My first time in Japan was in the Kansai region fourteen years ago and so I was really excited to explore the country’s capital, Tokyo. There are tons of things to see, do, and eat in this very interesting city so it’s all up to you how you can maximize your time and feed your interests. Here are some of the things we did on our trip:
Joined the throng in Shibuya crossing
Crossing this intersection is tons of fun. Stiltwalkers and cosplayers occasionally join in, loud music blasts from speakers, and billboards light up the whole place. The surrounding streets are also teeming with various shops and restaurants. And oh, don’t forget to say hello to Hachiko!
Explored Tokyo’s parks
I used to think Tokyo was this highly urbanized city filled with technology in every corner. Well, I was right but what came as a pleasant surprise were the numerous parks that can be found all over the city. We were there during cherry blossom season, so we went to lots of parks and gardens.
Looked around Akihabara and Asakusa
For gaming, anime, and manga lovers Akihabara is the place you must visit when you’re in Tokyo. Even if you don’t particularly have an interest in those things this place is definitely worth a visit.
Went up the Tokyo Sky Tree…sort of
Here’s a reminder for those of you who want to go up the Sky Tree observation deck: Book tickets online or go there early. We decided to just go around the shops and grabbed a snack…or maybe two.
I personally think the Sky Tree is best viewed from afar at night.
Japanese food is good wherever you go; I am sure I’m not making an overstatement. That being said, I hope you don’t judge me for making this part longer than the rest.
When in Japan, eat sushi!
We found this Okonomiyaki in the basement of some building. This Japanese-style veggie pancake had fried noodles in the mix.
Takoyaki is similar to okonomiyaki except for the shape. And ‘tako’ means octopus, which is what it traditionally contains along with some veggies. An assortment of ingredients can also be used in filling the takoyaki.
Ramen is perfect after a long day of exploring in the cold. And the most interesting thing about it is there are as many versions of it as there are cooks who make it. I especially remember the ramen we had in Shinjuku. It was a tasty discovery!
Most shops allow you to order via machine. You put in your money and order, take the ticket, and then bring it to the server inside.
Mochi -This soft but slightly chewy treat comes in various flavors. We found a giant one with a huge strawberry surprise in the center.
The Japanese make delectable baked goods. Waffles sold in stalls at train stations and even bread sold in their groceries will surprise (and fill) you.
I can go on and on but I’ll stop myself for now. The list just goes on and on and on. I’ll leave some of the exploration to you when you decide to take on Tokyo.