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Tokyo Update

(This is a retrospective post, it never got finished until now)

Sorry for the lack of updates to the blog recently. We’ve been out, well, enjoying ourselves (like one does on holiday) and I’ve totally neglected to blog. I have been Flickr’ing, for those who are subscribed.

I’ve got some bigger posts in the pipeline, but here are a couple of shorts to keep you going:

We’ve been staying in Shibuya, a great part of Tokyo. Think Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square – busy, iconically touristy and full of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs.

Our home-from-home for the past 6 days has a room on the 32nd floor of The Cerulean Tower Hotel. Not cheap, but the luxury certainly helps us relax in an otherwise chaotic city. The panoramic views from this high up are spectacular, with an unbelievable view of Mount Fuji on a clear day.

The height also helps with finding open wifi!

Bay Area
The Tokyo Bay area is very similar to London’s Docklands – light railway system, lots of space, modern buildings, no atmosphere. Why would anyone want to live or work here?

The largest IT and technology retail area in the world, apparently. It is pretty cool, but if I’m totally honest the whole “oooh Akhiabara is the place to see tomorrow’s technology” thing doesn’t exist (at least not anymore). My guess is it did, but the Internet has changed all that.

Sure, technically maybe some of those nice Sony Vaio laptops are the latest models, and are only available in Japan. But I saw then on the Internet already and if I really want one I could get it on eBay (like I did with my Sony Vaio).

Nevertheless, if you come to Tokyo and are a geek like me, then it’s worth checking out. What Akhiabara is good for is cheap unbranded peripherals (I got a nice optical mini laptop mouse for £3 and a 512MB USB drive for £10) and I guess it is the place to actually buy those “only available in Japan” laptops if you want to avoid having to pay import duties when you buy on eBay (of course, you would still declare your purchase at UK customs, right?).

The neon signs at night are amazing, too.

Tokyo Tower
Not quite as spectacular as the Shanghai tower (The Oriental Peral), but still worth a visit. Don’t bother visiting any of the sideshow amusement crap there like “hall of mirrors” and “wax works”.

Zojo-ji Temple
The Buddhist temple of Zojo-ji is located across the road from Tokyo Tower, and is an amazingly spiritual place. Sitting in the temple for a few minutes was very calming, and definitely worth visiting if you are into that kind of thing.

The food in Tokyo has been superb. Shibuya has a ton of restaurants, and we’ve eaten everything from Sushi and teppanyaki to noodle soup. I might write a post about food if I have time.

The food was better in Tokyo than in Shanghai – perhaps because they have so many more resturants than in Shanghai. Also the Japanese attention to hygeine doesn’t go unnoticed either!

Published in China & Japan


  1. Good to read Tokyo update. most fascinating thing to me is superb food of Tokyo. Ben did you like using sticks to eat food.

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