It’s been a whole year since my trip to the land of the rising sun. Where did the time go? So to celebrate my one year anniversary, I am writing a post to share my Japanese moments and buying some sushi later today 🙂
Even the jetlag could not stop me from exploring vibrant Tokyo on my first day there. It is a huge city and there are tons of fun things that you can do, all depends on what you like most. So where do I start?
Ginza: The area offers luxury shopping, fine dining, and great bars. The stores of leading fashion houses are located in the district. I liked it most at night with all its lights.
Shibuya: You have probably seen the Shibuya crossing in the movie Fast and Furious, well, do not miss it when in Tokyo – action in all directions! The area is covered with lights, advertisements, and…PEOPLE! The first time there I crossed this intersection multiple times just for the fun of it 🙂 The area is also very lively, filled with restaurants, bars, and clubs.
Roppongi: This is another district good for dining and nightlife, popular with foreigners. Below I will give you some brief information about other main spots in the city.
Asakusa: Beautiful shrine with many souvenir shops around, a lot of the items are made in Japan and they are different from the souvenirs that you can find elsewhere. On my last day, I visited the shrine for a second time to see it at night and was it beautiful! After that I had dinner in a close by Japanese restaurant – very delicious and affordable, luckily with an English menu (you’ll know what I mean…but I was in Japan and I wanted to go with the full Japanese experience!).
Tokyo Skytree: Great view of the city! There is a fee to go up and a long wait, so keep in mind that you will need a few hours for this. It is possible to book tickets in advance but if you miss your chance, you will lose your money. There are also free options to get a better feel of how big the city is. Many of the skyscrapers have observatories at the top level and restaurants with an incredible view. Some of the options are the building right next to Tokyo Skytree, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Caretta Shiodome, and others.
Tokyo Tower: Another place that offers you a view of the city. It resembles the Eiffel Tower in Paris and is the second tallest structure in Japan after Tokyo Skytree. You do pay a fee to go to the top.
Imperial Palace: This is the residence of the emperor of Japan, located in a park area with many runners around the alleys. You can combine it with a visit to Yasukuni Shrine, which is not too far away.
Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine/Harajuko/Omotesando/Shinjuku: In a day you can see all of these. Meiji Shrine is located in the park.
For a walk, shopping, or delicious crepes – Takeshita Street in the Harajuko area. It is always very crowded and it is not my favourite place in Tokyo, but it’s worth the visit. The outfits are so not out of the ordinary! 🙂
Omotesando – also close to Yoyogi park and Shibuya. It has many shops of top brands and restaurants around. Japanese people seem to prefer Omotesando to Ginza, as Ginza is now where most tourists go. Try Fridays, an American restaurant, if you are craving something sweet.
Tokyo Dome: Entertainment place that has an amusement park, spa center, restaurants, and shops.
Odaiba: It is an artificial island across the Rainbow Bridge. You should definitely go around sunset for the best view of Tokyo! It also has a Statue of Liberty like the one in the U.S. You can get there by taking the monorail from Shimbashi Station to Odaiba.
Tips: The winter can also be a great time to visit Tokyo. Although you will not see cherry blossoms, there are some other positive things about being in the city this time of the year. Even in the winter Tokyo gets lots of sunny days. Also, there are not many tourists and you don’t have to wait for hours when visiting the main attractions. Your plane ticket will probably be cheaper too.