Other recommendable areas Areas introduced in this section are also recommendable tourism spots for inbound tourists, in addition to the areas introduced in other sections. Mainly focused on Tokyo lower town area where good old Tokyo landscape still remains, Mt. Takao is also added as a recommendable area, since it is the tourism spots rated as Three stars by Michelin because of its rich natural environment even in close location from the metropolitan Tokyo city central.
Edo Tokyo Museum
The mountain rated three stars by Micheline guide because of its rich natural environment even located close to metropolitan Tokyo city central, which is Mt. Takao. You can arrive this mountain in around one hour train ride from Shinjuku Station by JR, or KEIO line. This is just a 600m high mountain, however, there are several trekking routs maintained together with good natural mountain condition, so it is easy to enjoy one day trekking even by inbound tourists. Climbing through main trekking route, Trail #1, there is “Yaku Oh In” temple before arriving the mountain top, then you can feel sacred atmosphere and history of Buddhism of this sacred mountain which has been object of mountain worship. From the top of this mountain, if weather is fine, you can see skyscrapers of Shinjuku in far away in east, and Mt. Fuji in west. In addition, there is beer garden named “Beer Mount Takao” at the middle of trail #1, it opens from 1:00pm through 9:00pm, so it is popular as good night view spot as well. There are cable cars or chair lifts are available from the bottom to the level of the Beer Mount, so you can access there easily. After trekking, it might be quite nice to take Natural Onsen “Gokuraku-Yu” located in front of Takaosan-Guchi Station, which was just opened in 2015.
Ueno Park owned by Tokyo, is located just in front of JR Ueno Station Parkside exit. This is originally begun from Kanei-Ji temple, which was established in early 17th century by Iemitsu Tokugawa, the 3rd Shogun of Tokugawa Shogunate, in order to protect unlucky direction for Edo castle. After that it had been owned and operated under Emperor family’s control, in 1924, it was granted to Tokyo city and become a park of Tokyo. This Ueno Park is especially famous and popular for Tokyo people as Cherry blossom party place in spring, and also there are Ueno Zoo, the Japan’s first Zoo, Tokyo National museum, and other museums, art galleries, so many of people visit here all year round. National Museum of Western Art, designed by the world famous architect Le Corbusier, is also located inside of this park, which was designated as world cultural heritage in 2016. So, it became to attract much attention of inbound tourists as a major tourism spot. In addition, there are many of important cultural properties, such as “Kiyomizu Kannon Doh” (a little replica of the stage of Kiyobizu Temple in Kyoto), or “Ueno To-Sho- Guh” temple, thus you can feel same kind of atmosphere of such major tourism spots without visiting Kyoto or Nikko. Also in summer time, lots of Lotus flowers blooms all over the Shinobazu-Pond, so it might be smart thing to observe Monet’s picture of Lotus in National Museum of Western Art, after viewing the landscape of Shinobazu-Pond covered by Lotus flowers.
It is possible to go Yanaka/Nedu/Sendagi area (so called “Ya-Ne-Sen” area) from Ueno Park on foot. Go straight along the street from the main gate of Tokyo National Museum for the direction of Japanese university of fine arts, you can find good old town landscape with “Showa” era (1920’s-1980’s) atmosphere. The street is very much winding because they are roads constructed by covering former streams. So it is called Snake street. It takes around one hour by walk from Ueno Park to Yanaka Ginza, even by stopping by “Shitamachi Museum“ (old lower town museum), or Nedu Shrine. At Yanaka Ginza, there are lots of old local restaurants or shops, and many of foreign tourists sitting on simple box chairs, enjoy beer drinking under atmosphere of the “Shitamachi”.
Edo Tokyo Museum
This museum is located just close to JR Ryogoku Station, and you can see history of Tokyo closely, from Edo era to current Tokyo, through various reproduction or exhibitions. Once you get in, you may see the wooden actual size of Nihonbashi bridge reproduction, and after you across the bridge, there are the world of “Edo” (former Tokyo) spread in front of you. There are diorama of old Edo Castle, or town landscape of Edo,so you can see how Tokyo city was in 200-400 years ago through them. If you are interested in knowing history of Tokyo city, it is must go place. Getting out after observation, there is "Ryogoku Kokugi Kan" (National Sumo Stadium) in front of you. There are many of Sumo wrestlers’ training room, so you may have chance to see real Sumo wrestlers after their morning training, if you walk around this area just before noon time.
Getting out from JR Asakusabashi Station, and walk along the wide street (Edo-Dori : rout 6) in front of the station and proceed to south-west direction for a few minutes, you arrive at Asakusabashi bridge. When you look for west direction from the bridge, you can see a lot of roofed boats “Yakata-Bune” staying along both of the riversides. They are boats to enjoy river cruise with having alcohol and Tempra, which has been an old and traditional amusement for Tokyo lower town people. Many of people still enjoy it. Especially the time of fireworks at Tokyo bay or Sumida River, uncountable of many boats sent out and many people enjoy fireworks viewing from the boats. Also, along the Edo-Dori street, there are many of traditional Japanese doll shops, and various type of Japanese dolls are available there, so lots of foreign tourists visiting there to buy Japanese dolls for souvenir.