Tokyo was the most culturally different city we visited. I loved it. Everything about it was sleek, organised, and just fascinating.
We arrived late at night, and hopped into a taxi to stay at a family friends apartment in Akasaka, which turned out to be a perfect location as it was only a 5 minute walk to the Ginza line. When we arrived at the apartment, we were immediately astonished by the full window view of the skyline of Tokyo – the 26th floor was clearly a good floor to be on for views!
As we were only there for 3 days, our first day we headed to Ueno Park, as we were lucky enough to visit during cherry blossom season. The park was stunning, with the delicate blossom lining the park path. Although the weather was freezing, and very grey, it was still a gorgeous sight to see. We rented a pedal boat and did a few laps around the lake.
We obviously had to see a panda, so we went to Ueno Zoo. Seeing the pandas made me so, so happy. All they did was sit there, munch on bamboo and roll around, but they were still amazing to see! Seeing them also made me realize that humanity needs to make an effort to save these animals, as they were adorable, and its a huge loss for the world whenever a species of animal becomes extinct!
That night, Gerard (who we were staying with) treated us to some sushi. I have had sushi in the past, however I wasn’t a huge fan as I didn’t like the taste or texture (however this was probably due to the fact it was from Tesco ready to eat section). But after a few cups of Sake, many, many dishes of sushi, I decided that I do, in fact, love sushi. The fresh fish tasted incredible, and I loved the taste of Sake. Overall, Japanese food gets a thumbs up from me.
We were lucky enough to have Sensoji Temple only a couple of train stops away from where we were staying, so on probably the coldest, rainiest day we visited the temple. Unbeknownst to us, we did not realize the significance of the temple, and just thought it was incredible, but did not understand the vast amount of tourists visiting. However after viewing the architecture and looking up the history of the temple, we then realized how incredible the temple was. Safe to say, loved it.
Later that day, we headed to Harajuku. It was there we finally saw the eccentric fashion and trends of Japan’s youth. The business of it all was amazing as it was all so somehow sleek yet so hectic! We only stayed in the area for a couple of hours, due to the fact we couldn’t buy anything as we had no space in our rucksacks. I could have spent hundreds there. 😦
Annoyingly, it was in Tokyo where my phone broke. However as the saying goes, when one door closes, another door opens, So off to Bic we went in search for a new phone (which had a very, very sad end. But later on that). After intense Whatsapp discussions with my family, I finally picked up a Huawei Nova. What Harry nicknamed “A poor man’s iPhone”, was a very, very good phone! Took all my photos on the phone throughout the trip, and it was perfect.
Shibuya crossing was quite impressive too – the number of people crossing was amazing, and very, very hectic. All I can say is that once you start walking, don’t stop – you will piss people off.
Overall, I bloody loved Tokyo. Despite the cold weather, the city was beautiful with the contrast of modern architecture and traditional culture. Although we felt like aliens there due to the number of stares we got (to be fair, in a country full of 5ft citizens, a 6’5 tourist will stick out), I adored the city, and hopefully in the future will make a return.