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Tokyo is my second home. As a teenager in the 1970s,  I fondly recall my long walks from one end of the city to the other. I was fascinated by the organized chaos of the city and found myself face-to-face with both the old and the new. The city worked like clockwork on all levels both above and below ground and my love for trains took me on an even greater ride into the inner workings of this great capital city. 

In an effort to understand the many subtle layers of Tokyo, I rode the central Yamanote Loop Line (Lime Green) regularly with the intention of exiting at a different station each day. What I learned is how this complex city was really a collection of many smaller communities, each with its own unique personality.  Having been born and raised in the Los Angeles area I was familiar with this type of city structure and understood the role of these smaller communities in the big picture. However, what was unique about Tokyo is that everything was connected - on all levels. This was not the case in Los Angeles and Southern California where places were disconnected and serviced only by a car or long bus ride.  

Tokyo is more than just a collection of sparkling skyscrapers, high-speed trains, crowds and more crowds.  All of this chaotic energy is contrasted with ancient shrines, quiet lantern-lit lanes and traditional wooden buildings of the ancient capital of Edo. In later years I would recall my "Edo" walks with Professor Jinnai as we visited sections of Tokyo and compared and contrasted the city plan with the actual maps of old Edo. For a first time visitor, an exploration of Tokyo might appear to be daunting and dizzying, but under the organized chaos one will find that this densely populated city is in fact so much more. Tokyo boasts one of the world's cleanest and most efficient transportation systems where train and taxi drivers still wear white gloves. English and a variety of other languages can now be found on major signage and the city is now home to world class five-star hotels and even the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.

Below is a collection of some of my top picks in hotels, restaurants and interesting places to consider when you visit TOKYO.



Aronia de Takazawa (Contemporary)
Ginza Kyubei Sushi (Sushi) TOKU10
Restaurant L'Osier (French)
ambiance (Belgian French) TOKU10
Roppongi Robata-ya (Grilled)
Fureika (Chinese)


- Art Triangle in Roppongi (Roppongi Hills, Midtown & National Art Center)
- Musee Tomo for contemporary Japanese ceramics
- Kiyosumi Garden and the Contemporary Art Warehouse and Gallery District
- Retail Therapy & Contemporary Architecture: Omotesando, Harajuku, Yoyogi & Meiji Shrine
- Hip Residential Neighborhoods: Naka Meguro, Jiyugaoka and Daikanyama
- Gallery of Horyuji Treasures (Tokyo National Museum  - Ueno)
- The Old Neighborhood of Yanaka and the SCAI Bathhouse Contemporary Art Gallery
- Nakano Broadway & Akihabara: The Otaku Pilgrimage
- Intimate Art: The Hara Museum, Hatakeyama Memorial Museum & The Nezu Museum
- Mingeikan Folk Art Museum
- Tsukiji Fish Market at the crack of dawn and the Outer Market
- Marunouchi Nakadori Street and outdoor sculptures from Hakone Open Air Museum
- Contemporary Japanese textiles at Nuno and pearls from Amit
- Hunt for housewares at Kappabashi Dori or "Kitchen Town"
- Day trips to Nikko, Hakone and Kamakura
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