What's new

My local "Top 5 Tokyo Places" list - feedback request

Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
7
Ratings
2
Hi everyone, I'm quite new to this forum but seems to be the only place I can get real, Japan-lover feedback on a recent blog post I just wrote up. I just came back from living in Japan and spent most of my time traveling, language learning, and working (in the bar/restaurant industry). Because one of my main goals was to travel, there was a lot of "cool Japan places" research, but ironically enough I never enjoyed the places travel guides listed. My best experiences came from places I learned from Japanese locals (Shimokitazawa, Koenji, Kagurazaka, Nonbei Yokocho, and Ebisu).

My goal is to provide a more alternative, local point-of-view that can still be enjoyable for the average Western traveler. The blog post listed below is the direction I want to go with more articles. Personal experiences, hole-in-wall bars, Japanese language learning, etc. while still having a voice.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

My Top 5 Places in Tokyo (that do not include the Robot Restaurant) List
 

Lothor

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
402
Ratings
50
I liked the blog - Despite being a long-term Tokyo resident, I hadn't heard of nonbei yokocho, and may even visit it if I can overcome my aversion to Shibuya!
Certainly Koenji and Shimo Kitazawa are highly regarded as interesting parts of Tokyo by locals - I disagree that Koenji is a pain to get to from central Tokyo on JR though. There are loads of direct trains along the Chuo line from Tokyo and Shinjuku and it's only 7 mins from Shinjuku.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Messages
1,507
Ratings
292
Yes, I too wondered why the OP said Koenji was hard to find. And I thought the picture of the STD clinic was an interesting choice for Koenji. Also, I wondered about the comment about the restaurants to in east Ebisu... But, nice blog and photos.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Ratings
1,568
Any advice will be greatly appreciated
I didn't read it and have no intention of even trying to read it as it exists now. I'll share a screenshot of what it looks like on my iPad and let you guess why.

0c5599d1-f452-4e64-bb9d-8bb665c49dc9-png.26051
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
7
Ratings
2
I liked the blog - Despite being a long-term Tokyo resident, I hadn't heard of nonbei yokocho, and may even visit it if I can overcome my aversion to Shibuya!
Certainly Koenji and Shimo Kitazawa are highly regarded as interesting parts of Tokyo by locals - I disagree that Koenji is a pain to get to from central Tokyo on JR though. There are loads of direct trains along the Chuo line from Tokyo and Shinjuku and it's only 7 mins from Shinjuku.
Hey, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you also think Koenji and Shimokitazawa are also highly regarded by the locals!
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
7
Ratings
2
Yes, I too wondered why the OP said Koenji was hard to find. And I thought the picture of the STD clinic was an interesting choice for Koenji. Also, I wondered about the comment about the restaurants to in east Ebisu... But, nice blog and photos.
Thanks for taking the time. The main Koenji photo was one I found on the #koenji hashtag on IG and my lack of kanji-reading skills didn't tell me that it was STD clinic, but good to know. ;)
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
7
Ratings
2
I didn't read it and have no intention of even trying to read it as it exists now. I'll share a screenshot of what it looks like on my iPad and let you guess why.

View attachment 26051
Hey there, thanks for your wonderfully constructive and helpful comment.
I'll be sure to stare deeply at your screenshot of my blog and try to really, really guess why you 'don't have any intention of even trying to read it' and reflect on the poor, poor choices I've made.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
5,187
Ratings
345
Hey there, thanks for your wonderfully constructive and helpful comment.
I'll be sure to stare deeply at your screenshot of my blog and try to really, really guess why you 'don't have any intention of even trying to read it' and reflect on the poor, poor choices I've made.
My guess is your small font and grey-on-white color scheme is too low-contrast to be comfortable to read.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Ratings
1,568
My guess is your small font and grey-on-white color scheme is too low-contrast to be comfortable to read.
"Absolutely impossible to read" is more like it.

Does it look like that on other platforms as well?
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
5,187
Ratings
345
"Absolutely impossible to read" is more like it.

Does it look like that on other platforms as well?
It doesn't look quite as bad on my desktop monitor as your screenshot, but I could tell what you were referring to. I dropped the text color value into a contrast checker and it fails accessibility standards even for large text, and the text on the page is pretty small.

WebAIM: Color Contrast Checker
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
7
Ratings
2
"Absolutely impossible to read" is more like it.

Does it look like that on other platforms as well?
Not too sure - most likely. My eyes are so used to the grey/white contrast that the "impossible to read" thing didn't even begin to cross my mind. I will try out a darker color font especially for larger bodies of text.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
974
Ratings
148
Not too sure - most likely. My eyes are so used to the grey/white contrast that the "impossible to read" thing didn't even begin to cross my mind. I will try out a darker color font especially for larger bodies of text.
I agree with Mike (but not the way he puts it!).

(1) Use fully black text, please, and if you think that looks too harsh, or if it violates some modern rule about page design, then (2) go for a softer background, something on the warm side (mauve, etc).

Also, besides (3) your choice of a miniature point size, (4) sans-serif fonts are known to be harder to read than serif fonts (think New Century Schoolbook). So consider a change there, too.

So no, I've had a good look (not a read, a look), but my eyes are old, and it would be a struggle. (And I'm looking at it on a 15" macbookpro w/retina display--more screen real estate than an iPad.)

And your second link uses the identical, pretty much unreadable design. Draw your reader in in whatever way possible; don't make them struggle.
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
2,510
Ratings
1 237
Hi everyone, I'm quite new to this forum but seems to be the only place I can get real, Japan-lover feedback on a recent blog post I just wrote up. I just came back from living in Japan and spent most of my time traveling, language learning, and working (in the bar/restaurant industry). Because one of my main goals was to travel, there was a lot of "cool Japan places" research, but ironically enough I never enjoyed the places travel guides listed. My best experiences came from places I learned from Japanese locals (Shimokitazawa, Koenji, Kagurazaka, Nonbei Yokocho, and Ebisu).

My goal is to provide a more alternative, local point-of-view that can still be enjoyable for the average Western traveler. The blog post listed below is the direction I want to go with more articles. Personal experiences, hole-in-wall bars, Japanese language learning, etc. while still having a voice.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

My Top 5 Places in Tokyo (that do not include the Robot Restaurant) List
You're talking about local neighborhoods which are great but to be really useful for travelers you should list specific places that are worth checking out. I agree with your general thesis, those are all cool places and have a nice vibe. Or at least they did when I was living near Shimo-Kitazawa 20 years ago. Sadly the Rock & Roll Diner is long gone.
I'm not sure a random traveler reading your blog and then going there will find them it worthwhile. It usually depends on the people you are with or meet in those little hole-in-the-wall kinds of places that make the memories.
 
Top