Tokyo is the roaring capital of Japan and is all around amazing. I know some people compare it to New York City, but it is nothing like it. The city is high tech, having trains like Shinkansen zoom around at 280 mph, culturally stunning with its amazing temples, shrines, and palaces, and just like the rest of Japan, it is home to some of the world’s best food. The city is huge, but we stayed next to Tokyo Station, which made it easy to get around using the subway and trains.
Sights and Activities.
Not only is the Senso-ji Temple amazing, but the street leading up to the temple is filled with little shops and tons of great street food. We sampled some of the snacks and our favorite was a little red bean filled pancake- called imagawayaki- that was really good. At the the temple, our tour guide taught us how to do Buddhist rituals like waving in the burning incense and washing our hands before approaching the temple to pray. It was a really cool experience and I’m so glad we learned about the history and rituals.
Ever since my friends came back from Japan and said they held bunnies and hedgehogs in Tokyo, I’ve been wanting to do it so badly! My day finally came to visit Ms. Bunny and it did not disappoint. When we got there, I picked a bunny out and I got literally the fattest one in the cafe! It was SO cute and it curled up in my lap. You get to hold your selection for 10 minutes and then you can choose another pet, so I chose a hedgehog. I realized pretty quickly that I made a mistake because I wasn’t psyched about touching their prickly bodies. I did not like holding them at all and the little thing lurched around on my lap until I could get it back into its box!! No thank you. I’m sticking with bunnies!
Zojo-ji Temple and Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower is a super tall building that looks like the Eiffel Tower, but it is red and white. Our tour guide took us there, but before we headed up to the observatory, we stopped by the Zojo-ji Temple next door and got fortune papers. He taught us all about the temple and what makes it interesting. When we got our fortune papers, I got a really good one that said I will have a great life!
The Tokyo Tower observation deck is 1,092 feet off the ground, so we got an amazing view of the city.
Ok, this was probably the weirdest experience of my life. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but the Robot Cafe is a place where you go and see a show of literally the most random stuff in the world. You start by getting a drink on the main floor and then you go down to the show room where you watch people in bright costumes banging drums, huge robots that spit fire, people in glow in the dark costumes dancing to Michael Jackson, and much more randomness. I have to say, as crazy and eye-opening as it was, we did kind of want to leave 3/4 through the show because it was so weird that we were sick of it. I still recommend it to anyone who wants to see an insane show, though!
- Walk around Daikanyama
- Explore the train stations and their cool shops
- Go to the Imperial Palace
- Walk around Shibuya
- Do a cooking class
Foods To Try.
(Read my “Eating Your Way Through Japan” post to get the best restaurants in Tokyo)
3. Shabu Shabu
Try to save your sushi for Kanazawa, your udon for Kyoto, your okonomiyaki for Osaka, and your gyoza for Takayama, but you can get good food really anywhere in Japan.
Treats To Try.
1. Cotton candy at Totti Candy Factory
3. Kinoko No Yama
Good to know…
Currency: Japanese Yen
Transportation: Great public train system throughout the whole country.
Weather: When we went, in the winter, it was definitely cold as we moved throughout the whole country, but seeing everything snow capped was pretty incredible.