After living in South Korea for two years, I ended my contract and moved out at the end of February 2018. Instead of flying straight back to California, I decided to take a short vacation in Tokyo. The first time I visited Japan, I went to Fukuoka in September 2016. I loved Japan and wanted to return one day. I’m glad I did.

Arrival

The train from the airport took forever and there was no WIFI on board. It took me a long time to find my AirBnB because the directions from my host were vague and confusing. Luckily, a random passerby was willing help me. If it weren’t for him, I would’ve wondered around all night in the bitter cold.

First Full Day

Today I visited Meiji Shrine and Tokyo Tower. The main draw of Meiji Shrine, at least for me, was not the shrine itself, but rather the beautiful sake barrels. If you are planning on going, be prepared to walk a lot. Two things that surprised me about Tokyo Tower was that there was a big Christmas tree in front of it and there was an Episcopal church across the street.

Second Full Day

Today I went to Tokyo Skytree. The observation deck is 350 meters above ground. The view is amazing. You can really see how big Tokyo is. It looks like it goes on forever. Then I visited Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple.

Final Full Day

I spent most of the day wandering around Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, which was surprisingly beautiful considering it was still winter. I’m sure it’s even more beautiful in the spring. Don’t leave without going in the green house.

Final Thoughts on Tokyo, Japan:

  • The metro can be very confusing to navigate at first.
  • For such a big international city, I was expecting more locals to know at least some English.
  • The ramen here is amazing, but my AirBnB host said that Osaka is the best city in Japan for food.
  • The best snack at the convenience stores (in my opinion) is the chocolate pudding.
  • Japan’s Netflix has a great selection of movies.

 

“If I had to only eat in one city for the rest of my life, Tokyo would be it.” — Anthony Bourdain