TRIPals

Experience Japan like a local

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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Take your love for instant noodles to a new level

Everybody loves ramen. Classic ramen restaurants populate the country’s biggest cities, and people love the instant stuff so much they have turned it into a hamburger bun, a lobster roll and even a burrito. We just cannot get enough of the salty and addictive noodles. The man who invented instant ramen, Momofuku Ando, seriously, he must have been a genius. He created the Nissin ramen products around 1958 when he noticed food was scarce after World War II. Today food in Japan is not scarce, but instant ramen is still largely consumed not only in Japan but over the world. Visitors get impressed when passing by convenience stores due to

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Turret Coffee, The Hidden Gem Amidst the Fish

Taking advantage of the long 5 day weekend, I decided to make my way to the Tsukiji Fish Market. Let’s be honest, my friends and I were enjoying sleep too much to want to pull an all nighter to go see the auction (we’ll definitely make it there eventually, just not now). We went later in the day after we did some other sight seeing so by the time we made it to the fish market, everything was basically closing down except for the outer fish market where there are plenty of sushi restaurants. We browsed around, ate some sample sashimi, bought some salmon for dinner, and decided that we

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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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Experience Tokyo’s Most Exquisite Gourmet with Pocket Concierge

Tokyo locals pride themselves in the sheer number of stellar restaurants that can be found within the city; from sushi to teppanyaki, the city offers ample opportunities for culinary adventures. However, travelers may be especially intimidated by the often complicated and difficult procedures of reserving a seat at a highly sought after restaurant—enter Pocket Concierge, an English app and website that enables users to make a reservation at a restaurant of their choice from the app’s star-studded roster which includes Michelin approvals and Tabelog Top 5000 regulars.

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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