Christmas Illumination at the Roppongi Hills : Artelligent Christmas 2015

The city of Tokyo is awash in illuminations all around. I remember 2004, the first year of Christmas illumination at Roppongi Hills and was amazed to see the lights all around the newly built Roppongi Hills complex with the Tokyo Tower in the distance. The illumination in Roppongi Hills since then is usually  held until

Autumn Colors at the Naritasan Shinshō-ji Temple

Tourists and new comers to Japan head out to Kyoto when we mention the word “Autumn”. I did too, but then I started discovering beautiful spots around Tokyo like Nikko, Okutama area etc. In 2003, I remember, I was told by a friend that the Narita Temple near the international airport also was a beautiful

Tokyo 2020 Emblem : Open Design Competition

So we all know how the Tokyo 2020 emblem and the plagiarism controversy surrounding it ended…. You can get yourself a recap over at Controversial Tokyo Olympics emblem ditched finally With the old emblem now out the door, the organizing committee is running against a tight schedule to get a replacement within a year. A couple

Benzaiten Temple at Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park

Benzaiten (弁才天, 弁財天) is a Japanese Buddhist goddess, who originated from the Hindu goddess Saraswati. The Shinobzu Pond at Ueno Park has a temple of Saraswati. Floating on the water of the pond, it is a Buddhist temple dedicated to Saraswati the goddess of the arts, knowledge and wisdom. Japanese of todays generation, pray to her

“Sumo Size” clothes : Lion-do at Ryogoku

Walking in the Ryogoku area on a Saturday morning a white T-Shirt hung outside a shop caught my attention. It was really huge, was sure that atleast three of me could fit in!!! Checked the shop name it was Lion-do or ライオン堂 with the words “King Size” or キングサイズ meaning extra large sized clothes store.

Tyres all around : Nishirokugo Tyre Park at Kamata

Travelling between Tokyo to Yokohama on the Tokaido Line, nearby Kamata, I had seen a park filled with tyres. I had not planned to visit this place though but it certainly intrigued me every time I passed on my way to Yokohama. Last month, accompanying my daughter to the Japan Open 2015 Rubik Cube Competition at

Mizuho Currency Exchange counter at Haneda Airport and Origami creations

For work related travel, I have started using Haneda for two reasons. The international terminal started operations a couple of years back and the opening of the newly built Tokyo Gate Bridge which makes it a 25 minute drive by a car from the Edogawa Ward. The airport has many a currency exchange counters, but one

SF Metro and Passnet Cards and todays Digital Cards

THOSE WERE THE DAYS : My first visit to Japan in 1998, I collected many SF Metro Cards as memories to take back to India. I ended up staying in Japan on a long term basis, but I carried on collecting the Cards which were issued by the Eidan-Chikatetsu which today is known as Tokyo

Haneda Airport observation deck : Nice flight action

Why do people go to an airport? One reason, they maybe working at the airport. Oh, more importantly, yeah to board a flight and travel. For me, the things started a bit differently. International travel from India in my childhood days of the early 80s was “RARE”. Staying close to an international airport in Mumbai,

Coming up near the Tokyo Station : Tallest Skyscraper at 390 meters to be built by 2027

The tallest building in Japan presently is not in Tokyo, but in Osaka. Abenobashi Terminal Building Skyscraper (Abeno Harukas) at 300 meters nearly matches the Tokyo Tower at 333 meters. The Mitsubishi Jisho construction company is all set to best that record by a whole 90 meters at 390 meters and build a skyscraper near the

Illumillion : 5 million LED lights at Sagami Resort Pleasure forest

When : Nov 1 – March 31 Winter and Christmas equals illuminated evenings at famous tourist locations in Japan. There are many famous illumination spots in Tokyo city, like Roppongi Hills or Midtown although they  get restricted due to the available space that commercial establishments attempt to decorate. My personal recommendation is Sagami Resort Pleasure Forest, just an