Tokyo Highlights by Georgia Pritchett

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Georgia Pritchett is a multi-award-winning comedy and drama writer. She was a writer and co-executive producer on HBO’s critically acclaimed show, Succession, winning Emmys, Golden Globes and Baftas. Georgia was the co-executive producer and writer on the HBO multi-Emmy winning show Veep. She also loves Japan, and recently went on our Golden Route tour.

After penning a suitably wry, often charming, and expertly crafted column in the Times, where she explored Japan’s quirkiest attractions — from sinister robots to pickled parasites, she kindly gave us a few bits of extra insight into her trip, we’re dubbing her ‘Tokyo highlights’.

Over to you Georgia.

1. Godzilla

As a big Godzilla fan, I was very excited to see a 12 metre Godzilla bursting through the walls of the Gracery Hotel in Tokyo. You can see his face and claws from the street below, but if you go up to the eighth floor, he takes up almost the entire eighth floor terrace and roars and blows smoke loudly and punctually on the hour between noon and 8pm. Fantastic fun.

2. Parasite Museum

The only Parasite museum in the world is in Tokyo. This unique museum is based on the pioneering work of Satyu Yamaguti, described as a “maverick parasitologist”. That’s my favourite job title ever. It hosts (ho ho) the longest tapeworm in the world (8.8 metres if you’re interested) plus a whole range of other terrifying creatures that are looking to set up home in your intestines, eyeballs or scrotum. They’re not fussy. Parasites love a scrotum. Who knew? It was extremely educational in a disturbing way. Also, it had great merch! I got all my Christmas shopping done there.

3. Jindaiji Temple

This is one of the oldest temples in Tokyo. It is a truly beautiful Temple built in luscious grounds next to the Botanical Gardens. And it is a Temple with a difference – it has a yokai (spirits) section from the anime Gegege no Kitaro created by local artist Shigeru Mizuki. There are models of most of his creations, including my favourite, the Haunted Tempura. As well as that, it has several cafes and shops and serves the most fantastic fresh soba noodles.

4. Isetan

This is one of the best department stores in Japan. It has the most incredible window displays created by leading artists and floors and floors of the latest fashions. In the basement is the most wonderful food hall I have ever seen. Best of all, the café in the food hall serves the most delicious lunches.

5. Henn Na Café

This is a café run by a robot called Tom. You can order coffee and snacks from Tom who has an iPad for a face and one huge mechanical arm. He’s not very chatty, but it does all feel very futuristic and Blade Runner.

6. teamLabs

This is an extraordinary exhibition by an international art collective that utilises digital technology. You have to enter the museum barefoot to “experience” the exhibition. One room involves wading around in water with swirling colours and darting fish projected onto it. There is another room where you lie down and look at flowers tumbling from the ceiling. Particularly affecting is the mirrored room of infinite crystal lights changing colours in waves. The artworks change under the presence of people, blurring the boundary between you and the art. It’s a truly unique experience and I could have spent the entire day there. Afterwards I immersed myself in some vegan ramen at the museum restaurant, which was absolutely delicious. That’s one of the many wonderful things about Tokyo, you can get delicious food in the most unexpected places.

7. My InsideJapan Tours guide, Chantel

Chantel is a brilliant guide. Her love for Tokyo is contagious and she seems to know every single corner of the city. She is very knowledgeable, very fun and very funny. She is also very intuitive and as she gets to know you, she tailors and adapts her days with you to match your personality and interests. She is full of great ideas and fascinating facts.

If you’re interested in visiting Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan, from the traditional to the quirky, we’d love to help put together the perfect itinerary for you. You can take a look at our trip ideas or get in touch to speak to a Japan specialist. 

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