a quick fix on the run
The best thing about Tokyo is wandering the crowded streets finding new and wonderful sights so unlike what you see in any other city. Giant buildings many floors high and only 12 feet wide.
Millions of office workers streaming out of the train stations on their way to their jobs at 8:45 in the morning.
Those funny clear plastic umbrellas the hotels give you.
But one of my favorite things is checking out the automats. You never know what you can find to buy in a machine. I was photographing my monkies in a pine tree and one of the oldest Japanese ladies I have ever seen saw me and she started to laugh and laugh and bow. I bowed back and we kept that up for a good long time. Lovely to laugh and bow for a bit.
go to Shinjuku. Particularly...
go to Shinjuku. Particularly Southern Terrace, where there are Kinko's, Eddie Bauer, Star Bucks Coffee, etc. Internet surfing at Kinko's. There is one in Southern Terrace opposite the South Gate of Shinjuku Station.
The others in Tokyo are Toranomon, Uchisaiwaicho, Higashi-Ginza, Kyobashi, Tokyo-Eki, Hibiya, Kayabacho, Awajicho, Kanda, Otemachi, Ikebukuro-Nishiguchi, Nishi-Shinjuku (Tel. 03-3363-3122), Shinjuku Center Buildg, Shinjuku Gyoen, Hilton-Tokyo in Shinjuku, Yotsuya, Totsuya 3-chome, Gaienmae, Shibuya Station East Exit on Meiji-Dori, Osaki Gatecity, Tamachi Station Mita Exit.
The Kabuki-za theatre at Ginza
The Kabuki-za on Harumi-dôri at Ginza is Japan's most famous kabuki theatre. There are performances of the unique Japanses theatre art kabuki nearly every day. Because kabuki plays are very long (mostly 4.30-9 pm), I would advise to get in the on a short-time ticket. This is done all the time, because even many Japanese are not patient enough to look at a whole play. The price vary greatly, ranging from 16800 ¥ to 2520 ¥.
Even if you are not interested in watching a play, the architecture of the theatre that was first opened in 1889 is interesting.
Loving cherry bloosoms in springtime
If you happen to come to Tokyo in springtime, you may expect to view the whole town is totally colored in pink with cherry blossoms.
We Japanese people really love to view the cherry blossoms and to have a HANAMI party under a blooming tree.
Cherrys in Tokyo bloom fully between the last week of March and the second week of April. Don't miss it!!!
Vending machine usage like the locals do!
Vending Machines are everywhere. The picture here is one row of three of vending machines at the Meiji Shrine. Vending is a tradition in Japan. I love to watch people grab a coke from a vending machine that talks. Sometimes when the machine says thank you, a Japanese person will actually bow to the machine! It is like the Matrix or something.
There is literally nothing that you cannot buy in a Tokyo vending machine. My favorite has always been the one in Shinjuku with the used women's panties, but we won't go into that here. Seriously though, you can buy everything from eggs to porn to photos and a place to recharge your cell phone.
I love the fact that I can go out to the middle of nowhere on a hiking trip on Mt. Hakone, and half way up the mountain, in the most remote spot imaginable, there will be a vending machine! What is more impressive is that alchol is served in many of them. The Holiday Inn I stayed at had a Suntori Whisky vending machine on my floor near the elevator. I was asked by some Japanese kids to break a 1000 Yen bill for them, and was was surprised when they used the change to buy a bottle. I'll never do that again, at least not without carding them first!