Me being me I had to take about a million photos on our trip to Japan. Especially of both the sights and the food so naturally I have had to split them into separate posts. Even then I’d still probably grab a brew before sitting down to this one…
First up, our first stint in Tokyo.
If you haven’t seen the trailer to our whole trip – check it out here.
We flew from Manchester Airport via Helsinki, Finland and our trip started at around 10 in the morning our time. It finished at 9 in the morning Japan time. Ouch. Oh and did I mention we couldn’t check into our hotel until 3pm? Double ouch.
We took a coach from Narita Airport to Tokyo as it’s actually between an hour and an hour and a half trip between the two. Neither of us are particularly good at sleeping on planes (though Topher is a pro at falling asleep on any other mode of transport!) so we were tired!
The train is slightly quicker but we opted for the bus as it was half the price and we could hand our luggage over to the bus driver. Then all we had to do was navigate the subway from Tokyo station to Shibuya.
We dropped our bags at the hotel and went out for lunch before mooching back just in time for 3pm check in. We were desperate to get showers and fresh clothes we after we sorted ourselves out it was back into the wilderness of Shibuya. Lots of rain this evening so we mainly spent our time in shops. Hello Disney store!
We spent a fair bit of time in Tokyu Hands which is a department store. So many weird and wonderful things in there.
We managed to stay out until around 9 before heading back to the hotel to collapse.
In the morning we had a little lie in and then headed over to the other side of the city. Asakusa is an older area of Tokyo which houses the oldest shrine – built in 645 AD. Sensō-ji. Our plan was to explore and sample the street food.
We got lucky with the cherry blossoms as I thought we’d miss them all but there were still a few blooming when we arrived in Tokyo. Yay!
It was about 11.30 by the time we got to the temple so as you can see it’s pretty crowded. Sensō-ji is open from 6am though you can wander through the main grounds 24/7. So if you want photos with less people around then get there early!
It was a beautiful day so even though it was crowded I’m happy with my photos.
The building in the above photo is Tokyo Skytree; a popular tourist attraction that boasts some amazing views of the city. We didn’t go here as I was given a tip for a free view of the city that includes Skytree in it.
That was the building we headed to in the afternoon. Shinjuku Government Building also has amazing views and if the day is super clear, you can even see Mount Fuji.
Unfortunately by this point the clouds had rolled in but it was still an amazing view of the city. Definitely recommended and you can’t go wrong because it’s free!
Afterwards we headed to Sunshine City in Ikebukuro purely so that Topher could visit the Pokemon centre. He had an amazing time and spent a lot of money! Sunshine city is basically a shopping centre with a load of stuff attached like an aquarium and mini theme parks. A perfect day out if it’s raining. We were tired so it was Pokemon, a couple of shops and then back to the hotel.
Harajuku day! I’ve been dreaming of visiting Harajuku since I was 15 so the rain did not stop me today. Topher and I got suited up with our rain gear and headed out. Shops don’t tend to open until at least 10am so we had a little lie in.
Our first stop was Meiji-Jingu which is a shrine that can be found in Yoyogi park. The photos below are of the tori gate and the barrels of sake you can find on the way to the shrine. The photos I took of the shrine itself weren’t that great so just look out for it in my upcoming vlog!
Then it was off to Takeshita Street for some shopping.
Not many photos due to the amount of rain and shopping bags we were both carrying! Money was spent. No regrets.
We also managed to find a place that did Purikura. It’s basically a photo booth only Japan has taken it to the next level where you can practically make yourself look like a doll. Topher was up for a laugh so we gave it a go. The results make me chuckle and this is now on our fridge at home.
We also had a wander around nearby where we found a Lush store. I wouldn’t usually rush in to one abroad but I heard they had lots of Japan exclusives. Plus it was worth it for this wall alone!
I may have purchased a few things…
Then it was back to the hotel to pack as we had a super early bullet train out of Tokyo to our next city.