Updates: Kerri-Anne Show discovers Japan. Follow their trip!
Japan National Tourism Organization in conjunction with Qantas Airways and the City of Matsumoto proudly supported Channel 9 Kerri-Anne Show’s visit to Japan to be aired between November 21st and 25th, 2011. In that period, reporter Mr. Jamie Malcolm will report on Japan’s popular destinations and attractions.
He visited Tokyo’s busiest intersection in Shibuya; met some uniquely dressed people in Harajuku; was served by some pretty waitresses at the Maid Café and found some funky vending machines in electric town Akihabara; tasted some of the best sushi at Kyubey Ginza; stayed over at a capsule hotel in Shimbashi; tasted some interesting products at Daio wasabi farm in Matsumoto; fought with a samurai in front of the historical Matsumoto Castle; spoke with the only local Hina paper doll maker; met a rickshaw woman in traditional Takayama; tasted the famous Hida beef; rode on a boat and ropeway on the backdrop of Mt. Fuji and ate some black shelled eggs boiled in sulphurous water in Hakone; and found the kid inside of him at Tokyo’s DisneySea.
Qantas Airways are also offering special airfares to Japan, starting from $988*. Offer ends 2nd December, so hurry and book your trip now. To book and for more information visit www.qantas.com or your local travel agent.
Follow Jamie’s journey here, find more about the places he visited and discover your favourite Japanese experience.
– 21st and 22nd November:TOKYO
– 23rd November: MATSUMOTO
– 24th November: TAKAYAMA and HAKONE
– 25th November: TOKYO DISNEYSEA
21st and 22nd November: TOKYO
With well over 500,000 travellers passing through it each day, Shinjuku is one of Japan’s best-known business and entertainment districts. It consists of offices and high-rise buildings such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building; row of department stores, larger stores and complex establishments for shopping and amusement; and the prominent entertainment district around Kabukicho, a town that never sleeps. Omoide Yokocho (literary meaning ‘memory lane’), established after the war in 1946, is a small alleyway along the tracks of Shinjuku Station filled with tiny eateries serving ramen, sushi, yakitori, soba and more. An area with nostalgic and cosy feel to it. Explore city life in Shinjuku on a Walking Tour.
A terminal for a number of different rail lines, Shibuya is trend-setting centre for young people, shopping streets for families, overall a unique place. Famous for its scramble crossing and known as the place where new trends are born that quickly spread among the youth nationwide, it is an echanting place to visit.
Located only minutes from Shibuya, from casual to cutting-edge, a fashion centre to be enjoyed, Harajuku is a cultural haven for Tokyo’s youth. Takeshita-dori Street, known throughout Japan as a popular hangout for students. On the other hand, the streets in near-by Aoyama and Omotesando have a distinct European feel to them. The many famous designer stores in Omotesando appeal to those interested in fashion, and the fashion building Omotesando Hills offers customers with the very best in shopping and dining experience in a stylish environment. Explore the area on the Harajuku Walking Tour. If you are hungry and would like something easy and yummy, head to Ichiran, ramen (Japanese noodles) shop.
One of the most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment areas in Japan and one of the most expensive real estate in Japan, Ginza consists of well-established Japanese department stores and famous international brand name shops. If you are after top quality sushi experience made with the freshest ingredients and prepared with technique of the highest quality, visit Ginza Kyubey. After its establishment in 1936, Kyubey has hosted numerous politicians, artists, actors and other famous people who come back time after time for its delicious food and charismatic chefs. If you are in search for a place to stay and want to experience something different, comfortable and cheap, like a capsule hotel, head to Capsule Inn Shimbashi. Located only 30 secs from the Shinbashi station (on JR Yamanote line), this is a very convenient place to stay.
One of Tokyo’s most popular nightspots, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown are filled with businesses, restaurants, shops, bars, nightclubs and more. The Tokyo City View from the glass-walled observatory located on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills offers stunning 360-degree view of the city and is particularly breathtaking at night.
Time has stopped here since the Edo era. Asakusa is the old downtown with a warm, nostalgic atmosphere. The history of Senso-ji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo, goes back to 628. Numerous small shops along Nakamise street, which continues 250 metres from Kaminari Gate to the main grounds of Senso-ji Temple, carry a variety of small articles and souvenirs. To enjoy the good old days of Edo period, head to Aoi-Marushin. Established in 1946, Aoi-Marushin is one of the most popular tempura shops in Asakusa. Explore the area with the Tokyo afternoon tour.
With more than 250 electrical appliances and electronic shops of all sizes, Akihabara is one of the world’s biggest electronic towns, and a centre for the latest trends in Japanese culture. It has many service centres and showrooms of major manufacturers, as well as duty-free shops and a wide array of events. It has emerged as the birthplace of otaku culture, and emerging animation-related shops have also been attracting much attention. The first maid café to open in Akihabara, now available in 5 locations and with more than 2 million customers, @Home is one of the most popular maid cafes in town. For one stop shopping for games, cameras, computers, gadgets and anything else you may fency, visit Yodobashi Camera (Yodobashi Akihabara). They have a large selection and sell duty free.
23rd November: MATSUMOTO
Situated right in the center of Nagano and surrounded by mountains, Matsumoto is a castle town known as the gate to the Northern Alps’ hiking and climbing routes. The tower of the16th Century Matsumoto Castle, a 5-storey, 6-layer tower built in the Bunroku Period (1593-1594) is Japan’s oldest existing castle tower and is designated as a national treasure. Along the Nakamachi street to the south of the castle are many old merchant houses built in the ‘kura-zukuri’ style. It’s a pleasant stroll and shops offer local souvenirs and produce.
Daio Wasabi Farm, situated in Hotaka, Azumino city (32km north of Matsumoto) is Japan’s largest wasabi farm covering 15 hectares. The natural, pure water derived from the Japan Alps enables the farm to produce up to 150tonnes of wasabi per year. Head there or wasabi themed products, such as wasabi ice-cream, wasabi chocolate, soup, wine, mayonnaise and more.
Matsumoto is perfectly surrounded by natural beauty and filled with pure mountain air. There is much to see and do in Matsumoto, and apart from the castle, old parts of town and the Daio Wasabi Farm, you can go up to the heights of Utsukushigahara for a panoramic view of the region or to the nearby Kamikochi, Norikura and other scenic areas in the Japan Alps. The ski fields of Nagano & Niigata are also not far from Matsumoto, so a visit to this beautiful and historic town is a must.
Experience the traditional Berami Dolls (Berami comes from French meaning “beautiful friend”) at the only shop in Matsumoto that manufactures and sells “oshie-bina” dolls: Berami Mimura Doll Shop. The shop contains an amazing display of paper dolls of all sizes and the shop owners are a lovely family who enjoy interacting with people and talking about the beautiful art of paper doll making.
24th November: TAKAYAMA and HAKONE
Located in northern Gifu Prefecture the picturesque town of Takayama is renowned for Hida beef, old streets and home to one of the most popular festivals in Japan, Takayama Festival. Designed as one of the Japan’s most beautiful festivals, this biannual festival proudly floats its crafted floats, which are a testament to the region’s history and are the culmination of hundreds of years worth of artistry and craftsmanship. Hida no Sato is an outdoor museum that displays traditional architectural and thatched roof-houses, some of which have been relocated from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Shirakawa-go, which is just a 50 min bus ride away. Visit the area on a 4-day trip. To experience the Japanese hospitality in a tranquil atmosphere, stay at Hoshokaku, a traditional Japanese inn with a beautiful spa facilities.
Home of acclaimed spas and a large historical zone, the town of Hakone is a part of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. As an internationally renowned holiday resort that includes many hot springs, a view of Mt. Fuji is not the only view that you can enjoy in Hakone. Some of the well-known spots include Lake Ashi (a placid lake created in the crater of the Hakone Volcano); Hakone-jinja Shrine (1,250-year old shrine with a large torii gate) and Owakudani, where volcanic fumes still bear a trace of the Hakone Volcano and you can try the black shelled eggs that have been cooked in the sulphurous spring water. Legend has it that eating one egg adds seven years to your life. Various methods of transportation, such as mountain railway, cable car, ropeway and cruising boat, are available to bring you to these spots. Try the Mt. Fuji and Hakone tour to enjoy this beautiful location.
25th November: TOKYO DISNEYSEA
Tokyo Disney Resort operates 2 parks in Tokyo: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. While Disneyland (a “Land park”) is popular all over the world and there are a number of Disneylands throughout the world, Tokyo Disneyland has the added element of Japan’s inherent hospitality. Tokyo DisneySea (a “Water park”) is available only in Japan and one of a kind DisneySea has dynamic attractions with the waterfront creating a healing ambience. Thus it is most suitable for those who wish to have some grown-up time, however, it is as popular with kids and families as Disneyland. The magnificent parades by Mickey Mouse and his friends are must-sees. They are artistic and joyful, providing the very best entertainment time after time.
Useful tips to travel in Japan
*ATMs and cash
*Frequently asked questions