Tokyo is a big place, you can’t see everything in one day. You can barely even see a fraction of everything in one day. But, here are a few suggestions for you, its possible to squeeze as much of these into a shorter period of time, but you’re better off staying longer and taking your time. Here’s what you can see in Tokyo in one day!
Fresh fish and seafood, straight from the sea. Here you can treat yourself to the delights of sashimi. There are many sushi and sashimi shops that open quite early, and yes, they will serve you sake if you like.
On the street you’ll be able to tantalise your tastebuds with oysters the size of your hand, seared scallops with umi (sea urchin), umi stuffed black steam buns, fugu (the famous poisonous pufferfish delicacy) and so many other tasty delights.
You could easily spend half the day here just eating your way around the market.
This was such a unique experience and I loved every minute of it. I have even bought myself an ink brush and calligraphy paper so I can continue the art at home.
Ricky and I took a class with his mate, Mato. Together we learned the basics to visually appealing Japanese-style calligraphy. Of course, Japanese has its own writing systems – hiragana (for Japanese words, using phonetic sounds); katakana (for non-Japanese loanwords, also phonetic) – but kanji is also used. It is the Chinese writing system, the characters have similar or the same meaning, however, of course the words are pronounced differently.
I chose the word Wanderlust. Ricky chose to write his son’s name, Noah. And Mato (who had recently broken up with his girlfriend) decided to write the characters for Broken Heart.
1 hour class
Yanaka3-13-7, Taitou-Ku, Tokyo,110-0001
A very young, very hip district where you’ll find eclectic to crazy everything. The lolita gothica that come to mind can be seen in this district – usually on the weekends near the Yoyogi Park. However, its random and not really an organised thing, so you may see people in cosplay around the city (not necessarily only in Harajuku).
The famous shopping street is called Takeshita Street. Everything fashionable, eccentric, gothic, cos play, custom print t shirts, can be found here.
Its a nice walk down to Shibuya from here, about 30 minutes on foot. You’ll pass so many interesting shops – there’s even a shopfront for the LINE chat app!
I recommend taking an evening stroll from Harajuku to Shibuya – just as dusk approaches. You’ll end up near the Shibuya JR Station, which you’ll see has a large green train carriage parked at the front.
Next to the train monument is another emotive sculpture of a dog. Named Hachiko, the dog is said to have waited for his master everyday at the station, watching him go to work. One day the dog’s owner died and did not return, yet the dog still waited for his master. His memory is eternalised here in bronze – forever waiting for his master.
Five steps away is the famous Shibuya Crossing. When the green light signals pedestrians to cross, people flood the centre of the road from all directions. Its a multi-directional crossing. Set against the backdrop of neon signs, its a great place to get a selfie.
Head over to Ginza and you’ll notice a huge difference in the feeling of the area. This is a more upmarket district, high class, high living. The food is amazing here, even one of the bakeries I randomly went into had the most amazing bread I have sunk my teeth into.
Go to Itoya, a cool, quirky stationery store over eight levels. At the 11th floor (reached only by stairs, sorry!), you’ll find glass windows, behind which lettuce farms glow green. Its amazing to behold such a farm, it points to technological advancements in farming efficiency and harvesting.
While you’re in Ginza, head to a ramen shop, confusingly named, SOBA, here is the Japanese name 篝 – put that into google and you’ll find the place alright.
They don’t sell soba at all, its all ramen noodles. But it is THE BEST chicken ramen noodle soup I have tasted and probably will ever taste in my life. Seriously. Seriously. I can’t sing its praises enough! For a mere ¥750, you get a large bowl of the best chicken ramen EVER. Go! GO NOW!
Technocity, the place with bright lights, the city that never sleeps. Food, shopping, bars, clubbing, whatever your heart desires, you will find it here.
Go hunting for Godzilla in Kabukicho. You’ll find him climbing the Gracery hotel, ha!
In the same area, you’ll see the Robot Restaurant and other eccentric themed restaurant and bars.