stop by another shop carrying a local specialty: “Kototoi Dango”. This business started inadvertently after a local gardener made some dango (sweet rice dumplings) which became really popular. Customers are served white, black and yellow dango on a plate, instead of the more common way of skewered on a wooden stick. Hurry, however, as the dango often sell out by 3pm.

Hours: 9am – 6pm
Closed: Tuesday
Access: 11-min walk from Hikifune Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
Address: 5-5-22 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://kototoidango.co.jp/index.html (Japanese only)

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5-yellowKofukuji Temple A temple with a Chinese-style gate is on left-hand side. It belongs to the rare Buddhist school of zen called Obaku. The temple features a unique stone statue called Seki no Jijibabason that is believed to prevent the common cold.
Access: 11-min walk from Hikifune Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
Address: 5-3-2 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://ko-fukuji.wixsite.com/kofukuji/home
Kofuku-ji-Temple

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Kawahara-no-Abe
6-yellow Kawahara no Abe Facing Kofukuji Temple is Kawahara no Abe, a restaurant offering a popular and generously sized tendon (tempura over rice bowl). Do not miss out on a new popular dish from the area, the Mukojima Burger (take-out only). Perfect for munching on while walking, small shrimp and lotus root fritters are stuffed in a grilled onigiri (rice ball). Please note credit cards are not accepted.
Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm

Closed: Wednesday
Access: 11-min walk from Hikifune Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
Address: 5-24-2 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Url: https://www.facebook.com/%E6%B2%B3%E5%8E%9F%E3%81%AE%E3%81%82%E3%81%B9-226270354070266/ (Japanese only)

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7-yellowAoyagi Seike Keep walking to then find a Japanese sweets shop located inside an elegant building. The sweets here, inspired by the four seasons, are great with a cup of matcha green tea. Monaka, a Japanese wafer sandwich filled with sweet bean jam, and sweet chestnut jellies are the must-try items on the menu. The latter keeps well, which makes it an ideal souvenir.
Aoyagi-Seike

Hours: 9am – 7pm
Closed: Sunday, national holiday
Access: 12-min walk from Hikifune Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
Address: 2-15-9 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.aoyagiseike.jp/en/

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Mukojima area

Mukojima

Renowned as a popular spot for flower viewing and natural beauty, this area has been beloved by writers and artists since the Edo period. Their presence in the area sparked the construction of several ryotei, or luxurious Japanese restaurants, where rakugo performances and haiku poetry meetings would be held, giving birth to a legion of geisha to entertain guests. During the Edo period Mukojima was a lively geisha quarter filled with high-class Japanese restaurants. Next to Aoyagi Seike is a ryotei where you can indulge in high-class dining.

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Mimeguri-Shrine
8-yellowMimeguri Shrine
Further beyond lies Mimeguri Shrine, traditionally associated with local farmers who used to visit and pray for rain. A must-see here is the torii gate with three columns called Sankakuishitorii. This is extremely rare and gives the place a special and mysterious power.
Access: 8-min walk from Tokyo Skytree Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
Address: 2-5-17 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

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9-yellowUshijima Shrine
This shrine, located in a corner of Sumida Park on the east bank of the Sumidagawa River, has a Miwa Torii. The ultimate torii gate, this unique gate features two smaller torii gates on each side attached to the main central one. The shrine also features a popular cow statue known as nadeushi, said to heal your ailments if you caress it. Inside the shrine you can also see many koma ushi, protective stone statues of cows, instead of the more usual koma inu, or lion-dog commonly found outside shrines and temples.
Access: 7-min walk from Tokyo Skytree Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
Address: 1-4-5 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Ushijima-Shrine

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Sumida-Park
10-yellowSumida Park
The park spans both sides of the Sumidagawa River; however this side of the river and the Asakusa Temple side have completely different atmospheres. Featuring a splendid Japanese garden with a pond, this area originally housed the residence of the Mito Tokugawa family, who belonged to the Tokugawa Shogunate. Visitors can contemplate this unusual, yet harmonious landscape combining a traditional Japanese garden and the modern Tokyo Sky Tree.

Access: 5-min walk from Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tobu Skytree Line, Toei Asakusa Line)
Address: 1-2-5 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://visit-sumida.jp/spot/6133/ (Japanese only)

From here, visitors can head back to Asakusa Station by crossing either the Azumabashi Bridge or the Kototoi Bridge, or continue in the direction of the Tokyo Sky Tree.

How Its Made: Beginner`s Guide to Sake

How Its Made: Beginner`s Guide to Sake

Despite being called a rice “wine”, sake has more in common with beer as it is brewed through a double fermentation process. Making quality sake involves 4 key ingredients Rice, water, kōji and yeast.

Age-old records are written around 4 – reveal that pasteurization and the process of adding ingredients to the main fermentation mash in three stages were established practices since the late 15th century.

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Sake Process: Polishing

The brewing process begins with polishing the rice to remove proteins and bran.

Washing

Next, the nuka left on the polished rice is washed away and the rice is soaked.

Streaming

The ice is then steamed to make k ji mai ( 麹米 ), shubo-mai ( 酒母米 , yeast starter) and moromi ( 醪 , mash).

Pressing

After 18-32 days, the fermented mash is pressed to separate clear sake from kasu ( 粕 , lees).

Moromi

More Koji, steamed ice and water are added to the shubo and left to ferment to make moromi.

Yeast Starter

Shubo is made by mixing steamed rice, water, koji and pure yeast it aids the fermentation process of the mash.

Koji

Koji kin is added to steamed ice to produce koji which is then added to the yeast.

Filtration

The sake is then filtered, pasteurized and starts to develop its flavor.

Aging

It is then placed in cold storage where it matures before it is bottled.

Table Rice vs Sake Rice
Table Rice vs Sake Rice

The Rice

There are about nine basic kinds of specially grown rice that are used to make sake and each of them produces a unique flavor. The king of these sake rice breeds is Yamada Nishiki Rice which gives a fragrant, well-blended, soft flavor. The best grains are grown in Hyogo and Toyama. To produce aromatic sake, rice needs to be polished between %50 to %70. The more polished the rice, the more delicate it becomes, and the higher the grade of sake it produces.

Hot vs Cold Sake
Hot vs Cold Sake

Water

Water makes up almost 80% of sake and helps develop its one-of- a-kind taste. Breweries often source their water from nearby springs, mountain runoffs, springs, etc. The water is either kōsui ( 硬水 , hard water) or nansui ( 軟水 , soft water) and they can affect the sort of flavor profile that the sake will take on.

Koji & Yeast

Yeast has a big influence on how a sake will taste and smell. There is a wide variety of strains, but the most common ones are #7,#9 and #1801. #7 is commonly used in complex sake like Junmai and Honjozo for its subtler, earthier rice aroma while #9 and #1801 are popular for their floral and fruity flavor and fragrance.

20% of rice sake used for brewing is turned into a mold called kōji-kin. Kōji-kin converts the starch in rice into sugar through the process of fermentation. This affects the depth of umami flavor in sake.