Cold, cold, cold was all that I heard from my friends and family when Jae and I decided we wanted to visit the infamous land of Sushi. Although I knew it was going to be cold, I was not turned off by the thought, because I knew I was going to be compensated by the best sushi that would ever grace my face.
After having our initial flight cancelled and being put on to a direct flight nearly 18 hours later, we were finally on our way! We landed in Narita early in the morning, which meant we were one of the first planes to land.
We quickly realized that navigating our way to the hotel was not going to be an easy task. Due to the time of morning we landed, we were going to be on the train during peak hour, on a weekday. Luckily, the staff at the airport were extremely helpful and highlighted the stations on the map where we needed to change.
Navigating Japan’s Train System 101.
We ended up hopping off at an obscure station and had to navigate our way through the streets through the streets of Shinjuku, luggage in tow.
Once we’d found our way to the Shinjuku Granbell Hotel, we settled in and prepared ourselves for the adventures the next week would bring…
We stayed in Shinjuku and found that you couldn’t wander far without finding a Batting Cage. For 300 yen (just under $4AUD) you could pick the speed to have 25 balls hurled at you.
We were so talented that we even got interviewed for Tokyo morning news! (I’m joking! About the talented part anyway… I’m pretty sure it was a tourism segment… and we’re white, d’uh). Evidence at the end of the video!
Food & Restaurants
Food. Now let me tell you, I like food. More often than not, too much of it. I’m a big lover of Gyoza and dumplings, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that they sell them in service-station-like convenience stores! That’s right! Gyoza to go! They zapped it in the microwave behind the counter and it was so delicious!
Even though I was SO excited to eat more sushi, we decided to try restaurants that had different cuisines that we’d not tried before. Hard to believe, but we’d never had Ramen before, so it seemed only fitting to lose our ramen virginity. Wandering around Shinjuku we stumbled across Zundo-ya. They had an english menu and and it was absolutely delicious.
Akihabara – Electric Town
Akihabara, also known as electric town has all things electrical, as well as countless arcades.
Harijuku & Meji Shrine
We walked through the Meji Shrine and Harijuku in the same day as they are within a comfortable walking distance of one another. The Meji Shrine was beautiful, filled with different prayers from people that had passed through from different countries.
Harijuku is a unique & quirky town, with Harijuku girls wandering around, and a relatively vibrant night life. We wandered through and stopped at Totti Candy Factory. Jaeden couldn’t resist, and grabbed himself a huge stick of fairy floss. We ended up staying here longer than we anticipated, and decided to catch the train back to Shinjuku instead of walking.
We hopped off the train at Shibuya station, and to my surprise it snowed! Yay! It was my first time experiencing snow, and even though it was only super small, I was so excited!
We wandered around Shibuya for a bit, grabbed lunch and headed to the VR park. It was really well organised and there was a lot of different VR games to play. The games they had included VR baseball, magic carpet flying, fighting and what I would describe as ghost hunting!
Ueno Park was beautiful, full of greenery and it was so peaceful. There were different shrines throughout the park, each with their own unique charm. We ended up at the Ueno Zoo, which I would highly recommend – because PANDA’S! Entry is 600 yen, which is about $7.20 AUD.
Tokyo Disney – On My Birthday!
Hands down this was my absolutely favourite day in Tokyo. 1 – because I’m a little kid at heart, and 2 – because it was ma birthdaaay! We told them at the gate that it was my birthday, and they gave me a sticker with my name in Japanese written on it! All of the staff greeted me in Japanese and said Happy Birthday to me!
We went on all the rides and wandered around the different shops. The day went so quickly and we finished up watching the electric parade and the fire works.
Best birthday ever!
We made the decision to visit Toyko Tower in the evening so we could see all of the city lights! It was well worth the trip. The top of the tower had an ice-cream shop (yum!) and a lot of interesting memorabilia. Entry is 900 yen for an adult, which is about $10.80 aud.
Shinjuku Samurai Museum
We visited the Samurai Museum, as it was quite close to our hotel. I think it was about $25 aud per person for a tour of the museum, as well as a lot of back story of the Japanese Samurai’s and their culture. It was extremely interesting and I would recommend this to anyone that is interested in the culture and history of Japan.
We had an amazing trip and would recommend Tokyo to anyone is Australia that is seeking a new experience. We’d love to return and explore more of Japan. Let me know below what your favourite parts of Tokyo were!