Locations - Kanto: Tokyo

Teach in Japan
 

Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and located in the eastern area of central Honshu, Japan’s main island. It is the largest city in the country and home to around 13 million people. Amazing nightlife, quirky or stylish fashion, delicious cuisine, even traditional Japanese culture, it can all be found in Tokyo.

"Tokyo is the biggest and most exciting place in Japan. From various foods to all kinds of shopping, traditional Japanese activities to international events, Tokyo has everything you could ever need or want!


- Jennifer, Tokyo Instructor Support Manager
"Whether its business or travel, everything comes through Tokyo. It’s because of this I find the city so fun to live in. The variety of food available is great, from your traditional Japanese restaurants to upmarket Italian or French restaurants you can find almost every taste to satisfy that craving. If you’re the active type, there are also plenty of opportunities to join sports groups, just search online for groups in your local area or head to the local community or sports center. It’s a great way to meet new people and make some friends. Mainly I just love the convenience of the place, there’s just so much available and at any time.

- Bernard, Tokyo Instructor Support Manager

Taking up a large swath of central Tokyo with its large park, imposing moat and huge stone walls is the Imperial Palace. The area is divided into the private Emperor's residence, that is only open to tours, and the expansive East Garden which feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

“Living and working in Tokyo is a fantastic experience. There is such a sheer volume of things to do and see that it may take your whole life to see it all.”
- Dave, Mejiro instructor

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a kid again, then Joyopolis is the place to do it. A large amusement park in Odaiba featuring countless unique interactive arcade games and amusement rides.

It’s a baseball stadium, it’s a concert arena, it’s an exhibition center, it’s the Tokyo Dome! Home to just about any major event happening in Tokyo, this site really caters to all. Soar to dizzying heights on one of the amusement park attractions, relax in the almost 24 hour spa, see an arena concert or watch a game.

“Tokyo’s a cool place to work and live because of the convenience of everything. There are many different districts of this city to explore, and you’ll always be able to get there with ease because of the advanced public transit system throughout the city.”
- Tommy, Takadanobaba instructor

Few sports can trace their history back as far as that of sumo. At the epicenter of this sport is Ryogoku. Not only are three of the six annual tournaments held at the beautifully constructed Kokugikan, but the surrounding area is home to sumo training stables. Walk the streets and enjoy the sights of kimono clad sumo wrestlers, or stop in at one of the many restaurants that serve chanko nabe, a staple food for wrestlers that contains meat, seafood and vegetables.

One of the oldest stadiums in Japan, Meiji Jingu Stadium, has seen almost the entire history of Japanese baseball. The tradition extends from Babe Ruth all the way up to current Major League Baseball stars. So head on over, grab an umbrella (the fans use them in celebration), and join the fans in the bleacher as you root on the Yakult Swallows.

Get your soccer fix at Ajinomoto Satdium in Chofu, home to two J-League teams, Tokyo F.C. and Tokyo Verde. This stadium is also slated to be a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, so there will be plenty of opportunities to see world famous players. The stadium also hosts regular rugby and American football events.

Stay in shape at the Komazawa Olympic Park in Setagaya. While this athletic facility no longer hosts the big name games of its past, it offers the public excellent fields and courts. There are baseball fields, tennis courts, training rooms, even an archery course; truly something for everyone. After you’ve worked up a sweat, why not join one of the many festivals that take place in the courtyard.

“After having been a long time resident in rural Japan, I moved to Tokyo 9 months ago. The experience has been an unexpected stimulation of the senses, from the best restaurants and cafes in the world, to the lights, pop music and unique fashion you would expect from a metropolis. What you don't always associate with a metropolis is the safety and neighborliness that is unique to Tokyo. It has been easy to make friends, both native and foreign. I've had plenty of opportunities to study Japanese, and most importantly I continue to patron the never ending amount of reasonably priced all-you-can-drink restaurants.”
- Jarom, Shinjuku West instructor

In the upper echelon of fashion lies the wonderland that is Ginza. This is where people with money go to get their fix of designer items, which include Gucci, Armani, Hermes, and Luis Vuitton and many many more. Even if you’re just window shopping, there’s no reason not to experience it and rub elbows with the ritzy.

Professional and amateur chefs from around the world flock to Kappabashi, a hub of cooking accessories. Filled to the brim with everything you’d need to open a restaurant or cook the most elegant meal at home, if you can’t find it here it doesn’t exist. Have you ever seen those gorgeously life-like plastic foods at restaurant display windows and wondered where you could go to buy some? Well, this is the place.

Just a stone’s throw away from Ueno station is the bustling street market Ameyoko, where you can find a plethora of goods, including fresh fish, bags, perfume, and get a bite to eat.

“Tokyo is convenient, has great public transport, there are lots of other teachers around to help you, lots of choices, it’s exciting and diverse… you'll never see it all.”
- Ryan, Ginza instructor

Anime fans may be familiar with Akihabara, but what about Nakano Broadway shopping plaza? Why travel across Tokyo when you can get all the goods you need from this four-story mall practically in your own backyard.

The absolutely packed 109 department store in Shibuya is known for being on the cutting edge of fashion. This iconic building in Shibuya is home to over 100 boutiques. It isn’t the only fashion in the area, though, as you can find many other boutiques scattered about the neighborhood.

“You can get a lot of info and feel new trends first hand. Life in Tokyo is convenient and exciting!”
- Marie, Ginza instructor

Shopping is the main draw in Harajuku and Omotosando, which neighbor each other yet the two could be worlds apart. Harajuku, whose main draw is the candy colored Takeshita Street, is targeted mostly at younger woman who enjoy extreme fashion and crepes. Omotosando is where the upscale urbanites of Tokyo go to browse the latest from fashion designers and the patisseries and cafes of world famous chocolatiers.

You can get a lot of info and feel new trends first hand. Life in Tokyo is convenient and exciting!”
- Marie, Ginza instructor

If you were into “that” before it was popular, then Shimokitazawa is where you need to be. Popular amongst the late 20s and early 30s crowd, this is the place for vintage records and upscale, retro second hand goods. Complete with small music venues, independent theaters, and more cafes then you can fathom, you’d be hard pressed to find any corporate or brand names here.

Oenophiles, or wine enthusiasts, will be at home in Yamanashi on the outskirts of Tokyo. This area is home to the bulk of Japanese wine production, coming in at around 40% of total production. The area is especially known for its Koshu grapes, which produce a white wine that pairs excellently with Japanese food.

“Working in Tokyo provides a bit of spontaneity to the work regiment. Because I am not a native, the atmosphere that surrounds Tokyo is unique because every day is literally a new experience. I have been able to see festivals, meet people from vast backgrounds, and befriend individuals that I would not have met, had I not worked in Tokyo.”
- Lem, Omotesando instructor

For the onsen experience without leaving the city limits, check out Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari, Tokyo’s first hot springs theme park. Constructed in traditional Japanese Edo era style and pumping natural springs from a depth of 1,400 meters underground, it’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy Japan as people once did over two centuries ago.

A high class spa in Tokyo Dome City takes advantage of natural hot springs from a depth of 1,700 meters. Spend the day relaxing and enjoying the surroundings in a facility which features saunas, an outdoor bath, and massage bubble baths.

Not far from the Ghibli Museum in Kichijoji is a gift from the emperor, Inokashira Park. Beautiful in every season, this park has lovely cherry blossoms and fall foliage which you can enjoy on the weekends while taking in one of the many street performances.

Immerse yourself in nature without ever leaving the Tokyo Metropolitan city limits, at Mount Takao. Work up a sweat as you climb to the top by hiking one of the many trails, or relax and take the ropeway up. Either way, reward yourself at the top with an excellent view from the beer garden.

Long held as a private area for the Imperial family, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is paradise for anyone with a green thumb. Home to an impressive amount of cherry blossoms, the park also has a Japanese, English, and French style gardens. With a greenhouse to boot, there is certainly one of everything under the sun.

Immerse yourself in the Edo period at the Edo-Tokyo Museum located in Ryogoku. Visitors can get a taste of daily life of Tokyo in the past (then called “Edo”) from the commoner to royalty. The building itself has very unique and impressive architecture. You can even sample some Edo style recipes in the restaurant while you gaze at the East Tokyo skyline.

As you meander through Ueno Park and take in the cherry blossoms and street performers, why not stop into one of the many museums and expand your mind. There are never-ending treasures to be discovered at the Tokyo National Museum. Or put your thinking cap on at the National Science museum with its variety of hands-on and robotic displays. For the art aficionado, there’s the National Museum of Western Art and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum with world renowned pieces.

Tokyo Sea Life Park, with its centerpiece huge glass dome, captivates visitors with its inspiring display of live Bluefin tuna darting around its 2,200-ton tank. Also popular, is its exhibition of penguins which can be observed both on land and underwater. Centered in Kaisai Rinkai Park, the largest park in Central Tokyo and across the way from Tokyo Disney Resort, enjoy the city views and the preserved natural habitats.

Get swept away to another world at the Ghibli Museum in the lovely city of Mitaka. This unique museum features many hands on exhibits as well as a movie theater that screens museum-only short films. The museum will enthrall fans as well as first timers.

Held along the Sumida River near Asakusa on the last Saturday of July, The Sumida Fireworks are one of the oldest and most popular fireworks displays in Japan. Don a yukata (“summer kimono”) and enjoy the very essence of summer in Tokyo.

Taking place in Asakusa, Sanja Matsuri is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo, held in honor of the three men who established Sensoji (the shrine in Asakusa). It is also considered one of the wildest, as festivalgoers rush to the three portable shrines, shaking them to shine better luck upon their neighborhood. Lasting for three days, it attracts 1.5 to 2 million locals and tourists, and is considered one of the largest festivals in Tokyo.

Depart the modern world for the Edo era at the Shingen-ko Festival in Kofu. This re-enactment festival dedicated to the warlord Takeda Shingen, who is played by a different TV actor each year, is meticulously planned throughout the year and imitates the battle of Kawanakajim.

One of the most popular autumn spots, Ichou in Hachioji and its 4km 700 plus ginko tree lined street, add an excellent touch of color to the area around Takao. The street really comes alive during the Hachioji Ichou Festival which features a variety of activities, including travelling through classic checkpoints (with vintage passports!), a classic car parade, and shopping.

Not far from the noise and crowds of Harajuku, you can find tranquility at Meji Jingu. Dedicated to the man who would modernize Japan (Emperor Meiji), this expansive temple and park is truly a sight of beauty. It is also a very popular New Year’s spot, attracting millions of visitors who wish to ring in the New Year.

Wake up with the sun and see what the fresh catch of the day is at the Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the largest fish markets in the world. Listen to calls of “irasshai!” (“welcome”) as you peruse the large outer market where both locals and restaurants get any ingredients they need.

For the clubbers out there, Ageha is Tokyo’s largest nightclub. It is a must stop spot for any DJ making an international tour and, if you’re lucky, you may even be treated to an unannounced live performance from big names such as Madonna and NERD.

Tokyo’s eastside may have the largest club but the home of music lovers is actually in Shibuya. This area truly encapsulates all genres from all night dance parties to smoky underground hole in the walls. A common stop off for international acts, this area has also launched careers as diverse as Japan X (hard rock) and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (J-pop/dance).

“Tokyo is the place to be. Anything big that’s going to happen in Japan will happen here.”
- Dan, Ginza instructor