We have been in Tokyo for one week now and I honestly don’t know where to begin to tell you just how incredible this place is. Tokyo just gets everything right. It’s on another level completely. We are in awe every single day.
We arrived here to some bad weather and that has continued throughout but it has not at all dampened our experience one bit, just our clothes and us in general.
We took a train to our first hostel from the airport. The first experience of Japanese travel, spotless trains, silence apart from some quiet conversations going on, lots of naps taking place, something we love about the trains here 👌🏼 and just a very peaceful experience. A stark contrast to our experience on the tube in America. I already felt myself relax and like a weight was lifted.
We got to our first hostel and we were very happy. It was next to the station, by a great area full of restaurants, not that you would ever struggle to find a place to eat here. There are little places tucked away in every corner.
Hopstepinn was the first place we stayed here. It was a very modern and cool hostel, great lounge area with computers and tea and coffee. Great facilities, spotless and fantastic shower rooms. Were we first experienced using a Japanese toilet.
They are great. Heated seats and all kind of functions for a very clean toilet experience.
For a cheap and fantastic hostel in Oji then check out www.hop-step-inn.com
When we went out to explore Tokyo the first thing we noticed was how orderly everything is. I had visions of it being quite overwhelming as it is home to some of the busiest places in the world but I was so wrong. Even amongst 1000‘s of people there is an air of calmness, nothing feels scary or overwhelming because everyone here is just so polite and everything has a system so there is no chaos to it.
Now I feel I must say, if you came to Tokyo for a first time get away and you had never used the tube before and you went into the Tokyo underground for your first time, yes it would be a bit of a shock I think the sheer amount of people but we are so used to using them now these busy stations are a piece of cake.
But whereas other busy stations are chaotic and have people all over the place, here every staircase is labelled, you go up one way and down the other. People wait quietly in lines for the train to arrive. When you are on them you aren’t allowed to talk on the phone or do anything that would disturb people. Just sit nicely and relax. Take a nap!
Even when We found ourselves in the situation of being crammed in like sardines, it didn’t bother me as much because there was no pushing or shoving, just everyone stood calmly making as much space as they could.
You can’t come to Tokyo and not have to get shoved into the train now, it’s a must!
So we conquered the Tokyo tube…even the handrails on all the escalators are antibacterial.
So we went off exploring, there is so much to see and do here. It looked exactly how we imagined in the busy streets. Bright lights, weird and wonderful shops and bars. You do feel like you are in Blade Runner. That being Mel’s favourite film, he loves it here. Places to eat everywhere! And the food here is incredible. Naturally we went for some ramen first. We are both determined to be pro’s with the chopsticks by the end of this trip!
We went to Akihabara first, went through all the arcades and electronic stores. The arcades are madness. You walk in and the noice hits you and then all the flashing lights. Very cool but a bit much for us so we just had a look around then went on.
We went to Akasuka, to visit the wonderful temple there, that even in the rain looked unreal. We loved taking in all the Japanese culture here. It is beautiful.
We have been pretty jet lagged since being in Japan so have had lots of early nights. Waking up so early though has given us full days to explore.
Next day we checked out a little festival that was taking place. It was a small Buddhist gathering and stalls full of trinkets and preyer books. We were able to go inside the temple and watch the Buddhist prey and it was such a beautiful experience.
Before entering you had to cleanse in a special water fountain by pouring the water onto both your hands then your mouth. Then you could go inside and listen to the preyer. We really enjoyed doing this, it was a lovely feeling being in there and we are excited to do more things like this as we head out of Tokyo.
From the festival we took a stroll through Yoyogi Park. This was a beautiful area and the sun came out for us while we walked through here. In this park you can visit the Meiji Shrine. A must see if you are visiting.
Again we did some traditional preying there and just took in the beauty of our surrounding. So incredibly beautiful.
Not far from the Park was Harajuku. An area I had been so excited to see. With all the fashion and fun things I knew would be there. We went down Takeshita Street and it was exactly what we had imagined. Busy with all different types of people, a fantastic place for people watching and some of the outfits were just fabulous.
I loved looking in all the shops and seeing all the crazy outfits they had on sale. Taking me back to my teenage years when I wore all the gothic clothes and studs everywhere. I just wanted to buy everything there! It was great fun. You have to go see it for yourself.
Another early night for us after after going for some more delicious food in Shinjuku. This is one of our favourite areas so far.
We spent two night at Hopstepinn then changed location to our current hostel. Hostel Wasabi! In the lovely area of Nippori. Again we are located right next to the station and walking distance from many food establishments and 7eleven. Another amazing place and this time we are in our own little sleeping pods which we are loving.
The hostel has a rooftop terrace overlooking the City, a hot tub and is just a great place to stay. We are loving it here. They even have Mac make up for rental. The only downside is how intimate the pods are… you hear everything and we have had some issues in that department, with snoring and some more x rated related issues 😂🙈 but other than that it’s been great and that was just the first night. Then the offenders moved on!
If you want the authentic experience of staying in these little capsules for a very good price then check out www.guesthousejp.com/en
The next day we went back to Shinjuku. This is one of the busier areas with all sorts to do and see. We keep finding ourselves back there because we enjoy it so much.
We went down Omoide Yokocho. Which is a small alley way thriving with tiny places to eat and drink. We love all these places that seat about 6 people along the bar. Such an authentic and intimate experience. We didn’t eat there when we walked through so it’s on our to do list.
We went to the top of one of the big building in Shinjuku, The Tokyo Metropolitan government building and got a fantastic view of the city! However an earthquake warning came over the tannoy while we were at the top which was terrifying and we still don’t know if it was a drill or if there was one and they are just so commonplace that we didn’t feel it.
We spent an afternoon at Tokyo Dome City, a very cool area with a huge rollercoaster running through the shopping centre and a Ferris Wheel with no middle that we found very impressive.
It was here that we wanted to try out something we had seen to be so popular everywhere but didn’t know what it was. It looked like little round donuts, we had no idea if they would be sweet or if they were a type of meat ball. So we just got them to try as they always had queues coming out the door.
I tried the first bite of one, we had ended up sharing a table outside the dome with a Japanese family, upon seeing my face when I bit into the little ball, one of confusion. It wasn’t bad but I just couldn’t tell what it was, the family laughed and said ‘octopus‘ well that was Mel not eating lunch.
We are on a budget so I ate them. The taste wasn’t bad but the texture and sheer thought wasn’t the best but it was certainly an experience. One Mel will never forget either because with one of them I ended up with a tentacle hanging out my mouth. That was enough for me as well with trying new things and I left the rest.
Another early night, we are only just getting into our routine and getting over our jet lag but we did try on this evening. We went to to a funky little bar in Shibuya for some drinks. It was a standing bar, another thing that is very common here, standing bars, standing restaurants. After all the walking though we didn’t last long then went to find somewhere to eat before we went home.
We found this lovely little place, it was lovely inside with gorgeous Japanese interior and looked pretty fancy. We looked at the menu and were surprised to see how cheap it was. We have been so pleasantly surprised with just how cheap it is here.
We expected it to be so expensive but it’s really so reasonably priced and cheap in so many places. Eating out hasn’t been an issue and 7eleven is providing us with a feast each morning for about £6.
The food in this place was phenomenal! So so tasty and cost us about £14 for both our meals and starters and they don’t take tips here either which has been a relief to our budget. Although we would be more than happy tipping for this amazing food and wonderful service.
Yesterday was probably one of our favourite days so far! We went to Tokyo Diver City at the recommendation of a friend and were surrounded with all things futuristic and cool! We met lots of robots, the little guys are just so cute. The way they interact with you is amazing.
We also met a ginormous robot. It was unbelievable So awesome to see something like that. It was huge. The whole area was just so cool and the rain didn’t put us off although it destroyed our brolly.
We took a tour around the Toyota museum and that was great. All the old school cars were very cool and they had all sorts of fun things to do in there. We had a go on the 3D virtual reality headset, got to drive some very futuristic looking simulators, we even had a go at doing some wheelchair basket ball, something I found rather odd but there is something seemingly odd around every corner here. It’s why it’s so exciting. Plus we realised it is because the Olympic/Paralympics are being hosted here next.
We walked around the shopping centre that is just like the Venetian in Vegas so that brought back some nice memories for us on our one month anniversary ❤️
Then we ended our day on the Ferris Wheel and got some incredible views of the city. I feel only made better by the rain. It was gorgeous up there.
So that’s our first week in Japan and we have honestly adored it. I just think it’s the best place. The last thing I want to talk about is the people here. They are so kind and genuine and funny. So polite. One of my favourite things is how made up parents get when their kids wave at you. Anytime I smile at a little one their parents just beam and start waving their hands around to wave at us and they are so happy to be making them wave. It’s so funny but lovely. Maybe it’s because we are a novelty being foreigners but it is the cutest things 🤗
And the women here are just stunningly beautiful, I love seeing how they dress. So elegant and gorgeous or so whacky and quirky. I love the fashion here. Just like I love everything else.
So it’s safe to say Japan is going to be one of the highlights from our trip. It really is like nowhere else in the world.
Well done Japan. On just getting it right. You feel so safe here. It’s such a nice feeling. We love you Japan! 🇯🇵
So looking m forward to venturing further into this beautiful country and seeing what it has to offer ✌️