Tokyo, Japan

My love for embracing electric lights and colors of a city, appreciating video games and anime, and eating the best sushi all started on our 2 night, 3 day stay in Tokyo!

We arrived in Tokyo and took the NEX (Narita Express) train from the airport to Shinagawa Station, followed by a 10 minute cab ride to get settled into our hotel, Sheraton Miyako Hotel. We had arranged dinner at Sushi Hattori in Roppongi that evening so we were rushing to make it to our reservation. We had watched the Netflix documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, and if you know us, you know we LOVE sushi. We didn’t get reservations at Jiro’s restaurant, but we got the opportunity to get a similar experience at Sushi Hattori. This omakase course was about 2 and a half hours long and we were 2 of 6 people at the restaurant aside from the chef and his team who were serving us. It was such an intimate and relaxed setting. My favorite date night probably to date, watching them make wasabi from scratch and still remember the mouthwatering fish we had! Roopongi is a very trendy, modern area, we walked around this very lively area for a bit and then ended the night as we walked over to see the Tokyo tower which was about a 20 minute walk. Tokyo tower is the 2nd largest structure in Japan, and it literally looks like the Eiffel Tower.

The next day we needed to make the most out of it as it was our only full day in Tokyo. We talked to our hotel concierge and told them exactly what we wanted to see, and they helped us route it. Started with breakfast at the hotel. The train system in Japan is phenomenal so we purchased a one day pass and began our journey!

The first stop was station Asakusa to see the Sensoji Temple. This is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. This is Tokyo’s oldest and most famous temple.

Then we took the train to Akihabara Station to see “Electric town”; Here we were able to relive our childhood with seeing all sorts of exhibits specializing in anime and video games. This was literally the main hub for electronic retailers. SO much fun and energy!

Next, we took the train to Ginza Station, and got to visit Ginza, the most expensive area in Tokyo. This is considered Tokyo’s central or main area full of shopping. It’s probably the best to embrace the Japanese culture, and to see the different styles just by walking around. We ate at Okonomiyaki & Teppanyaki; Try the Okonomiyaki aka Japanese pancakes as they are delicious!

Then we took the train to Harajuku area, which is vibrant and full of color. We did a lot of walking on Takeshita Street.

We then walked over to Shibuya Area—We went to the main intersection and stood by the main Starbucks and captured the time-lapse of the pedestrians crossing the intersection. (It’s called the “Shibuya scramble” and it was absolutely insane). The below picture is when traffic was stopped for pedestrians, but this is the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, and it truly was. I have never experienced seeing something like this before. Then took to the train to Shinjuku and went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building where we saw Tokyo from up above. Then took the train to Meguro and ate dinner at Tonki (Fried Porkchops, which I highly recommend!).

The next morning, we had breakfast at hotel and went straight to airport via the NEX train.

Tips & Tricks for Tokyo:

  • Take the train as much as possible as cabs are expensive (starting fee in a cab is 750 Yen, probably even more now). One-way on the train from the airport to the city was about 1500 Yen per person at that time and it was efficient.
  • The subway system looks daunting, but it is very easy to navigate, so we would highly recommend it!
  • If you have time, try a sushi restaurant where they serve you on a conveyor belfry and you order from tablets
  • The famous fish market is closed on Sundays so we weren’t able to check that out, which was a bit disappointing, so keep that in mind when you plan to go.
  • Though we were able to see most of the sites in Tokyo, it was a bit rushed. I’d recommend at least 3-4 nights to get the best experience.
  • The Sheraton Tokyo wasn’t the greatest, but we were okay with this since we were barely at the hotel on this trip.