Akiharara is the bustling shopping area of Tokyo which caters to the geek/otaku community. Multi-storey buildings packed with manga comics, videos, robots, action figures and related merchandise. You cannot help but be transfixed by the endless rows of cute boy celebrity badges. Outside in the street winsome maids try to tempt you to enter the maid cafes. Overwhelming but fun!
Shinjuku is like something out of a science fiction movie. It’s densely packed full of people, neon lights, and modern skyscrapers, but it also has its more homely corners. There’s too much to do here for me to describe in one sitting. But, I’ll suggest a few: first of all, Shinjuku Gyoen, a giant Japanese-garden in the center of the zone. It’s perfect for finding moments of peace, which are hard to come by in Tokyo. Also, the Golden Gai area is pretty neat. It’s a series of alleyways filled with bars specializing in every kind of music imaginable. It looks a bit gritty but I assure you it’s 100% safe. You can also find the gay district, red-light district, and traditional geisha district within Shinjuku. There’s something special, exotic, or just plain weird on every corner. Take a few days, at least, to explore it all!
It is one of the most popular neighborhoods of Tokyo and it is because it is one of the most expensive areas in the world. There are many top designer shops of the more expensive brands, the Sony buildings, there are spectacular restaurants that are very expensive. But it is a place you have to visit if you are a tourist. It is a good starting point.
Like in Kanazawa, there is a District of Geishas and a neighborhood of Samurais, called Nagamachi neighborhood. In feudal samurai were some people with power and influence had big houses and large gardens protected by walls and, sometimes, all belonging to the same clan used to be located in neighborhoods to protect each other. The Nagamachi neighborhood is one of those neighborhoods. In one of the houses, the nomura house, you can enter for a small fee to see what they were like inside the houses and gardens.
Dotonbori is a neighborhood in downtown Oasaka that was built in the 17th century when the local government decided to channel the Umezu river and create what is today known as the Dotonbori River. The area is filled with shops, lights, restaurants, and karaoke bars and it's one of the most popular areas to go out at night in Osaka. Given its history, there is a lot of cultural identity tied up in Dotonbori which makes for an interesting contrast as traditional Osakan customs and architecture mix with underground trends and youth culture. You can get there from the Namba, Nippombashi, and Dtonbori stations. It's a must! Try to go in the evening when the lights begin to come one.
The Minato Mirai 21, Yokohama is one of the most spectacular port areas that I have ever seen. Futuristic buildings built on artificial islands situated on a port that has developed a lot in recent years. The other day I talked about the Landmark Tower, the jewel in the crown. Lovers of architecture will enjoy one of the most spectacular constructions, the Yokohama Maritime Museum. Its fan shape is very interesting and gives it a very avant-garde style. Right next door you can find the legendary sailboat, the Nippon Maru. If you like the museums in the Minato Mirai 21 area, this one may bore you because within just a few meters you can also find the Yokohama Museum of Art, Mitsubishi, Cosmo World, and the Museum of Japanese emigration. We were only able to look at them from outside due to time constraints. However, it is best to take a long walk along the promenade and enjoy the futuristic buildings, the Nippon Maru, or the treadmill of Minato Mirai 21.
Americamura (アメリカ 村), also called "Ame-mura" for short, literally means in Japanese "the people of America", knowing that they refer to "America" as the the United States and not the entire continent. The easiest way to get here is taking the subway to Osaka Shinsaibashi Station. For many years this area has been a meeting point for visitors and foreign residents (especially English-speaking), in which you can find clothing stores (both local and imported), and the latest trends in fashion and hairstyles. Similarly, there are many pubs and bars for small drinks (compared to other areas where there is more of an emphasis on large clubs) so many people choose this place for a night out on the weekends. In addition, "triangular square" Ame-mura heart, is one of the most famous places in the city to drink in the street.