A Travellerspoint blog

Tokyo

4 days in Japan

all seasons in one day 21 °C
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I've always wanted to visit Japan, in particular Tokyo. I've heard many things about how crazy it is, the advanced technology, the food, karaoke and of course the shopping!

So stupidly (or cleverly, however you want to look at it), I booked my ticket home from Japan, just so I know I would see it while I'm in Asia. Unfortunately I had just missed the beautiful blossom season, that was my first rookie error. My second, was leaving one of the most expensive cities; apart from Singapore, to my final destination of my 4 month trip. But anyway, here I am!

The city had such a different vibe to the others that I had visited. The streets were so clean and I was actually anxious to smoke, seeking out other smokers and bins to discard my butt. The taxis were like luxury cabs, fitted with white linen on the seats and drivers dressed in formal hats and gloves.

Getting from the airport to my hostel in Minowa took about an hour on the underground, otherwise it would have been about a £60 taxi journey which I couldn't afford on my backpacking budget. I wasn't too sure how to get to my hostel so I visited the information center at the airport. The ladies working there were super helpful and accommodating, they printed me a map, highlighted the routes and gave me options of how to get there. I jumped in a taxi from the station to &And Hostel Asakusa North.

I was absolutely shattered when I got to my hostel. I'd pulled an all nighter in Manila and had to be at the airport for 5am so there wasn't much point in sleeping. I watched La La Land when I got on the plane which reduced me to tears because I was an overtired emotional sponge. I fell asleep straight after and was gutted when I woke up and realised that I had missed breakfast. But Air China had my back as I was dribbling down the shoulder of the nice lady sitting next to me, I found a sticker on my lap saying which read 'You missed breakfast but we kept it aside for you, please contact a member of staff', what total legends! The initial panic was over as the hangry monster inside was starting to get her grump on.

The hostel itself was a new build capsule type and they had just opened the bar downstairs which was a lovely place to sit and chill, meet new people and spend the last of my travel money all on one drink. It was a good location to get into the city and the tube was really regular, just like London. The only problem with their metro was that it finished really early which can get you in a sticky situation to get back to your hostel leaving you vulnerable in a city you don't know without being able to communicate.

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Note: Don't take photos of the trains, I got yelled at by the train guard after I took this lol!

During my short time in Tokyo, I tried to cram in as much site-seeing as possible. I visited Tokyo Imperial Palace, which was had beautiful architecture, scenic grounds with a beautiful bridge over the water. Unfortunately it was closed on the day that I had visited but I could still see the building from afar. I jumped back on the MRT and went to visit the disappointing Tokyo Tower in the Shiba-koen district of Minato. The joke was on me, I hadn't realised you could actually go up the thing! I headed into another district to explore some of the nightlife after, searching for Golden Gai. The nightlife was really cool with 100s of quirky little bars down the narrow alleys of Shinjuku, I got to meet loads of local people which made me feel welcome by inviting me to join them. They didn't let me pay for a thing! Towering above the city was Godzilla almost climbing up a skyscraper hotel, it was like being in my own movie but with less action, just lights and my Canon camera.

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The following day was a total wash out / recovering from a hangover day. I got to know the staff and the tourists at the hostel, ordered a takeaway that took 4 hours to arrive and attempted to play the guitar.

My last day in Tokyo was probably the best day (not because I was leaving LOL!), I explored the shopping in the city, visited Tokyo's oldest temple, the ancient Buddhist temple Sensō-ji, bought souvenirs for the family and ate heaps of sushi to soothe my sorrows of my bad fortune stick I picked out the temple. A Japanese lady laughed at me when I pulled the stick out of the drawer and she said that I must tie my fortune to the 'Bad Fortune Fence', where others sniggered around me. Bladdy typical.

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The buildings were all high rise towers in Tokyo with floors of different organisations, with many lit up with neon coloured Japanese writing or authentic looking basement restaurants. I visited the Owl, Parrot and Hedgehog Cafe in Roppongi, which was a great experience being up close and personal with animals you wouldn't normally. The cafe had a bit of a weird vibe and I was the only one in their which made it less cafe like. The owl's weren't the most friendly, considering.

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The main streets of Tokyo were so busy it was insane. The crossing in Shibuya was like watching worker ants heading out in rush hour to get to their jobs on time. I just stood there for a while on a bench just people watching.

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Shibuya had shops full of Hello Kitty and Pokemon Plushes, vending machines with underwear in.. I think they might have been used (ewww!), and lots and lots of fantastic restaurants serving fresh sushi. - There really is something for everyone lol.

I went on to explore the markets where I found lots of beautiful hand-made glass beads, women dressed in kimonos walking around the streets, eating matching coloured ice cream and Ninjas with two-toed shoes running around hauling people on carts down the road. There was umbrellas that change colour in the rain, real life Mario Kart driving and sweet potato snacks on every street. If you like Sushi and KitKats then Tokyo is a place for you! Shops are full of KitKats of every flavour you could ever imagine and there is Sushi everywhere!

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Posted by sun_chaser 04:02 Archived in Japan Tagged tokyo temples japan sushi mario_kart komono fortune_sticks Comments (0)

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