Top 10 Japan travel tips

Here are my top ten Japan travel tips. (1) Fly into Haneda airport, not Narita, if you are going to Tokyo. Narita airport is a nightmare, starting with the long queues at immigration (in a hot stuffy room) to the long ride from the airport to central Tokyo. Narita lies 57.5 kilometres (35.7 miles) from […]

Tokyo Shopping: fountain pens, notebooks and agendas

Tokyo is the best place to find the finest fountain pens, as well as notebooks and agendas with good paper for fountain pen writing. Here are my favourite places in Tokyo for pen/notebook/agenda shopping. (1) Tsutaya Daikanyama: Also called T-Site, this is the most luxurious Tsutaya bookstore in Tokyo. Make sure you have lunch or […]

Day trip outside Tokyo: Kamakura

Kamakura is a coastal town less than an hour from Tokyo (by train), filled with temples and shrines. It is popular among local and foreign tourists and gets very crowded on weekends, so the best time to visit is during weekdays. You can take the train directly from a number of Tokyo metro stations and […]

Claska Hotel Tokyo: Design Chic in Meguro

Claska Hotel Tokyo is hip, modern, and utterly Japanese, offering a premier boutique hotel experience in the western Meguro area of Tokyo. The hotel has only fifteen rooms: nine Western with gorgeous hardwood floors tall white walls and minimalist furniture reminiscent of Muji designs; three in traditional tatami style lighted by paper lanterns and outfitted […]

Tokyo Shopping The Ginza — Shiseido, 45rpm and others

The Ginza is one of Tokyo’s most popular shopping districts because of the variety of stores — expensive Western designer brands, department stores and Japanese fashion — ┬áin such a small walkable area. Here you will find notable stores such as: Shiseido The Ginza: This is Shiseido’s flagship store where fans of Shiseido can sample […]

Tokyo Haneda airport opens up to more international flights

Here’s good news for those who would rather fly in and out of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (only 10 km from the city centre) instead of Narita (57 km). Haneda recently added a fourth runway and is now allowing more long-haul international flights. Japan Airlines seems to have the largest number of international long-haul flights into […]

Mapplr’s favorite hotels in Tokyo

Regular readers of Mapplr know that when it comes to hotels, I prefer to stay in places that do not belong to a chain. I like small, intimate hotels or B&Bs whose owners pay a lot of attention to design, atmosphere and personal service. Last winter, I had a chance to go to Japan for […]