The movie Bright Lights, Big City may be about New York, but I think the concept is much more suited to Tokyo. I’ve been very lucky to have travelled a lot over the past few years, every time falling in love with new places, but nowhere has my heart quite like Japan’s capital.
I am 100% a city girl. I love the hustle and bustle, that fact that everything’s open super late, and that you never know who you might meet or what whirlwind adventure you might end up on next. However Tokyo is unlike any other city I’ve ever been because of one major thing – the people.
I don’t think I can adequately express just how much I adore the Japanese. Although Tokyo is one of the busiest places on the planet (with a population of THIRTEEN MILLION), unlike other big cities, it never feels rushed. People just don’t hurry like they do in New York, they’re not rude like they can be in London, and they don’t push and shove you as they cram onto the subway (and we went on it during rush hour! There were white-gloved attendants stuffing people on to the train and everything!) Yes, its hectic, but I never felt uncomfortably claustrophobic like I can do in London… maybe it’s because I’m easily a foot taller than everyone else there? HA!
People say “please”, “thank you very much” and “excuse me” all the time. They smile, they nod, they offer to help you with your bags down the steps. Even at Shibuya Crossing, the busiest cross-walk on the planet, the sea of people felt almost calming, not intimidating. I really don’t think I can explain how much I love this place to you properly unless you just go! I really hope you will too because there is literally no place else like it.
OK, OK, enough gushing! What I really want to share with you today is some fun things to do in Tokyo. As I mentioned in last week’s post, we were only there for two days this time (sob) and we’d been there before so we did most of the major touristy things that time. You definitely have to visit Odaiba Island, Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Palace, the ancient Sensō-ji Temple and Ueno Park. You should also try to take part in a traditional tea ceremony or a cooking or origami class if you can. But if you’re looking for some more out-of-the-box ideas for your visit, then this is the article for you!
Kawaii Monster Cafe
It’s official: Japan is my favourite place on the planet. Gareth and I first visited Tokyo in 2008 for our honeymoon and we’ve always wanted to go back. We haven’t really had the time or money for a (non-working) holiday since then though, but at the beginning of this year we thought “Screw it, we’ve worked our arses off these past few years, let’s just do it!”
Today I wanted to tackle some of your frequently asked questions about our trip. I’ve received so many since I’ve been (over)sharing on Instagram! I’ll be sharing some recommendations of things to see and do in each of the cities we visited over the coming weeks too.
The first time we visited, we spent our entire 10 day-trip just in Tokyo. While you can certainly spend more time than that exploring and experiencing this magical city (we still haven’t made it to the Sanrio theme park – TRAVESTY!) Japan is so much more than just its capital.
As we’d been to Tokyo before, and done a lot of the main sites already, we decided to spend just two nights there this time. At first I was worried we wouldn’t get to see enough of it, but we really did manage to pack a lot in. They were long 10+ hour days, but I love being busy and soaking everything in when I travel. The idea of lying on a beach all day sounds so dull to me! Our itinerary went a little something like this:
Thursday 17th March – Arrived in Tokyo
Sunday 20th March – Shinkansen (bullet) train to Kyoto (approx. 2.5 hours)
Friday 26th March – Shinkansen train to Hiroshima (approx. 1.5 hours)
Monday 28th March – Shinkansen train back to Tokyo (approx. 4 hours)
Tuesday 29th March – Flew back to the UK
Osaka is also only a 15 minute journey from Kyoto, so although we hadn’t planned to visit, we did! A lot of my research beforehand told me that Osaka wasn’t that exciting, but I’m so glad we ignored that because we loved it! It was more like Tokyo than Kyoto (which is way more quiet and traditional) but less intense and busy.
via Girl Eat World
Kon’nichiwa! It seems like forever since I’ve written a more personal post (there’s just so much weddingness waiting to be shared in my inbox). However I wanted to pop by today and let you all know that I’m off to Japan this week! Gareth and I went there for our honeymoon in 2008, but with hardly any travel experience or money (which, let’s face it, you need in Japan!) so we are super duper excited to be going back with a bit more of both of these crucial things behind us.
We’re heading to Tokyo first, before hopping on the bullet train to Kyoto and finally Hiroshima. Oh goodness, I am so excited! I hope there will be cherry blossoms a-plenty and bountiful kawaii shopping to be had.
I’m away until the end of March, so until then the blog schedule will be a little lighter than usual. Keep popping by though because I have a post scheduled every week day so there will definitely be some things to keep you entertained and inspired in my absence.