Comfort Hotel Suzuka
Phone: (81) 59 387 1818
Fax: (81) 59 387 1895
A sprawling sanctuary with one of the largest zoos in Asia, botanical gardens, and an amusement park, established before World War II, the zoo has an impressive pedigree. Traditional favorites include lions, tigers and bears as well as elephants and giraffes. Also popular are a koala exhibit and tiny medaka tropical fish that flew on the space shuttle with one of Japan's astronauts. The recently built Higashiyama Sky Tower, with observation decks and a restaurant 100 meters off the ground, offers a panoramic view of the area.
The fans who fill Nagoya Dome on a Dragons' game day make this stadium a feared site among opposing teams. Try to sit near the cheering section, easily identifiable because everyone will be wearing blue and white and everyone will be cheering in unison with the "cheerleaders" in front. The atmosphere is thick when the Dragons take on the Tokyo Giants, but it is all in good fun, and most foreigners leave exhilarated. Nagoya Dome also hosts the world-class musicians that frequently pass through town. Check schedules for game/concert days and times.
A distinctive Kyoto landmark built in 1964 and situated directly in front of Kyoto station, this 131-meter-high, slim orange and white tower, resembling a torch, is generally panned by guidebook writers, but illuminated at night it serves as a truly handy location device. Inside are an observation platform, souvenir shop, hotel and a large bathhouse, plus an assortment of weird and wonderful amusements and arcade games.
This is a recently refurbished, modern and very clean sports club in the northwest of the city. Facilities include a well-equipped gym, a studio and a 25 meter pool (82 feet), jacuzzi and saunas. Membership is JPY9,000 per month or JPY3,000 on the day with no extra costs. The fee includes all lessons offered by the fully trained and friendly teaching staff. These include yoga, aqua-arobics, aerobics, dance, fitness boxing as well as weight training. Membership can be held for a JPY1,000 a month fee if you are going to be out of the country for a spell.