Tokyo secrets

27 05 2017

I recently stumbled on to a list of Tokyo attractions which included some surprising, and hitherto-unknown, sightseeing options, such as:

House of the Insect Poet (10 minute walk from Sendago subway station in Bunkyo Ward) is an insect museum inspired by a Japanese translation of famous poem about insects by the French poet Jean-Henri Fabre. Opened in 2006 in a building designed to resemble a cocoon, it houses specimens of insects and butterflies from around the world. Most of the specimens belong to a scholar of French literature who began collecting insects in the fourth grade and has since collected 100,000 specimens.

And who knew there was an ancient Egyptian museum in Shibuya?

Another surprise was the discovery of this very instagram-chic guide to the outer suburb of Fussa, by a very visual-savvy Hong Kong-based food stylist and “social media content provider.” My memories of Fussa are of a down-at-heel, but interesting, dormitory suburb on the Western fringes of Tokyo. I used to pass through every morning on my way to work at a small and shabby “English school” in Ozaku, almost the last gasp of metropolitan Tokyo before suburban sprawl hits the beautiful hills, cedar forests and lakes of the Oku-tama ranges. Fussa stood out for its vast US military base and the streets immmediately surrounding it, which featured Filipino and Thai bars (and bargirls) and family-run Latino restaurants (I was once called a gringo at the local station).  With its white and (more often) brown and black faces, American fast food and slightly raffish, red light air, it actually does provide quite a unique, and interesting, perspective on the metropolis – but not one I would have expected to see style-blogged. Until, that is, I realised that it was a paid promotion for a campaign to highlight more “regional” parts of Tokyo prefecture. Still, certainly worth a look.

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