e-Tokyo Today
News & Announcements


Special Article

Special Article

"Izakaya: eating and drinking where everybody knows your name"

Tokyo's Concept Cafe

Tokyo's Concept Cafe

"Tokyo's Car Cafés"

Event Information
Updated Radiation-related Information in Tokyo

News & Announcements

JR East Launched Advantageous N'EX TOKYO Round Trip Ticket
Narita Express
You can ride the Narita Express (round trip) at a discounted rate!! East Japan Railway Company launched the discount ticket "N'EX TOKYO Round Trip Ticket" aimed at overseas visitors to Japan, on March 14, 2015. It is a round-trip ticket that enables overseas travelers to reserve a seat on an ordinary car of the Narita Express (N'EX) at a discounted rate of 4,000 yen (adult, 33 USD).

Validity period: 14 days
Sales location: JR EAST Travel Service Center (Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station, Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station), Station (Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station, Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station)
You have to show your passport when you purchase the ticket.

In addition, coinciding with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen on March 14, the validity of the "JR EAST PASS" was partially changed.

Comparison with standard rates
From Narita Airport Adults (12 years and over) Children (6 to 11 years)
6,040 yen
(50 USD)
4,000 yen
(33 USD)
3,020 yen
(25 USD)
2,000 yen
(17 USD)
6,380 yen
(53 USD)
3,180 yen
(27 USD)
Website http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pdf/ntrt_150116_e.pdf

Hokuriku Bullet Train Line Extending its Route to Kanazawa
Hokuriku Shinkansen
Hokuriku Bullet Train
From March 14, 2015, Hokuriku bullet train line extends its route to Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. The Hokuriku bullet train line connects Tokyo Station with Kanazawa Station in 148 minutes and Toyama Station in 128 minutes. The time distance from Tokyo to Hokuriku becomes equal to the time to the Kansai and Chubu areas, enabling travelers to make a round tour of Japan in less time.

Tokyo Tops Index of World's Safest Cities
Safe Cities Index 2015
Top 20 cities
Rank City Rank City
1 Tokyo 6 Sydney
2 Singapore 7 Zurich
3 Osaka 8 Toronto
4 Stockholm 9 Melbourne
5 Amsterdam 10 New York
Tokyo is ranked the world's safest city in a new index, released on January 26, 2015 from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), just ahead of Singapore and Osaka. The Safe Cities Index 2015 ranks 50 cities worldwide across five continents.
Website http://safecities.economist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/EIU_Safe_Cities_Index_2015_white_paper-18.02.15.pdf

TOKYO ONE PIECE TOWER Opened on March 13 at Tokyo Tower
This amusement park on a large scale is the world's first and only place where you can experience the world of the popular anime ONE PIECE. TOKYO ONE PIECE TOWER offers you a number of exclusive attractions, live entertainment shows, restaurants, and limited edition goods!

Adults: 3,200 yen (27 USD) / Children (4 to 12-year old): 1,600 yen (13 USD)
Website http://onepiecetower.tokyo/en/

New Visitor-friendly Restaurant Guide Launched!
EAT Tokyo
The website "EAT Tokyo" is specially designed for foreign visitors to search for restaurants with Multilingual Menus. You can search your favorite types of restaurants by locations or food categories in your own language.
"EAT Tokyo" will guide you to the most fun places to eat and drink in Tokyo.
Website http://www.menu-tokyo.jp/

Special Article
Izakaya: eating and drinking where everybody knows your name
Enjoy Izakaya just like the Japanese!

When it comes to eating in Japan, everyone talks about sushi-ya and perhaps some of those more "in the know" counter with ramen-ya or tempura-ya. Still, what most long-term residents (and all Japanese!) know is that there is one kind of eatery that says "Japan" more than anything else: it's the izakaya, that unique cross between a bar, a tavern, a greasy spoon and a regular restaurant. This is where the Japanese put down their briefcases, where the men actually loosen their ties and the women let their hair down and where they all let off steam surrounded by friends, good drink and even better food. [1]

Typically marked by a red chochin paper lantern with the characters izakaya (居酒屋) on them, often big and belonging to chains (some of the best known are Amataro, Domadoma, En, Gyukaku, Hanano-mai, Kamadoka, Murasaki, Shirokiya, Shoya, Tengu, Tofuro, Tori-kizoku, Tsubohachi, Warayakiya and Watami) and even more often hole-in-the-wall places belonging to a family operating them for years in some neighborhood corner or in clusters like those found in Shinjuku's Omoide Yokocho, Shibuya's Nonbei Yokocho, Ebisu's Yokocho, Asakusa's Koen-rokku, Ueno's Ameyoko or around Shimbashi station, izakaya are the most delicious way to realize the great depths and incredible diversity of Japanese cuisine.

Literally "izakaya" means "a place to hang out and drink" but don't let the emphasis on the drink fool you: they are full-fledged restaurants offering an enormous variety of plain or more elaborate dishes. If you do want to drink though, start with a "toriaezu biru" ("beer for now") [4] and from there either refill or continue to the (usually large) available collection of sake, shochu or even whisky. (An izakaya standard is the whisky and soda known as "highball.") Oh, and while waiting for your toriaezu beer, unfold your hot oshibori towel [2], wipe your face and hands [3] and start nibbling on the otoshi appetizer which will come without ordering it: it is a sort of table charge, it's cheap and it's (usually) very tasty.

Ordering might seem tricky at first. Some of the big chain izakaya like the ones mentioned above have gone high-tech: they offer tablet-like devices which you can use to choose what you want and communicate it directly to the staff. Obviously in this case the pictures will help you pick up the dishes that seem most promising but what happens in the majority of izakaya where the only thing you see are listings, usually hand-written, on the walls? One good way would be to look around and see what other people are having, point to it and ask for the same - even if the staff only speaks very little English they will understand and try to explain (try saying "areh wa nan des' ka?" - "what is that over there?") Still, in many izakaya this won't be necessary: more and more have started having an English menu often with pictures and even a brief description of each dish.

What will surprise you pleasantly is the variety of dishes: contrary to regular restaurants specializing in one cooking style (sushi, ramen, soba, steaks etc.) there's little that the izakaya menu doesn't include - from fried fish, chicken or potatoes to pork or chicken skewers, to croquettes, to different versions of cooked or raw tofu, vegetables (like the trademark beer-snack, edamame soybeans), to sashimi and yakisoba (fried noodles) even the most hard-to-please diner will find something to their liking. As for the size of the dishes/portions, they're small because they're meant to be shared: everything goes to the middle and everyone nibbles from all plates - remember, izakaya are all about the company!

When you're full of drinks and food (and the time for the last train approaches) you'll ask for the bill or "o-aiso" (Check please) - you've been there enough to feel comfortable so try asking old-school style: by flashing to your waiter an "X" made of your two crossed forefingers [5]. The usual way to pay at an izakaya is by splitting the bill among all members of the group - the assumption is that everyone drank and ate pretty much the same - but you'll notice that the, otherwise composed, Japanese patrons will invariably start a contest about who will pick up the tab, insisting and arguing cordially - but loudly! [6] Remember: most of the groups you see around you are co-workers doing this regularly so it makes sense that they pay in turns.

Informal (some don't even use chairs but upside-down beer crates!), loud, warm, indoors or out on the street, with flavors that will make your taste buds explode and with a welcome and helpful staff, izakaya illustrate another, unexpected face of the spirit of omotenashi hospitality Japan is famous for. Miss them and you've missed a wonderful aspect of deep Japan hidden in plain sight in every neighborhood of this city.

Tokyo's Concept Café
Tokyo's Car Cafés
In one of the world's top auto-making countries the idea of car cafés seems inevitable. It's no surprise then that lately makers, and especially those of top-quality brands have started experimenting with it, offering Tokyoites and visitors, car lovers or just people looking for an alternative for their everyday respite, new and exciting options.
Stylish Café on the 1st floor

"Garage" on the 1st floor is an exhibition hall
(please note the LF-CC cannot always be seen).
2F Lounge Customized Rocket Salad
2F Restroom Stairs
One such option is the Intersect by Lexus in Aoyama's 4th district, a short walk from Tokyo Metro's Omotesando Station. Created by interior designer Masamichi Katayama the two-floor café/restaurant/exhibition space, is a superb study in style and functionality avoiding the usual pitfall of feeling detached and cold.

An eclectic blend of Japanese sensibilities in design (Katayama's interior and exterior concepts, tableware by SyuRo's Masuko Unayama's), food (by Daichi Tajima), music (by Towa Tei) and even fragrance (by Yuica) choices, and of the coffee culture of Oslo's historic Fuglen coffee-shop (responsible for Intersect by Lexus's coffee bar an offering a premium selection of beans from all over the world according to season), the café is a perfect fit to the mix of cosmopolitan and local that make up Aoyama's landscape.

The staircase with the panels exhibiting Lexus actual parts transformed in a flowing sculpture opens to the second floor lounge, the heart of the Intersect by Lexus: it's there that the visitor can sit and enjoy reading (from the library provided) and food (hors d'oeuvres start at 600 yen (5 USD) and the elegant yet sumptuous main dishes at 1,300 yen (11 USD) or marvel at (and shop!) some of the everyday objects in the "Crafted for Lexus" series, created by Japanese designers.

The Intersect by Lexus is a space made to be lived, not admired from afar; it certainly echoes its parent company's philosophy of luxury but at the same time it demonstrates that true elegance is not about ostentation but about preservation of what is true, simple and functional. Its creator speaks about a "space of communication, where new culture might be born"; after spending a few hours there, any visitor will agree that it might very well be.
Address 4-21-26 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Access 3 min. walk from Tokyo Metro Omotesando Sta.
Map Map
Open 1F Café & Garage 9:00-23:00, 2F Lounge & Shop 11:00-23:00
Tel 03-6447-1540
Website http://www.intersect-by-lexus.com/tokyo/

Other Car Cafés / Restaurants in Tokyo
Mercedes-Benz Connection
Address 7-3-10 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Access 2 min. walk from Tokyo Metro Nogizaka Sta. / 5 min. walk from Toei Oedo Roppongi Sta. / 7 min. walk from Tokyo Metro Roppongi Sta.
Map Map
Open Café 7:00-23:00, Restaurant Lunch 11:00-16:00,
Dinner 18:00-23:00, Bar 11:00-24:00
Tel Restaurant: 03-3423-8775, Cafe: 03-3423-8772
Website http://www.mercedes-benz-connection.com/english/

The Momentum by Porsche
Address Shiodome City Center 1F, 1-5-2 Higashi Shinbashi, Minato-ku,Tokyo
Access 3 min. walk from Shimbashi Sta. / 1 min. walk from Shiodome Sta.
Map Map
Open 11:00-23:00 (last call 22:00)
Closed Monday
Tel 03-6280-6785
Website http://www.porsche.tokyo/english/

Address IWAI Bldg., 3-6-27 Minami-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Access 4 min. walk from Aomono-yokocho Sta. / 6 min. walk from Shinagawa Seaside Sta. / 10 min. walk from Oimachi Sta.
Map Map
Open Mon-Sat 11:00-24:00 (last call 23:30), Sun/holidays 11:00-21:00 (last call 20:30)
Tel 03-5783-6117
Website http://www.hummer.co.jp/cafe/ (Japanese)

Event Information
List of events and festivals
Go to our website & find more exciting events and festivals.

No Negative Impact on Our Health: Updated Radiation-related
Radiation dose after touring Tokyo for one day (July 9, 2012) Report on field measurements
by Japan Tourism Agency

Measurements results of Environmental radiation levels in Tokyo
by Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health

Information on the Great East Japan Earthquake
by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

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