Aoyama warmth beats the cold

| Jan 30, 2011

Aoyama warmth beats the cold

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Kotto-dori (Antiques Avenue), a pin-straight link between Aoyama and Roppongi avenues in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, was once a melange of pricey boutiques and high-end antique stores. Word has it that the street is going through changes, so I set off to see what’s up. ...

The narrow roads of Senju

| Jan 9, 2011

The narrow roads of Senju

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In the frantic yearend season known as shiwasu (lit. “teachers running”), when even dignified people grow harried, a friend invited me to play hooky from the madness and take a ramble together around her Tokyo neighborhood. Since the gift of time together is a ...

Moving pictures of Shibamata

| Sep 26, 2010

Moving pictures of Shibamata

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I change trains three times before boarding one of Tokyo’s shortest lines, the 2.5-km Keisei Kanamachi. I’m bound for Shibamata, which isn’t precisely a backstreet, but it’s tucked so far from most major thoroughfares in the back-beyond of Katsushika Ward that I imagine it ...

Brilliant facets of Nishi-Ojima

| Jul 25, 2010

Brilliant facets of Nishi-Ojima

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Setting off to explore Nishi-Ojima (West Large Island) and Kita Suna (North Sand) in Tokyo’s downtown Koto Ward, I know better than to expect a seaside resort. Sure enough, where I emerge from the Toei Shinjuku subway at Nishi-Ojima Station, I spy neither ship ...

Miso happy in Nakamurabashi

| May 30, 2010

Miso happy in Nakamurabashi

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I hear somewhere near Nakamura in Nerima Ward, miso is still made in the age-old traditional way. I figure I’ll just wander around the tidy little neighborhood and find it. Exiting north from the Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Nakamurabashi Station, I sally forth in what ...

Horsing around in Shinjuku

| Apr 25, 2010

Horsing around in Shinjuku

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At the tail end of this year’s cherry-blossom season I set off for one of Tokyo’s prime viewing spots, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. My idea is to walk the quiet backstreets circling the garden, then canter through the park itself, which features several late-blooming ...

Thatched spring in Setagaya

| Mar 28, 2010

Thatched spring in Setagaya

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To slough off winter sluggishness and get into step with spring, I set a course from Seijo Gakuen-mae on the Odakyu Line to Jidayubori Minkaen — a compound of late-Edo Period (1860s) thatched farmhouses in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward — and ending at Futako Tamagawa ...