Tokyo Daytripper: Machida Squirrel Garden

Unlike many of the animal cafes, parks and zoos that have recently popped up in and around Tokyo, this particular place has actually been around since 1988. It is one I’ve wanted to visit for about five years now and I finally got round to going there last month when I took my animal-loving wife there as a surprise. She actually hates surprises but I remained stubborn and didn’t tell her anything about it until we got off the bus and she could see the Squirrel Gardens come into sight.

  

The only ever time I’ve been to this part of Tokyo was to see Machida Zelvia in J2 football action and the Machida Athletic Stadium, where they play, is only about 3.5 kilometres further north from this park and is part of the same bus route. The set-up at the squirrel garden is Continue reading

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On The Fox Trail…… At Keihin Fushimi Inari Shrine (Kanagawa)

Being surrounded by hundreds of foxes is a nightmare for some people but for others it is pure joy. The reality of being amidst all those real foxes at Zao Fox Village in Miyagi prefecture is one that can probably never be topped. Fox mound at Toyokawa Inari Shrine in Aichi prefecture is pretty hard to beat for kitsune (fox) statues and this particular one is packed full of unique looking foxes.

  

Admittedly, Keihin Fushimi Inari Shrine is somewhere I’d never heard of until late last year when someone commented on one of my previous ‘On The Fox Trail…’ posts on social media asking if I’d heard of this place. I hadn’t and was immediately amazed to discover that it Continue reading

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Tokyo Daytripper: Temple Garden Of Philosophy

Tokyo may be a concrete jungle stretching as far as the eye can see but amidst all those grey buildings lie some greenery whether it be parks like Yoyogi, Ueno and Hibiya, or gardens like Shinjuku Gyoen, Hama-rikyu, Rikugien, Kiyosumi, Koishikawa Korakuen and so on

Having covered all of those places (and many more!), I really thought I knew my green spaces quite well but obviously not as whilst flicking through last Winter’s WAttention Tokyo magazine (vol. 26) I was surprised to be informed about this particular quirky garden in Nakano ward.

  

As I was at a bit of a loose end one Sunday I decided to check it out in what was the first time to Continue reading

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Hidden Treasures Along The Keio Line #1 – Nakayasu Hotel

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……

#1 – Nakayasu Hotel @ 1-36-6 Continue reading

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Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #12

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: Telephone Slide

Location: Continue reading

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TF Top 10……Middle East Treats In Tokyo

The recent ‘Roads of Arabia’ exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno was a huge success but that’s now come to an end. Those interested in that can read more about it here via our friends at Maction Planet but this post is for those wanting a further fix of Middle Eastern treats in Tokyo. I have tried my best to not just make it about places to dine out at but in a food-obsessed country that isn’t so easy!

1. Zakuro @ 3-13-2 Nishi-Nippori, Arakawa-ku – No better place to start than this legendary hideout which serves up daily fare from Turkey, Uzbekistan and Iran. There are belly dance shows in the evening, the lunch deal is amazing and the owner is a bit of an entertainer. More details here

IMG_2698  P1000527

2. Ancient Orient Museum Tokyo @ Continue reading

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On The Trail Of Shin Godzilla #3 – New Statue In Tokyo (+ Gojira Curry)!!

As one of the most recognisable Japanese icons, it’s perhaps no surprise that statues and models of Godzilla are considered a good idea by many to attract interest to an area. The radioactive monster appeared on top of Hotel Gracery in Shinjuku a few years ago, there’s a big one outside Toho Studios in Setagaya, and smaller stone statues materialised outside a restaurant in Shinagawa as well as Utsunomiya Station (Tochigi prefecture) in the wake of ‘Shin Godzilla‘ (2016) being released.

If you’re thinking that I’ve somehow forgotten about the small one in Hibiya then I haven’t as this new statue is a Continue reading

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