Blogs from Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan, Asia


Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro November 7th 2022

Today I fly out of Japan to continue my Asia trip into the Philippines. It is bittersweet as I am finally familiarizing with neighborhood around my hotel and enjoying so much of my time in Tokyo. None of would be possible without the kindness of a fellow I just met 4 days ago - Yasu. I cannot thank you enough Yasu for taking your precious time especially after a couple of graveyard shifts to still show me the sights and sounds of Tokyo metro area. It is an experience I will never forget and will cherish forever. You have been a great friend despite just having met 4 days ago! I have scheduled a limo bus at 1:30pm today that will take me to Narita Airport which is 90 minutes away. So I met Yasu again ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro November 5th 2022

After a strenuous outing yesterday, my bum knees are killing me today. So I opted for a lighter excursion today in preparation for the big day tomorrow. My colleague recommended Kikanbo for my ramen craving. The restaurant has 3 locations in Tokyo but fortunately there's 1 just a 15 minute trek from my hotel. Yasu & I arrived there shortly after noon and as expected there was a line outside. Yasu volunteered to stay in line while I roamed around the vicinity of what I think is part of Sunshine City. The area was filled of young men and women (but mostly women) dressed as anime characters! My first thought was that my teen daughter would have loved to see this! She's a huge anime & Manga fan. I miss you dearly! We finally got sat ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro November 4th 2022

Met my local new buddy Yasuhiro last night briefly for a quick dinner at Cafe Restaurant Gusto due to the late hour as he was just coming out of a show by the band Yōsei Teikoku. Nothing spectacular about the menu but it served its sustenance goal as I was starving. After that, we agreed to meet the next day at 10 am at my hotel. Little did I know that he had planned a jam-packed day as we went to the following places: - Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura for brunch - Enoshima Island for lunch - Eonu for yakitori dinner (yummy innards) Getting to those destinations was an adventure in itself as we took the ever-so-complicated (at least for me) rail transit. A tip when purchasing rail tickets, get yourself a reloadable Suica Card ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro July 22nd 2018

Dear All Greetings from Tokyo! And Japan, country number 77! I still can’t actually believe I’m here, it is one of those places which you know exists because you have seen it on TV and in films, but you don’t imagine you’ll ever set foot there, or if it really exists at all. I had a similar feeling when I first went to New York. This is Tokyo – actually the world’s largest urban conurbation, at a staggering 37 million people – that is more than half the population of the UK in just one city. This really is a mega-city, and makes London, at 14 million people in its conurbation area, only the 28th largest in the world, feel like a sleepy village. Just flying past the city on the way to Haneda Airport, the ... read more
View from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Ikebukuro Metro
Shinto Priestess

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro September 3rd 2017

I have seen the future. It is filled with tall buildings, bright lights, endless noise and millions of people. Excitement, entertainment and enjoyment take place above your head, below your feet and in your face. The future goes non-stop and doesn't conform to any normal positions of the clock. It's bigger and more bright than I ever imagined. The future is reached by a train that speeds across the countryside at 200 miles per hour. The train passes volcanic mountains, verdant rice fields and miles of well tended farmland. It arrives on schedule, to the minute, in a massive station filled with well dressed people moving at a pace that immediately demands your full attention. Like a choreographed dance, the pedestrians move fluidly and efficiently through the maze of underground passageways, all the while multitasking with ... read more
Shinjuku Neon
Tokyo Tower
Sumida River

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro January 18th 2017

We're back in Tokyo and it is hard to conceive that we were entrenched in snow a few days ago. It is by no means warm, but the sun is shining. Since, being back in the big smoke, we've taken every opportunity to soak up modern Japanese culture. Yesterday, we made our triumphant return to Akihabara (ElectrIc City). We spent most of the day roamimg the arcades, watching people play and playing a few games ourselves. James taught me how to play the card arcade game 'Sangokushi Taisen'. I won some pretty cool cards from playing and I didn't even have to play well. Last night we went out for dinner at a Ramen restaurant. The ramen is 'published in magazine' according to sign out the front, so you know it's good. There was a wide ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro July 28th 2016

Well after leaving home over 24hrs ago & flying for just over 17hrs we have finally made it to Tokyo. The 1st 2 flights were great Manchester to Frankfurt then Frankfurt to Hong Kong, as we all had a good sleep on the long 10 1/2hr flight over & woke up feeling refreshed & excited for our finally leg of the journey. We had what we thought was just over 3hrs in Hong Kong before our final flight but that time soon vanished waiting for our cases to come off the A380 we had just over on. We waited & waited & waited some more watching our layover time slip away quickly. We needed our cases so we could change terminals to re-check in for the final flight. You could see everybody around is starting to ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro January 23rd 2016

Tokyo (our return) 19 to 23 January 2016 After a fantastic week of Skiing, we returned to Tokyo, staying at the Metropolitan Hotel once again in the area of Ikabukuru, NW of the CBD. The domestic flight was under 2 hours and bus trip from Haneda Airport was 1 hour, arriving at 5.00pm. We noticed that it had snowed in Tokyo the day before we arrived back so there were patches of snow around. While in Tokyo, the maximum temperature ranged from about 5-10 degrees with 0 degrees overnight. We virtually dropped our bags and hopped on the JR Line to get to the Tokyo Tower. We found it no problems at all as it is brightly lit and resembles the Eiffel Tower….in fact it was designed on the Eiffel Tower but is higher at 333m ... read more
Tokyo Disneyland - final fireworks (2)
Tokyo Disneyland - eating turkey drumsticks
A very big day at Disneyland - on the train

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro January 8th 2016

Hey everyone! Wow it’s true what they say: time really does fly when you’re having fun! I honestly meant to write this post on time, but due to the need to wake up at a decent time for lots of days in a row, seemed to have run out of time every day for about a week. Oops! First of all, the trip to the orphanage was really cool, if a little underwhelming. While everyone there was very nice, and the kids were adorable, apparently somewhere along the way communication did not happen, so they didn’t actually know that we were coming. It was also pretty awkward because the woman who ended up showing us around was super surprised that we didn’t bring a translator of any sort. Just me, trying to translate as best I ... read more
Sarah didn't appreciate the smog
This time we actually went inside the Bird's Nest!
Casually hanging out on the Olympic rings

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ikebukuro January 2nd 2016

On 3 January (in 2 days time) Tom & I, our daughter Kerrie, our son Adam and granddaughter Gemma will be leaving for a trip to Japan which will include 7 days in the snow. Gemma has never seen snow before so it will be very exciting for her, as it will be for us. Included in this blog is the map of where we are going.... read more

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