Tokyo was our first and final destination in Japan and I loved it for all its craziness and diversity.
I didn’t realise until I got there, but Tokyo is the biggest city in the WORLD. Not only is it full of amazing skyline buildings, fabulous shopping centres and not to mention crowds of people, it also has a lot of tradition and culture too.
We stayed in a great location – Asakusa which was near enough to all the main attractions yet within walking distances to the older area with traditional temples and markets – where you can pick up all your souvenirs like we did.
Our hotel, Tokyo Inn Asakusa Kuramae Kaminarimon, was really good value too – £45 a night it was quite compact, but most hotels in Tokyo are, and had a complimentary breakfast included. What amused me was when we arrived the lady at reception insisted I picked 10 ‘free presents’ which included hair grips, bath bombs and soaps. This was a really nice touch, but I’m not sure 10 was completely necessary for just three nights!
Breakfast was certainly interesting but definitely edible…
One of the highlights was our visit to Shibuya where, like a typical tourist (much to Howard’s horror) I followed our guide book’s recommendation and headed to the Starbucks above the busy crossroads that are directly in front of the station. These are the busiest crossroads in the world and it’s great to watch from above and take some snaps.
Shibuya is also home to the famous statue of Hachiko, the faithful dog who continued to wait for his owner at the train station for 10 years after he died.
Shibuya, is very loud, full of shops blaring out Japanese pop music and large crowds. I would definitely recommend paying a visit though – we had a fabulous sushi lunch just up a side street from the cross roads. It was definitely cheaper than Yo Sushi!
If you’re already in Shibuya it definitely makes sense to head onto Harajuku which the Lonely Planet describes as Tokyo’s ‘catwalk’ and definitely visit Takeshita-dori its ‘neighbourhood’s famous subculture bazaar’ which is full of the most random shops selling everything from little girl style clothing (but for grown-women) and other fancydress-esque items that are actually worn on a day-to-day basis.
It was in this area of Tokyo that I spotted one of my favourite sights of the whole trip – a lady cradling two meerkats in her arms, one wearing a top hat. At first glance I thought it was a ferret but I quickly realised it was in fact the animal I was used to just seeing on the comparethemarket adverts.
We did so much in Tokyo I can’t fit it all into one post, so stay tuned for another coming soon! x