As we landed in Tokyo during the early hours of the morning we joined hundreds of other travellers partaking in the grim activity of attempting to sleep in the airport. A few hours later, with absolutely no sleep, we hastily got the first metro of the day and headed to our base in Tokyo, Wasabi Guesthouse. The hostel was capsule themed and had its very own onsen which guests could take a relaxing dip in. If you need somewhere to stay in Tokyo, or if you simply want a great nights sleep in your very own Japanese pod, we
would definitely recommend this hostel.
Tokyo is ridiculously big and you would probably need years to see everything that the city has to offer. However, we only had 4 days so here are our highlights of this amazing city!
Our first stop was the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Here you will find an observation platform with 360 degree views of the whole of Tokyo. Best of all, the entry is free and make sure you get your mandatory Japanese souvenir stamp whilst up there!
Next up was a walk through the Harajuku district. Takeshita street is sheer madness and here you will find all kinds of crazy shops, quirky restaurants and Harajuku girls dressed in the weirdest fashion you can imagine. Whilst on Takeshita we visited an owl forest which is home to numerous owls that you can walk past and pet. Very strange!
Ironically, also in Harajuku is the peaceful Yoyogi Park. The park is a perfect example of a tranquil Japanese park and a great place to get away from the noise of Takeshita. We also saw a traditional Japanese wedding take place in the grounds of the temple within the park.
Exiting the park, we made the short walk to Shibuya, home of the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. We also did the crossing in rush hour and whilst a crossing is a peculiar tourist spot, it is a must-do experience in Tokyo. Shibuya is what you expect when you think of Tokyo, fast paced and bright lights.
In the morning I dragged Nicole (aka the fish hater) to Tsukiji fish market. Whilst we were too late for the gigantic tuna auction, we witnessed everything else the atmospheric market has to offer. There are numerous food stalls here with all types of delicious fishy things to try. However, Nicole bottled trying anything…and she calls herself a Scandinavian.
We then went to check out Tokyo Tower. The tower is okay but nothing special – it is said to have been inspired by the Eiffel Tower but it is nowhere near as impressive. We didn’t go up the tower but Nicole got herself another stamp so it wasn’t a wasted journey! As there wasn’t much else to do nearby, we walked to the cool Roppongi district and headed to Nicole’s highlight of Tokyo, the hedgehog cafe. You can read more about this quirky start-up cafe here – Hedgehog Cafe, Tokyo.
A Sunday morning stroll around beautiful Ueno Park was first on today’s itinerary. The park was impressive in winter but it would be even better in spring and summer. There was also a really big food market taking place so I could eat some more weird fish delicacies . Make sure you check out the numerous street performers in the park, especially ‘hangerman’ who did some really cool tricks and stunts, a lot using clothes hangers! You probably have to see him…
You can’t visit Tokyo without seeing something Pokemon related and so we went to check out the Pokemon megastore in Sunshine City. The store is packed full of Pokemon fanatics (i’m not talking about us) and you can buy literally anything here! We met the main man nearby so we had to get a picture.
In the evening we went to Yurakucho district and had dinner in a lively pop-up Japanese restaurant underneath the railway tracks. We tried some Japanese dishes and knocked back a few bottles Asahi with the locals.
On our last day we ventured to Hakone National Park to see Mount Fuji. It was a cool trip through some impressive scenery, the only problem was that the main attraction, the mountain itself, decided to hide behind a thick layer of cloud for the whole day. Apparently, its really difficult to see Mount Fuji from the numerous viewing spots around Tokyo and if your picture is like the one below you are actually very fortunate!
Here is the view that we should have got…..
And here is what we actually got….
Anyway, that rounds up our time in Tokyo and you can watch our Youtube video of our best bits below.