Home Things To Do
Category

Things To Do

The Public Six Tokyo 12

The Public Six 1

Finished with work and looking for a place to wind down in the evening?  Tired of the usual izakaya?  Why not experience one of Tokyo’s newest Japanese-style gastropub/sports bars? Check out THE PUBLIC SIX in Roppongi.

The Public Six Roppongi 2

THE PUBLIC SIX pride themselves as the perfect international gastropub and sports bar experience. It is the perfect spot to meet with friends any night of the week for a beer and a plate.

The Public Six Tokyo 3

The Public Six Tokyo 4

The Public Six Tokyo 5

And what plates they are! Nearly every item in their English menus are pub classics made fresh. BEHOLD!

Food at THE PUBLIC SIX

The Public Six Tokyo 6

You CANNOT have a pub without Fish and Chips.  THE PUBLIC SIX uses Pacific cod fried to golden perfection. It is accompanied by a house-made tartar sauce that will leave your mouth watering, waiting for that second bite. (¥1200)

The Tokyo Public Six 7

Looking for something “greener”?  Their Grilled Caesar Salad is made from fresh Romaine lettuce from Nagano. (¥1200)

The Public Six Tokyo 8

Our recommendation would have to be the Grilled Roll Steak.  This delectable item is made from a ribeye steak from the U.S. and is served with an Awajishima onion sauce. (¥2600)

The Tokyo Public Six 9

And for dessert, a French classic is available… with a Japanese twist.  The Roasted Green Tea Crème Brulee is a sweet treat well worth the trip. (¥600)

Can’t decide what to eat?  Try out a “Public Course” and taste a number of items!  There are two options for the Public Courses: For 2,000¥ you can get the Casual Course a.k.a. the “PUB 4” and try a set four items.  Want to go for even more food?  The Premium Course, a.k.a the “GASTRO 7,” is ¥4,000 and is essentially a 7 course meal!

Craft Beer at THE PUBLIC SIX

The most essential item on any pub or bar menu is the beer, and THE PUBLIC SIX does not disappoint.

The Public Six Tokyo 10

The Public Six offers six Japanese craft beers all on tap, each different from the others.  Their selection includes golden and white ales, a lager, an IPA, a stout, and a fruit beer.

The Public Six Tokyo 11

And if beer isn’t your thing, THE PUBLIC SIX also has a wide assortment of other selections, including nihonshu and sochu.

They even offer a Nomihoudai (all you can drink) that you can add onto either of the Public Courses!  Two hours for ¥2000, and for ¥3000 you can try all their craft beers and their nihonshu and sochu!

Cigars at THE PUBLIC SIX

So you’ve had your fish and chips and you’ve had your fill on the great food and the craft beer, what could you use to end your great night out?  How about finishing it off with a classy smoke?

The Public Six Tokyo 12

THE PUBLIC SIX has ten different cigars available for purchase.  Their handy Cigar Menu rates how strong each one is and how long it takes to smoke through one.  Don’t want to be caught halfway through a 3,500¥ Cohiba Robustos when you have to be somewhere in an hour, right?

The Public Six Tokyo 12

Not that you’re going to want to leave anytime soon. With good food, great beer, and an after-meal cigar, THE PUBLIC SIX is going to be your new favorite after-work hangout!

THE PUBLIC SIX – Gastro Pub and Sports Bar

Website (Japanese)| Facebook (English)

Nearest Station: 4-minute walk from Roppongi Station (click on the map for directions)

Hours of Operation:  Mon-Sat 5pm to 5am (last order 4am); Sun & Public holiday 5pm to 3am (last order 2am)

“Why Go?”: Tasty food, craft beer, and a fine cigar makes for a fine meal. Get to The Public Six and get yours!

November 1, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest

Tokyo is a crowded metropolitan city. People are busy with sightseeing, business trips, or educational exchanges. Sometimes, those activities can stress you out. Are you looking for a place that can provide internal peace into your heart? While visiting Tokyo, you may have a hard time finding a place to worship and practice your religion. To help, we have compiled a listing of Tokyo religious services. If you would like your congregation included, please email us at info@enablejapan.com and we will add you to our listing.

Tokyo Religious Services Listings

Christianity

Catholicism

To Catholic, mass and confession are a part of their discipleship lives. Mass is a similitude of the sacrifice of Christ. Through this ceremony, they express their gratitude to the Lord. Confession is a way for Catholics to repent and reconcile with their God. You might not be able to attend Church at a certain day, but the church here in Tokyo provides daily mass. When I visited the hall, I felt calm because I could cast my temporal cares aside. My dear Catholic friends, if you are looking for peace (even you are not a Catholics or believers) in a metropolitan city, go to one of the Churches. I want to give you four churches with their worship schedule in here.

Roppongi Franciscan Chapel

Roppongi Franciscan Chapel

Address: 4-2-37 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032 Japan

English Mass:

Weekdays: 8am; Wednesdays has additional service at 6:30 pm

First Fridays 6:30 pm

Saturdays: 8am, 6pm

Sundays: 8 am, 10:15 am, 12 pm, 6 pm

Confessions: Saturdays  4:30 to 5:30 pm. Also by appointment. Available in English and Japanese.Tokyo Religious Services Franciscan 2

St. Ignatius Church

St. Ignatius Church

Address: Koujimachi, Chiyoda-ku 6-5-1, Tokyo 102-0083 Japan

Sunday Mass:

English: 12pm, Main Chapel

Spanish: 1:30 pm, Main Chapel

Indonesian: 4pm, St.Francis Xavier’s Chapel

Portuguese: 12:30 pm, St. Mary’s Chapel (Only 1st. Sundays)

Vietnamese: 3pm, Main Chapel (Only 1st. Sundays)

Polish: 4pm, St.Mary’s Chapel (Only 1st. Sundays)

Tokyo Union Church

Tokyo Union Church

Address: 5-7-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150-0001

Sunday Services: 8:30 am and 11 am

Meguro Catholic Church

Meguro Catholic Church

Address: 4-6-22 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0021

Mass Schedule:

Weekday Mass: 7:30 am

Sunday Mass: 12 nn

Protestant

Tokyo Baptist Church (Shibuya Branch)

Tokyo Baptist Church

Protestant is another popular religion in the world. They partake in sacrament to remember Jesus and his infinite sacrifice for all mankind. Protestants enjoy the association or fellowship with others. They call each other brothers and sisters because they believe that all people are God’s children. Individuals worship and sing hymns together. They unite with others through services and meals. When you visit Tokyo and don’t want to miss a Church service, here are the addresses.

Address: Hachiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku 9-2 Tokyo 150-0035 Japan

Services: Saturdays: 7pm, Sundays: 9am, 11am, 1:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Wesleyan Holiness Yodobashi (site is Google-translated)

Wesleyan Holiness Yodobashi

Address: Shinjuku-ku, Hyakunincho 1-17-8, Tokyo 169-0073 Japan

Services:

English worship (English Service): Sunday 1:30 pm

Korean worship: Sunday 1:30 pm

Chinese worship: Sunday 3:30 pm

LDS Church (Mormon)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS Church (Mormon is the nickname given by others), is a burgeoning Christian group throughout the world. They believe that God has restored His Church through His prophet, Joseph Smith, in the 19th century. Joseph recorded that he saw God the Father and Son, and they spoke to him. Currently, there are 100,000 LDS members in Japan and three chapels in Tokyo. Normally, they only have church services on Sunday. However, they sometimes have some special events on Saturday, such as general conference broadcast twice a year. They believe that the prophet and apostles of God will receive revelations from God and speak to them during general conference.

Tokyo 1st Ward

LDS Church (Mormon) LDS Church (Mormon) 2

Address: 5-8-8 Minami-Azabu MINATO, Japan

Sunday Service: 10 am (Sacrament First)

Tokyo 2nd Ward

LDS Church (Mormon) 3

Address: 2-25-11 Minami-senzoku, Ota-ku 145-0063 Japan

Sunday Service: 9 am (Sacrament First)

You might see some young men wearing a suit or tie with a name-tag. They are full-time volunteers for two years who sometimes approach you and teach you about Jesus. When you see them on the street, you can ask them any questions. But you might ask, “What makes this Church so special?” They believe that there are living prophets and apostles today, and people can still receive revelations from God today. I am sure that they are more than happy to answer all of your questions. Want to learn Japanese or English for free? They can help you as well.

LDS Church (Mormon) 4

Judaism

Jewish Community of Japan

Jewish Community of Japan

Members of the Jewish faith has their worship services on Friday evening and Saturday morning (they call it Shabbat services). They welcome all people, male and female, to join their worship. After the services, they provide a kosher meal. In order to take the meal and socialize, you must make a reservation on Thursday. However, you don’t have to join the meal. You can simply participate the worship with them.

If you want to visit the synagogue in Tokyo during weekdays, you must make a reservation a week prior to your visit by sending them an email.

Address: Shibuya-ku, Hiroo 8-8-3 Tokyo

Friday Evening Services: Egalitarian Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv service at 18:30.

Saturday Services: Egalitarian Shachrit service at 9:30.

Islam

Islam is one of the major religion groups in the world. There are at least seven mosques in Tokyo. Muslims need to offer prayer five times a day. When they pray, they put their work aside and go to mosques for their worship. They wash their revealed limbs for purification. If you are looking for a mosque to offer your devotion, I can provide two locations for you.

Japan Islamic Trust

Japan Islamic Trust

Address: Minami Otsuka, Toshima-ku 3-42-7, Tokyo 170-0005 Japan

Open: 5am – 10pm (prayer schedule on the website)

As-Salaam Foundation

As-Salaam Foundation

Address: Taito, Taito-ku 4-6-7 Tokyo 110-0016 Japan

Prayer Schedule can be found on the website

If you are not a believer of Islam, that’s fine. There are a lot of noble and kind Muslims who are more than happy to provide a tour for you. They want to share their culture and hospitality with you. When I visited Japan Islamic Trust, I was able to have some snacks with my new Muslim friend and have a glance of Islam world.

Japan Islamic Trust 2

Thus, when you are looking for a different experience in Tokyo, you should come and visit one of the mosques.

I know what is you concern. You worry about language barriers. All of the religious groups from above offer English services to the visitors. Hence, you can add a trip to the religious service of your choice while you are in Tokyo. Come to worship and meet new friends!

October 27, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
yamato noodle school 2

yamato noodle school 1

We don’t even have to ask- we know you love ramen. The ramen craze has expanded all over the globe, and ramen shops can be found just about everywhere. And Yamato Noodle School is one of the institutions that teaches students how to make ramen like professionals and prepares people to open their own ramen shops.

yamato noodle school 2

We here at EnableJapan.com had the opportunity to sit down with Kaoru Fujii, the founder and owner of Yamato Noodle School. He was able to give us some background on his school, and some tips on how to succeed in the ramen business. “We started as an udon school in 2000 and started a ramen program in 2003. We have school here twice a month here at the Tokyo office, and at the main headquarters in Kagawa. In 2005, we started a ramen school in Singapore.”

Where do the students at the Tokyo branch come from? “Mainly here in Tokyo. Other students come from inside Japan, but sometimes they come from the United States, or Canada, or from all over the world. So we decided to start the ramen school in Singapore because of many foreign students. Most Japanese people cannot speak English at all, but in Singapore everybody speaks English. In Singapore, there are many different types of ramen. So for the first day of class, we take the students to the ramen district, and we show the many different types of ramen at once. Then we ask them what types of ramen they want to make, so they can easily try many different types of ramen.”

yamato noodle school 3

If you are not a Japanese speaker, Yamato Noodle School in Singapore might be a better fit for you. “We have classes in Japan and Singapore. In Singapore we teach in English. But In Japan, we teach only in Japanese. So students in Tokyo must pay for interpreters. In Singapore, they don’t need an interpreter.” Although we visited the Japan branch of this school, EnableJapan.com recommends that our readers visit the Singapore branch rather than the Japan branch, so you won’t have to pay for an interpreter (which can be upwards of 40,000 yen [USD$400] per day).

What makes Yamato Noodle School different than other ramen schools in Japan? It’s what Mr. Fujii calls “digital cooking” method, or cooking with numbers. “Students] can study by our digital cooking. French or Italian chefs do not use digital cooking when they cook. They cook by sense or by inspiration. Because we teach students digital cooking, they can easily understand how to make very complicated recipes of ramen.” Yamato Noodle School teaches its students to follow very precise recipes, so that even the most difficult of recipes can be perfectly executed. Every drop of soup base is calculated for a specific taste–guessing is not an option here. This “digital cooking” is what sets Yamato’s students apart from the rest.

yamato noodle school 4

Yamato Noodle School not only teaches how to make ramen, but also how to manage a ramen restaurant. “We teach not only how to make very tasty ramen, we also teach the management. The management is more important to succeed in this business.” Yamato Noodle School graduates are more successful than regular ramen shop owners, and has the numbers to prove it. On average, 70% of ramen shops close after 3 years, and 40% close after one year. For ramen shop owners who attended Yamato Noodle School and use their machines in their shops, only 6.6% of shops close after 3 years, and 0% close after one year. “Many of our graduates have become very famous. Not only in Japan, but students have succeeded in other countries. One-third of our students open their own ramen restaurant. This school teaches you whether or not the ramen business is suitable for you. Students can find out during our five or seven day courses if this is a good business for them or not.”

According to Mr. Fujii, what makes Yamato Noodle School special is the instructor’s knowledge of the cuisine of other countries. “We teach how to make the ramen that students want. So if they want to make ramen for customers in Switzerland, they can. I understand the food in Switzerland, and the taste of food in Switzerland too. We teach about everywhere they might open their restaurants.” No matter where you come from in the world, Yamato knows how to make ramen that will be successful in your country.

yamato noodle school 6

We also had the opportunity to sit down with Oliver, a student at Yamato Noodle School, from Switzerland. He wanted to learn the basics of ramen. He’s a chef, but as much as he tried, he couldn’t make the bowl of ramen he would like to eat. After graduation, he plans to open a ramen shop by next year. Although there are a few ramen shops in Switzerland, he says only few really get the ramen right. Oliver likes the atmosphere of this school- in the morning, they even stretch together. “There are really friendly staff working here, everyone is doing a really great job, and I am learning a lot. It’s amazing… how much you get taught here. It’s a great team. It’s just seven days, but after that, I’m sure you’re good to go.”

yamato noodle school 7

Yamato Noodle School is also famous for their noodle machines. “In Japan, ramen was introduced from China 100 years ago. After being introduced to Japan from China, this ramen was mixed with Japanese soba noodles, so Japanese ramen is a mix of Japanese soba and Chinese ramen. Our Japanese ramen went out all over the world because ramen noodles are made by machine. To make ramen by hand, you need ramen specialists. But it is very easy to make ramen by machine. Also, the taste is very stable when made by a machine. No matter where it’s made, it will taste the same” These ramen machines that Yamato sells are extremely beneficial when running your own ramen business. Making your own noodles in your restaurant increases your profit, increases noodle freshness, and gives a greater variety of the types of noodles you can sell.

yamato noodle school 5

Each course of instruction at the Yamato Noodle School costs about $4000. However, according to Mr. Fujii, “This price is very cheap, because in Japan, there are many famous ramen restaurants. If somebody wants to ask the famous restaurants’ owners how to make ramen, they will teach you, but for ¥5,000,000 (USD$50,000). The owner can only teach one type of ramen soup, but we teach every type of ramen soup that the student wants to learn.” So although the price might seem steep now, if you want to go into the business of ramen making, this is the place to learn the most types of ramen for the lowest price. In Japan, the course is only 7 days, and in Singapore is only 5 days. “Our students usually come from all over the world, and they want to learn ramen making and the ramen business. But one year or one month is too long, because they are very busy. In one week or five days, they can be professional. It is more convenient for everybody.”

yamato noodle school 8

So what does a typical class day at the Yamato Noodle School look like? “When students come to class in the morning, first we explain about the mindset. The mindset is the most important thing in order to understand the management and how to cook ramen. This ramen business is a very hard business because there is very strong competition in Japan and all over the world. They must never give up. I teach them to never, never give up every time.”

When asked if he has any last words for EnAble Japan readers, he said, “The noodle business is becoming more popular because noodles are very easy to eat. They are easy to digest compared to bread or rice. In Japan or other countries, the noodle business is spreading, becoming bigger and bigger. If people have an interest in this business, this is a very good opportunity to succeed.”

yamato noodle school 9

So if you want to open your own ramen shop, come to Yamato Noodle School (in Japan or Singapore). And in the words of Mr. Fujii, “never, never give up.”

Yamato Noodle School also sells how-to books for making ramen. You can find them online here.

Yamato Noodle School Location Information

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Contact Yamato Noodle School | Yamato Noodle School in Singapore

Nearest Station: 6-minute walk from Kitashinagawa Station (Keikyu Main Line) (click on the Google Map for directions)

“Why Go?”: To become a master ramen chef, of course!

Click on one of the links below to explore other travel options in Tokyo–

October 24, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Sushi Academy Shinjuku 1

Sushi Academy Shinjuku 1

Have you ever wondered how to make sushi? Of course you have! You’re traveling to Japan, after all. At the Tokyo Sushi Academy, students are taught how to master the art of sushi making, so they can take their knowledge and bring it back to their home countries.

EnAbleJapan.com was lucky to have the opportunity to sit down and interview Ms. Sachiko Goto, the principal of the Tokyo Sushi Academy. We also had the opportunity to talk to a student at this school, Teddy, who owns Maki & Ramen Sushi Bar in Edinburgh, Scotland. “I want to improve my sushi by learning about authentic sushi to bring back to Scotland,” he told us. To learn more about this unique school, watch our video below!

Sushi is popular all over the world, and sushi chefs are always in demand. The Tokyo Sushi Academy began operation in 2002, and since then over 4,000 people have graduated from their program, with 300 graduating every year. According to Principal Goto, students come to the school to learn “a very traditional style [of sushi], but most of the students graduate and go abroad to work.” Therefore, they must also learn to make modern-style sushi, such as sushi rolls. “We teach 70% traditional style, and 30% modern style,” she says.

While most sushi chefs enter the industry by just watching and copying other sushi chefs, students of the Tokyo Sushi Academy will enter the workforce with professional training, guaranteed to give them the upper hand. That is why aspiring sushi professionals come to Tokyo Sushi Academy; what better place to study sushi-making than in the birthplace of sushi? All of Tokyo Sushi Academy’s instructors are Japanese professional sushi chefs. “They were all skilled sushi chefs before, with more than 50 years experience,” says Principal Goto. You can find a list of instructors and their credentials here.

Tokyo Sushi Academy is also the only sushi school in Japan that offers instruction in English. 80% of students are Japanese, and the remaining 20% are from all over the world. But not to worry–students do not need to master Japanese in order to learn here. Interpreters work closely with students to translate the class from Japanese to English, so students are not left behind.

Tokyo Sushi Academy Curriculum

An old Japanese saying is that to master sushi, you need “three years in rice cooking, eight years in sushi-making.” Tokyo Sushi Academy understands that you probably don’t have that kind of time. “It takes a very long time to be a sushi chef, and our school is the first in Japan to teach sushi chef skills and to shorten the training time,” Principal Goto explains. All their courses are intensive, so that students can master the necessary skills in a short period of time.

We asked Principal Goto about a typical day of class for the students. “In the morning, students will come to the classroom and prepare fish,”  she says. “One day, salmon, another day, tuna, and another day, scallop or mackerel. Every day they will try different types of fish preparation. After they are prepared, they learn how to slice sashimi into sushi. In the afternoons, they learn roll sushi-making and nigiri sushi-making.”

Sushi Academy Shinjuku 2

Does this sound good to you? Well the Tokyo Sushi Academy is always looking for students! Here’s the courses that the school offers–

Sushi Private Lessons for Pros are available for the sushi professional on a tighter schedule, and can be organized to suit the needs of the student. The class content can also be tailored to what you would like to learn. Two days of lessons (3 hours a day) typically costs ¥80,000, but price varies based on the lesson subject matter. For more information on this class, click here.

The Private Lesson for Fun is great for the non-professionals who are only in Japan for a short time (such as tourists) and want to learn about sushi preparation. You don’t have to be a chef to take this course; you don’t even have to be good at cooking! Tokyo Sushi Academy can organize the lesson’s time and content to suit your needs, and you will be taught by their experienced sushi chefs. The price for this one-day, three-hour lesson is ¥40,000, but the amount varies based on the lesson subject matter. For more information, click here. This course is also for people who are considering the 1-year course, but want “a trial course” to get a feel for how the school is run.

Once a student finishes one of the main courses of instruction (with the exception of the Private Lesson for Fun), you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Sounds Great, But Where Am I Going To Live?

Of course, finding a place to stay in Tokyo for 10 days or 8 weeks or a year can be a task unto itself. The Tokyo Sushi Academy can help you find a place, but scheduling it and paying for it is up to the individual students. See their information page on accommodations for details.

The Tokyo Sushi Academy of Singapore

Tokyo Sushi Academy also has a branch in Singapore. To find out more, click here.

Tokyo Sushi Academy Shinjuku Information

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Telephone: 81-3-3362-1755

Nearest Station: 1-minute walk from Nishi-Shinjuku Station (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

“Why Go?”: It’s the first step on your journey to become the greatest sushi chef in the world!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other travel options in Tokyo–

October 13, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Buddha Kamakura

Need to get out of the city for awhile? If you don’t mind an hour on the train, one of the best short trips from Tokyo is to the city of Kamakura in Kanagawa prefecture. With several temples and shrines, a beautiful beach, and a shopping district specializing in Japanese sweets, you’re sure to find a relaxing way to spend your day.

Buddha Kamakura shopping

Directly outside of Kamakura train station is the Komachi Street shopping district. Although there are some big names, most of the stores here are of the mom-and-pop variety. Traditional Japanese candy, handmade umbrellas, toys, and Buddhist iconography make for interesting souvenirs or small gifts to send back home.

One of the greatest things about Komachi is that it is mostly a mom and pop district, with no big chain stores making shopping here superfluous.  whether you are looking for interesting souvenirs or just some small gifts to send back home Komachi has you covered.  Be it traditional Japanese candy, handmade umbrellas, traditional toys for the kids, or perhaps you are looking for a crystal carving of Buddha you are sure to find it there.

Temple Kamakura

After walking through Komachi Street, you can visit the Tsurugaoka Hachimangū Shinto shrine.  Founded in 1063, Tsurugaoka Hachimangū has a long political and religious history, which you can learn about by visiting the museum on the grounds of the main shrine. Visitors can learn the details of the assassination of Minamoto no Sanetomo and the 1868 Shinto and Buddhism Separation Order while viewing a variety of historical artifacts.

Buddha Kamakura

One of the biggest tourist attractions in the city is the Kamakura Daibutsu, the Buddha of Kamakura. Located on the grounds of the Kotoku-In temple, the 13-meter tall bronze statue of the Amida Buddha is the second biggest statue of the Buddha in Japan. For a 200 yen entrance fee, you can be visit the Kamakura Daibutsu from 8:00 to 17:30 any day of the year.

rickshaw-1Kamakurarickshaw-2 Kamakura

If you are really interested in seeing everything Kamakura has to offer, do yourself a favor and use a rickshaw.  Kamakura is rather large, and having to walk from shrine to shrine is a daunting task, so why not let someone else do the walking for you?  Rickshaw are easy to find on Komachi St.–just keep your eye out for a man in a straw hat and bicycle shorts.  A rickshaw can take you anyplace you want to go, and all of the drivers know the best spots to go see.

Kamakura Beach

And finally there is Kamakura Beach, a nice little patch of sand on the coast.  The beach itself is worth the trip, as it is a popular getaway from the cities and is a popular destination for windsurfing. Or you can go for a walk along the beach at sunset to cap off a perfect day’s getaway from the busy city.

Kamakura Day Trip Information

Tourism Website

Nearest Station: Kamakura Station

 

 

Click on one of the links below to explore other day trip and getaway options in Tokyo–

October 3, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest

Lock-Up Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Any time of the year is Halloween at the Lock-Up Shibuya! Located 2 floors under the street, the Lock-Up is a novelty horror dining experience in Tokyo. To enter the restaurant, you have to walk through a dark hall full of jump-scares. If you can survive that, then you can survive the rest of the restaurant. We promise. And Voyagin can promise to get you a reservation for the scariest dining experience in Tokyo!

The rest of the restaurant is themed as a haunted prison. The moment you step inside, you will be handcuffed and brought to your table. You have to slide a barred door to enter your dimly lit cell, where you will be eating. Servers are dressed up as prisoners and the hosts are dressed like cops.

Lock-Up Shibuya Tokyo Japan

Once every few minutes, a show starts. Creepy monsters will reach through the cell windows; you can recoil in fear if you wish, but you can also high-five them. They will also come into your cell to scare you. One of the monsters who visited us had a fake chainsaw, and all had freaky masks. They will try to scare you, but don’t be fooled. I made a heart with my hands to one of the monsters and he did it back. One tried to scare me by getting super close to my face, and I pretended to kiss his mask.

After a few minutes of terror, cops came and killed all the monsters, and I was pretty sad that they had to leave. One monster climbed over the wall of our cell and dropped to the floor and died dramatically. Overall, it was a lot of fun!

During our prison excursion, we ordered both food and drinks, which are reflective of the restaurant’s theme. They have chicken shaped like a claw and desserts with a fake eyeballs. We tried some hot dogs with faces, because food is better when it can look on in terror as it is being devoured.

Lock-Up Shibuya Tokyo Japan

I would only recommend coming to the Lock-Up if you enjoy scary attractions. If you are super jumpy and easily frightened, it  would be better to steer clear. But seeing as The Lock-Up is one of Tokyo’s most prominent themed restaurants, we encourage you to visit! And there is no truth at all to the rumors that some diners never escape…

The Lock-Up Shibuya Location Information

Website (via Google Translate) | Facebook (Japanese only) | Twitter (Japanese only)

Nearest Station: 7 minute walk from Shibuya Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Monday-Friday 5:00 pm – 1:00 am, Saturdays 5:00 pm- 5:00 am, Sundays 5:00pm- 12:00am

Estimated Price: There is a ¥525 cover charge per person. Drinks range from ¥500-800, and food ranges from ¥700-1200. Make a reservation through Voyagin!

“Why Go?”: If you like a good scare with your meal, this is the place!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other dining and themed attraction options in Tokyo–

July 28, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo

When I heard that I was going to Kawaii Monster Café, I had no idea what to expect. However, stepping inside was leagues beyond what I anticipated; this place is insane. Harajuku is known for its wacky and colorful fashions, and this café embodies everything Harajuku stands for (and more). Walking through the restaurant solicited reactions like, “this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” to, “this is so weird and I’m uncomfortable.”

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 11

The weird starts at the café entrance, which is a monster’s mouth (named “Mr. Ten Thousand Chopsticks” or “Mr. Choppy’s”). The restaurant itself? Legend has it that it exists in his stomach. But wait, it gets weirder!

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

After you walk inside Mr. Choppy’s mouth, you see the Sweets-Go-Round. It’s a giant rainbow carousel with different objects, with animals that look like they are made out of melting candy. The whole ceiling is covered with broken mirror pieces, and flashing lights and pop music add to the wild atmosphere of the place.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 12

There are four different seating areas of the café. The Mushroom Disco has tables under giant poisonous mushrooms and extraterrestrial plants. Hidden behind the Mushroom Disco is a secret room, decorated with red lips, called the “Secret Area for Talkative Ladies.”What do they talk about? Well, you have to go there to find out…

 Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 14

The show is held right in front of this area. The next area is called the Milk Stand, which is themed like a wacky baby’s room. Milk bottles hang from the ceiling, and giant animal heads drink from these bottles over the tables. This area of the restaurant really made me think, “This is either the strangest thing ever, or the most Japanese thing ever.”

The Mel-Tea Room is next. In here, the walls look like pastel chocolate and giant ice cream cones are dripping down from the ceiling. Giant macaroons are stacked up against the walls (along with giant ants going after these sweets). Right next to the Mel-Tea Room is the “Experiment” Bar, for adults only. The bar is lit up by a huge jellyfish hanging over the counter. There is also a secret VIP room with a pink cat theme.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Monster girls run around the café and put on shows. They have colorful hair and weird outfits- the monster girl I met had purple hair and a bracelet made out of baby shoes. The food in Kawaii Monster Café is just as bonkers as the rest of the place. It’s all rainbow; no matter what you order, you’re guaranteed to get a good picture for your Instagram. They claim that the coloring for their food is healthy and natural. Some popular menu items are rainbow pasta with “paint” dip, and the “colorful poison parfait extreme,” which is a giant rainbow parfait.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 13

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

The restaurant is non-smoking, but does have a smoking area for you to duck into. There is an English menu, and most of the workers and some of the monster girls can speak English. It is possible to reserve parts of the restaurant in advance for parties (which would be necessary if you have a large group, because there are 193 seats in total). Reservations can be made via Facebook Messenger or through this Voyagin link.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 15

In short, this place looks like Tim Burton’s fantasy, if Tim Burton were a kawaii Japanese schoolgirl. I know I am definitely coming back, and bringing everyone I know with me. Kawaii Monster Café perfectly captures what Harajuku is about: the weird fashions, the bright colors, the over-the-top atmosphere, and even the slight creepiness of it all. So if you find yourself in Harajuku, definitely go to Kawaii Monster Café for the strangest and most fun meal you’ll ever have.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Location Information

Website ||| Facebook (Japanese only) ||| Twitter (Japanese only) ||| Instagram

Make a Reservation!

Nearest Station: 5 minute walk from JR Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line (click on the Google Map for directions)

 Hours of Operation: Weekdays and Saturdays 11:30 am- 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm. Sundays and holidays 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. If it is crowded, there is a time limit of 90 minutes on your stay (or 2 hours for dinner).

Showtimes: Lunch shows are weekdays 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, weekends 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm , and 3:30 pm. Dinner shows are only on Fridays and Saturdays, at 6:45 pm. Another event called “Pink Fat Cat with Yuka” is on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:55 pm and 8:45pm.

Estimated Price: There is an entrance fee of ¥500 for each person, and the average fee per person is ¥2500. Kawaii Monster Café takes VISA, UC, DC, UFJ, AMEX, JCB, and SAISON credit cards. Kawaii Monster Cafés also sells 13 different souvenirs, so be sure to pick up a totally sweet “Kawaii Monster Café” T-shirt! If you visit often, you can earn a Monster Card–the more you return, the more your rank will increase. Customers with high rankings get special privileges!

“Why Go?”: Scroll up and look at the pictures. Do you mean to tell me you are willing to go through life without seeing all of that in person?!?!?

July 26, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Mount Fuji 8

Mount Fuji 1

Climbing Mountain Fuji is a dream for mountain climbers and visitors alike. You can climb all the way up to the summit and watch the sunrise beside the spectacular caldera. What an amazing life experience! Here, I am going to tell you my story about climbing Mt. Fuji and let you in on all of the things you need to know before departure. So get ready with me! Here is all of the essential information to consider before your departure. So when you’re ready, double check your backpacks and head to the 5th station!

Why Should I Go?

Mount Fuji 13

Fuji-san is 3776 meters tall and it is the highest mountain in Japan. On clear days, Mount Fuji can be seen from as far away as Tokyo, Yokohama and Hakone. If you are visiting Tokyo at the right time of the year, there is no reason not to check out this breathtaking natural masterpiece. It does not matter whether you have determined to climb all the up to the summit, or just want to appreciate from a far view, or even chill around the lower levels, these are all amazing stories you can share with your families and friends.

When Is The Best Time to Climb Mount Fuji?

Mount Fuji 4

The official climbing season for Mount Fuji is from early July to mid September. During this period all the facilities and services are open, the weather is suitable for climbing, and the trails free of snow.

Different trails have different opening dates. It is highly recommended to climb during official season for your own safety. Below are the opening times for all trails in 2016:

  • Yoshida Trail: July 1 to September 10 (The descending trail will remain open until September 11 morning)
  • Subashiri, Gotemba, Fujinomiya Trails and Ohachi-Meguri Trail (The trail of crater rim): July 10 to September 10

I choose the Yoshida trail because it is the most popular and is accessible to new climbers. Most people start to climb from Subaru line 5th station, easily commute from Kawaguchiko (Fuji Five Lake Region). The ascent from 5th station to the summit will take approximately 5-7 hours, and the descent trail  (a separate trail), is another 3-5 hours.

Many mountain huts line the Yoshida trail around 7th and 8th stations. Here you can get food, water, rest, or even an overnight stay (reservation required; average charges for mountain huts are 5300 yen without meal and 7400 yen with two meals). Prices getting higher as the altitude increases; if you forgot to bring it with you, make sure to buy it early!

I chose to start my journey in early July, when the weather is clear and the trails less crowded. August can get very crowded, as the school term over and the traveling season starts. During these times, you may even need to wait in the line to get through some of the more narrow paths.

Now I Want To Climb! How Do I Get To Mount Fuji?

Mount Fuji 2

Mount Fuji is located to the west of Tokyo on the main island Honshu, between Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures. There are couple of options to get there and I choose to go with the easiest and cheapest way – highway express bus! I purchased the round trip tickets from this site, which cost 3500 yen from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko (1750yen/way). It runs regularly from 6 am to 11 pm, please check the timetable. Tickets sell out fast during climbing season, so please purchase tickets in advance to ensure yourself a spot! It takes about 1 hour from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko if traffic is in good condition. However it took us more than 3 hours the way back from Kawaguchiko, so be ready to adjust your plan accordingly!

After you arrive at Kawaguchiko, go to the ticket office at the left side of the Kawaguchiko bus terminal station and get a bus ticket to the “Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station” bus. Don’t worry about getting lost; they know exactly why you are there.  The tickets for this leg of the trip go for 1540 yen for one way or 2100 yen for round trip.

Caution: The first “Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station” bus runs from 6:40 am till 7:05 pm. If you plan to catch the first bus, be sure to purchase tickets a day before at the ticket counter (cannot be purchased online) because the ticket office is not open until 6:45am! Unfortunately this happened to us, and we had to wait to get on the second bus!

And while you are waiting for the bus to take you to Mount Fuji, take a few minutes to figure out your schedule. Be sure to check the arrival time of your return bus from Fuji to Kawaguchiko. This way, you can coordinate it with the bus you will need catch from Kawaguchiko back to Shinjuku. The return bus can get really crowded, so do not wait until last bus! You might not be able to squeeze in!

How Should I Prepare to Climb Mount Fuji?

Mount Fuji 3

Okay, finally we are heading to Mountain Fuji and start to get more serious! Keep in mind that Fuji-san is not a difficult climb, but it’s not a cakewalk, either. Do not even think about going all the way to summit without the following gear and enough energy–

  • Good Climbing Boots. The most essential thing for this climb is a sturdy set of climbing boots. Some rocky and steep areas are hard to climb. Good hiking boots are necessary to support you and protect your ankles.
  • Waterproof Jacket. Temperature and weather changes are unpredictable on the mountain. It can be cold, even in summer, and a strong wind will make it worse. A rain squall can also blow through, and you will want protection from the variances of the weather.
  • Protective Accessories. Sunglasses, hats, gloves, and sunscreen. The ultraviolet rays is very strong above the cloud cover. You do not want to get sunburned, so be sure to bring all these protections.
  • Hiking Stick. Due to lots of rocky and steep sections, you may need hiking sticks to aid you climb up all these tricky rocks. At Mount Fuji’s 5th station, you can get a wooden climbing stick that doubles as a souvenir of your trip! Some of them are decorated with colorful wraps, small bells and flags, and cost anywhere from 1300 to 2000 yen (depending on your decorations). Even better, you can get stamps burned into your stick at the huts along the trail. Each stamp  cost around 300 yen, and turns it into your unique souvenir! Get all the way to the top for that special summit stamp and show it off to your friends back home!

Mount Fuji 11 Mount Fuji 12

  • Flashlight. A flashlight is necessary for those of who are determined to climb overnight to see the sunrise. Even though the trail is illuminated during the peak season, for your own safety it is still highly recommended.
  • Snacks and Water. You’ll need some snacks to support you and help you get your energy back. Especially closer to the top, when there are fewer huts and things get more expensive. Water and meals can be purchased with a correspondingly higher charge at higher altitudes. Water is definitely a must. I recommend at least four liters, more if you can carry it.
  • Cash. Huts do not accept credit cards, and you need coins to use their toilets.
  • Trashbag. Please do not litter on the mountain. If you take it up, bring it back down. Also, there are pretty heavy fines if you get caught.

Before you start your climb, visit the Tourist Information Center to get maps, ask questions, and get the emergency phone number. Please call 0555-72-1477 if you run into any trouble while climbing.

What A Climb! Now What Can I Do Around Kawaguchiko?

If you are not in the rush, there are so many things you can do around Kawaguchiko. You can explore it before your climb starts, or before you go home! The beautiful Kawaguchiko Lakes are a 20-minute walk from station and are definitely worth visiting. You can get some snacks, sit beside the lake, and enjoy a relaxing moment.

There are also several museums located in this small town. Kubota Itchiku Museum, The Museum of Art, The Music Forest, The Gem Museum and Herb Hall. They’re bound to have something you like! You can even go to Fuji-Q Highland, a popular amusement park with exciting roller coaster and haunted house. Fuji-Q Highland is only two train stops away, and is a good way to get a warm up before a second day of climbing!

As for dinner, you don’t want to miss out the traditional dish especially from Yamanashi prefecture – Houtou. There are several good restaurants in town, so be sure to check opening hours and get in before its last order! You deserve a good meal after a long day.

Mount Fuji 7

If you have enough time, there is another spot you do not want to miss. The Chureito Pagoda is a five-story pagoda on the mountainside, which you can climb in about 15 minutes. The breathtaking view overlooks the whole of Fujiyoshida city and Mountain Fuji, and the view from here (as well as a picture) at the right time is going to be a cherished memory of your trip. During the cherry blossom season, this is a fantastic photography spot for that classic Mountain Fuji photo shot. To get there, take the train from Kawaguchiko station to Shimo-Yoshida Station (3 stations away). Follow the signs after leaving the station and you can easily reach the Pagoda. I was lucky enough to arrive there at sunset, and the view of Mountain Fuji surrounded by a sunset glow and cotton candy clouds, with the whole city slowly lighting up, was an amazingly beautiful sight!

Mount Fuji 8

We hope you have enjoyed our guide to climbing Mount Fuji and what to do afterwards. Remember, hydrate, wear sunscreen, get a stick, and have fun!

To explore other experiences in Japan, click on the articles below–

July 22, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Kasai Rinkai Park Tokyo Japan

Kasai Rinkai Park

Kasai Rinkai Park Tokyo Japan

Need to get the family away from the city for a while? Kasai Rinkai Park in Edogawa might be just the place to visit! This enormous park has plenty of green space and benches to host your picnic. Or you can make a getaway to one of its two man-made beaches to relax and take in the view of beautiful Tokyo Bay.

Kasai Rinkai Park Tokyo Japan

Kasai Rinkai Park Tokyo Japan

After a nice picnic or a stroll on the beach, head on over to the Tokyo Sea Life Park Aquarium. Host to a variety of exotic fish and sea-life from all over the world, the aquarium features a penguin viewing area where you can watch the birds swim and play. (Tokyo Sea Life Park Aquarium – Adults 700 yen, Middle Schoolers 250 yen, younger children free. Open 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, closed Wednesdays and December 29th – January 1st).

Are you interested in birds? The eastern end of the park hosts a walk-through bird sanctuary. Paved paths guide visitors through the sanctuary, and tall walls protect our feathered friends. Be sure to stop at one of the many observation points to catch a glimpse of the sanctuary’s residents, and stop at the Sea Bird Center to learn more about the sanctuary’s inhabitants.

Kasai Rinkai Park Tokyo Japan

Top off your visit to Kasai Rinkai Park with a ride on the Diamond and Flower Ferris wheel, the second-largest of its kind in all of Japan. From this lofty vantage point you can see Disneyland, Tokyo Bay, and on clear days even all the way to Mount Fuji! At night, the Ferris wheel’s bright neon lights display elaborate patterns for viewers to enjoy. (Diamond and Flower Ferris Wheel – open Weekdays 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Weekends 10:00 am – 9:00 pm. 700 yen per rider).

Kasai Rinkai Park is a perfect place for anyone wanting to escape the noise and crowds of central Tokyo on a gorgeous day off!

Kasai Rinkai Park Location Information

Website | Facebook (visitor reviews)

Nearest Station: directly off of Kasairinkaikoen Station ( JR Keiyō Line or Musashino Line)

Hours of Operation: Park – 24/7; Aquarium – Open 9:30 am – 5:30 pm (Closed Wednesdays); Diamond and Flower Ferris Wheel – Weekdays 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Weekends 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

“Why Go?”: Amazing views on a beautiful Ferris wheel, fun aquarium for families and beautiful scenery away from Central Tokyo craziness!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other relaxation options in Tokyo–

July 8, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Owl Village Café and Bar Harajuku

Owl Village Café Harajuku Tokyo Japan

I took a trip to Harajuku to visit Owl Village, not even a block away from Harajuku’s famous Takeshita Street. I had heard about Tokyo’s animal cafés and have plans to go to every single one, so I figured an owl café would be a great start. I was so right.

Take the elevator up to the fourth floor and enter the little café. Here, you will be asked if you have a reservation. Oops!  I didn’t have one, so I had to wait an extra hour. To avoid the wait, make a reservation on their website (reservations can be made up to one month in advance).

Owl Village Café Harajuku offers several packages. There is a walk-up package (the one I took) is for 30 minutes with the owls for 1000 yen. The standard course is a 60-minute package (reservations recommended) that provides for a drink in the café (with a view of the owls), 35 minutes of owl-time, and a souvenir for 1500 yen. The current special package offers a dessert with your drink, 35 minutes with the owls, and two souvenirs for 2000 yen.

If you didn’t think owls were cute before, I’m positive this experience will change your mind. They have seven owls, all super friendly and adorable. You are allowed to pat the heads of the owls and hold them using special gloves. The handler will take pictures of you with the owls, so be sure to bring your camera! Of course, there are rules such as no quick movements, no loud noises, and no camera flashes as to not frighten the birds. Please be kind to our feathered friends!

For anyone concerned with the well being of the animals, I’m not an owl expert, but they seem well cared for. They are kept on tiny leashes, because they could not survive on their own if they flew out of the café. One owl was in a bad mood on the day of my visit, so visitors were asked to let him be.

I would give the whole experience a 10/10, and am already excited to bring my friends back. So if you’re in Harajuku and are looking for a unique experience with these beautiful birds (and want to make your friends back home super jealous), stop by Owl Village Café Harajuku!

Owl Village Café Harajuku Location Information

Website (Google Translated) | Facebook (Japanese only) | Twitter (Japanese only) | Instagram

Nearest Station: 1-minute walk from JR Harajuku station (Yamanote Line) (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: 11:00am- 7:00pm (19:00)

“Why Go?”: Owls! Owls! Owls!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other experiences in Tokyo–

July 5, 2016 0 comment
0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest