Tokyo travel tips, day 2: Yoyogi park


Originally published at:


Yo, Yogi, where’s my pic-a-nic basket?


Deep in the woodland of Yoyogi, the quietude creates the illusion of seclusion from the city.

Papasan likey.


Mark, your blog is taking me back my family trip there --almost 10 years ago! We enjoyed the green respite from urban Tokyopolis by visiting Yoyogi. There was a traditional Japanese wedding happening there that day, which made it special. Are there still teens in fun outfits by the entrance?


We were there late last year, the thing that amazed me the most was finding a full japanese electric toilet (with heated seat) in a public park rest room


Went to Tokyo last year myself for the second time. (spent 3 weeks total in Tokyo to date, and about 4 months other places, mostly in the suburbs outside Nagoya)

TBH the best things Japan have to offer are farther afield (skiing in Hokkaido, ancient mountain village in Shirakawa, etc.). But I’ll be damned if the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku isn’t one of the best things in this (or other) universes.


Yaki (fried) onigiri is totally a thing. When I lived in Tokyo, I had this great little yaki onigiri electric press, that worked like a tiny waffle iron. That crispy rice exterior? Sooo good.


I want one!


I do really like the seaweed riceballs from 7-11/etc found all over Asia (at least Taiwan, HKG, and mainland China as well) .

The magic wrapping that keeps the rice ball part ■■■■■ and the seaweed dry, yet through some magic packaging origami lets you combine them and wrap them together as you open things is amazing


Really enjoying these accounts, @markfrauenfelder!

I feel like I’m still traveling with training wheels. You are much bolder than I.


Shouldn’t our New Atheist contingent be mocking the Shinto prayers?


I know - mine died ages ago, and I haven’t found a replacement here in this US yet. Here’s what they look like:


Oh no! You missed the wildest thing about Yoyogi Park. Because it’s adjacent to Harajuku, the park is an amazing gathering place for Rockabillies, maids, and punks on Sundays. They come out in droves to perform, see, and be seen. It’s not as crazy as it used to be, but it’s still a sight to behold. But only on Sundays.

Check out some photos:


I went to it on a Sunday on a previous trip. Really fun! In the 80s a lot of people were dressed up and on roller skates.


Awesome writeup! Onigiri gets my vote for the world’s best lunch food. As it was explained to me, it’s like the Japanese peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


RE: Orange yolks.
That’s what they’re supposed to look like! Here in New Zealand, factory farmed eggs are yellow, free range eggs are orange, and you can absolutely taste the difference. I bet you could find some free-range eggs somewhere in your neighbourhood, and i bet they’re orange!


I’m vaguely disappointed that you didn’t leave a Happy Mutant original drawing on one of those wooden plaques, Mark.


Japan, where you can have nice things in public!

Also, musubi vending machines with salted salmon musubi at train stations (with a guy who rotates stock REALLY frequently [i.e. nice soft rice from a vending machine?]).


Once you have one, everything else is Third World standard. So I can well understand this.


Since 1945 Shintoism is pretty inoffensive and lacks the obnoxiousness of monotheism. So it is more of a matter of being polite and saying “oooh pretty” than anything relating to the prayers.