Just 20 minutes away from Tokyo Station, Taito is a ward in Tokyo full of vibrant life for you to discover. Duck under the high-rises of Tokyo to find traditional and hidden places in Taito.
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What to Experience...
Shakuhachi | sha・kuh・ha・chi
Shakuhachi is Japanese end-blown flute. The soft, haunting notes of the shakuhachi will transport you to a Japan of long-ago. These wooden flutes that have existed in their modern form since the 17th century, produce a truly authentic Japanese sound. With a range of sounds that reflect the various voices of nature, the shakuhachi has not only been used as a musical instrument, but as a spiritual tool that helps its players connect with nature. Originally used as in instrument in court music, the shakuhachi was then used by Zen Buddhist monks to play ‘honkyoku’ pieces during meditative practice that aimed to attain both enlightenment and alms. Today, shakuhachi is appreciated today for its expressive abilities that direct listeners towards nature. In this hands-on workshop, you'll be able to craft a striking instrument that showcases the rustic elegance of its source, the bamboo tree.
Tokyo Ginki | Toh・Ki・Oh・Gin・Ki
Tokyo Ginki, a type of Japanese silverware, was originated during the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) when silver mines began operation in Japan. Techniques like hammering, heating, and smelting silver, allowed for a diversity of shapes. Japanese silverware, such as Tokyo Ginki, were of significant quality and became popularized after Japanese silver vases were exhibited at the Paris Exhibition in 1867. Today, Tokyo Ginki continues to be produced and celebrated. Take the chance to understand and appreciate Tokyo Ginki at this bookmark or bangle workshop.
What to See...
Iwasaki House Garden 旧岩崎邸庭園
The Iwasaki garden, which now is a national property, used to be a private residence of Mitsubishi Corporation's third president. When it was built in 1896, the site area was three times bigger than what it is now, with 20 buildings. Now only 3 buildings remain for sightseeing purposes. Throughout the whole year, you can enjoy many cultural events and concerts inside the garden. Free tours are also available.
What to Do...
Yagenbori is one of the three oldest stores that specializes in Shichimi-togarashi. Shichimi-togarashi, which translates to seven flavor chilli pepper, is a common Japanese seasoning used on Udon, Soba, Yakitori, and many soup dishes. Shichimi can be mild to very hot, depending on how you blend the seven spices such as Japanese pepper, ginger, black sesame, hemp seed, citrus peel and much more. At Yagenbori you can blend your own Shichimi, making it a very special gift for a special someone.
Asakusa Underground Shops 浅草地下商店街
This underground shopping street is one of a kind. It is the oldest underground shopping street that still exists in Japan. Once you step inside this mysterious underground space, you will instantly notice that it's neither beautiful, clean or new. But every detail of each store will make you want to explore this underground street more. This place is nothing like the modern shopping malls you can find everywhere in Japan.
The entrance of Misujiyu looks like an old traditional Japanese style house, when it's actually a "sento style" public bath. A "sento", which means paid public bath, is a type of public bath that does not use natural hot spring water. Once you enter Misujiyu, you wil be surprised not just by the drawings on the wall, but also by the fishes that welcomes you. There is a small pond inside the sento with carps, and a water tank with gold fishes right in front of your shower space. You will not find such a unique sento anywhere else.
What to Eat...
If you want to try the typical Japanese Bakery, AndesuMatoba is the place to go! You will not find the typical French croissant or pain au chocolat, but something way fancier such as, bread filled with red bean paste, custard or even a sausage! You will be pleasantly surprised by the imaginative and creative mind of The Japanese pâtisserie when visiting this country. Tsubu-an pan is our recommendation!