Kat’s guide to exploring Tokyo

In July, I decided to do one of the scariest, yet most fulfilling things of my life. I decided to pack my bags and go on a trip to Japan with my friends.

In July, I decided to do one of the scariest, yet most fulfilling things of my life. I decided to pack my bags and go on a trip to Japan with my friends. While many may think that this isn’t a “big deal,” it was the first time I chose to go out of the country without my family. To say that my experience in there was amazing would be a tremendous understatement.

We spent eight days, exploring, eating and taking in all of what Tokyo had to offer.

Where we stayed

Instead of booking a hotel, my friends and I opted for an Airbnb in the heart of Shibuya. While not only was it more budget-friendly than a hotel stay, it was extremely convenient and we happened to be mere steps away from the famous Shibuya Crossing. (This is a must-go if you do end up visiting Tokyo.

IMG_9598 2.jpg

What we ate

Tamagoyaki
Being that the inner part of the Tsukiji Fish Market will be closing this year, we were determined to experience everything it had to offer – including the food. Being that we started our day at 8 a.m., it was only natural that we would start with an omelet. Tamagoyaki is a traditional Japanese dish, consisting of several layers of egg, rolled together – typically in a rectangular shape. Surprisingly, they were on the sweet side. I really enjoyed these.

IMG_9639.JPG

Onigiri
To this day, I crave these. Each morning, before we went off for our daily adventure, we would stop by a 7 eleven and grab several packaged onigiri. These are a favorite of mine because of how simple they were. It’s made from white rice, formed into a triangular shape, wrapped in seaweed. There are various fillings to choose from. My personal favorite was the short rib.

IMG_9750.jpg

Udon
If you think Ramen is great, you have to try Udon. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to Ramen in a bit.) Udon is very similar to Ramen in that it consists of noodles and some kind of soup, but typically, Udon pertains to a dish of soba noodles with a soup to dip it in. Ours came is Naruto and thinly sliced beef. Other words – it was delicious.

IMG_9941.jpg

Ramen
I think at this point, I am part-Ramen. I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of what Ramen is made out of because I’m sure we’re all well aware. Only thing I must stress is if you visit Japan, try to make it out to the Ramen Museum in Yokohama. I think it might have had my favorite Ramen in all of Japan.

IMG_0534

IMG_0530

What we did

Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji is an active volcano that is probably the most memorable experience anyone will ever have when visiting Japan. I highly recommend taking a tour, where you’ll be able to package in sight-seeing, shopping, and an onsen experience all in one day. We went through Viator, and I have to say I highly recommend it. Our tour guide was extremely friendly and helpful. We took a bus from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji. Took a lot of stress off our shoulders. During the tour, we were able to visit the Gotemba Premium Outlets, visit an onsen bathhouse and get some delicious soba noodles.

IMG_9970.jpg

IMG_9937.jpg

Tokyo DisneySea
If you get the chance to go to DisneySea, please visit. If I have to be honest, I’ve only been to Disney once in my life and being that I was only 4 or 5, I don’t remember much of my experience. DisneySea, however, is a place that I will hold in my heart forever. Located in the Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, DisneySea is a fantastic theme park. I fell in love with the mascot, food, and music. Also, definitely try to snag yourself a batch of Mochi Little Green Men from Toy Story. I, unfortunately, was unable to try them, but I heard they were fantastic.

IMG_9437.JPG

IMG_0170.jpg

IMG_0173.jpg

Ginza
Ginza, located in the entertainment district of Tokyo, is where all the shopaholics out there need to go. If you feel like splurging, Ginza is the place to go. Ginza is where you can find various internationally renowned stores, like the Swatch store, Gucci, and Apple. It’s also home to the famous Ginza 6, luxury shopping complex.  (Also, if you’re obsessed with KitKats, much like myself, you can visit the KitKat Chocolatory.)

IMG_0250

IMG_9657IMG_9658IMG_9709

Chinatown (Yokohama)
I was very fascinated by Japan’s Chinatown. It had some of the best sights that I experienced throughout the whole trip. A favorite was Yamashita Park, which has beautiful waterfront views and garden. If you do have some time to kill, I would definitely say that you should visit the Art-Trick Museum. It has various life-sized optical allusions for you to experience.

IMG_0528

IMG_0458

Takeshita Street
Takeshita Street, located in Harajuku, is one of the most famous fashion-forward streets you can find in all of Japan. There, you can find the trendiest shops, filled with unique and trendy clothes, all for super-reasonable prices. There are themed shops, where you can find a variety of styles – everything from goth to princess. Also, if you happen to visit, be sure to make a pit stop and get rainbow-themed foods!

IMG_9864.jpg

IMG_9854.jpg

Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple in Asakusa, Tokyo. The historic temple dates back to 645 AD, dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon.  The temple is surrounded by shops, selling everything from handmade noodles to meaningful charms. Before entering the temple, it’s customary to purify yourself. Like many other temples and shrines in Japan, you’ll see small, stone fountains with ladles surrounding them.  To purify yourself, you’ll have to:

  1. Take the ladle with your right hand and pour the water over your left.
  2. Switch hands and pour the water over your right hand.
  3. Switch hands again, pour water into your left hand, swish it in your mouth and spit it on the ground
  4. Tilt the ladle, letting the water run down the handle to clean it.

 

IMG_9810.jpg

IMG_9786

IMG_9761

If you want to learn more about my experience, be sure to watch my Tokyo vlog on my YouTube Channel. (And don’t forget to subscribe!)

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s