The Locals’ Guide to Tokyo

Three Tokyo residents give insider info on where to get cheap eats, where to take the kids, and where to see some awesome art.

Joan’s Best Value-for-Money Eats

After falling in love with Tokyo on a motorcycle trip from his native Spain, Joan Mira now lives in his dream city. He works at a tech start-up specializing in software for high-end hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants. His advice: See Tokyo on two wheels. “There are lots of green parks and leafy riverside lanes best explored by bike. Setagaya City, for instance, west of Shibuya, has plenty of scenic spaces, and you can rent a stylish two-wheeler for JPY1,650 (Php770) a day at Niente,” he says.

His top picks for affordable eats:

Yellow Spice (Ginza) — “It has a massive selection of Japanese curries, and you can choose your spice level from one to 10.”

Tsukemen Tsujita (Kachidoki) —“Very filling and exceptionally tasty ramen that never disappoints, when you need something fast to warm the stomach.”

Chaya Macrobiotics (Shiodome) — “Delicious vegan food — don’t overlook the dish of the day, it’s always superb.”



Angelique’s Top Three Picks for Kids

Angelique Amable Shimo has lived in the city since she was nine. As a child, she was free to roam the neighborhoods of Tokyo on her own. Her favorite kid-friendly spots:

Round 1 — “This indoor gaming center is the most fun way to cool off in the summer. The bigger outlets have mini basketball courts, badminton and volleyball courts, archery courses, mini-soccer field and a skating rink.”

Heiwa no Mori Park Field (Ota) — “This open-air obstacle course has walls to scale, rope bridges to traverse and camphor trees to climb. Highly recommended for adventurous kids with lots of energy to burn.”

Toshimaen (Nerima City) — “Japanese summers can get pretty hot and humid, so this amusement park — with a wave pool, water slides, current pool and mini pools perfect for kids — would make the perfect respite from the heat.”


Tamaka’s Favorite Art Spots

Into art? Let Tamaka Takefushi, a producer for a creative agency in Tokyo, be your guide:

Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum (Meguro/Shirokanedai) — “It has a gorgeous Art Deco interior and an immaculate garden. Very serene, tasteful, gorgeous and timeless.”

The National Art Center, Tokyo (Roppongi) — “I love this place for its interesting programming and the convenient location.”

Bookmarc (Harajuku) — “This simple, one-room gallery space is always full of street-oriented art, curated by a store director who’s dedicated to helping unsung artists shine.”

Written by

Tara Sering

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