Japan is often thought of as an expensive city to visit. Tokyo is one of the world largest metropolis and while finding a cheap place to stay might not always be a walk in the park, you can easily save money on eating out while still eating like a king!
Japan is one of the most fantastical places in the world to visit, but for first timers there often can be a very daunting elements in making your first trip to a foreign land. Check out this guide and help prepare yourself to have the best time possible.
In my constant search for all things related to travelling in Japan, I discovered that unlike the traditional four seasons which the western world uses to divide their calendar, Japan celebrates 72 different "micro-seasons". These micro-seasons each are given a wonderfully descriptive name which paints a perfect picture of those little moments throughout the year.
Depending on where you're setting off from, you're most likely looking at an at least 13-hour flight to Japan. If you don't have the cash to splurge for first class - and let's face it basically no one does - see if your airline has to ability to upgrade to upgrade your seats for some extra legroom.
During the cherry blossom season, when many people make the pilgrimage to Tokyo to witness this natural phenomenon, festival food stalls crowd the pathways around the temple. Off-season, there are only a few, run down stalls on site, selling traditional Japanese street food to locals and tourists alike.
The name Ameya-Yokochō comes from the word "ameya" which in Japanese means "candy store". After WWII sugar was hard to obtain but in this area of Japan, there were many candy stores still selling the precious sweets. Even today you can still find a few stores selling Japanese candy.
Sensoji is a Buddhist temple first built in 645 AD, making it one of Tokyo's oldest temples. In the early 1600's, the Tokugawa shogun created the city of Edo. Edo's defences were the weakest near its northeast and southwest edges or as they called them, the "demon gates". Tokugawa needed all the help he could get to help defend them. For this reason, he created two temples in each location to help call on the Buddha to protect his land. Sensoji was the protector of the northeast and Zojoji was built in the southeast to ensure protection around Tokyo.
Sushi-Nova is a restaurant where diners can enjoy sushi delivered right to their seat via a high-speed conveyor. For travellers, you'll be pleased to hear that all their tables of four provide outlets to charge your devices and they even have free wifi! (which yes is a big deal in Japan)
I think in retrospect we should have spent more time researching. But I will say, that this cafe, unlike many many other, ensures that the light inside is very dark, as the animal are nocturnal and sleep during the day. This cafe also didn't allow you to pet all the owls, and some were only for observation.
Today, the gardens are the only accessible part of the Imperial Palace available every day. The Palace is still the primary residence of the Emperor. Their current home is a more modern building as it was finished in 1993 and located in the Fukiage Gardens. Much like Buckingham Palace, it is not accessible to the public except for private guided tours.
Nighttime in Akihabara for us went the same way every night. We would come home from a long day of walking around Tokyo, dump our stuff, and head out to find something delicious. We were never disappointed. We never lacked for options. And never lacking for excitement
Standing at the base of the stone staircase, looking up at the Atago Shrine, can be an intimidating sight. Atago hill is over 26 meters above sea level and atop this giant stone staircase is one of Tokyo's hidden gems: the Atago Shrine.
Omotesando Hills are located right beside Harajuku, and despite their proximity, they could not be more different. Harajuku is where you'll find alternative fashion for the experimental youth of Tokyo while Omotesando is where you'll find an elegant fashion, shopping and entertainment neighbourhood. The tree-lined boulevards of Omotesando often remind people of the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
If you’re looking for the busiest, liveliest, brightest, craziest area to stay while visiting Tokyo, there is no other option for you other than Shinjuku. Shinjuku is home to the world’s busiest railways station, where more than two million passengers flow through their hallways each day.
There are hundreds of Shrines to see in Tokyo, and deciding which ones to see can be tough. I often feel like I'm missing out if I don't make it to every big item on the "must-see" list. The Meiji Shrine was one of those locations you see on every list, and I thought I'd be remiss not to see it.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do a bunch of psychedelic drugs in the year 2200? Well, wonder no more because the "Robot Restaurant" here in Toyko is here to show you! The "restaurant" isn't really a restaurant at all. What it is, is a futuristic, energetic, vibrant, exciting, surprising and overall insane display modern, Japanese cabaret.
On one very rainy morning in Toyko, Dan and I decided to head outside the city and out to explore the cosy, seaside village of Yokohama and their fabled "Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum". Although it's dubbed a "museum", the experience you'll have is more in line with a food-themed amusement park.