Hello guys, it’s been a while since my last article but I was in a hurry before the biggest trip of my life and I launched my second hand and vintage eshop. As you know I travelled accross Asia during almost two months. I started it in Japan for two weeks (my article is on the making) then I went to South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand and I spent one day at Muscat in Oman. I will write one article for each place but two for Japan because there is too much to say !
I dreamed about visiting Japan since I was a teenager, and I completely felt in love. Everything about this country amazed me it’s story, culture, people, the architecture and even the food !
Although five days are definitely not enough to see all of Tokyo, it’s quite enought to get a good taste of what it’s like there. Since Tokyo is a really big city with a lot things to do, I recommend you to spend at least five or six day there (the more the better).
You have probably all heard of the “SHIBUYA CROSSING” at this crossroads where a human bride is crossing at the same time. It’s pretty impressive how disorder can be ordered. There are a few places that you can spot Shibuya crossing from above. One of the best spots to admire this crossing is inside the Starbuck Coffee building! Inside, there are many restaurants and shops. It is also a good point of reference and transfer to the various parts of the city. This is where you can redeem your Jr Pass voucher if you haven’t had the opportunity to do so at the airport (the JR office closes at 6:30 p.m.).
For the fashion lovers, there are many vintage shops, I loved the store «Blaxsmith vintage» as well as the shopping center «TOKYU», which is at the exit of the station Shibuya.
You can walk to Harajuku from Shibuya. The nearby Meiji Shrine, popular with tourists, is a wedding venue. Your next stop is Takeshita Street, Harajuku is the paradise of every fashionista, there is everything, vintage, fast fashion, luxury, vintage luxury, Bref EVERYTHING (had a crush over “Sevens 7” and “Wego”)! there are also many restaurants in the alleys sometimes well hidden, so don’t be shy and leave the large boulevards. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods in Tokyo, you’ll find anything you want!
If you are brave and you started the day early enough you can go to the Shinjuku district by walking from Harajuku. You will cross Roppongi, which is a nice spot for food lovers.
Shinjuku, is a super lively area with shops, malls and restaurants as everywhere but that looks like a gigantic shopping center on several floors that will make you lose your mind!
I went to eat at an Izakaya restaurant, at SHOUSUKE (3-6-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0022). Everything was good, but like most izakaya in Tokyo, it is a smoking establishment, so if you visit be prepared.
Then go to Kabukicho, known as the hot district of Tokyo, so I wanted to go and see what “hot” means to them.
I’ve been walking around the neighborhood all night, and it’s pretty quiet. There are a lot of hostess bars and that’s why they call it a hot neighborhood.
Still in Shinjuku, in the heart of the Kabukicho district is the «Golden gai», where you will find typical Japanese popular bars on six small narrow streets. It is a tiny piece of the ancient Tokyo, which remained intact despite the war and earthquake of 1923.
It is the best spot to admire the cherry trees in the spring, and the perfect place for a fall stroll away from the Tokoyîte brouhaha.
There are quite a few small shops and concept stores along the river, not far from there is the café «Day&night», which serves the best pancakes I had in Asia.
You have probably all seen this picture of a person surrounded by light with perspectives giving an impression of infinity. This is an exposition and it’s located in the Teamlab Borderless Museum, in the south of Tokyo. To get there, I crossed the city by air subway from the SHIMBASHI station to AOMI, I felt like I was in an attraction so crazy.
Seeing the city with so much height was just huge, I recommend the trip even if you don’t want to go to the museum. As for the museum, I advise you to schedule 3-4 hours knowing that there may be a line for some facilities.
If you have time, before you go to see the show, stop by the Tsukiji Fish Market, it’s not very far away and it’s a must when you’re in town.
Is a quieter but really nice neighbourhood, you should definitely not miss the Nakamise Market, it’s what I call the “souk of Tokyo”, a market that dates from 1777. You will find everything, souvenirs, food and the beautiful Asakusa shrine with its Sensoji temple. There are also many restaurants and shops along the Sumida-gawa River. It was here that I found a Japanese halal restaurant serving one of the city’s specialties: shabu shabu.
It’s a traditional dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water and served with dipping sauces, so delicious.
If you feel like it, go to «Halal japanese restaurant Origami» (1 Chome-2-8 Hanakawado, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0033, Japan), you won’t be disappointed.
Ueno is the green lung of Tokyo, there is a huge park with temples, a zoo (personally, I am against it but it’s between you and your convictions) and museums. It is “the place to be” during a sunny day in the Japanese capital. It’s a very peaceful place, perfect for a stroll or to recharge your batteries in the heart of the city.
Near the Shinobazunoike Bentendo temple, there is a pond on which lotus floats depending on the season of course !
Near by “Ueno park”, there is a really small street you should take. I don’t have the adress, is’t a one-metre-wide alley that will take you to the Yanaka district. (check the plan). There are shops on the way with unique souvenirs that you will only find there and at an affordable price. There are also vintage shops like “Used clothing mannequin”, cafes, bakeries (Les initiés, Le bage), restaurants (Cibi) and a lot concept stores.
You will cross almost only locals on the way, and once you arrive in Yanaka it will be much more touristic.
In Yanaka you can buy cheap souvenirs and kimonos, there are also many restaurants !
it’s the place to be if you’re a huge fan of manga, anime and electronic stores. In addition to shops, various other animation-related establishments have become popular in the area, particularly maid cafes where waitresses dress up and act like maids or anime characters, and manga cafes where you can read your favorite manga !
I was in Tokyo for five days and I didn’t get a chance to do everything. It is a huge city in which I doubt you will get bored, there is so much to visit, to do. It’s also one of the safest city I know, I have never felt so safe in a big city.
I stayed at GRIDS Hotel (there are several in the city), they have dormitories and single rooms. It was clean, affordable (+-20€/night) and the staff was so adorable.