What to do in Tokyo Part 1
Hi Everyone! I’m starting a mini series on my amazing trip to Japan last year!
I’m going to go through where we went to, what we went up to and some tips and tricks I learnt on the way. Starting off with what to do in Tokyo, I hope you enjoy..
We spent 4 nights in Tokyo overall, but took 2 day into Tokyo’s outer-skirts – one to Nikko and the other to Mt Fuji hunting. I’ll write about in future posts. So we only technically only had 3 days in Tokyo. If you want to really enjoy Tokyo I’d suggest spending more time here, but if you jam pack everything in you can do it and here is how we did.
First off we took the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo, starting our Day 0. Luckily, my boyfriend knew what he was doing and organised which train we needed to get onto. Because heads up, with the JR pass, you ‘re only allowed to get onto a very specific train and I had no clue what this was. I loved the Skinkansen, it’s cleaner, more space efficient and a lot faster than UK trains. We saw the conductor of the Skinkansen rotate all the seats so they’re all facing forward which for a person like me who gets travel sick is a nice bonus.
Arriving in Tokyo
Once we arrived in Tokyo we quickly dropped our stuff off at the hotel, ate some Soba and headed out to the Shinjuku. It was a quick journey from Kanda where we were staying to Shinjuku station, which is where we made our first stop to the Gyoen National Garden. This place is absolutely massive and some where you can completely get lost in, after strolling around for a about an hour, passing the Taiwan Pavilion and the lakes we were off in search for dinner.
Artnia | Final Fantasy Kingdom Hearts Cafe
As avid Square Enix fans, we visited Artnia, a mini futuristic cafe. This is where I got to live out my love for Final Fantasy XIV and throw back to Kingdom hearts whilst snacking on a Cloud sundae and some cute moogle pancakes.
At this point, I was quite sleepy but we still had a lot to see so continued our journey into central Tokyo. You know those typical shots of Tokyo where all the streets are lit up all the way to the top of the buildings with an active night scene. This was exactly that when we walked passed the robot cafe.
After walking around for a few hours, we ended our first day in Tokyo at the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for the perfect and most importantly (free) view of the technology city at night.
Day 1 in Tokyo
Ginza Steak | Ginza
After a well deserved lie in, we headed out to brunch at Ginza Steak. We booked a reservation for their 6 course fine dining experience and even skipped breakfast just so we’d have enough room to finish everything,
We arrived early and eagerly waited for our reservation only to find out that we had only booked the table for 1 person! RIP. We were told we’d need to wait at least another 45mins in the hope other bookings didn’t arrive so we could take their place. It was a painful 45mins to say the least.
Eventually, the 45 mins went by and a few bookings didn’t show up so we got a slot. Hooray!
It was a very nice intimate experience where chefs would freshly cook steak in front of you around a grill with only about 9 people around. The waiters/ess were really nice, friendly and informative about what the dish was and how we were meant to eat it. I loved every course! – This is quite rare for me since I love simple dishes and fine dining is generally a bit too complicated for my plain taste palette.
I would definitely recommend trying out Ginza steak if you’re near by and remember to book a slot for the right number of people.
Out and About in Tokyo
Uniqlo | Ginza
Whilst we were in a sort of food coma state, we walked it off through Ginza, one of Tokyo’s main shopping districts. All the mains brands you’d see through Oxford street were there, Levi, Pandora, Omega etc..
Because we were in Japan, we had to visit the Uniqlo, not just a regular Uniqlo, the biggest Uniqlo in the world. In all its 12 floor glory, we took the lift to the top and worked our way down. It looked like everyone else had the same idea and the lift was pretty much at full capacity.
To be honest, it was pretty much just like a regular Uniqlo, just bigger. Although, I did enjoy the floor that was dedicated to t-shirts. I have collaborated with a lot of different companies which I love, like Sailor Moon, Disney, LINE and friends just to name a few.
I picked up a BT21 t-shirt and my boyfriend, a “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” t-shirt. The added bonus was that they were both on sale so we couldn’t resist the small souvenirs.
We ended the day in Anime/gaming/cute cafe district next, Akihabara.
I was really overwhelmed with the amount of light on the streets that came from actual signs on buildings and not street lights. We went into some electronic retailers, played some games at the Tokyo Anime Centre and then attempted to find dinner.
Keeping with the Square Enix theme we planned to have dinner at the Final Fantasy Cafe. But when we arrived we were sadly told we needed a booking because all the slots were filled. 😦 Sad Times.
Hungry and disappointed we were looking somewhere to eat, and in the same building as the FF cafe there was another cafe, this was the best accident on this trip, Honey Toast. I love desserts, but bread isn’t normally the first thing in mind.
Little did I know things were about to change. Let me introduce to you one of the best uses of bread – Honey Toast. You have bread bits toasted and covered in honey, butter and topped with ice cream, freshly whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Delicious and extremely filling. We shared one between 2 people.
Later on, somehow we managed to get a table at the final fantasy cafe. So its safe to say we ate a fair bit that night. Since we were here we bought a Pablo Akihabara cheesecake and ate a slice at midnight.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our trip to Tokyo