Finding thrills on plum blossom hill

| Feb 21, 2015

Finding thrills on plum blossom hill

by Kit Nagamura

February is a tricky month for venturing out in Tokyo. Daylight hours lengthen and the light softens slightly, but the weather itself seems controlled by a sadist at the thermostat. Blissfully warm one moment and freezing the next, it’s 50 shades of uncertainty. Nonetheless, ...

Monkeying around in Sarugakucho

| Jan 24, 2015

Monkeying around in Sarugakucho

by Kit Nagamura

Sarugakucho — which loosely translates as “monkey fun town” — is a hot spot near Daikanyama Station in Shibuya, Tokyo. As a place to hang out, this area sets the bar pretty high: Its backstreets are a zoo of uber-cute boutiques offering exclusive jeans, ...

Dead reckoning in the haunts of Honancho

| Oct 25, 2014

Dead reckoning in the haunts of Honancho

by Kit Nagamura

Halloween in Tokyo rarely gets scarier than the price of imported pumpkins, but I’ve heard that Honancho — a terminal station on the Marunouchi subway line — hosts an uber-spooky obakeyashiki (ghost house). Navigating the station’s dank, barely-lit stairwell at Exit 2, I’m already ...

Not ducking tradition in Higashi-Ueno

| Jun 28, 2014

Not ducking tradition in Higashi-Ueno

by Kit Nagamura

With its lotus-laden Shinobazu pond, park grounds, and national museums, the Ueno area in Tokyo draws millions of visitors a year. Nearby Higashi-Ueno (Eastern Ueno), however, seems to be another world altogether. When I exit Shin-Okachimachi station, under skies portending summer heat, this low-lying ...

Spring greening in Koganei

| Apr 26, 2014

Spring greening in Koganei

by Kit Nagamura

It’s time to bask in sunshine, birdsong, and blossom-filled breezes. Koganei Park, situated at the center of the Tokyo metropolis, looks like the ideal spot for such a “spring-gasm.” The JR Chuo express train whisks me from Yotsuya to Musashi-Koganei in less than 30 ...