Experiencing Japan

Tokyo offers a wide variety of activities and experiences for newcomers to the city. You can easily be overwhelmed with choices. Sometimes the best way to move along a difficult path is to follow someone else. Built on our own experiences in moving to and living in the biggest city in the world, we hope these articles will help you in your new adventure in Japan.

Tokyo: Cleaner than you Think?

Like many westerners, my image of Tokyo was indelibly etched by photos in a National Geographic issue that marked the 1964 Olympics. Here we met the famous platform pusher, cramming poor slobs onto a train with white-gloved hands.

Join a Club, Get a Life

At first it’s exhilarating. Moving to a new city. Setting up house. Exploring the neighborhood. Getting the hang of a new office. But after a few weekends the glow begins to fade. “Can we really bear another Saturday night with the boss? How can we meet new people in a town like this?”

Tokyo Police

If you’re accustomed to the American style of policing – with its emphasis on high-speed chase cars bristling with arms and electronics – Tokyo’s police (keisatsu) may seem pathetically low-tech.

Coiffing in Tokyo

How long will it take? A week, a month or two months after arriving in Tokyo it’s going to hit you: “Hey, I gotta do something about my hair!”

A Bookworm's Tokyo

More than 99% of Japanese can do as you are doing right now. In fact, for voracity, they are said to lead the world at it. Admittedly, not everyone can read English, but a longstanding thirst for foreign knowledge has produced in Japan many more readers of English (and foreign tongues) than there are speakers.

The Weekend Escape: Our Solution

As much as we love Tokyo, there is no disputing that sane living in the big city requires an escape to greener pastures at least once a month.

Living on Tokyo Time

By rights, life in this city should be impossible. And those who’ve never seen it usually assume that’s how it is. How can so many people manage to live in such a small area and thread their way through such narrow streets? No doubt, life in Tokyo is challenging, but it’s not impossible.

New in Tokyo

Setting up a life in the world’s biggest city is challenging. The language is alien. The map looks like a bowl of spaghetti. It’s jam-packed, stunningly fast and phenomenally expensive. In short, Tokyo is mind-boggling!


At 9am sharp, rockets boom skyward in the wintry air. And with this pounding assault on the ears, Setagaya’s two-day Boroichi (Rag Fair) is officially underway. More than 700 stalls line Boroichi-dori between Kamimachi and Setagaya Stations on the Setagaya line.

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