I don’t think there is anywhere quite like Tokyo, Japan. The capital city and technological capital of Asia, this city has something for everyone and will constantly have you spotting something new and interesting every day that you’re there.
We were there from Friday 15th December until Thursday 21st December 2017 so had plenty of time to soak up as much of Tokyo as we could. Accommodation isn’t cheap here (or anywhere in Japan really) and we weren’t in the centre of the city. Our hostel involved us getting two trains to most places but that’s common for Tokyo so unless you’re going to pay a lot for a hotel in one of the sought after districts, you’ll be riding the rails a lot. We stayed in a hostel called Yawp! Backpackers which was quite good and gave you quite a bit of free food which we always appreciated as well as there being a huge supermarket down the road so that we could eat in some nights to keep the costs down. Just like in the rest of Japan, my “I am a vegetarian” card was very helpful and the supermarket did discounted food after 8pm like the one we visited in Kyoto.
The trains are something that actually aren’t too expensive in Japan and, whilst we were in Tokyo, we got a Pasmocard which works in the same way as an Oyster card does in London. It saved you a little bit of money doing it this way but the main advantage to the cards is the convenience as you just tap in and out and so don’t have to worry about working out the tickets particularly as there are multiple train lines running in Tokyo owned by different companies.
Tokyo also has an awful lot of people. Although there had been some big crowds in Kyoto at the main temples it was nothing compared to some of the crowds we saw in Tokyo. We travelled on trains in rush hour which had you sandwiched in-between people so much that it was these people keeping you upright not your own sense of balance within the carriage. We saw masses of people queuing to meet a pop star in a shop, go to a pop up store in a shopping mall and even queue for the lottery which, on its own, had more people in it than we probably saw our full time in Osaka! Saying that though, I didn’t feel claustrophobic or that everywhere was too busy. In Tokyo it just worked and made the place even more alive.
We quickly learnt that Tokyo is enormous and that everything there is to see isn’t in one place. Tokyo is broken up into a number of districts and these seem to be designed to cater for different needs or interests. Sometimes it’s possible to walk between the districts but other times you’ll need to get the train so it’s best to plan your time strategically so as to minimise the time and money travelling and maximise the time exploring – that’s what our aim was anyway.
Sometimes we visited the same district a number of times and so, in my next few posts, I’m going to write about Tokyo based on their districts and not in the chronological way I often write about our trip. I think this is the most logical way to tell you everything and it’s also likely to be the most helpful way if anyone wanted to visit Tokyo for themselves (or if we need a reminder for a future trip).
Sending Love x