Japan: Tokyo Edition

Honestly, where to start?…

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We explored so much while we were in Japan, and it was really nice to be there for longer than a week which is how long I usually spend every year. There’s so much to do in Tokyo let alone travelling around the whole country! Check out the vlog we made for our whole time in Tokyo:

I love coming back to the city and I definitely have my favourite spots that I always go back to, such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku and Ikebukuro. Tokyo’s so fast paced, the food and fashion are always changing and there are so many different trends to experience. Every visit is so different.

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First things first; food. I may be biased, but I think Japanese food is the best in the world. I especially loved the Udon ‘cafe’ we went to. You could choose different types of Udon – spinach, pumpkin, sesame or normal with any of the sauces on the menu. I always love going back to Ikebukuro and Harajuku/Shibuya area, as it’s an amazing place to shop and eat incredible food.

You generally can’t go wrong with any food in Japan.

No matter what cuisine it is, you can guarantee that it will be high quality with the freshest ingredients!

Mori Tower view of Tokyo Japan

The Mori Tower in Roppongi was top of Joe’s list to go back and visit again, to take high quality footage and photos. You get some great views of the whole city, from a fairly central perspective (unlike the SkyTree which is way out of the city).

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You can easily spend a couple of hours just taking in how big Tokyo is. It’s so peaceful that you can have a good time out session and just watch the city go by. The Mori Tower has two viewing decks: one on the roof and another inside on the top floors. We’ve never been to the roof deck as it was closed for high winds, but the inside section is still great for photos. They keep the glass nice and clean at least…

Mori Tower view of Tokyo Tower Japan

We timed our visit to Japan for the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) season in the middle of Spring. There’s so much money put into celebrating the Sakura period, that all the food and drinks look so pretty.

Cherry blossom lemonade, anyone?

Sakura is literally everywhere and it’s a great season to celebrate.

Sakura cherry blossom, Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo Japan
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A visit to Asakusa is a great place to experience Japanese culture. The main attraction is the Sensoji Temple, however the street towards the temple is such a fun thing to experience, as you can see all the different types of Japanese snacks they make and souvenirs you can buy.

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As tourist, you will no doubt hear about the Robot Restaurant. It’s written about in almost every guide book and now even this blog! I personally hadn’t actually heard of the place until Joe mentioned that he really wanted to go. You can even get a discounted ticket, which includes a free drink via our friends at Voyagin!

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I guess since I go once a year to spend time with my family, I never look into any guides or activities of what to do in Tokyo, especially things to do as a tourist.

Let me tell you now, the robot restaurant experience was crazy!

Sure, it’s a little bit expensive compared to other events (around £50 per person) but I can see what the fuss is about and I’d highly recommend anyone to go there! You will quite literally have a two hour show of self-humiliating/appreciating Japanese memes!

Nagano Snow Monkey Park Jigokudani, Nagano Japan

Another top tourist spot in Japan is visiting Nagano for Jigokudani Monkey Park to see the Snow Monkeys. We missed seeing snow in the park, since we visited the monkeys in the Spring season (late March-early April). If you can, we would suggest going during Winter, as seeing them bathe among the snow would be much better to visit and take photos!

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We definitely made use of our JR Pass as we wanted to save money by only making our visit as a day trip from Tokyo. The return journey to Nagano consists of travelling for about 10 hours in total. The walk towards the park was really enjoyable and SO scenic. The space to see the monkeys is completely open and they are all wild animals. The hot spring baths are man-made, which is why they turn up every day to get fed and kept away from the rest of the town! It was great to see them running about and having a big natural space for them to play around.

One thing I love about Japan is that even if it rains, it will never hold you back on going out and doing stuff. I never really realised that having a transparent umbrella was such a big thing, until Joe pointed it out.

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Ginza umbrellas, Tokyo Japan

Transparent umbrella’s are so practical! They should be in every country so you can see through it and not bump into anyone. We spent a few days out in the rain filming a ton of high-quality footage, for our Tokyo in the Rain video, which you can see below!

Joe wanted to make it really cinematic and experiment with some different editing techniques. It’s the first part of a larger series of shorter high quality videos from each of the destinations we’re travelling to. It’s literally less than two minutes of how beautiful Tokyo is in the rain!

Tokyo truly is an amazing city. Even though we had multiple weeks here, it still wasn’t enough time! Japan will always be a country that I’ll visit every year; and by the looks of things, Joe will do too!

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Stay tuned for some more posts on Japan and the rest of our travels, including our week-long trip to Osaka, where we visited Kyoto, Kobe and Hiroshima. Plus, some further YouTube videos to come out of the whole trip!

In case you missed it at the top, here’s our vide for the whole Tokyo trip. I’d definitely recommend making yourself a cup of tea and watching it in full screen!

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