Wow, more Japan posts! (HAHA BAD WITH DATES WHY DID I WRITE 2015. PROPHETIC!)
I’m back from my 2014 Japan trip, and instead of procrastinating and waiting a whole year to post ten days worth of pictures, I decided to consolidate everything I did on this trip to introduce a place that I have fallen in love with, and so hope to share this love as well.
Also people keep asking me where to go in Tokyo. So.
Asakusa, a walk from the Asakusa subway station. Last year, I visited Asakusa in the day with Chikage, on a Sunday, no less. It was crowded and lively, lots of people and touristy trap shops that had pretty good mochi lol. But this year, Gima-sensei took us to Asakusa at night.
It was the first time seeing the beauty and majesty of the temple being lit up at night. Perks – it was practically empty because all the shops were closed. It was also drizzling and horrifically cold but.. Look pretty lights!
Near Asakusa you can also find the Kabuki Theatre, and it’s a short train ride to the Tokyo Skytree at Oshiage station (view it in the day if you have bad night vision like me), so if you haven’t been it’s one of the iconic places to go!
Also, shopping district full of fancy-ass food and brands.
It is home to the amazing yakitori place which Chikage recommended and took me to last year, and it’s apparently one of the best yakitori places around!
Which brings me to my next point:
3. Visit Your Teacher (s) when she performs in Shibuya which is near the shopping district Omotesando and Harajuku
You can’t tell this super sweet lady has a super deep and slightly terrifying Noh singing voice right? I watched Chikage perform Noh for the first time this trip, and behind the mask and her costume, I was, “WHO IS THIS PERSON?!” I knew it was her, she told me her character. Even so, I couldn’t link the character to her. It wasn’t her. I only saw the character, the mask, not the actor.
The Kanze Noh Theatre is in Shibuya, home to Shibuya 109 and LaForet (I LOVE LAFORET OK) and the Shibuya scramble, an iconic crossing… So it’s all there! You can also take the train to Harajuku, follow the fashionable people to the hipster streets, and spend a whole day shopping and cafe-hopping.
Home of electronics and otakus. It’s like Sim Lim Square (Singapore) meets Sunshine Plaza meets… cosplay convention. It was my first time at Akihabara and I was overwhelmed with loud advertisements (welcome to Japan), bright lights, music everywhere, and maid-loli’s giving out flyers.
Otaku Mecca, if you must.
Christmas illuminations in Japan are SUPER awesome!!
Actually the Christmas illuminations in Roppongi were my favourite part.
I forgot what else we did there.
If you have 10,000 yen to spare, go to Kichijoji, look for Satou’s Steak House, and have beef so amazing you cry. With the most amazing rice that seemed to be picked from the meadows of heaven.
7. Disney / Universal Studios
Because DISNEY. And THE WIZARDING WORLD.
UNLESS YOU HATE BEING HAPPY.
WHY WON’T YOU GO.
If you ballin’, and you wanna travel out of Tokyo, get a JR Pass – only if you plan on taking the shinkansen more than twice. If not, it’s not worth it. Lots of itineraries on the JR website, lowkey tiring travelling with so much luggage but with the pass all the expensive bullet train rides are free so hit all them prefectures.
November Special: Festival Tokyo
If you’re there in November, Tokyo’s theatre festival is happening, and there are TONS of amazing theatre pieces to watch! I caught Ninagawa’s “Ravens, we shall load bullets!” in Nishi-Sugamo Arts Factory this year. It was performed by Saitama’s Gold Theatre, which consisted of senior citizens and it began with old people sitting in fishtanks – you can see how amazing it was from the beginning. T_T I love theatre.
Everywhere: CONVENIENCE STORES
Because if you’re on a budget. And also I can live on 7-11 onigiri (rice balls) and oden daikon (radish) everyday. And they have everything. I went to a convenience store every day. IT’S AN EXPERIENCE OKAY.
Lodging / Getting Around / Wi-fi?
AirBnb and if you don’t mind little and shared spaces, hostels. If you’re near the Yamanote Line (it’s a circular line in the middle), it’s easy to get around everywhere. You can take a limousine bus from the airport to Tokyo station, or take a train. It’s Tokyo, it’s in English. You be fineee.
Google is pretty advanced. Honestly, if you don’t know where to go, hit the Explore button in Maps.
Well, I hope this short post helps you on your first Japan trip!
Comment below and let me know how your trip goes!