Hidden Treasures Along The Keio Line #5 – National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)

The Keio Line principally connects Shinjuku to the western side of Tokyo with seven different lines running through to the likes of suburban city Hachiōji and the mountainous area at Takaosanguchi. All of it’s stations actually lie within the boundaries of Tokyo and, thanks to regular free tickets, Tokyo Fox has dug deep to come up with a few places worthy of visit beyond perennial favourites like Mount Takao and Tama Zoo……

#3 – National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) Mitaka Campus @ Continue reading

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TF Top 10……Lesser Known Gardens Of Tokyo Worth Your Visit!

Green spaces may not be as clearly visible on the Tokyo map as in other world cities but dig deep enough (not literally!) and you’ll discover that Japan’s capital city possesses an array of fairly small gardens to offer a (cliché alert!) bit of respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

  

The likes of Hama-rikyu, Rikugien, Showa Kinen Park and Shinjuku-gyoen are all fairly well known gardens but there are actually a couple of dozen more and they are all far more quiet and relaxing than those more famous ones. I should add that two or three of these may be more familiar than the others. That’s just the way things go and no doubt there will be some people reading this who knows all of them! If that’s you then well done! If not, then enjoy.

Please note that these gardens all look far better than shown by my photography. Also, I visited many of these out of season so you’ll have to Continue reading

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These Omori-Kaizuka Shell Mounds Are Anything But A Dump!

“…if this all appears as an article on Tokyo Fox later this year or early next year then it probably means I need a quick “filler” post!”

As soon as I tweeted those words above back in September I thought I may regret them as that Twitter thread about the Omori Shell Mounds made me realise this place was perhaps deserving of a post on Tokyo Fox as there is very limited information on the net about this little part of Shinagawa ward. It would be remiss of me to just let the pictures and information I have on the place go to waste.

These shell mounds lie a short distance (500 metres) to the north of the station and are part of Omori Kaizuka Iseki Gardens. I have been curious about them for a while now so when I did a cover day at a school in the area recently I decided to Continue reading

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Tokyo Modern Architecture #4

For all its good points, Tokyo ain’t half one ugly looking city with buildings pretty much erected (and pulled down) willy nilly without any thought to the environment around it. However, amid all the chaos of such a concrete jungle there are a fair few examples of modern architecture which I am ever keen to photograph. Now, I am certainly no expert on such a topic but have enjoyed going around capturing the interesting and weird designs of some of these buildings.

It was a five year wait for the follow up to the original 2012 ‘Tokyo Modern Architecture‘ post and then ‘Tokyo Modern Architecture #2‘ and ‘Tokyo Modern Architecture #3‘ followed last year. Here, in no particular order, is the next volume of interesting looking Japanese buildings including the addresses:

1. Tokyo Big Sight, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku.

2. Fragment No.5, Midtown Garden, Continue reading

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The Natural Island In Eastern Tokyo You Probably Didn’t Know About!

Think of islands in Tokyo and the mind will likely come up with the Izu-Ogasawara Islands which are two groups of volcanic and tropical islands lying south of Tokyo stretching for 1000 kilometres into the Pacific Ocean. Some others may think of the artificial man-made island Odaiba, Tennozu Isle or even the floating service station island between Kanagawa and Chiba in Tokyo Bay. Monkey Island (a.k.a. Sarushima) is also in Tokyo Bay but it is technically part of Kanagawa prefecture so that can’t be included.

Mention Myoken-jima Island though and very, very few locals will have even heard of it. When I mentioned it to a friend who lives in Kasai she said she was completely unaware of it! If you’re heading eastwards on the Tozai Line towards Chiba then look out the window on your left as you cross the Kyu Edo-gawa River and floating in the middle of the parallel Urayasu Bridge is something resembling a ship. However, that is actually Myoken-jima Island which is the only Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #15

Many of the parks and children’s playgrounds in Japan, particularly in Tokyo, are quite poor compared to other countries in terms of space, surroundings and a lack of grass. However, a handful of them do tend to possess extremely creative structures and they will be explored in this series.

Nickname: Panda Slide 

Location: Panda Park Continue reading

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Tokyo Daytripper: The Floating Service Station In The Middle Of Tokyo Bay

For a long, long time I’ve been aware that there was a way of crossing Tokyo Bay by car but I just assumed it was a tunnel. Little did I know that it was a mix of both tunnel and bridge with a 650 metre long island-of-sorts in the centre. It’s known as Umihotaru (Sea-firefly) and is basically a service station in the middle of the bay.

The only reason anyone ever goes to Umihotaru, which took 23 years to plan and nine years to construct, is to rest their legs, go to the toilet and take a break from driving between Kawasaki (Kanagawa) and Kisarazu (Chiba). Well, everyone apart from me! I wanted to check it out whilst the sun was prevalent so decided to visit it on what I thought may Continue reading

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