We were in Tokyo for 4 nights, from Wednesday 7th July-Sunday 11th July. Arriving in Tokyo was very straight forward. We had pre-booked a hotel called Kangaroo Hotel, near the Asakusa district of Tokyo. We had to take the subway from the airport to Nippori (Keisei Line), then from Nippori we had to change to the JR (Joban line) and get off at Minami Senju. This ticket cost us 1300 Yen each (£9.70) and the journey took around 1 hour.
From the station our hotel was a 10 minute walk. There are street maps all over Tokyo so it is pretty easy to get around…and also Paul is FANTASTIC at directing, thank goodness, because I am hopeless! The hotel was really nice. Very basic, like many Japanese homes but extremely clean and it had all the facilities needed. A kitchen area on each floor, with a microwave, kettle and sinks. The rooms were very small, with a toilet on each floor and showers downstairs. The hotel staff were extremely friendly and helpful. If we come back, which I hope we do, we would stay there again.
On our first night we went to Akihabarawhich is the biggest place in Japan for electronics. There are many shops on the street and also a big shopping centre with floors and floors of electrical goods. You are free to test things out and no one bothers you-which is great! We were testing out the new Ipad-I think Paul really wants one now.
Things we did in Tokyo:
- Walked over the Rainbow Bridge-to visit Odaiba Island. This was a great way of seeing the city. We got a subway to Mita Station then walked to the tower of the bridge. You can get a lift up to the bridge here, but it closes at 9pm, so all foot passengers must exit the bridge by then.
- Visited some of the many shopping districts in Tokyo. Including Ginza, Hibya and the Akihabara area (Electrical District) The great thing about Tokyo is that there is a different district for many types of shopping products.
- Visiting Harajuku and Kiddy Land. This is the center of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles, but also offers shopping for grown-ups and some historic sights. The focal point of Harajuku’s teenage culture is Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) and its side streets, which are lined by many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores. This area is where you will see many teenagers dressed in crazy costumes. The best time to experience this is on a Sunday, which we were unable to do as we were flying out that day. However we did get to go and see some of the people of this fashion culture. Also we visited Kiddy Landwhich is found here. This is a big store full of many toys-it is a lot of fun, both for kids and adults:)
- Visited a few of the many Parks in Tokyo. Even though Tokyo is a massive city, with lot’s going on, it also has it’s many places to sit and relax. We found it a lot more relaxing than we had imagined. We visited the Palace gardens near Tokyo station. (FREE ENTRY)
Tokyo Imperial Palace is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in Chiyoda, Tokyo close to Tokyo Station and contains various buildings such as the main palace and the private residences of the imperial family. The total area including the gardens is 7.41 square kilometers. (WIKI)
Shibuya Crossing (Busiest intersection in Tokyo) Shibuya Crossing, also referred to as Shibuya Scramble Crossing is the pedestrian crossing outside the Hachiko exit of Shibuya Station. It is referred to as a scramble crossing as the traffic is stopped in all directions, thus allowing pedestrians to walk in all directions through the intersection. This is one of the busiest intersections in the world. We decided to sit up stairs in Starbucks to observe the craziness.
- Spent the day in Asakusa- Asakusa is known as ‘Old Tokyo’ as it is one of the few districts in Tokyo that have kept onto old traditions. This is where you will be able to visit some of the many Buddhist Temples, markets and the old traditional Japanese streets.
It was such a pleasant change to be able to walk around markets and not be pushed into buying things. The Japanese are a lot less pushy and just allow you to look around.
- Odaiba Island and Replica of the Statue of Liberty-Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan, across the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo. We walked over the rainbow bridge then spent the day here. There is a beach and also lot’sof shops, including a big shopping center, with a cinema. Also you will find a replica of the Statue of Liberty just outside the Aqua City shopping center.
We have so much more to say about our short but amazing time in Tokyo, but this will have to do for now. We loved how it was such a safe city with some of the kindest people we’ve ever met. We definitely want to go back and experience more of Japan and hopefully next time we’ll get to go and see my Uncle/Aunty and counsins who live in the South.
We have been in Brisbane for 1 week now. We are staying with Marey an old friend of my sister Leah’s, from when she lived in Australia 10 years ago. Mareyhas been so amazing and welcomed us into her home. My sister Leah is also here in Australia, we have spent the last week with her here in Brisbane and will be spending at least 1 more week here.