27/04/18, Travel Day: the beginning.
After 2 planes, one 8 hour stop over in Dubai and a scenic journey in the evening, we finally were in our hotel.
29/04/18: First full day
We stayed in Ginza, Tokyo, which is a beautiful area and just busy enough to feel comfortable. A 5 minute walk down the road led us to all the shops, it reminded me of better version of Oxford Street. Even after the first day, I realised how much nicer all the people were over there, the roads are wider and somehow, doesn’t feel as crowded even though there are double the amount of people. The atmosphere felt calmer and happier and I think I could live there just from the people. Today was a beautiful sunny day and perfect for exploring the city.
The shops, the sights, the parks, we walked to it all. Despite the tiredness of a long flight the night before, we managed to have a full day. The skylines were amazing and I think I was just amazed at how tall all the buildings were. And I heard about how small the spaces were but seeing it, and staying in a hotel room with minimal space was different to what I thought. I forget how little you need more space to have what you need. Why can’t us everyone be this efficient. I admire how well they live and I’m jealous.
30/04/18 – 09/04/18
ZOO DAY; the main attraction was the pandas. You got a time slot as soon as you walked in but you saw them sitting in a tiny enclosure for about a minute. Was that really worth it? I am stuck in the middle where I like going to zoos to see all the animals but then feel twice as bad after because I realise how none of them are meant to be there and they are all locked up with small enclosures. And because this is Japan, and limiting spaces, the enclosures were a lot smaller.
Surprisingly, there were Polar Bears; my favourite animal ever. I was in shock. Mainly because Polar Bears are meant to be in the cold, yet they were in a zoo, in a different country in 24 degree heat. I think I love them enough to want to see them in their natural environment, not behind barriers. Someday, we will all realised we can’t be that selfish.
To add to the efficiency of this place, we got metro passes and I can honestly say, it is so much better than the London underground. It’s easier and there’s a better system going on. To say the least, I was not the one in charge of where we were going or which metro to get, but I got the gist of it, and did not get lost when we did have to travel without the those who lead.
The next day of our trip was a uni day, so whatever they had planned; that was Fuji Television studios. It probably was not the most interesting place to go to, but the view from that high up was lovely. My fear of heights didn’t hit me too bad, so it’s worth the view. The area was the Koto District. This was the island surrounded be the sea, which meant you could see the bridges leading here, and the main land. Of course though, the weather was not the best and so, it was cloudy and would’ve looked better with the sun. We did go back for another meet for the Sony Explora Centre a few days later.
I think the best things about wondering around a new city, is finding the things that you wanted to see, without even looking for it. We stumbled upon a cat cafe. For some reason, it was calmer and quieter than I thought.
Maybe because when I watched a video online, people were chatting and playing with the cats. Here, it was the most chilled area, with the cutest cats and a peaceful environment. If it wasn’t 100yen for only 10 minutes, then I would have been in there for so much longer! There are cat cafes in other places, but here is supposed to be better. And I was not disappointed in the end, well I would
We travelled to Roppongi, which was a busy city that seemed very much busy, city Tokyo. Other than doing more exploring, trying the Raman, which was amazing, we went to the Mori Tower with a city view which also had a historic architecture museum. Another great view of Tokyo but at night time. I am already a museum lover but this place had so much culture to it. The amount of detail that goes in to each building including the miniture models of them, makes me want to be there more. It made me fall in love with everything about the city and the people. Despite that the food in that building was insanely expensive, and that going up a lift to the 52nd floor within a minute and messed up my head, we all loved the view.
During this time, we were all slowly getting used to the currency and the language. As typical english people, we have to say sorry about everything. So we had a group of a few words we just used. I think I could get used to their language, it just sounds nice to say.
The Sony Explora Centre ended up being quite fun considering it was an interactive centre using different technology such as recognising your movements on screen. It was like a technology playground with 3D shows and games. Slightly did bring our childish side out, I mean there were a lot of kids there playing along.
On the last day of the uni lot being in Tokyo, we all went to the oldest temple which was the most beautiful place with the stalls selling gifts, foods and clothing.
It was a very touristy area so of course, I had to get my ‘I love Tokyo’ t-shirt here and multiple souvenirs. Along with this, they had amazing street food and smaller temples surrounding. A lot of women were dressed up in kimonos to go with the parades around. We saw traditions from letting incense clear negativity from us to throwing coins for good luck. We all need that extra luck and happiness, even for those who are not religious. But me, I happen to believe in some buddhist beliefs. Asakusa is such a lovely area, no wonder everyone visits while there.
Luckily, we happen to choose a hotel that is opposite the fish market. So multiple lunch trips for sushi was taken. Of course for me, probably did not enjoy it as much as an average person and just felt sad for even eating something that was living. I can see the appeal though, I guess. Thankfully, there was not just fish and sweet cakes were sold. The best thing was watching people make the food before we then eat it. I don’t know what is so appealing to that, but it is. Freshly made food is always going to be better.
One of the things I wanted to do while there is go to a zen/botanical garden. They’re meant to be peaceful and beautiful.
I am so glad I ended up going to one. We went to Kiyosumi Gardens, in Koto.
I couldn’t believe how many fish and turtles there were and mainly how big they were! I’m a big nature person, so I was obsessed with every part of it but it was so adorable and peaceful. I think I’d rather be there than in a big busy park in England with rowdy people. How is that even fair? Everything was so pure and what a happy place to be.
It was nearing the end of the trip and we did majority of the tourist sights, explored the big areas, the area we stayed in, tried so much food and learnt about the culture. It felt like home. It felt like the most beautiful place in the world and we did not want to leave. We’re going back. We’ll go to a different area, try new things, there’s always something new to find, and I think that’s the best thing. It’s not boring, it’s peaceful and energetic, all at the same time. It’s a great place to be. We will see you soon.
9/05/18: Home time.
Tokyo, Japan 2018