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Area just north of Tsukiji Market


First of all, thanks for setting up this website. I came across it about a week ago and it’s brought to the surface a long-dormant desire to visit Japan. I’ll probably visit sometime next year, hopefully Tsukiji Market won’t have moved yet. I want to try nama-shirasu in Kamakura, so it can’t be too early in the year.

Looking around the hotel booking sites and on Google Maps for business hotels (I don’t think I want to stay in a hostel or a capsule at my age!) there just don’t seem to be too many around the center of Tokyo, you have to stay out in the surburbs, where there were some for around 7000 yen/night. And then I noticed quite a few of them just north of Tsukiji itself, on the Metro Hibiya line, in Nihonbashi, Hatchobori, Shintomicho - book early enough and prices are around that. Street View shows fairly quiet city streets with shops - wonder if I should stay here. Looks convenient if eating breakfast at Tsukiji is a target! Opinions? TOO quiet?? Doen’t seem to be very far from Akihabara either. Street view also shows lots and lots of silver bikes parked everywhere - are these the Chinese-style dockless rent-a-bikes? I’ve seen them in Chiang Mai and in certain areas around here (Kuala Lumpur). People tend to ride them downhill and then leave them wherever the going goes uphill again! But they would be quite convenient to have around.

Also thinking of spending a couple nights near Kamakura/Enoshima (one of my favorite manga was set there, and so was a movie I watched last year about four sisters who lived there). Again, most of the accommodation in Kamakura itself seems to be hostels and guest houses, but there are business hotels in Fujisawa (where the Electric Railway begins) and Shonandai to the north. I was even contemplating making this area my base and riding up to Tokyo on “day trips” - any thoughts about that?

Thanks again for the many articles, one of the first I came across was the one about onigiri. Since I don’t eat pork (and will be avoiding chicken and beef) I’ll be a fish-and-egg-tarian, with vegetables and natto thrown in. I suspect onigiri will be a large part of my diet while in Japan (I enjoy them here - the Aeon Supermarket and the newly opened Family Mart stores carry them, though 7-11 does not). I am particularly looking forward to, as various articles suggest, buying maguro, uni, ikura, shirasu etc. and eating it with rice from the 7-11!

Best/cheapest way in (from Kuala Lumpur) seems to be AirAsia X through Haneda. Haneda does sound less stressful, and is a lot closer than Narita in any case. AirAsia X tickets seem to be about half the price of ANA.



Oh nuts. Looks like the move will take place October 11th this year. So next year will be too late, though perhaps the outer market will still be open. Apparently the inner market (aside from the sushi shops) is already closed to the public (according to Wikitravel).



Kamakura’s a bit far from Tokyo to be going up and back every day, or at least I think so… it depends on how much you want to do in each place, I guess. I’ve done trips where I split my time with, say, four nights in one location and four nights in another.

I’m not aware if bike docks are a thing now, but there are certainly shops that rent bikes to tourists.


These new dockless bikes are based on a phone app. You scan the QR code on the bike, the bike then allows you to unlock it. When you’re done with the bike you just lock it again (which results in people leaving bikes all over the place - I suppose after hours someone comes by and moves the bikes to designated spots, but Chinese cities - and parts of KL - are clogged up with bikes, a lot of which are broken).

I don’t have anything in particular planned just yet, but most of what I’d like to do is just walking around and exploring. Probably the usual Shinjuku + Harajuku + Tsukiji around Tokyo and Kamakura town + Enoshima for around Kamakura. Will probably also just walk around quieter parts of Tokyo. I think May or June (before it get too hot, but when nama-shirasu becomes available) would be best, if I can get a week off work.

One thing I haven’t got a handle on is how much to budget for trains. I don’t plan to take any long-distance trains, and I notice that subway/local rail fares are on the order of 150-350 yen or so. I wonder if 1000-1500 yen per day would be enough, plus an extra couple thousand yen for Tokyo-Kamakura trips. Since I plan to eat mainly onigiri and convenience store rice + fish, natto and boiled eggs, I could get by on 1500-2000 yen per day for food and drink, plus maybe an extra 4000-5000 yen for the occasional sashimi from Tsukiji and for the nama-shirasu. I used to hear horror stories about running out of cash in Tokyo, but that was back in the 1990s.



To answer my own question - there are QUITE A FEW videos on YouTube covering this very subject! Found one on Nihonbashi, another on Ningyocho, another on Tsukishima (the island NE of Tsukiji). All of these mentioned were on the “Only in Japan Go” channel (John Daub), and all of these areas look like exactly the sort of place I’d like to stay if I could find a reasonably priced hotel. I’m also now considering other areas - Sugamo, for instance, or even out by Edogawa. There’s also Adachi, which seems to be the epicenter of old-style sento (ones with the tall chimneys).

If you watch the hotel booking apps you’ll notice prices going up and down and up and down… it’s a matter of timing. You can actually get great prices close to the current date because, I think, they’re trying to get rid of unsold rooms, but whether or not you’ll find one by waiting is a big gamble. I would like to see a comparison between the big chains - these seem to be Soutetsu Fresa, Smile and APA. Seem to be everywhere.



One of the reasons for the fluctuation in hotel prices is because Japanese hotels don’t like the big apps, so they release their room inventory slowly. Sometimes there are only two or three rooms from a big hotel on a site like so you turn up thinking it must be booked out only to find it’s almost empty.

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