The city of Tokyo has so much in store for everyone and some of the popular attractions never fail to attract the onslaught of large groups of tourists. But aside from these famous destinations in the city, there are actually a lot of less known spot that also deserve your time and attention. These hidden gems are also worthy to be recognized so make sure you go through this short list of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets that might no longer be secrets anytime soon:
Another Hachiko Statue
The statue of the most popular pup in Tokyo,Japan has always been the ideal meeting place in Shibuya. But, due to the city’s extreme love for Hachiko, having one statue doesn’t feel like it is enough. As a way of commemorating his 80th death anniversary, another statue through the funding of donations was build on the campus of The University of Tokyo right beside Ueno Park.
Hidesaburo Ueno, the owner of Hachiko, used to be a professor of the university, travelling home to the Shibuya Station daily where his beloved furry friend would be waiting for him every night. When Ueno died in 1925, legend has it that the loyal dog continued waiting for him for the next 10 years until his final moments in 1935. Good thing that the story still had a happy ending because the new statue reflects the reunion between the master and his faithful dog. Now, is there anything sweeter than that?
Kaneiji Temple in Ueno Daibutsu
Kaneiji Temple found inside Ueno Park is the site of the Great Buddha Hill or Daibutsu Yama and the impressive Buddha state. The statue of Ueno Daibatsu dates as far back as 1631 and the huge Buddha face is sitting peacefully in the park.
The original statue’s head toppled over in 1923 during the Great Kanto earthquake while its body was melted for metal during WWII that only left the face alone. Grab this chance to be up close and personal as you examine the curvy details and lines of his moustache.
Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka
The residential building created by the artists and architects Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa in 2005 was made with the purpose of helping people attain longevity. Setouchi Jakuchou, a novelist, referred to it as the ultachromatic undying house. There are 9 units in the building and 14 various colors. With Helen Keller as its inspiration, this includes features made for people with physical abilities. For example, there are spaces that are more suitable for children than adults. There are tours and units available for both long term and short term stays.
It is believed that cat temple is the origin of maneki neko, the popular beckoning cat of Japan that acts as a good luck symbol. At one glance, you might not see anything extraordinary in Gotokuji not until you get to see the large army of cat figurines that sit in a corner right beside the temple.
These figurines are up for sale at the administration building and are traditionally returned to the shelf once the wishes have been granted. Keep your eye out for other hidden feline motifs scattered around the site.
You don’t need to travel far to Brussels just so you can get a glimpse of the bronze statue of a small peeing boy, the Manneken Pis, because you can easily see him at the Hamamatsucho Station.
Located on the 3rd and 4th platform, the statue is a form of entertainment to commuters because of his constant outfit changes for almost 3 decades. Designed by Ajisai, a local volunteer group, the clothes have bene inspired by different seasons and themed events.
Tokyo Camii and Turkish Culture Center
Erected on Inokashira-dori in its exotic splendor, Tokyo Camil is Japan’s largest mosque. Turkish immigrants from Russia built it in 1938. About 1,200 people can fit inside the Prayer Hall and everyone who wants to be in awe of the gorgeous architecture, the dome with its exquisite pattern and the Islamic stained glassed windows are very much welcomed here. If you like, you can also participate in the daily prayers that are held 5 times a day. Make sure you visit their site to know the appropriate dress code in the place.
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Nakagin Capsule Tower
Nakagin Capsule Towel is the rare remnant of Metabolism, a post-war architectural movement in Japan dreaming of cities with structures that continue to grow and evolve similar to living organisms. Finished in 1972, this tower in Ginza houses 140 apartments of 10 square meters each although only half of these remain to be in use today, mostly as storage or office space. If you want to take a look like inside, don’t worry because you can rent out one capsule on Airbnb for just ¥9,000 a night. Make sure you don’t waste time because there are plans of demolishing the building.
Are you curious to see the prison of Godzilla during the 80s? With big island as its literal translation, Izu Oshima forms one part of the group of volcanic islands that are collectively called Izu Islands and this is technically a part of the city of Tokyo. This is a great spot for a weekend trip of hot springs and exotic hiking since you can reach it via a 2-hour high speed jet ferry or an 8-hour overnight ferry. Grab this chance to go to the dormant volcano Mt. MIhara to see the scenic views of the sea.
Odaiba, the artificial island, is a famous spot among tourists today but you might not know that the name Daiba, one of the districts of the island, pertains to the 6 cannon batteries placed on the island during its construction in the 1850s for defense purposes. Only two were preserved, the No. 3 Battery and No. 6 Battery, with the former opened to the public in 1928 as Daiba Park. How about going on a picnic right within an old fortress?
Avoid the more crowded areas and check out these hidden gems of Tokyo instead.
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