"Different" things to do in Tokyo

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Kennedy
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"Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by Kennedy » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:06 pm

I have a four day trip to Tokyo planned for this fall. I've been there before and done all the usual touristy things.

I'm looking for suggestions for off-the-beaten-path kind of things to do and see in Tokyo. You know- the things that are not in top 20 lists.

Perhaps a day trip from Tokyo? (I've already been to Nara and Kyoto.) We have non-refundable hotel reservations in Tokyo, so we need to ensure we're back at our hotel for the night. A half day Japanese cooking class? Anything "different?"

Due to physical limitations, we need to avoid theme parks and exercise-related activities.

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ResearchMed
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:13 pm

Kennedy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:06 pm
I have a four day trip to Tokyo planned for this fall. I've been there before and done all the usual touristy things.

I'm looking for suggestions for off-the-beaten-path kind of things to do and see in Tokyo. You know- the things that are not in top 20 lists.

Perhaps a day trip from Tokyo? (I've already been to Nara and Kyoto.) We have non-refundable hotel reservations in Tokyo, so we need to ensure we're back at our hotel for the night. A half day Japanese cooking class? Anything "different?"

Due to physical limitations, we need to avoid theme parks and exercise-related activities.
There is a lovely bonsai museum... I think it's a bit north of Tokyo (but certainly doable for a afternoon, etc.).

Some of those little trees were astonishingly old, at least for someone not that familiar with bonsai history.

And there are plenty of places to sit, inside and outside.

RM
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tigermilk
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by tigermilk » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:29 pm

Go to the NHK website and watch some episodes of Tokyo Eye. Plenty of suggestions there, including cooking classes. While not necessarily off the beaten path, the last time we were there we met up with a Japanese friend of ours for a nice lunch, a trip to a museum for an impressionism exhibit that was in town, and finally some cake and coffee at Aoyama Garden West. Just a relaxed day catching up with a friend.

For a day trip, perhaps ramen museum in Yokohama? Or, if you get up early head to Nikko. It will be the fall, so the colors will be great.

Another idea is Inokashira Park. The only exercise you may have is light rowing if you like or a paddle boat. We went for cherry blossoms one year and it's one of our highli 32gb ts.

But do check out Tokyo Eye.

SrGrumpy
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:37 pm

The parasite museum in the suburb of Meguro. Both disgusting and fascinating.

We also went to an owl café - owls flying overhead. It was near Shibuya, IIRC. There are a few now. Also a maid café - apparently there are hundreds in Tokyo now. Weird, but not too creepy.

I haven't been, but the suicide forest - Aokigahara - is about 110 km from Shibuya, near Fuji.

Carlos Ghosn's prison, maybe?

Atlas Obscura may have other suggestions.

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Prokofiev
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by Prokofiev » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:47 pm

If you like architecture and old buildings, try the Edo Open-Air park. You can use mass transit to get there and see these buildings inside and out.
Very worthwhile.

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clemrick
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by clemrick » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:00 am

If you like cats, there is a Cat Cafe in the Harajuku part of Tokyo.

Or if you like weird in a fun way, try the Kawaii Monster Cafe.

You can check out both on the Blogess blog, https://thebloggess.com/2019/06/21/japa ... ngly-well/

fareastwarriors
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by fareastwarriors » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:33 am

Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama?

Learn history, decorate your own cup, eat noodles, and buy different flavor noodles.

Beehave
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by Beehave » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:44 am

Take a train to Kita Kamakura. Have lunch by the station (or check Tripadvisor), rent a bicycle ("jitensha") and ride around to the various temples and shrines. Wonderful day trip.

SoAnyway
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by SoAnyway » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:03 am

Kennedy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:06 pm
I have a four day trip to Tokyo planned for this fall. I've been there before and done all the usual touristy things.
I'm looking for suggestions for off-the-beaten-path kind of things to do and see in Tokyo. You know- the things that are not in top 20 lists.
Perhaps a day trip from Tokyo? (I've already been to Nara and Kyoto.) We have non-refundable hotel reservations in Tokyo, so we need to ensure we're back at our hotel for the night. A half day Japanese cooking class? Anything "different?"
Due to physical limitations, we need to avoid theme parks and exercise-related activities.
OP: Need more info.
I've LOTS of "off-the-beaten-path" suggestions for Tokyo. (I lived there for over a year and return regularly.) BUT what I think is cool and interesting might not jibe with yours. (Not judging! Everyone has different interests; not "better" or "worse", just different.)

SoAnyway, on your past visits, what did you find most interesting/fun/enjoyable? What did you want to learn/explore/know more about?
Nothing in this post constitutes legal or medical advice. | Consult your attorney or physician to verify if/how anything stated might or might not be applicable to your specific situation.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by HawkeyePierce » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:10 am

+1. I've been eight or nine times but we need more information on what you might be looking for.

marco49
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by marco49 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:32 am

In the Asakusa neighborhood, there is a business named "Mokuhankan", owned by David Bull, a good friend of mine. Dave is devoting his life to the revival of the traditional crafts used in creating Japanese woodblock prints.

Mokuhankan offers an experience called a "print party" during which the patrons use traditional tools to create their own woodblock print from blocks carved by Dave himself. For details, have a look at this page from the Mokuhankan website: https://mokuhankan.com/parties/index.php

krafty81
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by krafty81 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:20 am

Robot Bikini Bar, "Kill Bill" Restaurant in Roppongi.

Topic Author
Kennedy
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by Kennedy » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:43 pm

SoAnyway wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:03 am
Kennedy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:06 pm
I have a four day trip to Tokyo planned for this fall. I've been there before and done all the usual touristy things.
I'm looking for suggestions for off-the-beaten-path kind of things to do and see in Tokyo. You know- the things that are not in top 20 lists.
Perhaps a day trip from Tokyo? (I've already been to Nara and Kyoto.) We have non-refundable hotel reservations in Tokyo, so we need to ensure we're back at our hotel for the night. A half day Japanese cooking class? Anything "different?"
Due to physical limitations, we need to avoid theme parks and exercise-related activities.
OP: Need more info.
I've LOTS of "off-the-beaten-path" suggestions for Tokyo. (I lived there for over a year and return regularly.) BUT what I think is cool and interesting might not jibe with yours. (Not judging! Everyone has different interests; not "better" or "worse", just different.)

SoAnyway, on your past visits, what did you find most interesting/fun/enjoyable? What did you want to learn/explore/know more about?
I'm thinking maybe a day trip to some beautiful town to enjoy a hot springs...A day trip to see a quaint fishing village that is known for beautiful scenery and fresh fish restaurants... A semi-famous shrine/temple outside of Tokyo that we can visit for a day trip...A half day Japanese cooking class in Tokyo...An "underground" Tokyo tour (literally beneath the streets like Seattle)...A place we can sit and enjoy a delicious meal while viewing Mt Fuji...

robphoto
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by robphoto » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:03 pm

Enoshima is an island near Kamakura which you can reach with a one hour, 630 yen train from Tokyo Station. It is just off the mainland, connected by a causeway. It is popular, so I would go early in the day. Also, one walks around the island and it's a fair bit of up and down, so you have to be able to do that. Beautiful views across the water, shrines, shops, parks, etc. Look it up online and see if it sounds good to you.

Also a hike, but very ancient and beautiful shrines and temples, is Mt. Takao which is at the western extent of the main east-west Tokyo line; beautiful forest, gentle climb to temples at the top through ancient forest.

If you get tickets in advance, you could go to the Ghibli Museum, which has a lot of exhibits and unique films related to the work of Studio Ghibli (Japanese animation studio)

SoAnyway
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by SoAnyway » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:53 am

Kennedy wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:43 pm
SoAnyway wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:03 am
Kennedy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:06 pm
I have a four day trip to Tokyo planned for this fall. I've been there before and done all the usual touristy things.
I'm looking for suggestions for off-the-beaten-path kind of things to do and see in Tokyo. You know- the things that are not in top 20 lists.
Perhaps a day trip from Tokyo? (I've already been to Nara and Kyoto.) We have non-refundable hotel reservations in Tokyo, so we need to ensure we're back at our hotel for the night. A half day Japanese cooking class? Anything "different?"
Due to physical limitations, we need to avoid theme parks and exercise-related activities.
OP: Need more info.
I've LOTS of "off-the-beaten-path" suggestions for Tokyo. (I lived there for over a year and return regularly.) BUT what I think is cool and interesting might not jibe with yours. (Not judging! Everyone has different interests; not "better" or "worse", just different.)

SoAnyway, on your past visits, what did you find most interesting/fun/enjoyable? What did you want to learn/explore/know more about?
I'm thinking maybe a day trip to some beautiful town to enjoy a hot springs...A day trip to see a quaint fishing village that is known for beautiful scenery and fresh fish restaurants... A semi-famous shrine/temple outside of Tokyo that we can visit for a day trip...A half day Japanese cooking class in Tokyo...An "underground" Tokyo tour (literally beneath the streets like Seattle)...A place we can sit and enjoy a delicious meal while viewing Mt Fuji...
Have you been to Hakone? If not, it's a great day trip from Tokyo - or even better, an overnight - and it'd check the hot springs/shrine/views of Mt Fuji boxes.
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Swimmer
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by Swimmer » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:24 pm

Don’t know how “different,” but we’d walk to the pier at dawn. They’d pull fish out of the ocean and immediately make sushi—best breakfast ever.

SoAnyway
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by SoAnyway » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:45 pm

Swimmer wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:24 pm
Don’t know how “different,” but we’d walk to the pier at dawn. They’d pull fish out of the ocean and immediately make sushi—best breakfast ever.
OP, have you been to the Tsukiji market at dawn and a nearby place for breakfast?

Per the above, doing so might not really be (air quotes) "off the beaten path" since the experience is chronicled in just about every tourist guide-book/blog/website/whatever but it's well worth doing if you enjoy sushi or fish in the morning and/or haven't lived near a coast and/or seen how the seafood you like gets pulled in from its natural habitat.

Like all protein and produce, GOOD sushi/seafood is all about how fresh it is, i.e. time lapsed/geography from "the pull" to the plate. If you're in Tokyo, the fish doesn't get fresher than what you can find in that area - Even a sushi novice would notice the difference between the sushi at a local shop there vs. what we're used to in the States.

SoAnyway, maybe I still don't know what you mean by "off the beaten path"? :confused That might be because I spent so much time there that I can't even remember what it's like to be a newbie, i.e. I don't know what "the beaten path" IS, hahaha. (Sorry!)

Both Tsukiji and Hakone attract LOTS of tourists so I guess I'd call them "Tier 2" places to go after you've done the "Tier 1" Tokyo sites like the Imperial Palace, Shinjuku, Shibuya crossing, Roppongi/Tokyo Tower, Ginza, Kamakura, and if you're into them dep. on your age/interests, things like Asakusa,Tokyo Disneyland, Omotesando/Harajuku, Akihabara, etc.
Nothing in this post constitutes legal or medical advice. | Consult your attorney or physician to verify if/how anything stated might or might not be applicable to your specific situation.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by HawkeyePierce » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:02 pm

I certainly like walking around Tsukiji—especially that first morning when jetlag has you up at 4am anyways—but the sushi breakfast is overrated there. It's not *bad* but on busy days the line can get LONG and it's just not worth the wait. There are a number of non-sushi shops at Tsukiji, go for those instead. Pick up a couple of onigiri (rice balls with a variety of available fillings).

Note that the inner market and tuna auctions at Tsukiji closed a year ago.

SoAnyway
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by SoAnyway » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:24 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:02 pm
I certainly like walking around Tsukiji—especially that first morning when jetlag has you up at 4am anyways—but the sushi breakfast is overrated there. It's not *bad* but on busy days the line can get LONG and it's just not worth the wait. There are a number of non-sushi shops at Tsukiji, go for those instead. Pick up a couple of onigiri (rice balls with a variety of available fillings).

Note that the inner market and tuna auctions at Tsukiji closed a year ago.
Hahaha... Your experience may be different, HP. It sounds like you went to the wrong places. Fortunately, I've always had good friends/relatives to show me the ropes and steer me in the right direction, and it helps that I speak the local lingo.

OP: HP is correct that there were some changes to the Tsukiji inner market/auctions last year, so do check up-to-date tourist guidebooks/blogs/whatever. Full disclosure: It's been forever since I did REALLY "tourist-y" things in Tokyo like Tsukiji since I have my own trusted vendors for the various things I go to Tokyo for.

No matter what, OP, Have a great trip!! Tokyo (and Japan, for that matter) is a great place to travel to!! :sharebeer
Last edited by SoAnyway on Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nothing in this post constitutes legal or medical advice. | Consult your attorney or physician to verify if/how anything stated might or might not be applicable to your specific situation.

BusterMcTaco
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by BusterMcTaco » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:19 am

tigermilk wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:29 pm
For a day trip, perhaps ramen museum in Yokohama?
I'm a big fan of almost all things Japanese. I also love ramen. But I was sorely disappointed in the ramen museum. I would strongly recommend passing.

Luckywon
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Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Post by Luckywon » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:46 am

Whatever you do, do NOT attend a tea ceremony. What a waste of time and money.

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