Category Archives: Places of Interest in Tokyo

Place of interests in Tokyo for the tourist and not so tourist in you.

August is Ghost Month! The Scariest Places to Visit in Japan

In Eastern countries such as China and Japan, the month of August is one to celebrate. The “Hungry Ghost Festival” is known all around the world which is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. In celebration of ghosts, here are the most haunted places to visit in Japan.

1. Amidaji (Temple of Amida)

Located in Dan-no-ura in the Shimonoseki Strait, Amidaji is a legendary haunted place. A dead samurai is known to haunt the area. The story is quite famous and it has been adapted into a movie, Masaki Kobayashi’s film “Kwaidan.”

Amidaji

2. Aokigahara

Aokigahara is best known in Japan as the “Suicide Forest.” Located at the bottom of Mt Fuji, the area is frequently visited as a spot for suicide. This has caused a widespread belief that the place is haunted. In 2010, a record of 54 people were said to have committed suicide at Aokigahara.

Aokigahara-el-bosque-maldito

3. Hashima Island

Also known as Gunkanjima which translates to “Battleship Island”, Hashima is a 60,000 square meter cluster of concrete ruins off the coast of Nagasaki. It has been abandoned since 1974 when the coal mines on the island were shut down. The island was closed to visits until Hashima was re-opened to the public in 2009.

nagasaki-hashima

4. Himuro Mansion

The famous game “Fatal Frame” was allegedly based on the true events that conspired at the Himuro Mansion. According to legend, the mansion was a site of a brutal family murder and sacrifice. Onlookers claim to have seen bloody hand prints on the well, a wandering girl in a kimono and sprays of blood appearing out of nowhere.

himuro

5. Akasaka Mansion

Located in Tokyo, Akasaka is a well-known tourist spot. Tourists sleeping at the mansion claim to have been stroked on the face. Some have even been violently ripped from their beds.

akasaka-mansion

Japan PM Visits Meiji Shrine

Japan’s prime minister has visited Tokyo’s main Shinto shrine, which has strong imperial connections, in an apparent attempt to appeal to his right-wing supporters.

Shinzo Abe, who recently started his second stint as Japan’s leader, visited the Meiji shrine today, becoming the first premier to do so since his 2007 visit. The shrine commemorates Emperor Meiji, a symbol of Japan’s militarisation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Abe has said he hopes to visit the Yasukuni war shrine, which honours war criminals among others. His visit to the Meiji shrine could be a move to avoid angering China, which has expressed concerns about Abe’s rightist policies.

Japan’s World War II government used Shinto as an official religion to push militarism and waged war in the emperor’s name.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qah__tZhyPs&feature=plcp

Grand reopening rehearsal lights up Tokyo Station

Moving images of musical instruments, steam locomotives and other objects were projected onto the facade of Tokyo Station on Friday night as its grand reopening ceremony approaches on Oct. 1.

The light show was a rehearsal for a special 10-minute music and movie performance that will take place on Saturday and Sunday as the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building, as it is formally known, prepares to wrap up five years of restoration work.

The red-brick building, designated in 2003 as an important Cultural Property of Japan, was built in 1914 but partially damaged during air strikes in 1945. Restoration work began in 2007.

Read the rest of the story: Rehearsal for grand reopening lights up Tokyo Station.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKTwOH1AHO0&feature=player_embedded

Tokyo Tower shrinks with broken spire replacement

Tokyo Tower is standing a bit shorter than its listed 333-meter height because an antenna at the top is being replaced after being bent by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

According to Nippon Television City Corp., which manages the iconic landmark, the tip had been trimmed to about 315 meters by Monday after work to replace it began on July 10. But work to install the new antenna has added about 9 meters since, bringing it back up to about 324 meters as of Friday, an NTC spokeswoman told The Japan Times.

“It is the first time that the tower has been shorter than 333 meters” since its grand opening in 1958, she said. The tower will be returned to its original height by late August.

Tokyo Tower served as a broadcast tower for NHK and other TV stations until analog TV broadcasts ceased with the conversion to digital signals. Since the wobbling caused by the March 11 quake bent the antenna, NTC had to reinforce the damaged segment until it could be repaired. Nevertheless, the spokeswoman said its replacement was inevitable since all TV broadcasts have shifted from analog to digital. Despite the replacement work, the tower’s observatories and facilities are functioning as usual, she added.

Read the rest of the story: Tokyo Tower shrinks as quake-bent spire is replaced.

Locals worried by ice and snow falling from Tokyo Sky Tree Tower

The builders of Tokyo Sky Tree have announced some of the technologies that have been installed to deal with the winter weather, after it was confirmed that chunks of snow and ice had fallen from the upper portion of the structure to the street below between January and March this year.

Read the rest of the story: Locals worried by ice, snow falling from Tokyo Sky Tree ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=s13xfaWWadA

Nile Perch Creating the Fairy Kei & Pastel-Lovers Paradise in Harajuku

Nile Perch hasn’t always been a leading name in Japanese Fairy-kei fashion. More than 25 years ago it was a simple polo-shirt brand with a fish logo (the Nile Perch) inspired by Lacoste’s famous crocodile insignia. It’s the longevity and growth of Nile Perch which makes it different from other Fairy-kei labels such as 6%DokiDoki and the Tavuchi-led Spank!!!, Monascas Banana, and Ticket to Darling.

If we go even deeper into Fairy-kei, which has been a movement or scene in Tokyo for years now, we can see that there is no such thing as a unified Fairy-kei but multiple mini-scenes which make up Fairy-kei culture. 6%DokiDoki opts for vibrancy in colors and theme, Spank goes for second-hand pop and rock inspired 80s kitsch, and Nile Perch is a proponent of softer, kinder colors such as pinks and pastels. They might look similar to outsiders, but within the Fairy-kei community these brands are as different as Gucci and Takuya Angel.

Read the rest of the story: Nile Perch – Fairy Kei & Pastel-Lovers Paradise in Harajuku.

Japan eager for panda arrival from China

Japan is rolling out a red carpet ahead of the arrival of much-awaited special guests from China: a pair of giant pandas.

The two 5-year-old pandas are due to arrive at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo on Monday. They’ll be the zoo’s first since the 2008 death of its beloved giant panda Ling Ling.

The Ueno area was filled with panda themes Sunday. Streets were decorated with banners carrying panda cartoons, and shops were selling novelty goods.

"The pandas are finally coming to town," said beaming Masahiro Kayano, a jewelry store owner in Ueno. "We are so excited."

The zoo’s first pair of pandas arrived in 1972, marking the signing of a peace treaty between Japan and China.

Expectations are running high for the new set of pandas to boost Tokyo’s economy and its troubled relations with Beijing.

Read the rest of the story: Japan eagerly awaits pandas arriving from China.

Harajuku – Where trends draw the crowd

For several decades, the trendy Harajuku district in central Tokyo has been a magnet for young people seeking the latest fashion trends and also for those who want to express their own style.

From imported luxury brands to "fast fashion," tiny individual stores offers shoppers and browsers a huge range of fashion goods, turning the area into Japan’s fashion mecca.

Following are some basic questions and answers about Harajuku.

Where is Harajuku?

The area is in Shibuya Ward and can be reached by train or subway. It is actually hard to identify the boundaries of Harajuku because the name itself has not been used for addresses since 1965.

In general, many people tend to view the intersection of Meiji-dori and Omotesando avenues as Harajuku central. Those places are located between Jingumae 1-chome and 6-chome.

Read the rest of the story: Trendy Harajuku draws crowds.

Pandas to arrive to Ueno Zoo in February

A pair of giant pandas to be leased from China will arrive at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo in February, sources said Saturday.

The giant pandas will be the zoo’s first since Ling-Ling, a male panda, died in April 2008, and follows a deal between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and China to borrow the popular animals for 10 years.

One of the pandas is a male named Bili, and the other is a female called Xiannu.

Read the rest of the story: Ueno Zoo to get pandas in February.