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Cool Japan Guide / One-day trip / Tour of Yanaka and Japanese Culture

Traveling: Go from your hotel to Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line. The Yamanote Line is a circular line and the fare is only 190 yen, even to the furthest station on the line.

Meiji-jingu Shrine

(Meiji-jingu Shrine)

The Meiji-jingu Shrine is dedicated to the sacred souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. It is a beautiful oasis lying in the middle of an urban city. During the New Year season, this is the most popular shrine in Japan for visitors and worshippers. ...
Sightseeing time: 60 minutes
Traveling: Go to Ueno Station, 28 minutes from Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line (190 yen).

Ueno-koen Park

(Ueno-koen Park in Spring)

From the Koenguchi Exit of the Ueno Station, you will see Ueno-koen Park extending up over Ueno Hill in front of you. The park has several museums, concert halls, a zoo and many restaurants as well as a pond with rowboats, so the area is always filled with people enjoying the many available activities. On weekends, the park is a popular venue for street performers. ...

Tokyo National Museum

(Tokyo National Museum)

Among the many museums situated in the vast Ueno-koen Park is the Tokyo National Museum, which specializes in Japanese and Oriental cultural assets. The Honkan (Japanese Gallery) is designated as an important cultural property.
Sightseeing time: 60 minutes
Admission: 600 yen

Traveling: A 7-minute walk. On the way, you will catch sight of the five-story pagoda in the old Kan'ei-ji Temple, which was built in 1639. If you enter the Ueno Zoo, you can see the pagoda up close.

Ueno Toshogu Shrine

(Ueno Toshogu Shrine)

The Ueno Toshogu Shrine was built in reverence to Tokugawa Ieyasu, who founded the Edo Shogunate.
The red Karamon Gate and the wall are designated as national treasures. Take a moment for a closer look at the detailed carving and decorations in the Haiden (front shrine). ...
Sightseeing time: 20 minutes
Admission: 200 yen (600 yen for the Peony Garden)

Traveling: A 5-minute walk.

Shinobazunoike Pond

(Shinobazunoike Pond)

In summer the pond is covered with lotus flowers, and in winter it is a haven for water birds. The cherry blossoms in spring are magnificent. You can also enjoy rowing a boat on the pond.
Admission: Free (600 yen for boat rental)

Shitamachi Fuzoku Shiryokan (Downtown Folk Craft Museum)

(Shitamachi Fuzoku Shiryokan (Downtown Folk Craft Museum))

This museum is situated by the pond.
It represents everyday life in the downtown area about 100 years ago. In each room, you can see the actual utensils and paraphernalia used in everyday life and work.
Imagine life in a nagaya (tenement house) where people lived side by side, separated only by thin walls.
Sightseeing time: 30 minutes
Admission: 300 yen

Traveling: A 5-minute walk. There are many long-established restaurants in this area that serve eel, tempura (deep-fried food) or western-style meals, so it's a good place to stop for a snack.

Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden

(Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden)

The residence of the Iwasaki family, founders of the Mitsubishi Group, designed by Josiah Condor in 1869. The attached Japanese-style house and billiard room still remain today. ...
Guided tours are given at 11:00 and 14:00 every day except Thursdays.
On Saturdays, visitors can enjoy violin or piano concerts.
Admission: 400 yen

Traveling: A 3-minute walk. 2 minutes from Yushima Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (160 yen). Get off at Nezu Station.

In the Yanaka, Nezu and Sendagi area, normally called YA-NE-SEN, there are many temples, shrines and unique galleries, and the lifestyle of more than 50 years ago is still visible today.
Enjoy the downtown atmosphere, which is a little different from Asakusa, a major sightseeing area. A leisurely stroll through the small back streets will provide you with a view of the old days.

Nezu-jinja Shrine

(Nezu-jinja Shrine)

This shrine is believed to have been founded about 1,900 years ago. The lacquer-coated Haiden (front shrine) built in 1705 is the largest shrine construction of the Edo Period (1603-1867). ...

Traveling: A 5-minute walk up the Sansaki-zaka slope from Sendagi Station on the Tokyo Metro. On the way, you will see Japanese paper shops and temples. Enjoy the scenery as you walk among the old houses. A 10-minute walk.

Space Oguraya

(Space Oguraya)

This gallery is housed in the storage buildings of a pawnshop built in 1847 and 1917. Exhibitions ranging from paintings, craftwork and photography to fashion wear are held in the old buildings. ...

Traveling: A 5-minute walk.

Asakura Choso-kan (Asakura Sculpture Museum)

(Asakura Sculpture Museum)

This museum is housed in the former residence and studio of the sculptor Fumio Asakura. The studio is a western-style building and the residence is in traditional Japanese style with a garden and tea house, but they go together perfectly. ...
Admission: 400 yen

Traveling: A 5-10 minute walk to JR Nippori Station leisurely strolling along the back streets or window shopping at tortoiseshell craft shops or rice cracker shops.
5 minutes from Nippori Station on the JR Yamanote Line to Komagome Station.

Rikugi-en Garden

This richly endowed garden was created in 1695. Since its establishment it has been held in high esteem as one of the two largest gardens of the Edo Period (1603-1867) together with the Koishikawa Koraku-en Garden. ...
Admission: 300 yen

Traveling: 8 minutes from Komagome Station on the JR Yamanote Line. Go to Shinjuku Station (160 yen). A 10-minute walk from the West Exit. There is a pedestrian subway, but the above-ground route is recommended. On the way, there are large electric appliance shops and many skyscrapers.

Observation Gallery in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

This observation gallery is situated on the 45th floor (202 m above ground level) of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and is a popular place for enjoying the wonderful scenery of Tokyo free of charge. The night view is particularly splendid. There is a cafe and bar, so you can spend a relaxing time there.
You may be surprised at the gap between this and the towns you have just visited, but this dual nature is what epitomizes the exciting city of Tokyo.
Admission: Free

Full Story to be checked via Link: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/routes/g_route/golden_tokyo01.html

By TS on Aug 2, 2012
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Author:T. SATOH