[TAKUYA] The Traveler Interview | All-round Idol, Takuya’s Tokyo Guide
For Takuya, Tokyo is a city with diversity.
This city that respects each one’s uniqueness matches with any traveler’s taste.
“Recently there are many nice cafes in Seongsu, sometimes I visit around.” Last June 11th at café Baisan in Seongsu where Tokyo Tourism Agency event held an event, we met Takuya whom usually enjoys exploring around Seoul. The only Japanese member of seven years old idol group Cross Gene, he informed Japanese culture to Korean viewers as original member of JTBC variety show ‘Abnormal Summit’. On this event that introduces Tokyo’s new travel issue media and travel agency, he came as special guest. “Different from usual seminar, it was held in comfortable atmosphere so I enjoyed it.” Despite his hometown being Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, Takuya who started living in Tokyo right after graduating high school introduced Tokyo travel destination on this event’s stage as local’s perspective.
“Actually for Tokyo, it can’t be decided which food has to be tried or what has to be looked, because it’s a city where you can find everything.”
Tokyo that has various charms like fashion, culture, culinary, tradition, and nature, travelers can decide their trip concept according to their taste. “Personally I think soul food of Japanese is ramen, but different from Fukuoka which is famous for its donkatsu ramen, in Tokyo it can’t be said that certain ramen is delicious. It’s because each restaurant makes their own kind of ramen.” Ramen with citron, ramen with spicy soup, and others, each restaurant’s different charm can be found. Not following certain standard, characteristic of Japanese culture that respects diversity is also applied in culinary culture.
“If Seoul is a city that absorbs trend quickly,
Tokyo is where each personality lives well.”
Tokyo carries various side and various color of charm, which resembles Takuya who works on many fields as singer, actor, variety star, and model. The group he’s in, Cross Gene, after one year and three months started promoting with their new album ‘ZERO’. “All this while the members who were six now decreased to five and I worried a lot. But after we went on stage received passionate reaction from fans, I was happy.” During long hiatus, he showed more developed acting than before as an actor in collaboration web drama of Korea, China and Japan ‘I Love Your Face’ and Japan musical ‘Altar Boyz’, while he took part as a variety star in ‘Yang Sechan’s Ten’. “Because I work in various activities without realizing I became more mature. In the future too I want to try a lot of things.” Seven years since debut, Takuya’s future brings more curiosity.
①BEST TIME TO GO When should you go?
Tokyo has the same climate as south side of Korea, summer is hotter than Seoul and winter is warmer. Every season there are different things to see is different so it’s fine to go anytime. But in summer the humidity is high hence it can be a little bit difficult to travel, but it’s also the time when summer’s special energy can be felt. Especially the firework festivals held in city river and sea signal the start of Tokyo’s summer. This year at terrace of Arakawa River ‘Adachi Firework’ has started on July 21st, the firework festival will continue until October.
②TRANSITION How to go
FLIGHT Including low-cost flights, most airlines in Korea have direct Korea-Tokyo flight every day. In Tokyo there are two airports which are Narita Airport and Haneda Airport, from Haneda Airport to Tokyo Station it takes 20 minutes through subway and close with downtown. In Haneda Airport there’s a food street called ‘Edo Street’, Tokyo downtown famous restaurant are lined up there so you can enjoy culinary until the last second of your trip.
FREE SHUTTLE BUS You can save trip cost if you use shuttle bus that goes through main tourist spots. ‘Tokyo Bay Shuttle’ connects Rinkai Huku downtown; you can go to Otemachi, Marunochi, Yurakucho with ‘Marunouchi Shuttle’; ‘Metrolink Nihonbashi’ goes through road of history Yaesu, Kyobashi, Nihonbashi, etc. Check the operational schedule beforehand since each is different.
③ITINERARY Five neighborhood that become Tokyo trip guide
AREA 1 Asakusa where buildings from Japan Edo era still remain is the area with the most exotic scenery. Temple and theater that has Tokyo’s history, market, and craftsmen center gather in this area. It’s not far from ‘Tokyo Skytree Town’ where you can see down to center of the city, so it fits to be first destination of one’s Tokyo travel.
AREA 2 Located in east side of the city, Kiyosumi Sirakawa is the area where you can come to Tokyo’s modern art gallery. In this neighborhood, after America California’s roaster café ‘Blue Bottle’ entered, this ‘Café Street’ became famous among the locals . You can meet remodeled café in this area that originally was concentrated in warehouses.
AREA 3 When it’s night if you want to drink beer and eat light meal in Japanese pub ‘Izakaya’, you can head towards Mishuku in Shibuya. The simple Izakaya that seems familiar in Japanese drama or movie has alleyways lined up. This area which is Takuya’s favorite place is nice for a night’s walk while going around shops there.
AREA 4 Tokyo’s representative commercial zone Shibuya is the area filled with tourists. If you walk for only 15 minutes from Shibuya center you will find alleys that has secluded atmosphere, contrasting with the center. Okushibuya which is an exclusive residential area where politicians and business people usually live, this place is suitable to be where culinary place and stores are. It’s a hidden neighborhood only known by locals.
AREA 5 Located between JR Sendakaya Station and Tokyo Metro Kitasando Station, combined from those two stations’ names ‘Dakayasando’ is now a good place for shopping in Tokyo. As the place lined with selection of shops with characterful lifestyle, you can find daily items or clothes that fit exactly to your taste.
④DINING What should you eat?
Takuya points out ramen as soul food of Japanese people. In Tokyo you surely can meet new developed ramen of famous ramen from various areas of Japan. You can taste ramen in any part of the city but the area that stand out are street between Shinjuku and JR Dakadanobaba Station and Waseda Station, and ‘Tokyo Ramen Street’ at south exit of Tokyo Station Yaesu basement first floor. Especially on street between JR Dakadanobaba Station and Waseda Station, various ramen restaurants gather there from delicious restaurants for students to Japanese chain stores.
JAPANESE EXPRESSION Buzzword used a lot between Japanese youngsters recently
It has similar meaning with amazed expression ‘daebak’ or ‘really’ used by Korean youngsters. From word ‘majime’ which means ‘really’, transformed to slang ‘maji’. Usually it is used among friends so please refrain from using it on formal occasion.