We have arrived! It took 16 hours waiting in Bangkok airport, but we are finally here! I’m spending the first few days in Tokyo before heading down to Kyoto. We only had 48 hours in Tokyo before we got an overnight bus, so we just had a whistle stop tour of the city!
My partner and I stayed in an Airbnb in Setagaya-ku, which was about 20 minutes on the JR line to Shinjuku. The area itself is pretty cute, it had a doughnut cafe which was amazing! On our first night we went to a underground restaurant right in the centre of the neighbourhood called Bistro Gokigendori. It was our first meal in Japan and suffice it to say, we were pretty excited. In my excitement, I decided I didn’t need an English menu and just asked the waiter to bring me a selection. Unfortunately, I was then offered a plate barbecued pig tongues. Which was definitely not what I wanted. But hey, I came to Japan to learn new things! I learnt that I do not like barbecued pig tongues.
We started day two by visiting Akihabara, the famous technology district in Tokyo. It is a crazy cool district. If you have ever imagined any cool technological invention, you can most likely find it in Akihabara. For example, a device that you plug into your shoes that dries them after you’ve walked in the rain, an inflatable shelf to put in your bath to hold your laptop and a robot named Pepper. My partner and I also visited a massive 5 story arcade filled with heaps of games, ranging from guitar heroes to fantasy adventure simulations to claw cranes.
The next district we visited was Shinjuku, the major commercial centre of Tokyo. Its the iconic hustle and bustle, bright lights of Tokyo. Its where you can find restaurants where you are served by robots and restaurants where you watch robots wrestle. What more could you possibly want? I bought this incredible sweet treat from a high street vendor. It was a puff pastry fish filled with vanilla cream. If you’re ever in Shinjuku, you should get one. It was a revelation.
My favourite restaurant in Tokyo was UOBEI sushi in the Shibuyu neighbourhood. It was the best sushi I have ever had. Not only was the sushi sensational, but the ordering process was pretty futuristic too. All the customers sit at long benches and each seat has an iPad. You order from the iPad, and then sushi is brought down on an automated conveyer belt straight to your seat. Its an experience in itself.
My partner and I spent our last afternoon in Tokyo in the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park. It is an incredibly beautiful area. In the Meiji Shrine, there is a ritual cleaning process of your hands and face before you can enter. You can also participate in Kau Cim, a Buddhist fortune telling practise.
Ever downward water flows,
but mirrors lofty mountains;
How fitting that our hearts also
Be humble, but reflect high aims.
It’s also free, which makes it even more fun.
I had an amazing time in Tokyo and can’t wait to be back there! If anyone has any tips of other places to visit then please comment and let me know!