I spent two weeks in Tokyo! I never really thought about how hot it would be when I got there, it’s hot like a Michigan summer! 95 degrees and 100% humidity! Oh boy! I will use this one blog post to talk about all of the places I went while in Tokyo! Grab some tea or coffee and prepare yourself!
The first thing I did when I got there was to explore the Imperial Palace Gardens. They were so beautiful! There were so many types of plants I have never seen before, it also allowed me my glimpse of bamboo 😀 Afterwards I just wandered around the main area around the Tokyo station and found a great mall with rooftop access perfect for photographing the station!
For photos of Tokyo click here!
I spent a lot of my time in Shinjuku due to the fact that it is where I was staying the majority of my trip! Unfortunately it stormed most of the time I was in Tokyo because of a coming typhoon but I did manage to get some pretty cool shots!
I went to the Government building which I was able to take photos of from another building! It has two towers at the top where you can look at the city in 360 degrees for free! It was incredible to look out and as far as the eye could see, it was only buildings! That blew my mind. The architecture of the larger buildings was really amazing and I loved the difference in design all in one small area.
I also went to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and it was amazing how quiet and peaceful it was in there, especially being in the middle of the city. It had many sculptures and play places for children. I could’ve spent all day there if it hadn’t started a downpour once I made it through the whole thing! I ran for a mall before it really started falling!
The amazing thing about Tokyo and Shinjuku is its underground walkways! You can get pretty much anywhere without going above ground! If you don’t get lost that is……..
For photos of Shinjuku click here!
I love Asakusa! I went there a few times while I was in Tokyo and I just love the proximity of old historic and industrial modern. I met up with some really great people to wear yukata around the main area! We went out to eat and I was able to try the beverage of choice in 1948 (made due to lack of money and time to make real beer)! Its called Hoppy and its a non-alcoholic beer that you pour into a glass with shochu (a distilled drink similar to sake). It was actually really good and refreshing!
The Kaminarimon and Hozomon gates are quite the impressive thing to see. Giant lanterns protected by oni. Nakamise street connects the two with many shops as a path to the Senso-ji temple, a truly magnificent landmark. I discovered a wonderful place to view Asakusa’s main area for free on the 8th floor of the Miharashi Cafe, the Asakusa tourist info center an amazing and photogenic building itself!
The Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world and the second tallest structure (second to the Burj Khalifa). Seeing this in person totally blew my mind. I walked past it a few times on my way to the old town area of Sumida (an amazing place to wander for hours). I did not have a chance to go up in the Skytree but if you have the opportunity I definitely recommend it!
For photos of Asakusa click here!
Ginza is rich people land!!! Every store there was stories tall and absolutely beautifully crafted. I could not get enough! The main attraction for me though was the Hakuhinkan Toy Park. Multiple stories of any toy you could possibly imagine was hours of browsing fun!! But my real reason for visiting Ginza was to see the Tsukiji Fish Market and Sukiyabashi Jiro.
I will probably never be able to afford a meal there but I have been greatly inspired by the man who owns and runs the three Michelin star sushi restaurant. I was able to sneak down to where the shop is located and have a peak through the doors into the kitchen! It was like meeting all of my favorite famous people in one place. Unfortunately there are no photos allowed in the area, and I decided to respect their wishes. At least I have my memory of seeing all of the staff working in the kitchens through that open back door.
Tsukiji is the worlds largest fish market, and one of the largest wholesale markets. It was very easy to get lost in there! 😀 Unfortunately I only captured a few photos and terrible video (I hope to salvage some of it!). I definitely recommend going as early as you can. I arrived at 9am and the fish market was already getting ready to close up!!!
For photos of Ginza click here!
SHIBUYA & HARAJUKU
I went to all the quintessential places in Shibuya: The famous Shibuya crossing, Hatchi’s statue, and Shibuya 109. But I have to say that the best part of my visit there, was that the typhoon that had been creeping in all week finally hit! It was incredible, the amount of rain and the color of the sky were just amazing.
Harajuku was so super cool with its colorful and odd clothing style and the shops greatly reflected that with their merchandise and decorations. This is the best description I have of Takeshita street! A recommendation for Harajuku is to definitely visit the Kawaii Monster Cafe. Have you ever seen the music video for “PONPONPON” by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu? Well the artistic director made an entire cafe experience like it. It was crazy, colorful, and delicious!!!
Harajuku has a beautiful shrine as well that everyone should visit when they can. It is large and has some very impressive tori! It was and wonderful area for photos, even when it was storming!
For photos of Shibuya & Harajuku click here!
Land of electronics, otaku, anime, and maid cafe’s. It is a colorful magical world. Please go there and try to visit as many shops as you possibly can! I don’t have a whole lot to say about this place but I did get to see some of the original key frames from the anime Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan). It was beautiful and amazing to see the whole process in front of you. This was all at the Tokyo Anime Center. Yes. I am a huge nerd. I am aware. 😛
For photos of Akihabara please click here!
I took the wrong bus. Got off at a different station. Still had enough money to get to Narita. All while dragging around broken luggage. That was quite the interesting trip. I saved my self one last stick of dango to eat before I went through security. It was a bitter sweet moment. To this day I still crave it! I was so excited to go home and see my family and my boyfriend and my Lily bird 😀 (She’s my green cheek conure) Being away from home really made me appreciate my city and my family and the range of international foods available to me.
Also pizza and ranch. Man did I miss that stuff.
I really hope to go back soon and to maybe even spend a year there. I fell in love with the people, the architecture, the food, the conbini’s, the land. I miss it terribly. A piece of my heart will forever be planted in Japan.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
For the last few photos click here.
For video footage on my YouTube channel click here!