TRIPals

Experience Japan like a local

Category Culture

Neighbourhood Guide: Shimokitazawa

Shimokitazawa(下北沢)also known as “Shimokita” is best known for the entertainment district located in Setagaya Tokyo. Its very popular for fashion, bars, cafe, restaurants, some theatres, and also people can be able to enjoy live music entertainment. Its kind of like “Harajuku” and “Koenji” because a lot of young people go to shimokita to hang out. Its a interesting and quit neighbourhood to just hang out with friends/family! Shimokita’s Background  Shimokita is very popular among young people. People call it “The youth’s city.” Its in the top 5 placese the young people want to live in because its cool and fashionable. Shimokita became popular to young people around the 70s when

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Neighborhood Guide: Aoyama

Aoyama (青山) is located in Tokyo, specifically, a neighborhood in the northwest portion of Minato ward. In Aoyama, the stunning visual architecture seems to reflect the dynamic energy from the ever-evolving fashion trends. Known for being a premiere shopping destination, many contemporary designer stores have flagship residences here. Classy and chic, you won’t be disappointed by the variety of dining and shopping choices at your fingertips. History Let’s take a moment for you to get your bearings. Kita-Aoyama (北青山) or “North Aoyama” follows the north side of Aoyama Street, home of Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium and the delicious homemade bread from Royal Garden Cafe. Minami-Aoyami (南青山) takes on the region south of Aoyama Street, reaching

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Shhh! It’s a Shrine! 3 Temples to go to for your Eat, Pray, Love Moment

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen Julia Roberts’ gorgeous mug in the movie. We’ve all wanted it. That Eat, Pray, Love moment. It may not be at all the reality you expect it to be when you get there, but if you are going to go for it in Japan, you better believe you need to know what shrines to visit to find your spiritual balance. I personally prefer to go to the hidden ones around cemeteries. For some reason, they seem more peaceful to me. I like to see the mini “shrines” that represent gravestones for loved ones to visit when someone passes away. I like that people bring

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Catching the autumn leaves – where and when to go?

In Japan the viewing of autumn leaves has been a popular activity for centuries and today draws large numbers of travelers to famous koyo spots both in the mountains and in the cities. Since Japan has a large extension from north to south, autumn leaves can be enjoyed for a quite large period. And this season is coming soon, so if you are visiting Japan between October and November, you will be able to enjoy the colorful leaves around Kanto area! Depending on your travel schedule, you might be worried about missing the view but no worries! In this post, I will tell you where to go and when between

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10 Things that Make Japan so Unique!

When you’ve never been to Japan and someone asks you, “Tell me what you think Japan is like?” you’re most likely going to give answers like, “I’m sure there’s a lot of sushi, anime things, and cosplay!” which may be true. But the things that make Japan so unique are really the small things in daily life here! So let me just point out 10 things that make Japan so unique from anywhere else! Japanese fashion Like you expect, if you go to certain parts of Tokyo (mostly Harajuku) you’ll see plenty of people dressed up like manga and anime characters. That’s not the end of Tokyo fashion. There are

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What is Shichi Fukujin, the 7 Lucky Gods?

Shichi Fukujin (七福神), known in English as Seven Lucky Gods or Seven Gods of Happiness, are seven gods of good fortune in Japanese mythology and folklore. These seven gods were chosen from Hinduist, Buddhist, Taoist and Shintoist deities and became famous during Edo period. The origins are unsure, but it is believed to be related to the essential virtues of the man around 17th century (longevity, fortune, popularity, candor, amiability, dignity, and magnanimity). The Japanese legend is the seven gods travel in a ship called Takarabune which is filled with treasures and come from the sea bringing fortune and prosperity to beleivers during New Year’s Eve. The seven Gods are:

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How To Have Fun in Tokyo at Night: Skyscrapers, Festivals, Illumination and more!

You’ve made it halfway around the world to Tokyo, the last thing you’re going to do is sleep the night away right? Good, because there are plenty of great things to do and see in Tokyo after the sun goes down. As long as you go to Roppongi, Shibuya, Shinjuku, or Ginza you’ll definitely be able to find bars and clubs (all different atmospheres depending on the location you decide to venture out to) so I’ll tell you some of the other things you can enjoy in Tokyo under the starry sky. Night View from Tokyo Skyscrapers A great way to see the beautiful city of Japan all lit up

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S.O.S. – Keeping it Cool in a Japanese Restaurant

The sense that Tokyo makes no sense keeps coming on stronger and stronger. When you’re new in town, its wonders will occasionally freeze your heart. And if you are not of Japanese nationality, when in Tokyo, you are officially a freak, a glamour. Girls and boys. Whilst foreigners have an essential presence in the capital of Japan, you’re in the shrieking heart of a cultural machine which idolizes select non-Japanese culture, and simultaneously derides it for its difference. As a result, 2015 Tokyo is beset with ripples of awkwardness as Tokyoites and foreigners meet with the Japanese party line, and each other. Many Tokyo natives, however much they may love

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Koyo in Japan: Changing Colors of Autumn Foliage

The summer is over and we can finally get away from Japan’s humidity! In the fall, there are a lot of places to see the “Koyo” in Japan. “Koyo” means the changing of the autumn colors. It is one of the most beautiful things to enjoy in this season. You might think that looking at leaves/trees all day sounds boring BUT, its beautiful and romantic! Picture yourself under the Koyo asking someone who you REALLY like out under  these beautiful trees. Its a memory you and that person will never forget. Looking at the Koyo is a big cultural tradition in Japan. Koyo has a historical background, from the Edo

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Falling For Japan – What to Bring on Your Fall Adventure to Japan

It’s the trip you have been waiting a lifetime for- Japan in the fall. The gold leaves in Kourankei (Toyota, Aichi) from the top of the bridge will pierce your memory with their beauty and the decadent red carpet of foliage in Enrian (Kyoto) is awaiting your arrival. Shibuya crossing is calling your name and the Pokemon store has a stuffed Charizard doll with your name on it. Your plane ticket has been bought, hotel booked, and you’re ready to go! Except for one thing- what do I pack?!? Don’t overpack Japan can be a tricky beast in the fall because you never know what to expect when it comes

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