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Tokyo is More Than Just a Busy City! Here are 6 Eco-Friendly Gems in Tokyo Most M’sians Don’t Know About

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Tokyo Feat Image
Source: rkrkrk & blondie.gigi

What comes to mind when you think of Tokyo? If Tokyo Tower, bullet trains, and cherry blossoms are all that you recall, this article is for you because Tokyo is so much more than those things! Keep on reading to discover the hidden gems in Tokyo that are not only fun and beautiful but also eco-friendly!

 

1.  Cruise along Tokyo River Waterways where ‘Old meets New’

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The rivers in Tokyo played an important role as transportation networks during the Industrial Revolution. In recent years, these river networks have been transformed for sustainable tourism and transportation.

Here’s what you can do here:

  • Cruise along three rivers, namely Nihonbashi River, Kanda River, and Sumida River, that flow through the Tokyo city from Nihonbashi Boarding Dock to Ryogoku Pier.
  • Admire both the skyscrapers and highways from the city technoscapes, as well as the aged Nihonbashi Bridge, Hijiri Bridge, and Edo Castle ruins. Get your cameras ready, as the sceneries along the rivers are definitely postcard-worthy! 
  • Learn the wisdom of smart city Tokyo, where old waterways that are used for flood control and disaster prevention measures from the Edo period are implemented.
  • Don’t worry about the crowd — sit back and relax on the small, roofless tour boat, which is built specifically to navigate through the canals of Tokyo.

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Besides this interesting cruise, there are also many other cruises and routes available in Tokyo including:

  • Tokyo Mizube Line
  • Tokyo Water Taxi
  • Symphony Tokyo Bay Cruise
  • Himiko Line
  • Hotaluna Line
  • Yakatabune Routes

 

2. Wander around Yanesen where traditional townscapes are preserved 

Yanaka Ginza Main Stretch Yanesen

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“Yanesen” is named after the first syllables of three neighbourhoods, which are Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi. These three neighbourhoods are preserved historical areas in the northern part of downtown Tokyo. The town consists of many historical structures that feature architecture styles from the Edo period!

Here’s what you can do here:

  • Explore the town with an experienced local guide, who provides informative explanations of different landmarks in town.
  • Speak to friendly locals to learn more about old cityscape conservation and sustainable city planning.
  • Visit some of the most beautiful and oldest temples in Tokyo, such as Tennoji-Temple and Nezu Shrine.
  • Shop at cafes and stores that reside in 80-year-old houses, and stroll along alleys that feature traditional architectures and rich cultures. It feels as if the clock has rewound to the Edo period! 

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3. Make Washi papers using traditional tools and techniques

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Attention fellow art journalists! You can now experience Washi paper-making, even in central Tokyo! Ozu Washi is a handmade Washi experience studio in Tokyo, which offers different types of paper-making lessons. Each lesson takes about an hour and visitors can make reservations individually or in a group of up to five people per lesson. Join this fun workshop to bring home the most decorative Washi papers for your art journals!

Here’s what you can do here:

  • Attend three different Washi paper-making lessons and learn the basics of creating Plain paper, Rakusui paper, and Design paper using traditional methods.
  • Watch professional demonstrations of Washi paper-making by craft experts, who are as fascinated by Washi as you!
  • Create your own Washi papers from the bark of Kozo using the authentic Japanese mold known as sugeta. We have your souvenirs sorted!  

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4. Bring home beautifully packaged seasonal honey as souvenirs

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A bee farm is located on the roof of a building in the Ginza district, which is the most popular luxury shopping area in central Tokyo. The beekeeping project aims to preserve active beehives, which contributes to urban greening and prevents Global Warming. Yes, honey bees play such an important role!

Here’s what you can do here: 

  • Taste and purchase different types of seasonal honey harvested in Ginza. The honey comes in gorgeous packaging, which makes them the perfect gifts for your loved ones!
  • Enjoy delicious drinks and desserts at Ginza, such as the honey cocktail, honey pudding, and Kasutera sponge cake, which are all made from freshly harvested seasonal honey!

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Sourcenaokoyamamoto

 

5. Explore unique gifts made of repurposed old Kimonos

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Many of us know that Kimonos are traditional Japanese garments that were passed down for generations. Unfortunately, Kimonos have become uncommon among the younger generations. In order to preserve this unique Japanese tradition, many talented craft experts in Tokyo begin to repurpose old kimonos and incorporate them into everyday items.

Here’s what you can do here:

  • Learn about the history and cultural significance of Kimonos. Expose yourself to diverse types and patterns of Kimono garments.
  • Choose the perfect souvenirs among various items made of old Kimonos, such as name holders, wall decorations, trays and so on!
  • Re-appreciate the Japanese traditional garments not just by wearing them, but also by incorporating them into our everyday lives. We can do the same for our Malaysian traditional costumes too!  

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6. Craft paper-thin dried seaweed at Omori Nori Museum

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Inspired by traditional paper-making techniques, dried Nori seaweed has long been a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Nori seaweed flaunts not only the paper-making history but also the diversity of oceans and marine environments.

Here’s what you can do here:

  • The museum houses more than 800 types of Nori seaweed production tools, which are all part of Japan’s Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties. More than 150 of them are on display.
  • Purchase a wide range of exclusive souvenirs that are only sold at the Omori Museum and bring home the authentic Nori seaweed that enhances the flavours of your homemade Japanese dishes!
  • Depending on the season, the museum holds various events related to seaweed and nature, including seaweed-making workshops that allow us to make our own dried Japanese seaweed using traditional methods!

Nori Seaweed Image 3

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Okay, these beautiful places will definitely be worth the visit! Nothing beats a trip that offers both hands-on cultural experiences and breath-taking sceneries, right? The best part is that these attractions are also eco-friendly, serving different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)!

 

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Being one of the most popular attractions in Japan, Tokyo never stops improving and equipping itself to meet tourists after the travel restrictions are lifted. Besides respecting its diversity and history, Tokyo is also actively seeking to reduce waste and greenhouse emissions.

Now we know that Tokyo is so much more than just a busy city! It is a city that embraces the future while appreciating its past; it is where innovation meets the 400-year-old Edo traditions. Tokyo proves that traditions and nature can co-exist with a modern city — How amazing is that?!

The next time you travel to Japan, Tokyo invites you to indulge in eco-friendly travelling that does not only provide authentic travel experiences but also preserve the Japanese traditions and the environment. Jio your nature-loving travel buddies and start planning your Tokyo trip asap!

What do you think of these sustainable attractions in Tokyo? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: rkrkrk
Source: thisistokyo
Source: cntraveler
Source: blondie.gigi
Source: Ozu Washi
Source: nippon.com
Source: ginpachi
Source: Entabe

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