TRIPals

Experience Japan like a local

Japan on a Budget: Here’s a Saving Grace for the Thrifty

Year after year, to the chagrin of many travellers, Japanese cities wind up on numerous lists of ‘most expensive cities in the world.’ This ultimately leaves them furrowing their brow over whether or not they can afford to visit the country. Fear not however – most of these lists typically pertain to taxes, living expenses, and other resources that compare to income. In regards to tourism and in this case – Japan, anyone can make their own budget and have a comfortable and fun stay without going overboard. Has your curiosity piqued yet? “An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure.” Moreover, you can bet your bottom dollar

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Tokyo’s Cultural Constellation: An Art Gallery This High Up?

Forget words. When it comes to mediums for expression, Japan is ultimately more about aesthetics. Whilst this is played out spectacularly on the kabuki stage, there’s really no slicker way to explore Japanese culture than to head to Tokyo and dive head first into its art scene. It’s a lucid, throaty articulation of modern Japan, meal for the city’s creatively carnivorous residents; plus there’s something for everyone. It deals in the contemporary and traditional, the Japanese and foreign, and it’s spread out all across the city. So if you love art, getting acquainted with Tokyo’s art scene gives you the perfect angle to infiltrate Tokyo’s flawlessly designed, culturally packed landscape.

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Japanese Convenience Stores: Now This is Serviceability!

The concept of convenience is basically embedded in Japanese culture. Everywhere you go, the infrastructure and the system itself, are designed to make life easier in every way possible. Convenience stores (Kobini in Japanese) are of course no exception – they’re everywhere in Tokyo! Furthermore, they’re always open 24/7, and they provide much more than the typical convenience store in America and Europe. This article will help provide you examples why convenient stores are truly excellent resources for tourists visiting Tokyo. Of course, the locals find them pretty handy too! The stores you will see the most are: Lawson’s, 7-11, and Family Mart. There are a few other stores scattered

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“Hanami”: The Art of Cherry Blossom Viewing

Every spring, people swarm the parks, canals, and streets of Japan for a glimpse at the breathtaking sights that are the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. This wondrous, brilliant spectacle, takes beguiling pink hues to a whole new level boasting nature’s magnificence. The exact season of the blooming cherry blossoms (sakura) takes place during a different period each year, with each region of Japan varying in length and month. For a precise forecast of the trees blooming, please check this government website dedicated solely and accurately predicting the optimal time and place to view the blossoms (including a comparative to last year’s forecast, for reference). Japanese people routinely look

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Koenji & Shimokitazawa: Tokyo Scene

Like any precocious young city, alternative culture in Tokyo has sides; and since this is Japan, Tokyo tribes are gracefully organized. By style, ethos, and location: yielding a kaleidoscope of cultures connected by train lines. You don’t HAVE to take sides, at this point; but knowing your own taste gives you an entry point to the metropolis. Kids into cute cafes, experimental music and clothes should go to Koenji and/or Shimokitazawa: the twin headquarters of Tokyo’s back to front indie scene. They’re respectively beautiful neighborhoods to glut yourself on used blazers, vinyl, really strange gigs, gin; and to break away from Tokyo’s austerity in favor of more ramshackle worlds. With no

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Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – Tokyo’s Most Natural Beauty

An absolute treat within your stay in Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a must-see destination. Residing in what is considered the ‘downtown of Tokyo,’ it provides an opportunity to get in touch with nature, escape the bustling nature of the city, and see one of Japan’s most famous attractions. The grounds are about 144 acres with gorgeous footpaths walking you through the some 20,000 trees that are planted there. You can see three very unique and distinct styles here: French Formal (based on symmetry), English Landscape (the use of ponds or lakes, gently rolling lawns and meadows) and traditional Japanese gardens (creating miniature idealized landscapes). Outside of the cherry

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How to Navigate Tokyo’s Train Lines

Tokyo’s train system is very complex with numerous lines owned by multiple companies. There are both trains and subways with sometimes multiple transfers just to get across town. Having said all this, the system may be crazy but it is a very strategically organized crazy. This article will help provide you with the general know-how on both being prepared for what to expect when you arrive and how to get help if you find yourself lost or stuck finding the right line to get on. Don’t be afraid to ask When you arrive at the airport, I recommend you visit the information desk. They most often speak English and can

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Who Says Art Is Better at Street Level? The Mori Art Museum Reaches New Heights

Tokyo is a good, old-fashioned city with one million faces: in this sense, it’s one of the best. Its 23 districts flaunt unabashedly unique characters, and the city as a whole unrelentingly inundates residents and guests with images. Everything from cats and cute boys to scenes of old Japan; modern kids pretending to be traditional, beguiling women and unhappy businessmen falling off platforms. It’ll leave you feeling bamboozled, and more than a little bit curious. What is this place, and what does it really look like anyway? Mori Tower, Roppongi Tokyo piques your senses, and evokes emotions that people may have never experienced in their lives. Downtown, you’ll spot people

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