My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: July 30, 2019
Interests: Solo Female Travel, Adventure Travel
Number of Visits to Japan: 4
What Do You Think of Tokyo?: One of my favorite cities!
Today's places provided a great insight into the cultural things to do at night. All of the experiences would be perfect for a date night, or for friends looking to do something unique.
This was a fun experience, and perhaps something I'd recommend as a date night location. It was interesting to learn about the cultural relevance of the pottery, and fun to make it. They'll even ship what you make back home for a fee, if you want to keep your creative accomplishment.
It's definitely something fun to do, and it's very interesting seeing the master potter's collection of pieces. If you haven't made pottery before, it's very exciting to learn how to do it from the professionals who work there, and to discover how to shape clay into bowls or cups using the pottery wheel.
This is definitely something you need to reserve and plan for in advance, especially if you're trying to stay in town long enough to take your pottery home (it takes about 4 weeks). If you don't have enough time to wait for it, you can have the option of purchasing other people's creations, who likely also didn't have enough time to wait to take them home.
In the pottery workshop, you'll also see some professionally made and restored pieces that are for sale. They have intricate paintings on them, and most have the traditional gold paint.
From Omote-sando Station, take the Ginza Line to Tameike-sanno Station, then transfer to the Namboku Line. Get off at Shirokanedai Station, and walk for 10 minutes.
Happo-en is a very beautiful garden, however again it was hard to see and photograph at night. Not many people were walking in the garden at night either, so I'm not sure if you're meant to go there at night. Sunset or early evening would be nice! But it definitely is a popular place for weddings and events even in the evening. I met one girl (from the US!) who was wearing a formal kimono who said she was having a party there for her parents and her fiancé's parents to meet for the first time!
In the garden there's a big pond with enormous koi fish that dart around and in between the stones you can walk on. There's also a small hut on the water which is a relaxing place to sit, but a little scary because the water is dark and the big fish like to randomly jump out of it! We had to use our phone flashlights to see the pagoda trees, but there was a whole row of different ones that I believe are over 500 years old!
Overlooking the gardens is a restaurant inside where you can have a nice meal or just a drink while looking out the floor to ceiling windows.
From Shirokanedai Station, take the Namboku Line to Iidabashi Station, then transfer to the Tozai Line. Get off at Kagurazaka Station, and walk for six minutes.
Kagurazaka Kado was very interesting from a cultural perspective! The whole area of Kagurazaka is very local, so you can see where people actually live, including an old traditional Japanese house that was turned into a restaurant. You can see a small front room big enough only for maybe six people, where you can stop in and have a drink and read. Further in the house is where you can sit down for a meal, either at regular tables or traditional ones on the floor.
You'll definitely want to go to Kagurazaka Kado with a guide because it's a little hard to find, and also the menu and service are only in Japanese. The meal is izakaya style, so you don't need to do much picking from the menu, but they will need to know whether you want fish or meat, and what you'd like to drink!
It was very interesting trying all of the local dishes which were all things I'd never know to order on my own! The first course was all small traditional appetizers, followed by a soup, the main course, and a dessert. I also got to try Japanese white wine for the first time here, which was absolutely delicious!