If I could describe Tokyo in one word: busy!
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever experienced a busier place with so many people than here, seriously if anyone manages to get a photo alone here they need a medal 🥇😂In saying that though Tokyo is busy but I never felt overwhelmed the way I expected or the way I always feel in Melbourne Central, which is a considerably smaller place! And this is down to the considerate and polite way Japanese people are. Even if you are all packed into a train or there are a thousand people on the footpath, everyone still gave us space, smile at passers-by and everyone seems to just respect.✊🏼
My biggest takeaway from Japan, in general, was the amazing people that live there and how friendly and polite they were to us! We met and spoke to so many people while we were waiting for a table at restaurants, at bars, and on the train, how lovely everyone was to us, blew me away.
Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but we managed to get a cheap Airbnb for about $70 a night in Shinjuku. It was more of a cupboard than an apartment! Think shower over the toilet small and an ‘open plan’ bedroom/lounge/kitchen/dining 😂
Can we talk about the food! Omgggg it was amazing, I have a huge thing for sushi and (now) ramen! This was in abundance but also how much pork and beef was on the menu surprised me. Think – full on steak houses and loads of BBQ that I (somewhat ignorantly) would never have associated with Japan. I must admit it was also difficult to find fresh fruit and vegetables anywhere.
Three days in Tokyo
The first day in the city we hit the top sights, starting with Harajuku! I must admit I had Gwen Stefani tracks stuck in my head the whole time I was there 🙊But it was everything I had imagined it to be with the Harajuku girls in their awesome outfits and Dance music. And so. many. crepes!
We then headed to Shibuya to witness the famous crossing (best viewed from Starbucks) and grabbed sushi from a standup bar restaurant which was equally cool in experience as the food was in taste. Shibuya is exactly what I imagine when I thought of Tokyo with the massive billboards and busy streets, I felt like my eyes might pop out of my head as there was just so much going on. Next stop was the Tokyo Tower which provided endless views of the city, like literally endless, I’ve never seen a place so vast before!
We then headed back to Shinjuku to sample dinner in Piss Alley, a laneway which with old style authentic eateries that gave me a real insight into the local culture. We even met a couple of business men that told us they used to work at the restaurant when they were students!
On our second day in Tokyo, we found ourselves in the gaming district of Akihabara, best known for maid cafes. Although, my social conscience kept me away from those. I enjoyed poking my head into the massive and endless gaming levels of the Sega building and the others surrounding. Being honest, it was like a casino in there. The people playing those games are moving at a mile a minute and the sheer sound of all the machines was deafening! The gaming industry is about as far removed from me as possible so it was pretty cool experiencing those surroundings and people watching!
After walking for so long that morning and the previous day we headed to the Imperial Gardens for a sit-down and breath of fresh air. These gardens are stunning and I can only imagine how it would be in autumn as well with all the brown leaves. I was wearing my NY Yankees hat which grabbed the attention of a baseball fan and he hung out with us for about 30 minutes. He was telling us random stories and asking us about ourselves, told you, they’re so friendly in Japan.
That night was the infamous Robot Restaurant, now I’m usually one to try and avoid tourist traps but I can vouch for this one, it is insane! I can’t even describe how crazy, funny and mind-blowing it is, dinner theater on steroids! It’s a must do.
On the third day we got up early and headed to the Tsukiji Fish Markets and breakfasted on fresh sashimi and wandered around the stalls, this was a pretty cool spot to shop like a local and indulge in Japan’s most popular export; sashimi 🍣
We then headed to Senso-Ji temple, where we took in the surroundings of the more tourist aimed markets and experienced the rituals of the prayers and wish making.
Next stop; Hakone!
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