Find the Peace at the Animal Cafe in Tokyo  

Cuddle and getting involve with the animal is one way to get the stress out. But not all of people could have a pet at their house because of their busy life or the circumstances. If you want to sneak out a little and get relax, go to your favorite café at Tokyo. There are a lot of this kind of café at Tokyo, but we present you with three good choices. Here are the options.

Little Zoo Café
You can find this restaurant in Narashino, Chiba Prefecture, outside of Tokyo. Little Zoo Café presents a reptile to be pet while you eat and drink, iguana to talk to while sipping coffee, an owl to stroke while eating a cake, or a snake to cuddle with. The other option is to choose your favorite corner and has a sight of all of this reptiles. This restaurant only has 20 seats, so you just need to look around to be able to see a lot of different animal at a time. You don't need to worry about hygiene either, since they have an open air separate kitchen to make the food, and an alcohol based dispenser to totally clean up your hands.
The background of this restaurant to be built is the pet therapy effects. In Tokyo, a lot of people decide to live in an apartment. And one of the strict rules of the apartment is pet are not allowed. The research has proofing that animal can make people less stress and fatigue. It is good for health, both physically and mentally. An animal therapy or activities with the animal can help reducing anxiety and get the blood pressure lower. It also makes a better cope with cancer, heart disease, and mental disorder.
This café has been open since 2011, and a bunch of tourists has visited the place, because of their love for the animal, curiosity of the unique restaurant, and also the new experience eating with reptile and bird around.
Sakuraoka Café
You can get into this restaurant for only five minutes from Shibuya JR station. This is the only café with a goat to pet with. With not so many rules, people in many different interests besides animal can also go to this café and only enjoy the meal and drinks. There are two goats live here at the Café, named Chocolat and Sakura. They are free for pet and stroke, and they seem to love it. They really get used to human and even try to attract people to come closer, people in the restaurant, and people passing by on the street. Their droppings are also valuable to nourish the flower beds. Opened in 2009, this café has 50 seats, a bar, and a unique goat décor to be staring at. You can enjoy pasta, salad, or a bowl of rice with pork.
Hapineko Café
As its name in The Japanese language, hapi refer to happy and neko means cat, this café allowing guests to interact with cats while enjoying their drinks. This restaurant has some rules to obey, include to let the cat to approach, and no chasing for a cuddle. A lot of variety of cat live here, without a cage, so they could easily interact with guest, receive their love and stroke. People can see how cute their attitude is, and adorable, just the way they do anything, they look so cute. The best part is people can give them a treat or play along with them with fox tail toy, or any other cat toys. This café suits every people, adult, children, and also for a family activity to get a quality time together. With only about $10 per person, you can enjoy a cup of coffee, or chocolate, or tea, and half an hour to enjoy your cat time. This cat cafe locates in Shibuya. A lot of Japanese people also believe that cat will bring luck to their life.


Explore Tokyo in Different Ways for Free  

Exploring Tokyo need not be expensive with all the places that do not ask for a registration fee such as Place your bid for Tsukiji. Are you interested in auctions? The Tsukiji market is just the best for you, but this is different, because here you will bid for tuna. You must go there before 5 in the morning, since the registrants accepted are only 120 daily. This is a market with an off, they do not operate daily and they will move to a new location this year, so you need to check the website for more details. Check the Senso-ji is another option. Be one of the pilgrims by going to Senso-ji. It is a popular Buddhist Temple in Tokyo. It is lined with vibrant stalls that sell souvenirs from big rice crackers to well embellished battledores.

Discover Harajuku. The environment surrounding Harajuku has been a beautiful in the eyes. It is a classy boulevard of boutiques that are housed in a one of a kind architecture. Relax in the Meiji-Jingu. When the Harajuku impends the sensory overload, run to the thick wooded grounds that enclosed the premier capital of the Shinto Shrine of Meiji-jingu. During the festivity, you can find men and women dressed in beautiful kimonos. Oh! Odaiba is a reclaimed land at the Tokyo Bay, which is connected to the city through the Rainbow bridge. There is an artificial beach there where you can sunbathe. Get to see the washi making. The art of paper folding is being offered free of charge at the Origami Kaikan. This is a free art workshop for everyone.
Shibuya scramble will make you find the Myth of Tomorrow in this place. Drop by the Tokyo Museum. The old ads give an illuminating visual history of the trading in Japan in this place. The culture in Akihabara is one of the best if you are a fan of Atom Boy, this place is just the best for you. You can find everything about manga as well as anime here. Art crawl on the other hand, offers a mixture of exhibits as well as interactive installations. Political junk tour is an option too if art or anima is not your preference, how about touring learning the political side of Japan? Here you can find the seat of governance of Japan.
Green areas. The traditional gardens in Tokyo are the best. You can check the Hotel New Otani, Hotel Chinzanso and the greeneries on the grounds of Happo-en. Tokyo has some of the best and the nicest parks in Asia. Join some festivals is another option. Weekly there is a Matsuri of various types in Tokyo. That starts from the Cherry Blossom viewing to fire walking as well as grand parades of costume parties. Stroll around the Yanesen. The streets of the Yanaka, Sendagi and Nezu can give you a hint of what the pre-World War 2 Tokyo was like. You can find small temples as well as shrines, galleries, coffee shops and others. It is by far the cities ancient graveyards. Witness the sumo practice. Though, you cannot make it to the sumo tournament, you can see the wrestlers with your own eyes as they go through the training and the drills. You can watch their morning practice.
Take a peek at the Depachika. It is the abbreviation of the department store basement food halls. They are drooling places to divert your appetite and satisfy your cravings. Be familiar with the newest innovations. You will be able to see the newest gadgets since Toyota as well as Sony has their showrooms here that are open to the public. Art and architecture. There are so many public arts that are scattered around the commercial complexes in Tokyo.


Japanese hot sento guide  

A great pleasure can be derived by taking a soothing hot sento bath which temporarily washes away all your depressing work troubles after a hard day at the office. Sento are dying a slow death and rare outlets can be found outside of the cities. Only a few baths can be found around central Tokyo which makes them more unique and appreciated. Sento are usually patronized by local Japanese, and this article will explain the dos and don'ts when visiting a sento to avoid any embarrassment from the naked eyes of the seasoned sento visitors. Make sure to bring the essentials which will be explained.

First rule in sento is that you will be completely naked once inside the bath. Always have one or two small towels for covering you private parts. It is essentially the most important item and makes other kit secondary. Sento does not provide any shampoo or soap for free, and they come at a price, so be sure to pack some toiletries before heading to one. Avoid bringing along valuable items and do not be afraid of stares if you have tattoo all over your naked body. Local Japanese may very well be more afraid as they associate tattooed bodies with yakuza members. You can bath well in peace if you do not have any.
There are different sento packages ranging from common baths to Tokyo's super high class sento. Shoes can be stored at the locker facilities. Payment for entrance fee of around 450 yen is paid to and old lady manning the ticket counter or paid to vending machine which will duly spit out tokens for entry.
Be sure to enter the right bath for the correct gender as separate baths are made for male as well as female respectively. There will be a changing room where you can store your belongings in a locker. Next would be to undress all your clothes and cover your private parts with a small towel. Locker bracelet is worn around you hand for safekeeping. A sliding door separates the baths and the changing room. Cross over and you are well on your way for a tranquil bath.
Baths are large enough for many customers soaking at once. Try to speak softly as possible to keep the atmosphere peaceful and quiet. Shower cubicles can be found beside the baths. A small stool facing a blank wall can be used to wash up. The water is warm and temperature just nice. Baths cannot be used for cleaning yourself. Always ensure you are well washed before soaking in. Toilets can be accessed anytime whenever the need arises.
You must be completely naked to enter the bath. If you belong to the shy type, cover using your small towel and remove right before entering. Some baths have lightning symbol boards to signify possible experience of electric shocks. The shocks are mild which enables you muscles to contract and provides a soothing feeling. Some baths have higher temperature so be wary of the heat. Test the heat by starting with a hot bath. Relax and ignore the other bathers for a relaxing time. Think of peaceful scenery that you have visited and all your sorrows will be thrown wide out for the moment of extreme peace.
Once you are done with hot bath, enter the cold icy bath to wake you up from slumber land. Good sento comes with mineral bath filled with rich water black in cola color. Once you have done the entire above, step out to clean yourself on the all facing stool, and repeat another round of bath. You have just completed the sento ritual passed down since centuries ago. The final bath should be in the mineral water bath. Immediately put on your pyjamas for an authentic Japanese style sento bath. Warm your inner body with a hot milk and slowly stroll back your comfy bed and get ready for one good slumber.


Discovering 10 Washoku in Japan  

Culinary from Japan are also as familiar as French cuisine in the world. It is approved by Japanese Cuisine (Washoku in the Japanese language) to be added to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. This makes Japanese cuisine in the same position with French cuisine, which is honored for its traditionalism. If you want to try the original taste of washoku in Japan, you should come and check this place with its own specialty washoku :

The famous fish market called Tsukiji is located in Tokyo. Sushi is the most recognizable Japanese Cuisine in the world- with the fresh raw meat cut in special shape upside the vinegar rice. Since it is very fresh, you can taste the sweet and the juicy meat. Right here in Tokyo, sushi is being made for the first time in Japan. At first, sushi called Edomae-zushi, following the word Edo, the old name for Tokyo. You can find the freshest sushi at the stall at Tsukiji Market.
Your culinary experience of washoku won't be completed without eating Kaiseki-ryori. Kaiseki-ryori is a traditional meal, usually for dinner, contains multi-course dish. It is containing the seasonal food and often arranged artistically in one tray. Nakamura-ro restaurant in Gion serves Kaiseki-ryori for 400 years. Its traditionalist can be seen from the dinnerware; it's made from the furnished wooden tray and the food served in Chinese bowl. If you're a vegetarian, you can also find this shojin-ryori, the vegetarian version of the kaiseki-ryori in Isuzen, near the Temple Daiji-in.
Takoyaki, as famous as sushi and ramen, a ball-form of batter contains octopus and veggies. The recipe comes from Osaka, as the known as a place for takoyaki. Okonomiyaki also the best-known come from the Osaka. With a very delicious pancake-like-batter, contains meat and vegetables on top, with brown sauce, mayonnaise, dried bonito flakes and powdered dry seaweed. The taste of the mixture of it like blow out in your mouth, creating an umami taste.
Hakodate is one of the tourism culinary destination. It is famous for its ramen, and also the jingisukan (lamb barbecue). It is named so after Genghis Khan because the table for grilling this meal shaped like Mongolian helmet. The most wanted of Hakodate are also the seafood, especially the crab and the salmon. You can find the freshest seafood at Asa-ichi, the fish market in the morning.
Nagoya is famous for its unagi, or the grilled eel. The sweet sauce infiltrates the soft eel meat perfectly. Atsuta Horaiken Restaurant at Nagoya dish out this unagi named hitsumabushi. It is served in 3 ways to eat : First, eat it plain (already has a sweet taste) with a bowl of rice. Second, with sprinkles of spring onion, seaweed, and wasabi (very spicy horseradish paste). Third, soak it in the soup.
Located in Nagano prefecture, this place known for its handmade soba, or the cold noodle. Nomugi is one of the famous vendors. For its very famous reputation, the customer has to line up from the morning. It closes at 2 pm or before it if the soba all sold out. Or, if you want something different, try basashi at Kura Restaurant. It is a raw horsemeat sliced thin.
Located at the Central of Japan, it is known for the sake. Suzuya Restaurant in Takayama is the famous one serving sansai-hyori, a dish made from mountain veggies, fern, and wild plants. Hoba miso usually eaten along with it. Hoba miso is a mix of beef or vegetable with miso paste roasted with charcoal on top of Magnolia leaf.
Located on the southern island of Kyushu. Famous for its fugu, or blowfish. This fish is very poisonous, so the chef who cut it should have passed the test to get the certificate. You can find it during winter time. Tonkatsu ramen or Hakata ramen is also the best- the ramen with a rich pork broth. Anything can't be tastier than this. You can find this on the small stall of atyatai which spread all over Fukuoka.
This place known for its Sanuki Udon, which is the big noodle made from wheat, serve with the separately soup and wasabi. One of the best place to try it is Waraya restaurant, outside Takamatsu a little, near Shikoku Mura.
Located in Okinawa Prefecture. All of the pig's part are cooked here. From ear to trotters. Doesn't like pork? You can eat seafood too. Find the stall which sells it at Dai-Ichi Kosetsu Makishi Ichiba.
Beautiful Japan  

The city of Tokyo is more famous for its technology and fashion. There is a lot more to this city including its history. If you are planning to visit the country there are a few place you might want to visit if you are interested in knowing about the city's history.

The first destination is the Edo-Tokyo Museum. You will get the complete history of the city from the time it began to the city as it is now. To enter the exhibition hall of the museum you will have to cross the Nihonbashi Bridge replica. The elderly guides here are one of the delights, sharing tear jerking stories of the past they experienced. The Kabuki-style stage boasting several cultural pieces and you should make sure to get a glimpse of the very detailed model of Edo.
Little Edo is located approximately half an hour outside the center of Tokyo. This town is the best place to get the authentic Japanese culture outside the city. The town if in Saitama Prefecture. Some of the place to visit in the town are places such as Penny Candy Alley along Kashiya Yokosho that has a nineteenth century feel and design. The alley intersects with Kurazuki Street that still has some buildings that date all the way back to the seventeenth century. Most of these buildings are today used as locations for restaurants with the Toki ni Kane bell tower chiming every hour on the hour. Fifteen minutes outside this district sits the Honmaru Goten, the residence of the Lord. This is the only remaining remanence of the Kawagoe Castle. Used today as a museum, this building was the last addition to the fourteenth century castle in the eighteenth century. This location provides the atmosphere and ambiance of a traditional castle.
The once Falconry site of the families of the shogun, the Hama Rikyu Garden is now completely surrounded by high rise buildings and has the feel of the old Japan mix perfectly with the new. This place is best visited in the spring time when the cherry blossoms are in bloom as well as the fields of the yellow rapeseed. Riding the traditional water buses of the Sumida River is still the best and most fun way of getting to the garden. The water vehicles float from Asakusa to Obaiba to Central Tokyo.
The Imperial Palace East Garden is located at the base of a hill in the Imperial Palace. The palace is where the emperor of Japan resides and the only public area of the castle. The garden has a Japanese style design with micro bridges, trees and ponds similar to those of authentic castles. The location offers free bicycles on Sundays between the hours between ten and three pm. This first ones to get to a bicycle is the one to get it. There is also a free walking English speaking tour between the hours of one and three pm.
The Rikugi-en Garden is a eighteenth century style strolling garden that reproduces eighty eight scenes of Japan's history. The garden was built for the comfort of the fifth Tokugawa Shogun. The best time to visit the garden is in the fall season. From November to the early days of December when the maples are changing color from gold to red. The beautiful landscape that circles the moss green ponds that are stocked with white and orange carp. The artificial hill provides an exceptional view of the forested areas and the islets on the pond that accentuates the visuals of the garden. You will be able to make a rest stop at one of the many teahouses that sits on the banks of the northwestern shore on the pond.


Asian Brewing   


There is really good suds to be had in Asia, from Hong Kong to South Korea. There are breweries here that will that will provide brew that is sure to delight any palate. Japan is the leading craftsmen in this trade. They have been making excellent beer for a long time with their leading beer the standard for Asian brews since the mid nineteen nineties. Tokyo's Popeye stocks mostly Japanese brew among their seventy types and might be a great place to start your visit. The Beer Belly is the also a great place to visit. It is found in Osaka where you can also visit Minoh Brewery that is down the road. The Beer Komachi is found in a hidden alley in Kyoto and the serve all local brews.

Like China's economy their beer craft has increase so much in so little time. This nation has one of the most intriguing beer scenes in the east of Asia. Most of Chinas craft beer small breweries are located in Beijing with Great Leap Brewing number one. The Slow oat Brewery is next in line and the Tipsy Face follows them closely behind. In Chengdu you can find the Beer Nest and the Master Gao in Nanjing. The ideal place to visit may be the Beijing's NBeer Pub that is located on the first floor of the Huguo Xintiandi.
South Korea has some very strange beer laws. By their laws it is literally against the law to operate a micro-brewery. Breweries have found a way around that and do produce and sell their products in taprooms around the country. The brewing here is a unique one thanks to the income levels but have a quality and standard the can easily rival those of higher tier. The place to visit is Itaewon. The Craftsworks Taphouse is located here and the Magpie Brewing Co is down the road. You can get a map of the city's beer craft bars at Seoul Hiomebrew.
Until a few years ago the only beer that was accessible on the Taiwan market was the country's own brew. It was a drinkable beer but had a bad name and was a boring drink. Micro brewing was basically against the law in the country but now the nation's craft beer scene is showing signs of potential. The only drawback that you may find with some of these breweries are that they are still very simple in construction. There is a plus to this though as many of them incorporate some very interesting ingredients in their concoctions. The place to visit would be the Le Ble d'Or if you are looking for the best in local brews. The Jolly Brewery and restaurant along with the brew from the Red point Brewing Company is served at the Beer and Cheese Social House.
There is a problem of space and the overall daily lifestyle of the Hong Kong people and the city seems not too compatible with micro brewing. The Tipping Point Brewing Co. provides a few brews including the Ales that are crafted the way they do in the Americas. The place to visit is The Globe pub, they have a long list of imported brews as their local stock never seems to last any significant time. The HK Brewcraft stocks home brewing equipment for the fast growing business of home brewing. HK also stocks a large selection of home brews themselves. HK Brewcraft is your local homebrew store in Hong Kong. Whether you are a brewmaster, an aspiring homebrewer, or just want to have some fun making your own beer. HK Brewcraft Central is your local homebrew store and bottle shop with 80+ homebrewing ingredients and 60+ homebrewing equipment available for your brewing needs. 
An escapade to Oki Islands   

Japan always portrays an image bustling big city for travellers. If one is tired of the hustle and bustle of city crowds, head over to Matsue, located west of Honshu and take the next ferry trip to indulge in slower life pace over at remote Oki Islands. The island was recently designated as Unesco World Geoparks Network, and offers rugged coastal lanes, old trees, sparkling beaches and exciting water activities for the sporty type. There are also the famous Shinto shrines, a centuries old enclave rich in cultural customs and shrouded in squid legends. There are 4 main islands to explore around Oki Islands.

First in the list if the biggest island among all, which is the Dogo island. It is famous for aging cedar trees, well taken care by locals with zeal. Near the port town named Saigo lays a 2000 years old Yao-sugi huge tree, with branches popping up outside the Tamawakasu Shrine. Another giant tree estimated to be 800 years old lay near the area called Chichi sugi tree, believed to house a deity. Younger cedars (by hundreds of years) can be found in Shizenkaiko forest. Tokage-iwa can be explored. It is more commonly known as the lizard rock due to the appearance of a lizard clawing up the cliff.
Dogo's beaches are great walking terrains for nature lovers. Pine trees and other plant life can be found along the walking path. You will be able to experience the deep sea vistas along Shirashima coast. Sea kayaking, boat tours and diving plans can be arranged during the summer. The island also organizes bull sumo showdown where two bulls lock horns in a battlefield. It is a centuries old custom held nearby the Shinto shrines. The bulls head butt each other and one sole winner is announced the moment one party walks away. There will be professional handlers preventing bull injuries at the side.
Nishino shima is home to the breathtaking Kuniga coast. Tourists love hiking up Matengai Cliff to escape the urban cities like Osaka and Tokyo. Options are available for boat tours for an inner view of the rock formations. Yurahime Shrine is also another landmark at Nishino shima. Legend has it that a crowd of squids will gather at the bay to seek forgiveness from a deity for nipping her fingers. Photos of squid crowd can be seen at the lovely shrine. There is a covered ring for sumo wrestlers just outside the shrine. The ring has deep roots for Japanese culture. Tradition has it that wrestlers will fight twice, where there will be one win each. Tournaments are rarely held, maybe once in many years, and luck is needed to predict the timing of the matches if it ever happens.
Chiburi jima is the smallest island. A local slogan is given to the island name that is carefree Chiburi. One must stop by Kawai Jizo spring and admire the bodhisattva statues. The springs made it to the best 100 well preserved water from Shimane. After a refreshing drink, one can take a carefree walk up Sekiheki, also known as the red cliff. The cliff used to be covered in red magma, and its color changes which is dependent on lighting. Tanuki, a raccoon dog from Japan could be spotted as well. Mt Akahage, the top point of Chiburi jima, offers spectacular sea view and adjacent islands. Aigaki stone walls can be seen across the hills. It has been preserved since the days of sustainable farming rotating techniques many centuries ago.
Nakano shima at Oki Island is home to many famous exiled government officials over many centuries. Emperor Go Toba was once exiled after a failure in launching a rebellion to recapture his glory. 700 years later, the Oki Shine was built to commemorate his legacy and has become a hot spot for the island. Nakano shima has more exotic fresh water at springs all over the island. One can see the volcanic rock brimming in red.
If one were to plan the trip, be sure to look for Nishino shima office for tourism or Oki Island Gepark official site for more details and information source.
A crash course on Japanese noodles  

Tokyo is a global hub for tasty and delicious noodles and the city's population could go on strike and stop functioning without its famous noodles. Tokyo urbanites gobble down incredible amounts of noodles every single day for their entire lives. Some of their favorites include the ever common staple soba as well as udon. Japanese are also very fond of Chinese noodle variant known as ramen. A large variety of noodle shops operate around whole of Japan ranging from tachikui (or more popularly known as standing and eating parlor) bars specializing in sale of specialty noodles to highly upper class restaurants filled with shining pottery and elaborate gardens. The noodles bars require you to purchase tickets early for a full meal while in posh restaurants, you can tailor your orders from the ever friendly waiter or waitresses.

Soba, the traditional Japanese noodle, are thin in texture with brownish colour. Udon, on the other hand, is the complete opposite where it is thick and white. Kanto and Tokyo region is the origin for Soba, where it is closely linked. Udon is said to come from Kansai, regions near Osaka. Nevertheless, restaurants operators with noodle serving on their menu will have both noodle styles. Some of the typical noodle serving styles includes Kake soba or udon, where noodles are served inside a huge round bowl filled with bonito flavor soup base. Mori soba or udon is the complete opposite where noodles are served cold and laid on bamboo mat. It is the perfect noodle serving one can have during warm weather which instantly refreshes the mind and soul.
A very popular cold noodles liked by many local Japanese is zaru soba. It comes with dried seaweed as the common topping. A side dish accompanying the noodle is a cool broth filled in a small cup and spring onions served with wasabi on a small plate. The best method for eating zaru soba is dipping the noodles into the cool broth after having gently stirring the liquid. It is a mistake to pour the cool broth all around the noodles unless you want to make a mess around the dining table. Towards the final part of the meal, the waitress or server would provide a small glass of sobayu, also known to many as the boiling water used to heat up the noodles, in order for the patron to mix the broth with water. You can then enjoy you glass of broth mixture similar to enjoying a cup of hot tea.
Not many people are aware of the origins of Ramen. In actual fact, it comes from China, but has gained widespread adoption and recognition in Japan. The most basic form of Ramen is noodle served in a huge bowl of broth. The broth has many flavor variants. Topping can be added to the noodles such as sliced roasted pork meat (chashu), bean sprouts (moyashi) or leeks (negi). Ramen toppings are wide and varied and do not be surprise to see Ramen served with fresh butter corn from Hokkaido or wontons or even Chinese vegetables. Each person has their own favorite taste of Ramen and is loyal devotee to their own ramen flavor, but one thing for sure is that Western instant noodles preparation procedures are poor choice of noodle selection compared to the real delicious ramen.
Eating loudly and making loud sounds when you are in the middle of a meal is looked down upon as rude in Western countries. However, when you are in Japan, be sure to slurp down you noodles as it serves as a cooling tactic for hot noodles and is said to enhance noodle flavor.


Guide to Tokyo hotels  

Hotels types typically fall within the range from budget type hostels to five star luxurious suites. Tokyo has many accommodation variants that are not within the spectrum. Reasons for the birth of these accommodations are due to expensive land prices, small living quarters for families and ultra efficient public transport system. They value convenience above all and also a relaxing hot bath.

The first of the kind is the capsule hotel. It is essentially a sleeping pod with the size of one futon. The rooms are shaped in capsule sizes just big enough for a good night's rest. It may be out of this world but it is nothing more than a hostel filled stranger sharing beds. Capsule hotels are filled with strangers as well but a little more privacy is afforded. You get to watch TV via headphones and a chance to use the hot bath. It is specially catered for salarymen missing their train late at night. It costs about 4000 yen per night, cheaper compared to one taxi ride home. It has all basic amenities ready such as towels and toothbrushes as well as cotton robes. It may be good to bring along earplug for quietness. Men can go to Green Plaza while ladies can go for Ladies 501.
Sauna is actually a code for cheap roof over the head to crash over the night. Large public bathhouses that operate 24/7 usually come with relaxation rooms filled with armchairs. Saunas are a common feature around nightlife districts. Rooms are usually filled with salarymen. In women's sauna, it is usually filled with worn out bar hostesses. Saunas are slighty cheaper compared to capsule hotels (around 3000 yen per night) but comes with better bathing options. Some of their specialties include more upscale baths or outdoor baths that draws in the tourists. Traveller can look out for La Qua, a high class public bathhouse.
Manga kissa used to be a private reading booth for rent, usually a fixed fee where customers can read their favorite books in the booth. Kissa stands for café while manga stands for Japanese comics. People reading were also sleeping in the booth, usually teenagers. Manga kissa operators decided to implement the overnight stay option for the customers rather than shooing them out. It has developed to the extent of manga kissa having shower rooms, blankets and hair drying equipment. Standard rate for manga kissa costs 1500 yen complete with soft drinks but your stay is limited to 8 hours over the night. Gran Cyber Bagus Café is a good choice and has dedicated area for ladies.
Love hotels are hotels based on love themes and they differentiate themselves via elaborate schemes and décor. It is an important social venue for lovebirds who often stay in cramped buildings together with their families. The hotels are equipped with creative décor and could come with karaoke machines and Wii consoles. Patrons have the option for night stay or day rest. You can get the keys to your room via machine dispenser. Hotel Meguro is a recommended love hotel for those looking to experience the stay.
Ryokan have been around since centuries ago and is the most traditional form of temporary lodging facility. It is usually operated by family members of the sole owner. Its rooms are equipped with futons placed neatly on mat floors. The décor is clean and simple and rooms are clean and well maintained. Bathing areas are shared by all guests which is usually in the form of huge bath container. Towels and robes are provided. Dinner and breakfast may be inclusive depending on the stay package. Ryokan gives a feeling of Japanese homestay. It is not very popular among young adults as they pay less attention to tidiness. They are not used to rolling up futons after their sleep early morning. It is getting rare for Ryokans to be found in Tokyo. Sawanoya Ryokan would make a good choice of stay for those wanting to feel the Ryokan experience.


Shinkansen modern bullet train  

50th anniversary for Shinkansen: Japan's first modern bullet train

Shinkansen sits in the world modern railway history when it debuted around 1964 as a sleek, modern design bullet train known for its speed and punctuality. Japanese rail has brought cheers to the transport users for more than 50 years. Tourists can opt for many Rail Pass and discount tickets. To commemorate the 50th anniversary for Shinkansen, locals and foreigners alike can enjoy any of the 10 rail adventures around Japan.
First on the list is revisiting history by paying tribute to the Railway museum. It is located in Omiya, just 25km from Tokyo. The museum houses well preserved train models right from the steam train model to modern day electric rails. Indulge in the train simulator for a true Sinkansen train ride experience. The next step is to look to the future at the Railway Park located near Nagoya, where futuristic train models are displayed. SCMAGLEV is a magnetic levitation tech code name which allows high speed travel up to 580km an hour. The world record shattering train powered by Maglev is on display for all to admire. Trains do sell proper gourmet in the form of bento box. It contains Japanese local delicacies. Fine dining options are also available at the posh dining rail service Tohoku Emotion. You can enjoy your 3 course meals during the travel from Hachinohe right to Kuji.
Journey spanning over nighttime is equally exhilarating and there are overnight sleeper locomotives on service such as Cassiopeia or Hokutosei service travelling from Sapporo and Tokyo. One can take the famous Twilight Express for a 23 hour ride from Sapporo to Osaka, complete with Japan Sea coast view. Try Seven Stars for travel from Hakata to Kagoshima for an authentic oriental express experience.
Steam trains are still available for ride for those looking for old fashioned travelling mode. Fuyu Shitsugen go, a steam locomotive operates between January till mid-March. It passes through the Kushiro Shitsugen Park, where one can admire the birds and eagles. Moka Railway, another steam locomotive, bring travellers through to the pottery town Mashiko. Trams are still operating in some Japanese cities, which offer travellers the urban atmosphere and neatly lined up building quarters. One of the tram lines is Toden Arakawa. It is one of the last remaining trains having the ding ding sound that runs along Waseda university quarters as well as Minowa bashi. Trams can sometime travel very close to adjacent buildings that it can be reached by arm's length. Funiculars or cable railways are excellent for travelling on mountains. One can try out Hakone Tozen rail which transports travellers from base to Hakone Lakeland resort near Mt Fuji. Cable railway is also a necessary mode of transport that links Japan Alps to Nagano Prefecture. It is none other than the Tateyama Kurobe route. Shinkansen train lines do not pass along scenic country side, except for routes connecting Tokyo and Nagano. One can opt for pretty journey beside Japan Sea on Kitakinki Tango Railroad. You will get the opportunity to view the famous Amanohashidate sandbank.
Train journey through to the mountainous country allows one to spot cute snow monkeys. One such line which offers such view is the Nagano Electric Railroad Snow Monkey Ride Express. The trains bring you close to hot pools with monkeys bathing alongside. The train trip for the way back bring one to the Obuse town, famous for chestnuts and sake as well as home to woodblock imprint master Mr. Katsushika Hokusai.
Last but not least, one could make some time for admiring the magnificent train station structures. Tokyo Station was restored to its 1914 red building look and is looking as magnificent as ever. Take some time also to visit Nikko station, all made from wooden materials. For a glimpse of modern architecture, head over to Kyoto station and you will gasp at the similarity with works from science fiction manga comics.
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