I finally got to visit one of the places on my bucket list- Tokyo. After visiting Osaka and Kyoto I was left wanting just a bit more crazy from Japan, and I knew Tokyo would be exactly the place to find it. I was only going to be there for 2D 2N, so I had to fit a whole lot of crazy into that time.
After landing on the first night we caught a train to our air bnb in Ebisu, a stop away from Shibuya on the metro. We had to decide whether to get a round trip ticket, or a single, as a return is cheaper than buying two singles. As we were going from a different area in the evening, we opted for a single ticket. This took us a good 5-10 minutes between the 3 of us to decide, God help us if we had to make any life or death decisions! Travel in Tokyo is definitely more expensive than Korea. After an hour we arrived at our destination. That evening we checked out a Ramen place close by, it was a chain Ramen place, famous for it’s Yuzu ramen (Afuri). We ordered two bowls of ramen and some kinda fish flake thing recommended to us by a local…mmm fish flake :/. The fish flake thing was actually really good to be fair to the guy, just sounds a bit gross. The yuzu ramen was really great, nice and refreshing in this ungodly humidity that Asia seems to insist my hair and I have to live through.
Afterwards we ventured to Roppongi to find a good night view of Tokyo. We originally wanted to go up the Park Hyatt and get a cocktail. This would’ve been all well and good if we weren’t looking for the wrong Hyatt. We had actually meant to go to the Grand Hyatt, so were confused when maps.me was telling us it was a 40 minute walk. We ended up going up Roppongi Hills to have a night view instead. I definitely liked having a view of Tokyo tower lit up at night, instead of going up the tower itself. No Lost in Translation cocktail for me though sadly.
En route back to our accommodation that night, we stopped by one of the many convenience stores and got some Japanese snacks. One of my actual favourite things about Japan is their convenience stores. They’re amazingggg, you can get everything you could ever want or need, and then some! We tried mini stop and ate some pudding and various chocolates and snacks. We actually ended up doing a tour of all the convenience stores over the weekend, we loved them that much. Lawson, mini stop and 7-eleven. Korea’s convenience stores pale in comparison. Got a lotta love for Japan’s ‘combini’.
We rose early to make the most of our little time there. We headed to Daikanyama for some coffee and breakfast. After that we meandered over to Shibuya to see the famous crossing. And then ‘Cat street’ to enjoy some caramels at Number sugar. We racked up a lot of steps on the ol’ pedometer, which we needed before enjoying the most amazing pancakes at Cafe Gram in Harajuku. They only have 60 servings of their famous souffle pancakes a day, and these are spread out evenly during three time periods (so 20 at each time). An hour before the serving times you can queue up and get a ticket, before getting an allotted time where your pancakes will be served. They were just so fluffy (I’m gonna die).
All filled with the lighter than air pancakes, we walked to Yoyogi park and Meiji Shrine for a wander around. Serious rest time was needed after our mammoth walk around the city.
Our feet rested, and bellys now ready for some more yum, we went to Ginza. Tokyu Plaza and Tsurutontan to be more exact for some pink udon. The pink udon was a carbonara style noodle, so kinda felt like I could’ve been at an Italian restaurant, not Japanese. My favourite of the two udon we ordered was definitely the more authentic and original tofu udon. The pink udon was nice and all, but more of a gimmic than anything else. If you want delicious udon then I would definitely go for the original kids of udon. I could seriously swim in the bowl that your noodles is served it, was huuuuge! And for no extra charge you can order 1.5 or even double serving of noodles, now that’s a no brainer right there.
Our final day on Sunday was spent enjoying good coffee at Blue bottle coffee. With caffeine fueling our tired bodies, we went to Akihabara to do some souvenir shopping. The last activity in our jammed packed weekend was going to be leaving Tokyo in style. We traveled to Asakusa to get kitted out in kimonos and walk around the shrine. Damn, kimonos are heavy, and not made for summer. I was proper sweating walking around. It didn’t help that tourists kept stopping us to get photos with us. Proper little celebs we were. We only had about an hour until we had to get back into our normal clothes and head to the airport. I was kinda glad of only having to wear it for an hour in some ways, as it was soooo ridiculously hot. Asakusa was a nice shrine, but there were too many people, and too many stalls selling crap. It felt more of a tourist trap, than a place to come and worship.
a little bit in love with Tokyo this trip. There was so much to see and do, I wish I had more time there. If I ever went back I would for sure go to some of the themed cafes/restaurants. The robot restaurant included. Japan, I have a feeling I’m not quite done with you yet…