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Tokyo/Minato

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East Asia : Japan : Kanto : Tokyo (prefecture) : Tokyo : Minato
Revision as of 02:56, 14 September 2012 by 119.240.235.165 (Talk)

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Location of Minato-ku

Minato [1] (港区) is a ward in central Tokyo. The name means "port", referring to its seaside location, although due to reclamation many areas in the district are quite far from the sea these days.

Understand

Tokyo Tower and the temple of Zōjōji

Minato is a fairly sprawling ward with no single center. The following parts of Minato have their own articles:

  • Akasaka - a business district and nightlife area near the government center
  • Odaiba - the Tokyo of the future built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay
  • Roppongi - nightlife central for Tokyo's foreign population
  • Shiodome - a still-growing cluster of brand new skyscrapers
  • Shinbashi - an older business and commercial district

Get in

  • Hamamatsuchō (浜松町), terminus of the Tokyo Monorail from Haneda Airport; the closest station on the Yamanote to both Tokyo Tower (10 min. walk) and Roppongi (25 min. walk).

See

  • Tokyo Tower (東京タワー Tōkyō Tawā), (the nearest station is Akabanebashi (5 min walk) although Hamamatsucho and Daimon are accessible through several lines and only slightly farther away), [2]. 9AM-10PM daily. Tokyo's largest tourist trap, this was a newly re-industrialized Japan's 1958 answer to Paris's Eiffel Tower — a bit more modern-looking and 9 meters taller. Entry to the Main Observatory (150m) is ¥820, while ascending to the Special Observatory (250m) is an extra ¥600. If you've still got money in your pockets, you can burn it by visiting the Wax Museum (¥870), the Mysterious Walking Zone (¥410) or the Trick Art Gallery (¥400). Tip: you'll get better views from higher up for free if you visit Shinjuku's Metropolitan Government Building observatory instead. Another tip: To get a good view of, and picture with, the tower, try the courtyard in front of Zojoji (nearby), or the second-floor deck outside the Mori Tower at Roppongi Hills (farther away but more panoramic).
  • Sengaku-ji Temple (泉岳寺), Takanawa 2-11-1 (Toei Asakusa Line Sengakuji station exit A2), [3]. Not all that much to look at, but the fascinating history makes up for it: this is where the famous 47 rōnin of the true story that became the Kabuki epic Chūshingura committed ritual suicide after avenging their master's death. The graves are a popular site of pilgrimage to this day.
  • Zōjō-ji Temple (増上寺), Shibakoen 4-7-35 (Toei Mita Line Onarimon station), [4]. This grand old temple is the headquarters of the Jōdō Shinshu sect and houses the graves of 6 of the Tokugawa shoguns, but is a little off the beaten track and is rarely visited by tourists. Particularly beautiful around cherry blossom time.
  • Capsule Tower. A famous building of Kisho Kurokawa, that reflects the views Japanese had of the future in the70's. Plans of tearing it down have been running around since 2008 but the building is still there so hurry up! From Shinbashi or Shidome station, take the underpass and get out on exit 5. Walk 150 meters until you reach a street with a highway above it. The building is across the street, a little bit to the right.
  • Pokemon Center Tokyo. One of 6 stores dedicated to the cute popular Pokemon characters. The Tokyo store is the flagship store, and is very busy at weekends.

Do

  • Tokyo Water Cruise, [5]. Plies the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay between Hamamatsucho, Odaiba, Asakusa and other points. Fares vary depending on routing.

Buy

Eat

Splurge

  • Petit Point, 4-2-48, Minami-Azabu (3 min south of Hiroo station), +81 03-3440-3667, [6]. Superbly prepared French cuisine. Expect to pay about ¥15,000 for a full dinner.

Sleep

Splurge

  • Hotel Okura, 2-10-4 Toranomon, +81 03-3582-0111 (fax: +81 03-3582-3707), [7]. One of the Tokyo's grandest hotels. Rack rates begin at ¥36,750 for singles, ¥46,200 for doubles.

Contact

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