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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

SAS’ Crew tips: Tokyo

Despite having clocked more than 200 trips to Tokyo over the last 17 years, ­Jonna Ventzel Grønning’s bucket list remains endless. Here is her Tokyo.

Tokyo is not beautiful and majestic like Paris or Rome, but it’s a vibrant and cool city that always manages to surprise you. Go with an open mind, seek adventure and learn how to bow – and I’m sure you’ll be blown away by the city’s craziness, peaceful gardens, shrines and temples, and last but not least, by the kindness of the Japanese people. I like going off the beaten track, finding small “secret” places, getting lost and just wondering what is going on around me.

Oedo Antique Market

If I happen to be in Tokyo on a weekend, flea markets are always on my list. One of the best is the Oedo Antique Market, which is held on the first and third Sunday of each month, right next to Yurakucho Station.

100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 3 Chome−5−1

Hantei

Yanesen collective name for Yaneka, Nezu, and Sendagi, this is where I go to unwind from jetlag and get the feeling of old Edo. One of my favorite restaurants, Hantei, is also here. Housed in a beautiful old wooden building, it specializes in fried skewers of seasonal meat, fish and vegetables, served with wonderful side dishes.

2-12-15 Nezu, Bunkyo 113-0031, Tokyo Prefecture

Photo: Shutterstock

Gotokuji Temple

This small, hidden gem lies in the suburb of Setagaya and is known for Maneki Neko – the legend of the beckoning cat. Nestled away from train tracks and major roads, here you’ll find thousands of lucky cats – it’s absolutely magical.

2-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya 154-0021, Tokyo Prefecture

Tokyo Hands

One of the most fun shopping experiences in the world. Everything from the coolest stationery and sushi-shaped USB sticks, to a chocolate food spa are here, plus thousands of other things you didn’t know you could live without!

Times Square Building 2-8F, 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Photo: Shutterstock

Kamakura

When I want to get out of the concrete jungle, I head to Kamakura. It’s just one hour south from Tokyo Station and is known for its many shrines and temples. There are so many you couldn’t possibly see them all in a day, but don’t miss Zeniarai Benten Shrine, where you can wash your money in the spring and it will multiply!

Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture