Find My Tokyo is a campaign strategy of Tokyo Metro to help people know more about Japan"s capital city. By using the subway stations as reference points, you can easily go to various unique shops and tourist spots. It is also a great way to experience some local traditions and cultural activities special for certain areas.
It was my husband who told me about this. Surprisingly, I found out that I can check some of the challenges as done. For those who are finding new ways of exploring the metropolis, here are the full list of the challenges you can try. Please note that there is no English version of their website. Hence, it is recommended that you use translation apps for English if you cannot read Japanese.
Find My Tokyo Challenges: Ticking the Checkbox
Here are a few of the challenges that I somehow managed to accomplish. As my homage to the creator of this challenge, I also used the subway stations as point of my point of reference.
The first set of challenges posted are near Monzen-Nakacho Station via Tozai Line. Luckily, this station is just a few stops away from our place. Just a few minutes away from Central Tokyo, this lovely town gives a nostalgic feel of old Tokyo.
Challenge 2: Find the GPS Reference Point in Japan
This is easy to find and also easy to miss. The stone statue of Tadaaki Ino and the GPS reference point of Japan are standing right next to the main entrance of Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine. He is considered as the father of surveying and was responsible for creating the first modern map of Japan. Maybe that is why this hunt starts here.
Challenge 4: Let"s Compare Let's Back to the Giant Sumo Wrestlers!
Just across the GPS marker is a row stone tablets with Japanese characters etched on their surface. The challenge requires you to compare your height to some sumo wrestlers known for their towering heights using the tablets as reference. And because I know that I will look like a dwarf if I will stand beside these tablets, I just took a photo of them from the opposite side.
A few steps away from the main hall of Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is a secret garden which includes the Ozeki Monument. I called it secret because the garden is quite hidden if you are standing in front of the Shrine"s Main Hall. This garden is something worth exploring when visiting Hachimangu Shrine. I especially like the serene ambiance of the whole garden adorned with lovely row of small toriis and big kois.
Not far from Hachimangu is Fukugawa Fudosan, a Buddhist traffic temple where people with new cars or off for long travels go to pray for road safety. And in front of this temple is a brick road line with sweet shops, cafes, and izakayas.
Next to Monzen-Nakacho, also via Tozai Line, is Kiba Station and shares the same quaint ambiance.
Challenge 5: Let's See the Kingfishers
I saw some birds but I did not know they are big hit at Kiba Park. Maybe next time I will look closely at them. However, a walk around the park and its nearby areas is as good and relaxing. I would personally recommend to visit this place in spring when the sakura blossoms are in season.
Challenge 26: Let's Rent Historic Buildings
This Find My Tokyo challenge requires a visit to Kiyosumi Teien Garden. This historic garden is a popular venue for special events especially weddings because of the picturesque view of the teahouse at the big Japanese-style pond. One of my students rented the teahouse for her daughter's wedding. It took them several visits six months before the target wedding date because they always missed their chance during the 100-a-day lottery. This means the every morning, only 100 clients are lucky enough to try to reserve the place. Renting aside, visiting the park for a stroll is easy and almost free of charge. There is a JPY200 entrance fee for adults and JPY70 for seniors and high school. Children 11 years old and under are free of charge.
Challenge 41: Let's Climb the Tree House in the Middle of the City
This is my first conscious try to find a place listed in Find My Tokyo Challenge. Last spring, I frequented Hiroo station for my Ikebana classes with Best Living Japan. But it was only when I accompanied my husband to the German Embassy that I had my chance to search for the tree house. It is located in one of the small streets near Hiroo Station amongst residential units which were transformed into shops, restaurants, and cafes. Sadly, the restaurant was not yet open when I was there. However, I had a nice chat with the lady manning the restaurant's flower shop.
Challenge 79: Let's Name Your Bargain
This task challenges the people to go to Nakano Broadway for some vintage and retro-inspired shopping. Located at the west part of Tokyo, this shopping haven is attracting a lot of locals and foreign tourists. Here, one can find a variety of things like souvenirs; pre-owned gadgets; and hard-to-find collectibles. To read about our Nakano Broadway adventures, please click here.
Challenge 111: Let's Get on the Showa Fishing Boat
Urayasu is popular to many as a fishing village before the construction of Disneyland. And with rapid modernization, the town is now a mix of residential and commercial areas.To keep the memories of a once dynamic fishing village, the City Folk Museum was established. This museum showcases the fishing village life during the 1950s. Here is the story of our visit to the museum.
At present, there are about 250 tasks listed at Find My Tokyo Challenge. I do not intend to complete all of them but I am excited to try some more.