Diary of a Japan Tour Guide: Dakota, Lisa, Daniel and Emily in Marunouchi & Harajuku

Japan Tour Guide (JTG) is an online portal that aims to match volunteer Japanese guides with visitors coming to Japan. Read about their tours put together for tourists by these friendly local guides in this regular column!

We received a guide request from four university students, Dakota, Lisa, Daniel and Emily from Edmonton, Canada. They wanted to enjoy biking around the Imperial Palace and visit somewhere locals like. It was their first time to come to Japan, so we, Shota Asaka and myself, Yuka Takada, took them to some exciting places in Japan! We first met up with them at Yurakucho Station.
First, we went to Tokyo International Forum, which stands between Tokyo Station and Yurakucho Station, and is a multipurpose exhibition center. When we got there, we found out that a flea market was being held, so we strolled around for a bit before heading for the Forum Art Shop. Not only does it sell souvenirs of Japan, it also sells so many kinds of goods from all over the world! Then, we headed to the museum of Aida Mitsuo, a famous Japanese poet, which was located in the same building. All of his poems were translated into English. They all seemed to be interested in them and read them closely. There was also a place to experience calligraphy, and they tried to write some of their favorite characters with a brush. I wonder if they were able to create precious memories there.
Next, we headed for Tokyo Station to have Soba for lunch. They all had never tried Soba before, so they looked at the menu thoroughly. We all ordered either cold or hot Soba, and some of us ordered it with a mini Tendon. Before we started to eat, Shota and I taught them a little about Japanese manners. We taught them the words “Itadaki-masu,” and “gochisou-sama”, polite phrases that Japanese say before and after eating, that is said with our hands put together to express our gratitude for the meal. I think one of the good points of traveling with locals is that you are able to learn things regular tour guides probably don’t tell during their tours.
After having lunch, we walked towards the Imperial Palace to go biking. The weather was pleasant and the wind felt so good.
Lastly, we went to Monster Café in Harajuku. It is really popular even among tourists from other countries these days. The ornate and unique inside of the café surprised all of them! We ordered a big parfait with five colored whip cream and ice cream. They all looked like they enjoyed Japanese “Kawaii” culture a lot there!
After taking one last picture together, we hugged, shook hands with each other, and said goodbye.
This is just a small look into one of the many adventures you can have with Japan Tour Guide. We are looking forward to guiding you around the city and showing you the ins and outs of Japan!

Diary of a Japan Tour Guide: Bartosz in Shibuya

Japan Tour Guide (JTG) is an online portal that aims to match volunteer Japanese guides with visitors coming to Japan. Read about their tours put together for tourists by these friendly local guides in this regular column!

We received a guiding request from Bartosz, a tourist from Poland. He wanted to visit somewhere exciting with shops and entertainment related to anime. Japanese manga and anime subculture fascinated him back in Poland that he dreamed of coming to Japan one day. The guides were both university students, Kodai Ikeda and myself, Kate Esterly. We met up with Bartosz at the Hachiko statue in Shibuya.




First, we headed for Mandarake, an anime shop that widely sells mangas and classic sci-fi figure dolls. After passing the big Shibuya crossing, it was ten minutes’ walk to the shop. Bartosz was surprised to see so many mangas at once, since he has only been to smaller-scale anime shops in Poland. He decided to purchase some mangas that he couldn’t get in Poland.




In the same building, we went to another anime store called ‘Animate’ which was few floors above. The shop sells all kinds of merchandise of popular anime, particularly popular among female audiences. We enjoyed reflecting on different anime from old to new as we walked through the aisle.




Then we headed towards PARCO in Shibuya, a department store that consists of about 180 shops. Not only does it include fashion, shops of Japanese pop culture can be found as well. We went to the ONE PIECE MUGIWARA STORE, where it has all sorts of merchandise and gallery of the popular anime, ONE PIECE. It is a great spot to take pictures too!


As we were getting hungry, we headed to Ichiran to eat Japanese ramen. Located in Spain-zaka, a small slope with Spanish design, Ichiran is famous for its addicting Tonkotsu soup that is pork marrow bones and fat cooked for hours. After we entered, we placed our order at the vending machine and got our tickets. We could choose our favorite toppings such as boiled eggs or extra porks too! Then we filled out our order sheets (there’s English too) to select the type of broth, spicy level, noodle hardness level, etc. The restaurant is a bar seating style, where we are seated in individual cubicles. We enjoyed our delicious meal and especially Bartosz, who ordered Japanese beer that tasted exceptionally good with ramen!




Lastly, we went to Big Echo, a karaoke shop. It was Bartosz’s first-time experience to sing at karaoke. He tried to sing his favorite anime songs as much as he can with the help by Kodai. He enjoyed singing a lot. After walking back towards the station, we greeted each other and said goodbye.




This is just a small look into one of the many adventures you can have with Japan Tour Guide. We are looking forward to guiding you around the city and showing you the ins and outs of Japan!

WAttention Photo Contest Spring 2016 Results

WAttention would like to thank all fans of Japan for sending us your best shots of Asakusa, Ueno, ramen, and Japanese Spring for our fourth photo contest. Starting with the winning photo, which impressed for capturing the colorful combination of Sensoji Temple with sakura, blooming in full glory, we bring you a selection of our favorites here below!

"Tokyo as its best ..... Cherry Blossom" by Thierry RAVASSOD
“Tokyo as its best ….. Cherry Blossom” by Thierry RAVASSOD


"Love Canal at Nakameguro" by Heath Smith
“Love Canal at Nakameguro” by Heath Smith


"asakusa nightview" by Markus Riedl
“asakusa nightview” by Markus Riedl


by CNC Bailey
by CNC Bailey


by Risa F
by Risa F


"Watching Sakura Tree near the River Banks" by Gerdie Nurhadi
“Watching Sakura Tree near the River Banks” by Gerdie Nurhadi


"Night cherry blossom viewing at Ueno" by Meng-Jiun Chiou
“Night cherry blossom viewing at Ueno” by Meng-Jiun Chiou


"Downtown Sky" by taka waka
“Downtown Sky” by taka waka

Thank you for all your beautiful photos.
The WAttention Summer 2016 Photo Contest is now open for entries. Check it out here.

Swashbuckling Samurai & Ninja Fun At Asakusa

Ninjas and samurai warriors show their fighting spirit!

Want to experience all the classic highlights of Japanese culture and history but only have around an hour to spare?

Then the Samurai & Ninja Show at the historical area of Asakusa is for you. This action-packed, interactive live show in English and Japanese has everything from samurai battles, ninja tricks, taiko drumming, geisha games and even soba making! You can also try on samurai armor or ninja outfits after the show.


However, as the main stars – the Nagoya Omotenashi Bushotai (a popular samurai performing troupe made up of 6 army generals and 4 foot soldiers) – are usually based in Nagoya Castle and have a very busy schedule (and growing fan base!), the performance at Asakusa is only seasonal. WAttention caught the swashbuckling fun at its spring performance held over 3 days at the end of March and was bowled over by the realistic fighting sequences and hands-on fun.

Epic swordfight

Historical battles starting from the Warring States era leading into the Edo era are stylistically re-enacted, so you will see prominent 16th-century warlords Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Ieyasu Tokugawa taking to stage, with the actor playing Tokugawa providing most of the English lines.

Each section of the performance allows for audience participation and our Belgian intern, Ilse, tried her hand at slicing through a samurai with a katana (Japanese sword).

Get on stage and slice your foe

If you are the shy type, however, don’t worry as after the main show ends, there is a 30-minute hands-on session where you can try out the various activities at different stations set up on and around the stage.


I would say this show is a foreigner- and family-friendly introduction to Japanese culture – even some Japanese were spotted in the audience trying their hands at the shuriken (ninja star) throwing – and well-worth the time and money. After all, it would cost more than 3,000 yen to go all the way to Nagoya to catch this strapping samurai troop!


Watch out for their next Tokyo performance at the following websites:

http://busho-tai.jp/schedule/ (Japanese)

Tokyo Must Do: Tian from Malaysia

Explore Tokyo through the eyes of Tokyoites as they share their favorite secret hideaways.

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Tian Zhong Ing

Zhong Ing was born in Sarawak, Malaysia and came to Japan when she was 19. She studied civil engineering in Hyogo Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture for 5 years, during which time she fell in love with the izakaya culture. Since graduating, she has been working at an izakaya in Tokyo, to pursue her new dream of opening a restaurant in the future.

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1. Izakaya

Izakayas are places where you can have beers and meals for local people, and they can be pretty much found everywhere. The best izakaya I know is Zekkoucho Teppen, the place I am working at currently!


I love working amidst the laughter-filled atmosphere, where people can feel free to be themselves. Also, not only is the food delicious (the grilled fish is the best!), but the workers here are very energetic and kind. Your energy will be refreshed with the bright ambience, and you will leave with a big smile on your face, I promise.

Robatayaki Zekkocho Teppen Shinjuku
URL: https://savorjapan.com/0006044941
Access: 5-min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit



To all cheesecake lovers, you will definitely not want to miss out on the cheese tarts here. The taste is supreme and you can even choose the bake–rare or medium. They are very light and melt so quickly in your mouth that you will surely go for seconds. Did I mention they’re also cheap? Go check it out!


PABLO Shinjuku
URL: http://www.pablo3.com/english.html
Access: 1-min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station West Exit in the Shinjuku Metro Shokudougai B2.

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3. Karaoke

Since you came to Japan, why don’t you try something that originated here? As many foreigners visit Japan, now they have a lot of English, Chinese and Korean songs you can sing along to as well. Food and drinks are provided, which you can order via the phone inside your private room. Just be sure to check the price beforehand, as it often varies depending on the day and time.


4. Tsukiji Market

Tsukiji is known as one of the world’s largest fish markets, and you only have until Nov. 2016 to catch it before it moves locations to Toyosu! Handling over 2,000 varieties of marine produce as well as fruits and vegetables, there’s an inner market where wholesale business and the famous tuna auction takes place, and an outer market where you can find many retail shops and restaurants. The tuna auction is very popular, and open to customers from 5:25am to 6:15am with registration starting at 5am, so if you want to see it, you better be as early as even 4-4:30am. Afterwards, be sure to grab a kaisendon (seafood covered rice bowl), which is incredibly fresh and cheap here!

URL: http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/tukiji_e.htm
Access: 5-min. walk from Tsukiji Station

【TOKYU HANDS × WAttention】Top 5 Convenient Kitchenware

TOKYU HANDS is “THE ONE-STOP SHOP” chock-full of all kind of goods such as kitchen utensils, beauty goods, stationery, bags and tools, joined by fun discoveries and surprises. Visit TOKYU HANDS and gain a better understanding of today’s Japan.

In this article, we bring you TOKYU HANDS’ Top 5 Convenient Kitchenware!

No. 1: Honey Spoon

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Deep, v-shaped, stainless steel spoon created by our unique processing technology eliminates excess mess when you scoop up honey. Simply turning around the spoon perfectly stops honey from dripping. Made in Japan.

Price: 1,296 yen (including tax)
Category: Spoon
WAttention Editor’s comment: “Not just for preparing food in the kitchen, but great when serving tea and toast to guests!”


No. 2: Butter Peeler Knife

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Even the hardest butter straight out of the fridge is no match for this butter peeler knife, which smoothly shaves off a thin layer with just a simple glide across its surface. Ready to spread in seconds!

Price: 950 yen (including tax)
Category: Knife
WAttention Editor’s comment: “Ensures an even spread every time!”


No. 3: Kiwi Cutter

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Just three simple steps to peel and cut at all at once, without even needing a separate knife: 1. Cut kiwi in half. 2. Insert Kiwi Cutter. 3. Rotate.

Price: 778 yen each (including tax)
Category: Cutter
WAttention Editor’s Comment: “For the green smoothie drinker or for serving up fruit plates for friends, this little tool will revolutionize the way you cut your kiwi!”


No.4: Choioki Leaf

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For ladles or cooking chopsticks that just don’t have a place on your counter while cooking, this little leaf is the ideal place to rest your kitchen utensils, firmly keeping them from falling over or dripping on your countertop.

Price: 268 yen (including tax)
Category: Utensil Holder
WAttention Editor’s Comment: “So simple, and yet so revolutionary for such a small price.”


No.5 Super Stone Barrier Pan

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This sturdy pan is made with ten layers of stone barrier, providing quick heat conduction and anti-stick properties.

Price: 5,940 yen (including tax)
Category: Pan
WAttention Editor’s Comment: “Incredibly affordable considering its versatility and high-quality.”


TOKYU HANDS -Shinjuku Store-

Times Square Building 2-8F, 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo


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Shibuya’s Cheapest Vending Machine


We found the cheapest vending machine in Aoyama. Here you can get coffee for just 80 yen! Or green tea for just 50 yen!


We guess we’ll be able to make it on a cheap budget in Tokyo after all.

(Located on Aoyama-dori Street, just north of the intersection with Omotesando Street.)

Tokyo Is Yours


We at WAttention are not huge fans of graffiti, but there are some exceptions to the rule. Though the author (or artist?) behind these taggings is obviously anonymous, “Tokyo is Yours” has been showing up all across Shibuya and beyond, especially along the back alleys.

We personally find it encouraging. How about you?

Tokyo Must Do with Japan Tour Guide


Get a taste of “real” Japan with sights recommended by Japan Tour Guide, a group in Japan that matches visitors with volunteer guides. (http://tourguide.jp/)


Today’s Guide: Tomonari Watanabe

Tomonari is a student from the Tokyo University of Science. He guides foreign visitors every weekend in Tokyo, where he was born and raised. To date, he has guided some 300 groups of visitors.

25_TOKYOMUSTDO - Version 2


Spot 1: Kichijoji (10:00am)

Take a stroll around the most desirable town to live in, as voted by the locals. The picturesque Inokashira Park here is famous for cherry blossom viewing and boasts a large pond where you can paddle a boat in. You may even catch some street performers along the river path.


For a satisfying and affordable meal, try yakitori restaurant Iseya.


Spot 2: Shibuya (1:15pm)

After seeing how the locals live, see how they play.


Shibuya is where you can shop for the latest fashion, eat a variety of food and try all sorts of entertainment, such as concept cafes–maid cafes, ganguro cafes (witness extreme makeup!) and even a goat cafe!


Between Shibuya and Harajuku, there is Cat Street which has many street fashion clothes shops and general shops where you can enjoy window shopping.


Spot 3: Harajuku (3:00pm)

The most famous place for foreign tourists in Harajuku is definitely Meiji Shrine. Feel purified both mentally and physically while experiencing Shinto, the Japanese traditional religion.


From the shrine, you can easily access the trendsetting Takeshita Street, which is famous for its clothes shops and crepes. For high fashion, Omotesando Street is just round the corner.


Spot 4: Shinjuku (5:15pm)

In the skyscraper district of Shinjuku, there are many shopping malls, bars and clubs where you can experience Tokyo’s nightlife. For a feel of Japan’s early post-war days, head to drinking alley Omoide Yokocho. Or visit Hanazono Shrine, Shinjuku’s guardian shrine for some history and culture.


For dinner, why not treat yourself to Kyomachi Koishigure, where you can enjoy Kyoto’s traditional atmosphere and savor delicious Japanese food and sake.


Shibuya’s Goat Cafe


This is Sakuragaoka Cafe in the backstreets of Shibuya’s Sakuragaoka-cho.


This cafe is different from other cafes because…


you can pet and feed the goats here!


The goat, Sakura-chan is waiting for you, so why not stop by?


23-3 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya

Morning time 8:30am-11:30am (last order 11am) ※Weekdays only
Lunch time 11:30am-3pm
Idle time 3pm-5:30pm
Dinner time 5:30pm-11pm
Midnight time 11pm-6am Sunday (holidays until midnight)

Cat Street


This is “Cat Street”, called by this name for two reasons. First, it seems that cats seem to like walking this street.


Many new shops by aspiring fashion designers and up-and-coming fashion lines can be found here.


Not only new fashion but also cafe or restaurant you can enjoy in this street.



Kawazu-zakura Cherry Blossoms in Bloom!


We found kawazu-zakura cherry blossoms in the side streets of Omotesando!


This variety of cherry blossoms are originally from Shizuoka Prefecture, and bloom quite early, between late February and early March. Enjoy looking for cherry blossoms in Shibuya Ward, even along discreet passageways!

The importance of personal space in Japan


This is a bench in a public area in Shibuya Ward.
If you’re wondering what the spheres are for, they are mean to delineate one’s personal space. After all, space is important, especially in Tokyo.

A good invention? Or inconvenient for those who simply want to lie down? What do you think?

United Nations University


United Nations University (UNU) is located in Shibuya, just across from Aoyama Gakuin University. Its main building on Aoyama-dori Street is hard to miss. Built in 1973, it is an academic and research institute of the United Nations.


ADDRESS: 5-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-8925
Tel: 03-5467-1212
Fax: 03-3499-2828

Big Buddha Statue by Shibuya

Have you ever seen a daibutsu (large Buddha statue) in Japan? Perhaps you’ve heard of the most famous ones in Kamakura and Nara. We introduce to you a daibutsu at Chokokuji-Temple, right next to Shibuya.


Nishi-Azabu is a district of Minato Ward in Tokyo, Japan, which was a part of the former Azabu Ward.


Inside this main hall, you’ll find a marvelous daibutsu statue.


Chokoku-ji Temple (長谷寺), also known as Azabu Big Kannon (麻布大観音), is a Soto-shu (曹洞宗) temple.



ADDRESS: 2-21-34 Nishiazabu, Minato, Tokyo

Isehan-Honten Museum of Beni


Are you familiar with beni?
Beni is the red color pigment extracted from benibana (safflower) petals, which have only 1% of red pigment. Benibana is said to have its origin in the Nile River Valley of Egypt, but has been used traditionally in Japanese beauty products.


Today, we went to the Isehan-Honten Museum of Beni. It was established in 2006 to preserve and pass down the history, culture and traditional craftsmanship of beni.


We tried to paint beni on our hands. Even after washing it, the red color wouldn’t come out, showing how strong this dye is.



ADDRESS :K’s Minami Aoyama Building, 6-6-20 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
TEL & FAX: 03-5467-3735
HOURS: 10:00 – 18:00
CLOSED: Mondays, during exhibition installations, and during the New Year’s holiday period. (Except when a national holiday falls on Monday. In this case, the museum is open on the holiday and is closed the next day, Tuesday)
ADMISSION: Free (except exhibitions)
ACCESS: 12 min. walk from Omotesando Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza, Hanzomon, Chiyoda Line, B1 Exit) or a 1 min. walk from Minami Aoyama 7-chome bus stop on the 01 or 88 Bus (Shibuya – Shimbashi)

Bamboo street in Nezu Museum


Nezu Museum was founded to conserve and exhibit the collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art created by Nezu Kaichiro (1860-1940).

This bamboo-lined path leads to the entrance of museum.

Nezu Museum

ACCESS: 8-minute walk from Omotesando Station (Ginza, Hanzomon and Chiyoda Lines) Exit A5 (stairs only), 10-minute walk from Exit B4 (escalator available), or 10-minute walk from the B3 Exit (elevator and escalator available).

Discover the hidden Hachiko on the manhole!


You can find this manhole design in Shibuya (especially near Shibuya Center Street).
Can you see the running men?

O.K.Let’s turn this manhole to the side.


Can you see dogs?


There are many dogs! And what’s more, one of them has a collar on its neck.
Yes, it is Hachiko!


So keep an eye out for the Hachiko manhole in Shibuya!

Jizo is covered with…”Salt”

Jizo is the guardian deity of children. If you come and travel around Japan, you can see jizo statues in many places. Some wear red clothes, and others have sweets and toys offered to them.

WAttention staff found a strange jizo at Tofukuji Temple in Shibuya.


You can see normal traditional jizo near entrance of this temple.


But if you head to the left side with your back against this jizo…you can see this strange jizo below.


This Jizo is covered with salt. Why you ask?


It is said to have the power to heal when you rub the part of the body on the jizo with salt where you are injured. Hence, it has become incredibly worn down through the years!

Tofukuji Temple

Address: 3-5-8, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Do you want to dip fried chicken into…

WAttention editors went to Kin no Torikara in Shibuya (Shibuya Center Street).
This shop is famous for its boneless deep-fried chicken that comes with various sauces, including salt & lemon, ume, teriyaki, pepper, sweet chili, and even chocolate!


We tried the chocolate sauce!!



Address: 25-3 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Diary of a Japan Tour Guide: Ayu in Bunkyo Ward

Japan Tour Guide (JTG) is an online portal that aims to match volunteer Japanese guides with visitors coming to Japan. Read about their tours put together for tourists by these friendly local guides in this regular column.

We received a request from Ayu, a tourist from Indonesia. She asked us if we could take her somewhere less known, where foreign tourists usually don’t go, to get to know the local Japanese culture. The guides were university students, Satoru Sekiya and Kae Nishimura. We met up with her at Todai-mae Station, and gave her a tour of great spots in Bunkyo Ward.


University of Tokyo
First, we headed to the University of Tokyo, which is the top-ranking university in Japan. We got there in 5 minutes from the station. We saw a statue of Hachiko, but it was a little bit different from the statue of Hachiko in Shibuya. We recommend that you see both statues!


Yushima Tenmangu Shrine
This shrine is not so far from the university. This shrine receives offerings of ema (small wooden plaques). Around this time, many students write down their wishes to pass the entrance exams into junior, senior high school and university. They pray for success to enter the school they want in April. We wrote down our wishes on ema too!


Then, we took the subway to Korakuen Station in Bunkyo Ward, where the rest of our sightseeing spots for the day awaited us.


Tokyo Dome City
Many Japanese people like to spend time at this popular entertainment complex in Bunkyo Ward. Tokyo Dome City consists of a baseball stadium (Tokyo Dome), amusement park, shopping mall and spa resort (LaQua). We had lunch together at a restaurant which served doria, a western-style rice casserole with white sauce, that originated in Japan! It tastes like gratin.


Purikura is a popular activity among Japanese students, young women and couples. These machines let you take pictures and decorate them, before printing them on sticker paper. If you have chance, go try it!


Don Quijote
Next, we introduced her to discount chain store Don Quijote. There are about 160 stores throughout Japan. They sell many kinds of products from groceries to cosplay goods. We found a unique beauty face pack that had Kumadori (Kabuki face paint) printed on it. This could be a good souvenir for your friends!

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

Finally, we visited Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, adjacent to Tokyo Dome City. This is one of the oldest and best gardens among the preserved parks in Tokyo. Open hours are from 9am until 5pm, and entrance costs 300 yen. Feel as if you’ve traveled back in time to the Edo period here. After walking around the park, we went back to Korakuen Station and said goodbye.


This is just a small look into one of the many adventures you can have with Japan Tour Guide. We are looking forward to guiding you around the city and showing you the ins and outs of Japan!

About Sangaku: Geeky Geometric Offerings


Konno Hachimangu Shrine is located in Shibuya. This shrine is known as the shrine for sangaku. Sangaku refers to a votive tablet depicting a math puzzle given in devotion to a shrine or temple by a wasan (Japanese mathematics) mathematician.


In this shrine,you can see actual sangaku from the Edo era. Many students in Edo offered sangaku after completing difficult mathematics problems and vowed to study even harder afterwards.



Konno Hachimangu Shrine

Address: 3-3-5-12,Shibuya,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo

Secret Stone Statues

We found these hidden stone statues in Aoyama at the back entrance to the Nezu Art Museum. Curious why they’re here?


This entrance is used for special guests, such as ambassadors from foreign countries, and even the Emperor! Though you can’t use this entrance, you can still stop by for a quick peaceful meditation.



Nezu Art Museum


Drainspotting: 3 Shibuya Manholes


This cherry blossom manhole is the most popular and common in Tokyo.


Bet you never noticed the Hachiko manhole, just by the Hachiko statue!


Lastly, the “Tricky manhole”, along Dogenzaka. From this angle, it looks like a person running on the upper half, but look at it sideways, and you’ll notice a dog pattern. Look even closer and you’ll find one of the dogs has a collar – surely a Hachiko reference! (Hence: “Dog・en・saka”)


SHIBUYA HOTEL EN will open on Feb 5th, 2016 in Shibuya, with a design based on Japanese culture, nature, art, tradition and history.


Each of the 9 floors are decorated according to different theme, like Hokusai, “WA”, and manga.

manga floor
The Manga Floor


Torii floor
Torii (Gate) Floor

Why not try a stay here for a new kind of “WA” hotel!



PRICE: Single 19,000 yen (per night)/ Twin 25,000 yen (per night)/Special floor 40,000 yen (per night)


ADDRESS: 1-1 Maruyama-cho, Shibuya

ACCESS: From JR Yamanote Line Shibuya Station (Hachiko exit), cross the Shibuya scramble and head towards “Shibuya 109”. Turn to the left at the traffic light at Dogenzaka 2 Chome. Shibuya Hotel En will be on the left after passing the first traffic signal.

WEBSITE: http://www.shibuyahotel.jp/en/

Why not move around Shibuya via the Hachiko Bus?


Shibuya City runs the small, non-step Hachiko Bus, which also allows easy wheelchair access. You can go nearly everywhere in Shibuya by this bus!

Bus Route(Uehara-Tomigaya)
Uehara-Tomigaya Route map(PDF 31KB)

Uehara-Tomigaya Time table(PDF 85KB)

Bus Route “Jinguno Mori Route”(Jingumae-Sendagaya)
Jingumae-Sendagaya Route map (PDF 64KB)

Jingumae-Sendagaya Time table (PDF 18KB)

Bus Route Honmachi-Sasazuka Loop “Haruno Ogawa (A Stream in Springtime) Route “

Honmachi-Sasazuka Loop Haruno Ogawa Route map(PDF 67KB)

Honmachi-Sasazuka Loop Haruno Ogawa Time table (PDF 87KB)

Bus Route Ebisu-Daikanyama Loop “Yuyake Koyake (Sunset) Route”

Ebisu Daikanyama Yuyake Koyake Route map(PDF 72KB)

Ebisu Daikanyama Yuyake Koyake Time table(PDF 57KB)


Fee:100 yen

Bird Watching in Yoyogi Park


Did you know there are a variety of birds you can spot in Shibuya?
If you’re interested in bird watching, we recommend you join this class!

Date: Jan. 23 (Sat), 2016
Place: Bird Sanctuary, Yoyogi Park in Shibuya
Participation Fee: Free
Participant Max: 20
Application Method: Call 03-3469-6081 (Yoyogi Park Service Center)

Birds viewable in January, 2015
Spot-Billed duck/Turtledove/Goshawk/Buzzard/Kingfisher/Pygmy Woodpecker/Parus Varius/Japanese Great Tit/Brown-Eared Bulbul/Japanese White-Eye/Starling/Thrush/Sparrow/Water wagtail/Oriental Greenfinch/Black-faced Bunting/White’s Thrush etc.

URL: http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/event/2015/12/post-691.html (Japanese)

Hachiko heading back to Akita?!


In 1924, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, took Akita dog Hachiko, as a pet. Hachiko kept waiting for his owner in front of Shibuya Station after Ueno’s death, and now, his bronze statue is famous as a meeting place in Shibuya.

However, recently officials have begun considering moving the Hachiko statue temporarily to his hometown of Odate, Akita Prefecture in 2020, in light of construction work around the station. Such would make for his first return in 96 years!

Santa’s favorite place to shop in Shibuya


Even Santa can’t resist the unlimited shopping opportunities at TOKYU HANDS!



From high-functional livingware to fancy made-in-Japan items, beauty products and materials for DIY, TOKYO HANDS has an incredible line-up that satisfies pretty much any customer.




On top of that, overseas customers are warmly welcomed with a 5% discount coupon if you present your passport.


Join Santa and do this year’s Christmas shopping at TOKYU HANDS!

TOKYU HANDS Shibuya Store
Address: 12-18 Udagawa-cho Shibuya
Hours: 10am-8:30pm

A Nationwide Simultaneous Test Transmission


Date and time: November 25 (Wed.), around 11:00 a.m.
A nationwide simultaneous test transmission was broadcast through the
city’s disaster prevention wireless system.
Broadcast Description
• Chime sound
• Kore wa tesuto desu (“this is a test”). (Repeated three times.)
• Kochira wa, Bosai Shibuya desu (“this is Shibuya Disaster Prevention”).
• Chime sound
The test was performed to check the activation of J-Alert.
Since the test take place simultaneously throughout Japan, nearby communities were also broadcasting and training in other ways.

What Is J-Alert?

J-Alert is a nationwide instantaneous warning system in which emergency information about ballistic missile impact, large-scale terrorism, large earthquakes and the like issued by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is received by cities through satellites and automatically broadcast over the disaster prevention wireless system.
This system enables the national government to directly inform the residents of Shibuya City
of emergencies.

Telephone Response Service

You can check the broadcast content from the city’s disaster prevention wireless
system over the phone (in Japanese only).
Phone numbers: 03-3498-7211 to 7213 and 03-3498-9419
• The numbers are not toll-free.
• A broadcast over the disaster prevention wireless system cannot be checked after
24 hours have passed since the broadcast.
• If there have been no broadcasts within the last twenty-four hours, a message
will play stating “this is the Shibuya City Office. There are currently no saved
• You cannot listen to the “Yuyake Koyake” song that is broadcast at 5 p.m.
Inquiries: Disaster Prevention Planning Promotion Section, Disaster Prevention
Planning Division (Tel: 3498-9409)

Informed by Shibuya City Office

This year’s chirstmas tree at Shibuya Hikarie


This year’s chirstmas tree at Shibuya Hikarie has “wonderland” as its theme, and is a collaboration with famous Japanese band “Dreams ComeTrue”!

Come and have your own dream come true at this 6m tall christmas tree, which will be lit up from 16:00 until midnight. From 16:00 until 22:00, Dreams Come True’s popular songs will be played every thirty minutes as well.

Spot Informatiion
Shibuya Hikarie Christmas 2015 ~WONDERLAND~ Collaboration Tree  
Light up from early November until December 25 (Friday) from 16:00 – 24:00 daily.
Location: The first floor main entrance of Shibuya Hikarie

Say “Cheese” to new Pablo Café opening on Dec. 12


Famed for their melt-in-your-mouth cheese tarts, Osaka-based Pablo will open their first café in the Kanto area in chic Omotesando on Dec. 12.


While you can pick up their classic cheese treats on the first floor – much like at their other stores across Tokyo – you can also dine on their expanded menu at the fashionable 2nd floor café, which includes Honey Cheese Toast, Sweet Cheese Fondue, and their limited item Baked Mini Cheese Tart Camembert x Quattro Fromage – available only at this Omotesando location!





Address: Jingumae 1-14-21, Shibuya
Hours: 10am – 9pm (Last Order for food at 8pm, drinks at 8:30pm)
Price: Baked Mini Cheese Tart 780 yen tax included, Baked Mini Cheese Tart Camembert x Quattro Fromage 1,500 yen tax included
Website (Japanese) http://www.pablo3.com/shops/omotesando.html

Farmer’s Market @UNU Aoyama


Farmer’s Market is held in Aoyama every weekend!


You can get fresh veggies, foods, bread and more at these markets.


unuAll Photos:http://farmersmarkets.jp/

Date:Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am~4pm
Place:United Nation University in Aoyama
Address:5-53-70, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.farmersmarkets.jp/

Shinjuku in Photos: The Station & Skyscrapers

Shinjuku Bus Terminal

Shinjuku is a large district of Tokyo that is home to all kinds of great and wonderful things to see and do. You can look out over the district from the Tokyo Metropolitan Building, wander one of the many side streets that line Shinjuku Station, or even get lost in the numerous passageways within the station itself. But what are the top things to do that won’t set you back a few hundred dollars?

In this series, professional cameraman Heath Smith provides a photo tour of his top five places to see—all of which are free, or relatively cheap!

2. Explore Shinjuku Station itself

Shinjuku Bus Terminal, viewed from inside the station.

Shinjuku Station is the busiest station in the world with more than 3.5 million commuters traveling through it every day. If you are willing to go exploring, you can find some really spectacular sights that let you look out over the district.

Cocoon Tower (left) and L-Tower (right)
The iconic Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower (center) and L-Tower (right).
The mad rush of people as they leave Shinjuku Station on the east exit.
The mad rush of people as they leave Shinjuku Station on the east exit.
Shooting from the Shinjuku west exit pedestrian bridge
Shooting from the Shinjuku west exit pedestrian bridge.

3. Walk the Path of the Giants

The Sompo Japan Building, as seen from the pedestrian bridge.
The Sompo Japan Building, as viewed from the pedestrian bridge.

Shinjuku is home to many of Tokyo’s tallest and attractive skyscrapers. If you walk from the Sompo Japan Building towards the Park Hyatt Tokyo, this path will lead you by a lot of interesting sites, like the Shinjuku LOVE Sculpture, and the courtyard of the Tokyo Metropolitan Building.

The Shinjuku Mode Gakuen as seen from below
The Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower from below.
The Shinjuku "LOVE" Sign is just one of many located all around the world.
The Shinjuku “LOVE” sign is just one of many located all around the world.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Building, seen from the courtyard
The Tokyo Metropolitan Building, seen from the courtyard.
The road next to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building passes alongside most of the skyscrapers here.
The road next to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building passes alongside most of the skyscrapers here.
Lastly, don't miss this amazing view from the atrium of the Shinjuku NS Building.
Lastly, don’t miss this amazing view from the atrium of the Shinjuku NS Building!