Postcard from Tokyo: Signs and Other Sights, Some Sexy


Sensouji temple at Asakusa, crowded even on a rainy day.

Intently making ningyo-yaki at Asakusa's Sensouji temple.

High spirits at the temple!

A neighborhood shrine.

Famous street crossing at Shibuya. It's usually more crowded than this!

Hachiko, the faithful dog, is the popular meeting place at the Shibuya train station.

The Toto showroom is fun to explore for both kitchen design and fascinating bathrooms.

Entry to Kappabashi, the restaurant supply store district.

Plastic food store at Kappabashi.

Home-cooking: Traditional Japanese breakfast that includes fish (bought half-dried, then grilled), miso soup, rice, pickles, and more.

More home-cooking: Shabu shabu meal ready to begin.

Salaryman eating yakitori in the famous omoide yokocho alleyways, under the trains.

Don't feed the birds, koi, or turtles. And don't fish for anything, either!

Yes, excrement is bad.

Friends are to be found in Tokyo.

Subway sign indicates women-only at certain hours when the trains are packed and there tends to be a bit of groping.

Despite power shortages, neon still lights the nights in Tokyo. Here: Shinjuku, and the entrance to Kabukicho ("red light district").

Sign at the entrance of a sex shop in Kabukicho. Fight scum!

Great discounts for women and gay customers at this bar!

M's department store ("Pop Life Department") features seven floors of sex toys. This sign explains a discount if a woman (or man, apparently) wears an item to purchase and allows a photograph.

Sex dolls at M's. (I had to sneak this shot, as no inside photos are allowed.)

Televsion program features a lingerie store worker known as "The Bust Sniper" who claims to never fail in guessing the bust size of women. At this point in the show, she's 8 for 8, and gets an H cup correct. Then goes a perfect 10 for 10!

In the end, lots of LOVE in Tokyo.

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My tenth trip to Tokyo came a year later than expected, as last year’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami made me postpone plans. Nerves are shaky as there continue to be small earthquakes (I experienced some nerve-wracking shakes while on the 37th floor of my hotel), as well as scientific forecasts for another major earthquake in the next few years.

That said, the Japanese are a resilient bunch, and the country remains as beautiful, delicious, and quirky as ever. This has been my shortest visit ever, so this food writer and sex educator has had to scramble to see as much as possible. While it’s nearly impossible to find a public chair for sitting or a place to dispose garbage in Tokyo, I have found a lot of interesting sights, some of which I’m happy to share in the gallery above. (More on my restaurant experiences in the near future.)