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> in Tokyo
> Shibuya
> Shinjuku
> Harajuku
> Ginza
> Aoyama
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> Ueno
> Ebisu
> ... and more.

> in Kyoto
> Kyoto, Higashiyama
> Arashiyama
> ... and more.

Photo: Shibuya Foodshow court. Giving it a deep thought and choosing the right kind of pastry is a national pastime.

Popular Themes
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> Japanese Fashion
> Japanese People
> Japanese Garden

The Shinkansen and the Japan train system

Japanese Architecture
Buddhist Temple, Shinto Shrine


Featured Travel Guide articles:

Japan Guide

Tokyo guide

 

Suggested Itinerary
photo guide by weeks

Week 1 - Tokyo
Week 2 - Tokyo,Kanto
Week 3 - Nikko
Week 4 - Tokyo
Week 5 - Kyoto
Week 6 - Osaka,Nara
Week 7 - Tokyo,Kanto
Week 8 - Hokkaido

Or click here for more detailed info on the tours.

 

 

/ back to the index of the
Tokyo Travel Guide

Life in Tokyo, Cafe House guide
if you haven't already, discover their real values
On the photo: The Starbucks Coffee panorama window at the Q-Front builting, Shibuya, Tokyo
Q-Front Starbucks
in Shibuya, Tokyo

You can't say you didn't find any. The only thing that is even more frequent to come by than a vending machine are downtown cafes... all of them more or less hermetically sealing you away from the street ... most of the time with a panoramic window with a view to where you just came from. An ideal place to take a break from... whatever you were doing, and look back from a different perspective... in many ways.

You can stay for hours if you want to, just order the cheapest cafe latte, find a place to sit down comfortably and... wait for that mail on your keitai, pop up your books to study, wait with or to your friends or read the magazine you just bought. Amazingly no one will ask you to either buy something more or leave.

Perhaps this is the reason why all drinks and pastry cost two times as much as normally but even so they won't exceed a couple of hundred yens. It's probably not a good idea to try to fill your stomach with the sandwiches either, but is a good measure for emergencies, for there's no problem in the taste department.

With real wood tables circling around real plants and bossanova ringing in the background, no one ever raising a voice any louder than as of a laughter, regardless of what color their hair is dyed. If you can find a good seat you can open your laptop and even go online for most of them are hotspots for wireless net connection. Count the record time in which the girls can type a mail message in their mobiles or just gaze out the window and if you hadn't done already, plan your next move before you descend back to the maze.

But in fact... it's the seat that you value the most at that point.

On the photo: Chloe Cafe, Aoyama,Tokyo
Doutor cafe
in Koenji, Tokyo

For nowhere in downtown Tokyo will you find a bench. As mentioned later or before or wherever, the areas around the most lively train stations have centered most of the entertainment, shopping and dining facilities thus making every square meter all too valuable for a bench... probably... if not for business then for the people who try to approach the shops. Cafes are a lifesaver for anyone holding more than five bags at the same time, especially on Saturdays.

On what else to expect... well if you have seen the images of Shibuya, that huge panoramic window overlooking Hachiko crossing is Starbucks. And Starbucks is the ONLY cafe you can't smoke in. At least from the selection of the three largest chains, of which you'll encounter a shop about every hundred meters, Excelsior Cafe, Doutor Cafe and Starbucks . Their styles are pretty much the same with Starbucks being modeled after its American shops, Excelsior being the most relaxed and Doutor offering the best smoked salmon sandwich out of the three.

From time to time you'll learn to think of these places as your alternative as a makeshift base, much like a replacement for the "going home to rest" or "find a place where no one bothers me" plans. Works fine when you want to stay close to the center but don't want to aimlessly stroll around, especially not while the afternoon crowd of people returning from work still hasn't passed.

All in all an irreplaceable value if you'd like to sit down for a while in downtown... for any given reason... without being forced by your courtesy to eat.

Japan Guide

- Japan Visa, border entry, what to bring and be prepared with
- Japanese maps, Navi mobile navigation, easy orientation for travelers
- Convenience stores, the resupply stations that sell everything
- Japanese Vending machines, for drinks, tickets, cigarettes and more
- Japanese Food, and all kinds of food in Japan, restaurants, fast food, cheap food...

Tokyo guide

- Tokyo - as we see it - introduction
- Budget Tokyo apartment rental, accommodation, let go of the concern
- Tokyo Prices, the real cost vs. western legends, how to make most of your budget
- Cheap Tokyo Stores, bargain tips, where to find what, fashion to electronics
- Tokyo Cafe life, a guide to Cafes serving as meeting points, hangouts and life-savers
- Tokyo Parks and Gardens, well maintained icons of tranquility, tradition or having fun
- The Tokyo crowd... escaping from Tokyo to Tokyo, evading downtown rushhours


Photo: Hachiko crossing view in Shibuya, Tokyo
Tokyo Scenes 3
Ultramodern, people oriented city, the young and energetic face of Tokyo

Well, the site may be a little too excessive especially on the issue of Tokyo, but here are some of the most essential photo albums...
Just Click
on any thumbnail to see the pictures of either district or theme

On the picture: Shinjuku, in between the station and Kabukicho
Tokyo Scenes 2
Images on the real downtowns of the city, centers for and of all ages

Photo:  Asakusa, Senso-Ji Buddhist Temple, the Hozo-mon gate
Tokyo Scenes 1
A tour around some of the most famous historic sights in Tokyo

Photo:
Tokyo Scenes 5
A closer look at some of the most unique and atmospheric districts


Tokyo Scenes 6
Finding the right place... whichever it is... from Shimokita to Koenji


Tokyo Scenes 4
Famous town centers in Tokyo, both historic and modern


Tokyo Scenes 7
A quick tour on the harmony of 21st century architecture and everyday life

See a list of all photo albums on Tokyo

 

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