Alex Goes to Japan 2010

Posted by Alex

Right now I’m packing for my trip to Japan tomorrow. I will be in Tokyo for 10 days, exploring and adventuring around with a photographer friend. It will be my second time visiting Tokyo (I went by myself for two weeks in 2008). Since I’ve been before, my to-do list this time is quite different from the last; I plowed through about three guidebooks worth of tourist attractions last time. With this trip, I am going to try and stay off the beaten path and explore parts of Tokyo I either missed or hadn’t heard about yet.

I’ll also be focusing a lot more on my photography. I was shooting from the hip with my D40 two years ago (gallery) — this time I’ll take a little more care and consideration with my shots. I’ll be carting the MKII with me everywhere and will be posting periodic pictures and travel updates. My Twitter should also be fairly active with Tokyo related musings.

I’ll definitely be on the lookout for all sorts of design related artifcats and thingamabobs. If anyone has any Tokyo recommendations along these lines, I am all ears.

Related: Scott’s trip from 2008

16 Comments Leave A Comment


Chris says:

May 25, 2010 at 12:37 am

bring me back an anime body pillow.
since it’s baseball season, I recommend going to a game, the crowds are absolutely insane.


mg33 says:

May 25, 2010 at 8:40 am

Nice! I spent 12 days in Tokyo in 2006 and had an incredible time. Fortunately I had a friend living there, so I had a free place to stay as well as a good tour guide. So many photo opportunities there. I’d hoped to go back this year but it didn’t work out.


niels says:

May 25, 2010 at 9:33 am

Hey–have a fun trip! I actually worked on a video travel guide for Tokyo for iPhone called Tokyo Teleport…. Could be perfect for your trip! Write me if you want a promo code.


dan lipert says:

May 25, 2010 at 9:54 am

if you want to take in something a bit ancient, check out Nokogiriyama. Lots of Japanese go there but few foreigners do- its about an hour and a half away from Tokyo, 1000s of statues litter the mountain side, topped by a huge buddha. It’s also free if you walk up the mountain for about 45 minutes rather than take the lift, which I highly recommend. You will get to walk up steps that are centuries old and crumbling, while you get passed by Japanese octogenarians.

For more modern stuff, of course take the train to Odaiba and see what is happening on the island that day, also I really love going to Yokohama and checking out the bay side parks. A hidden treasure is an abandoned water park thats open to the public in Inage, near Chiba. It’s right next to the Chiba Marines baseball stadium, I think.


Martin says:

May 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Tokyo recommendations:
-Shimokitazawa area for urban culture.
-Nakameguro area for dinner and drinks.


David Blundell says:

May 26, 2010 at 8:50 am

You have to visit Tsukiji – Tokyo’s fish market. Its a totally unique experience
You need to get there early – like 6:00am , but well worth it
YOu can then have Sushi for b/fast


Jonathan Arena says:

May 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I would check out LaForet – museum and fashion house in Harajuku. Also there is Takao Mountain which would be a good place for taking pictures and exploring nature near tokyo.


Zach Miloff says:

May 27, 2010 at 5:35 am

It may not be design-related per se, but I would highly recommend the Thunder Dolphon roller coaster at LaQua before sunset (lines can be long, so get there early):

They won’t let you take your camera, but if you want an interesting view of Tokyo at 80MPH, it’s a hell of a ride.


Patrik says:

May 28, 2010 at 1:56 am

Martin and Tim gave you some great recommendations. Shimokitazawa is for sure a nice area to visit for urban culture and you should def catch the shinkansen to Kyoto. The temple Fushimi Inari, at the outside of Kyoto, is probably one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had, think about a whole forest with lots of paths like this ( If you go outside Tokyo and want to save money you should get a Japan Rail Pass, makes the trips a lot cheaper (I think it even works on all JR trains in Tokyo, not sure on this one though).

When I lived in Tokyo I went to Yokohama every now and then to catch my breath (by looking at your Flickr page it seems you’ve already been to Yokohama Landmark Tower right?). Even though the city is close to Tokyo (around 15-20 min by train) it has a completely different atmosphere, once I got there I usually went to Yokohama Ferry Terminal to get a great view of the city and/or to just watch the fantastic architecture of the terminal itself, go there when it’s darker to see the nice illumination.

… or just grab some lunch and go to Yoyogi Park during the weekend and you’ll def see lots of nice peple practicing whatever they want to practice. I can go on forever so I should stop here … have a great time!

PS. You should go to Uniqlo’s UT store in Harajuku for some nice t-shirt prints and to see one of the most good-looking store concepts there is.