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Boating in Ueno Park


Boats on Shinobaze Pond, Ueno Park.

We could never be accused of lacking variety here at Tokyoyo!

From the Shibuya club scene we move seamlessly on to boat rides in the park. In this case Ueno Park in Taito ku Tokyo.

The photo above shows some of the small pleasure boats available for hire on Shinobaze Pond (不忍池).

Ueno Park is located fairly centrally and is close to Ueno station  which is serviced by the Yamanote line as well as a number of underground lines making it quite easy to access. See here for a map.

There are three different types of boat available and examples of all of them can be seen in the above photo.

1. Row boats. Only for those confident of their seafaring abilities! These can take up to 3 adults and cost 600 Yen for an hour.

2. Basic cycle boats carry 2 people and cost 600 Yen for 30 minutes.

3. Swan Boats take up to 2 people and cost 700 Yen for 30 minutes.

In this hot weather there is no better place to be (except when it rains!).

See you on the high seas!


Shibuya Club Scene- Part Two

Upcoming DJ line up at “Air” Shibuya

Today we look at those two other Shibuya clubs that are good places for those of you who are new in town: Air and Club Harlem


Air (see here for a map- Japanese) has been open since 2001 and prides itself on its longevity and on being a cultural driver of not only dance music but also art, design and sound system technology. The line up for this Saturday night is House, Techno and Minimal with Guti Desolat (from Germany), D Osamu M, DJ Endo, and Naka-G. H the line-up shown in the picture above feature on Friday July 13th.

Club Harlem is the place to go for Hip Hop. .This is another of the long-standing clubs having been in business since the late 90’s! See here for map. Tonight is “Dance Holic” which promises to really heat up the dance floor in time for summer. The schedule for Club Harlem can be seen here in English more or less:).

Shibuya Club Scene- Part One

Dance Floor at Camelot

Shibuya has a pretty high concentration of clubs and because many put on a variety of  music and acts  there is something to suit just about any taste.

As with any kind of business in Tokyo, there is a lot of churn with clubs disappearing and new ones coming up. So there are always a few people mourning the loss of  some old favorite and harking back to the “Good Old Days”.

Well, These days are the only ones we’ve got and there are a lot of great clubs to spend them in (well the nights anyway)!

Some great spots to check out if you are new to the scene are; Womb, Camelot, Air and Club Harlem.

Womb (see here for a map) is best known for hip hop and techno and is very very popular. As you will see from the site they are also quite foreigner friendly and there is a lot of English language info there for you to check.  Here is an excerpt from the site for tonight:

“Every single time “09EDGE” comes to WOMB, it continues to break the record number of visitors unlike any other weekday events, making everyone a part of the WOMB “circle”. Its groove and its edgy-ness interlock to turn this event into a unique atmosphere. 09EDGE was featured on the fashion magazine “NYLON” as it continues to lead the scene with a celebration of its 2nd Anniversary at WOMB LOUNGE.”

Camelot is all about variety with just about every genre getting a run at one time or another.  The site and map are only in Japanese but the club itself is foreigner friendly. There are discount coupons that only girls and foreigners can use.  Tonight is a Hip Hop Party from 10 PM featuring DJ’s Takamura, Shintaro, Shunsuke, Tomoharu, Jimmy, Saori,  Hiro and Kicks

Play with some Models

Well, OK I’m referring to plastic models here!


Tokyo certainly offers variety, and one thing on the long list of things to do and see here that you might not be aware of is the Tamya Factory Shop in Shimbashi.

For the uninitiated, Tamya is a popular maker of plastic kit models, highly prized for their attention to detail.

Now, Shimbashi is probably best known as a haunt of salarymen (male office workers and business men) looking for some relaxation. So there are lots of inexpensive restaurants, bars and other establishments offering more… adult services.

So a plastic model shop might seem a little out-of-place here. But if you go in on a weekday you soon see that the customers pouring over the merchandise are overwhelmingly those same salarymen in suit and tie. It’s a generalization, but the Japanese don’t do things half-heartedly, and this is serious fun!

Tamya shop Shimbasi

Salarymen racing cars at the Tamya Factory Shop

The shop stocks around 4000 different model kit from plastic cars, planes, ships and military vehicles all the way up to sophisticated (and costly) radio-controlled vehicles. On the 2nd floor there is a large layout for model car racing and this sees a lot of action on week-nights and on weekends.

The Tamya factory shop is a 5 minute walk from Shimbashi station. Exit via the karasu mori exit (烏森口).

Summer in Tokyo means Fireworks!

In Japanese fireworks are 花火 “Flower Fire”; isn’t that beautiful!

Every summer fireworks displays large and small are carried out all over Japan.  And of course the largest displays are in Tokyo.

Probably the most well-known of these displays is the Sumida river fireworks festival (隅田川花火大会)which is celebrating its 35th year this year. It is scheduled for the 28th of July,

7:05-8:30 PM (or the next day in case of bad weather on the 28th).  The display includes a contest between 10 of Japan’s best fireworks companies and around 200,000 fireworks will be used. You

Sumida river fireworks

can see the display from large lengths of the banks of the Sumida River, but with around 900,000 people expected to attend, you had better get there early! See here for a map of the general location.

If you are really stuck for a viewing spot you might consider hopping on a Toubu line train out of Asakusa station. It will give you a great view as it goes over the bridge, and the drivers sometimes slow down to give the passengers the best show possible.

Shibuya and Ebisu- Beer Gardens Cont…

Shibuya Crossing at Night

Shibuya is one of those places that almost everyone thinks of when they think of Tokyo, even if the name means nothing to them!

You see, Shibuya is the home of the famous pedestrian crossing featured in Lost in Translation. It’s one of those great crossings where pedestrians cross from all sides at the same time (see left).

Shibuya is also one of the funnest places in the Capital City of Fun, so we’ll be  mentioning it quite a lot in future. But for now we’ll have a quick run down of some of the fine beer gardens in the Shibuya area.

  •  美食米門 渋谷店 (Bishyokumaimon Shibuya) Nearest station JR 渋谷駅 6番出口 (Shibuya JR station, Exit 6).  In addition to beer they boast private rooms with views of Japanese style gardens and modern Japanese cuisine. Prices from 2800 Yen. See here for a map and discount coupon.
  •  Green Garden.  Top of the Toukyu Department Store Shibuya. Green Garden just opened recently in May and bills itself as the biggest beer garden in Shibuya. They have Japanese and world beers, as well as wines and cocktails. Closed if it rains. Click here for a map, and here for a discount coupon (note that you need to enter your cell phone address into the box and click the button. You will receive a link to click to access the coupon). Phew!

Green Garden Beer Garden- has a nice ring to it!

What to do on a Hot Tokyo Day? Go to the Beach!

Yes, that’s NOT a typo; there really is a beach in Tokyo!


OK so it isn’t quite a Waikiki or Bondi, but Tokyo Beach is a great place to go when you want to dip your toes in some cool water and get away from the busy town for a while.

Tokyo Beach

Tokyo Beach at Odaiba Tokyo

Tokyo beach 東京海浜公園 (Tokyo kaihin Kouen) is an artificial beach, that’s hardly surprising because it is located on the artificial island of Odaiba お台場 in Tokyo Bay. The entire beach is about 3000 feet in length and the sandy part is perhaps half that. The rest of the beach is rocky but there is a walkway that follows along the entire length including a recently refurbished boardwalk.

In addition to the beach itself there are a whole range of activities available within a short walk. I’ll keep most of them for future posts, but you will probably want a drink or maybe something to eat. The cheapest options will be convenience stores, but there are also a number of reasonably priced restaurants, cafers and bars in the nearby “Decks Tokyo Beach” and “Aqua City”.  Personally I like the Sizzlers as it has a great outside seating area giving amazing views of the beach and over to the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo itself, but there are lots of other options and most of them offer good views as well.

Illuminated Party Boats at Tokyo Beach

It is also well worth visiting at night, or staying late to see the party boats on the water. People hire these for the evening and eat and drink while enjoying the view. They also add to the view due to the beautiful colored lights on their sides.

The simplest way to get there is to ride the Yurikamome (swaying seagull) from Shimbashi station. The Yurikamome will take     you  along the coast and over Rainbow Bridge giving you a fantastic view of the Bay and on a fine day you can see clear out to Haneda airport. You’ll also get a view of Tower and Tokyo Skytree.

What to do on a hot Tokyo night? Go to a Beer Garden!

With the hot weather settling in one if the lessor known Japanese traditions is going as strong as ever. It’s the beer garden!

The Japanese take on the beer garden concept is pretty simple; lots of beer at great prices with great friends in a friendly atnosphere! With so many places to choose from the competiton is fierce. You and your friends can chillax knowing that the staff will be working hard to make sure you have a great time.

If you are wondering where Tokyo finds space for beer gardens, the answer is on top of buildings such as department stores.

Here are just some of the beer gardens available in the Shinjyuku (新宿)area.

  • さかえやビアガーデン  Sakaeya Beer Garden. 1st May to 30th September . Nearest Station:  Takadanobaba (高田馬場).  Cost 3980 Yen All you can drink plus seafood BBQ.  Map.

Sakaeya Beer Garden

  • UMI (海)  Sakeya and beer garden. 1st June to 30th September. Nearest station Shinjyuku (新宿).  There are various courses from 2000 Yen up to 4980 Yen. Click here for a map and a discount coupon.
  • モディッシュ  新宿三井ビル Modishyu Shinjyuku Mitsu Bld. Nearest station Shinjyuku (新宿). They are particularly proud of their paella and “Hartland” beer. There are also some good views from the top of the Shinjyuku Mitsui Building.  1000, 3000 and 5000 Yen plans are available.  Map.

The Beer Garden at Modishyu

You’ll find that A Tokyo beer garden doesn’t have to be just about beer (not that there’s anything wrong with that !) but you can also get some very decent food at great price.

Fun in Tokyo!

Hi and welcome to Fun in Tokyo!

Tokyo has to be one of the most FUN places in the world to visit- no matter what you are looing for.

But I want to change that by taking this FUN BLOG to the top so everyone who looks up Tokyo can see what a fantastic place it is.

I hope you’ll join me for the ride!

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