The city that never sleeps… Okay fine, this is the nick name of NYC however it definitely also applies to Tokyo ( and possibly hundreds of other cities), but alas, we digress 🙂
Tokyo in summer… AKA HOT HOT HOT! Like walk around the city for the day and you might die of heatstroke hot.
Anywhos, if you’re thinking of planning a trip to Japan you will more than likely be flying into Tokyo, so take advantage. There are millions of things to do/see but here a a few to get you started!
1. Go to the fish market (Tsukiji Fish Market)
The above fish was one of millions of specimens at the fish market. This market is the biggest in Japan as well as the biggest fish market globally. We actually went the first day that we arrived in Tokyo when we were still nice and jet lagged, which surprisingly worked to our advantage. Depending on where you are staying in the city and how well you know the transit system ( TONS of subway lines and many maps are only in Japanese), you will have to wake up quite early. We got up at 3:00am and were very chipper ( again, not normal, this was due to the fact that we were still on Canadian time). It is recommended to get there early as there are only a number a spots available to tour the fish market tuna auction. It is two waves of 60 people that are allowed to go on the tour, so if you are not one of those people you might have to get up early a second day in a row, which might be tougher the next time around. Otherwise, you can tour the outer market and see many stalls and sushi restaurants. We ended up eating a sushi breakfast at 6:00am. It was some of the best sushi i have ever eaten in my entire life.
2. Get your hands on as much Matcha as possible!
We broke down and needed the cool AC of a Starbucks. But while we were resting in there i decided to try a chocolate matcha frappuccino, when in Rome right 😉 ! It was really good. In Japan pretty much everything edible can come in a matcha flavor. Frapps as seen above and chocolate matcha biscuits as seen below. Also, not pictured here, the KitKats were epic, they have matcha, red bean, vanilla and other glorious flavours 🙂 You might as well take advantage of matcha and all it’s health benefits right? Though maybe the sugar in these counteracts the goodness…..regardless if you need a cheap and cool gift to bring home, buy some matcha cookies and KitKats for your family, mine loved them!
3. Tokyo Tower
When we were strolling around the city and saw the Tokyo Tower i was thinking ” Hey, Eiffel Tower copy cat!”, perhaps you can see the resemblance? This tower not only is an icon of the city but actually does have antennae that broadcast programs. It is really neat to see the tower in the background when you’re visiting an ancient shrine ( as seen above). I guess this is good example of how Tokyo really shows juxtaposition of ancient history and a very high tech city marrying together. If you do go up, its a pretty good 360 view around the city. Another good spot for a lookout would be at Skytree. We didn’t go but you can def make a trip up there and lounge atop their cool restaurant bar.
4. Eat delicious Ramen / Sushi / Sashimi
This is no surprise right? Try some of the incredible food while in Tokyo. But really, no joke, some of the most delicious food! Eating Japanese food at home now just isn’t the same unfortunately.
So my top foods as mentioned above was the Ramen, Sushi and Sashimi. There are so many other amazing foods to eat as well: yakisoba, udon, shabu shabu and tempura! Around Tokyo you really will find so many places to eat of course, but for sushi and sashimi definitely have some as mentioned above when you visit the Tsukiji Fish Market, it is the FRESHHHHHHHHEST!
5. Sensoji Temple
This temple is super famous and really beautiful. I think my favourite part was actually the walk up to the temple. You are in the heart of the busy city, then there is this forest and long path towards the temple. It was so calming in the cool of the trees and seeing the wall of sake barrels on the way. Definitely a must see in Tokyo.
6. Hama Rikyu Garden
This garden really was at a good time in the day when we were trekking around Tokyo. I was actually starting to feel a little off due to the amount of sun i was getting ( TOP TIP: Wear a hat and drink heaps of water!). We went into the beautiful garden and strolled with the audio guide, we learnt a little about the garden and Shogun Tokugawa family in the 17th century. I will say my favourite part of the garden was the tea house in the middle. We sat on tatami mats and indulged in lovely iced matcha tea. It was most relaxing part of the day, sitting in the tea house with the breeze coming over the pond through the tea house doors.
And i really do have to add again my love for the contrast between the ancient garden with the background of the big city 🙂
7. Hit up Shinjuku and Harajuku
I don’t have harajuku pictured above unfortunately 🙁 i think i was in a daze when we were in that district and for some odd reason i didn’t take any pictures. Nonetheless these districts are so cool! Shinjuku is definitely bustling and busy and one of the busiest crosswalks in the world! I love seeing all the buildings and stores and signs, it really captures your senses. Need i say much about Harajuku? It is already very famous, not to mention the added fame from Gwen Stefani’s obsession with the district. I have heard that Sunday is the best time to go if you are hoping to see everyone decked out in their epic outfits 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my littler recap on Tokyo, the city really had endless things to do and see, you could fill weeks there and not repeat anything….. well except maybe you have multiple sushi meals 😛