Tokyo’s Best Hot Chocolate (As Reviewed by a Jaded Romantic)

A dash of bitter in an otherwise sweet review. Continue reading Tokyo’s Best Hot Chocolate (As Reviewed by a Jaded Romantic)

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5 Shaved Ice Shops to Try in Tokyo: TP3’s Summer 2017 Crave List

The season’s almost over, but it’s never too late to indulge in a summer favorite. That’s right, I’m talking about kakigōri or shaved ice. This refreshing summer treat can be enjoyed almost anywhere in Tokyo, with cafes and restaurants serving their own flavors, mixes and concoctions. This year, I decided to go international and tried five shops of different origins. Continue reading “5 Shaved Ice Shops to Try in Tokyo: TP3’s Summer 2017 Crave List”

Tokyo Day Trip: Afternoon Stroll at Todoroki Valley

Date Visited: May 7, 2017

With the summer heat and humidity upon us, heading outdoors is becoming more of a struggle than a pleasant endeavor. And for people like me who aren’t fond of high temperatures, Todoroki Valley promises a cool escape from Tokyo’s sticky atmosphere. Continue reading “Tokyo Day Trip: Afternoon Stroll at Todoroki Valley”

Mt. Mitake Easy Day Hike

Access: JR Ome Line Mitake Station
Cost: Around JPY 3,710 (Shinjuku Sta. to Mitake Station: JPY 970; Bus to Mitakesan: JPY 280; Round-trip Cable Car JPY 1,110; One-way Lift to Anzan Sugi: JPY 100)
Difficulty: Absolute beginner to beginner
Duration: Approx. 3 hours
Hiking Course: Mitake Station→Mitakesan Station (Cable Car)→Anzan Sugi→Shopping Street→Musashi Mitake Shrine→Nagao Taira→Tengu Rock→Rock Garden

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Continue reading “Mt. Mitake Easy Day Hike”

Chasing Cherry Blossoms: A Gallery

When is the best time to see cherry blossoms? Where are the best spots to see them? These are two of the most common questions I get from people eager to visit Japan.

The truth is, even for people living in the country, finding the best time and place to see cherry blossoms can be tricky. Forecasts can only predict as much, and if you’re only free on weekends, chances are the places you visit will be packed with (drunk) people.

Of the five years I’ve been Japan, this year was first time I’ve made considerable effort in checking out as many places in Kanto as I could, given the limited time and resources. Below is a gallery featuring the spots I visited.

Otonashi Water Park /音無親水公園 (Oji, Tokyo)

Located near the city hall, Otona Water Park is among the relatively quieter spots to enjoy cherry blossoms. Perhaps this is because the more popular and more spacious Asukayama Park is close by. I personally love the way the branches lean towards the wooden bridge. The spot always makes for good pictures.

Access: JR Keihin Tohoku Line Oji Station/Toden Arakawa Line Oji Ekimae Station/Google Maps URL Continue reading “Chasing Cherry Blossoms: A Gallery”