Konnichiwa! Hope everyone is well! Happy Lunar New Year to all who is celebrating. I am super excited for all the delish Chinese food my family is cooking up this weekend and spending time with my fam bam…… aaaaaand of course collecting the red envelopes (hong baos). Holidays has been a lil rough on my wallet, ya feel me?
Anyways, my friend Thanmayi is heading off to Japan next month and that reminded me I needed to dig up my Japan travel guide, as I promised in my Honolulu, Hawaii post. See? I come through…. eventually.
It was my second time in Japan in 2014 (although my first time was a blur as I was younger) and thankfully I made some kind of guide and remembered mostly where I went. I love love love the Japanese culture. Have always been obsessed with the food. Intrigued in their entertainment and technology – tons of gaming (yo I used to be a DDR master… for a 10 year old), anime (naruto in Japanese obviously… ok with english subtitles), cartoons (sailor moon FTW), makeup, and J-Pop. I even aced my New York State Global History Regents by writing my essay on the Japanese Industrial Revolution. So needless to say, when I found out I was going to Japan the first time.. and even the second time, I was LIT.
Actually going to Japan and experiencing first hand their culture, their people, the FOOD (!!!) was amazing.. and kawaii. Because literally everything in Japan is kawaii (cute). 24/7. I spent some time in Tokyo but also some limited time with some cities outside(hence my title being Tokyo-ish) but if I could sum up the country in a few words from my experiences, it would be: cleanliness, efficiency, respect, technologically advanced while staying true to their roots. Tokyo is one of my absolute favorite cities to vacation; I would love to go back and explore other cities. Fortunately, we had a family friend who lived in Japan and spoke English, Chinese, and Japanese — I’ll be honest, because we had her around, we didn’t really need to communicate that much but I know others who have gone to Japan without knowing the language and have been able to get around fine. In general, Japanese people are very generous and will help you to the best of their ability. Their customer service in the service industry is top notch in my opinion.
If you can recall, this was a joint trip with Hawaii in 2014 and I went with my family of 12. We try to get everyone’s input as to what they want to do, thus, it was a packed trip with activities. We only had a little more than 4 full days there and we wanted to do A LOT. More details after the jump.
Tuesday, Day 1
- Arrived at 2:15PM at Narita International Airport
- Took a bus shuttle to our hotel, Keio Plaza Hotel (in Shinjuku) and checked in
- Dinner at Tempura Restaurant near hotel (don’t remember name)
- Walked around Shinjuku area near our hotel
Wednesday, Day 2
- Train to Tsukiji Fish Market (absolutely my favorite part of the trip. best meal of my life here)
- Ate a sushi breakfast, walked the shops
- Train to Ginza, shopping at Ginza
- Bought toys at Hakuhinkan Toy Park
- Geisha Show at Ginza
- Train to Asakusa Shrine
- Sukiyaki Dinner at Yonekyu
Thursday, Day 3
- Train/bus/tram to Hakone Mountain (for a view of Mt. Fuji)
- Eat a black egg!
- Tram/bus to Hakone Kowakien Yunessun (Water Park with Hot Springs)
- Curry lunch
- Hot Springs
- Got our feet nibbed on by fish
- Train back to Shinjuku
- Dinner at Ramen Restaurant near Hotel
Friday, Day 4
- Train/bus to Diver City Tokyo Plaza
- Gundam Front Tokyo
- Train to Sanrio Puroland (aka Hello Kitty World)
- Kawaii the f out
- Hello Kitty lunch buffet
Saturday, Day 5
- Train to Nissin Cupnoodle Museum (my 2nd favorite part of the trip)
- Train to Shinyokohama Ramen Museum (food court of the best ramen)
- Train back to Shinjuku
- Shopping in Shinjuku
- Dinner at Sushi Go Around Restaurant in Shinjuku (don’t remember the name)