Showing posts with label Tokyo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tokyo. Show all posts
On our most recent trip to Japan (April 19 to May 9, 2018), we made a spontaneous trip to the Fuji Five Lakes region. It wasn't in our itinerary, but we dropped our initial plans to chill in Shibuya and Ginza to visit the Arakurayama-Sengen Park instead. Arakurayama-Sengen Park offers one of the best views of Mt. Fuji, and it was something that I wouldn't mind seeing. I highly recommend making this a full-day trip as the commute took about 3 hours one-way (about $60 round trip per person). Our JR Rail Pass wasn't valid on this day, but the commute would be a lot cheaper if you had a JR Pass. We left the InterContinental Tokyo Bay at 11 am and arrived at Shimo-Yoshida Station around 2 pm.


Getting there wasn't too difficult, but it wasn't easy either as you have to transfer onto different trains. The Chureito Pagoda is located in Arakurayama-Sengen Park, and is about a 10 minute walk from Shimo-Yoshida Station. However, in order to get up to the viewing point of the Chureito Pagoda, it's another 400 steps up the stairs. I am definitely glad that I opted for flats that day, or else my feet would have been in major pain.



How To Get to Chureito Pagoda

1. Get to Shinjuku Station
2. Get on the JR Chuo Line-Limited Express Kaiji 103 特急 Kofu
3. Arrive at Otsuki Station (1 hr 1 min, 4 stops)
4. Get on the Fujikyuko Line 各停 Kawaguchiko
5. Arrive at Shimoyoshida Station and walk 21 min to the Chureito Pagoda


Shinjuku --> Otsuki --> Kawaguchiko --> Shimo-yoshida 



The Chureito Pagoda is a five storied pagoda on the grounds of the Arakurayama-Sengen Park. If you walk a few more steps, there are stairs going up to the viewing point where it offers a wonderful view of Mt. Fuji, the five-storied pagoda, Fuji Yoshida city, and Sakura trees (during Cherry Blossom season only). I loved that free wi-fi was also available in the park, especially if you don't want to waste data posting Instagram Stories.


 Such an incredible view!


Hungry? There were about three food trucks on the ground area of Arakurayama-Sengen Park. We got an order of takoyaki (5 for 500 yen), but the lady was nice to give us an extra piece.


[Japan] Chureito Pagoda

by on Friday, June 29, 2018
On our most recent trip to Japan (April 19 to May 9, 2018), we made a spontaneous trip to the Fuji Five Lakes region. It wasn't in our ...
 Tokyo is Japan's capital and one of my favorite cities in the world. There are plenty of things to do and see in the city, and I have always enjoyed my time here (I keep wanting to come back). Tokyo offers a large number of attractions from shopping, entertainment, temples, and restaurants. I believe that 4-5 days in Tokyo are more than enough to see the main attractions, and trying out some of the top eats.


I highly recommend staying in a centrally located hotel if you want to maximize your Tokyo experience. For both trips, we stayed at hotels within the Shibuya district, and it made getting around very easy. If you're on a budget, then it's much cheaper to stay outside of the main districts, but time is money as well. Personally, J and I have never stayed in an Airbnb while in Japan, but I have heard nothing but good thing from friends who did. So, that could be another option if hotels are expensive (especially during the high tourist season) like April to August, and December (Christmas season).


HARAJUKU

Meiji Shrine - Meiji Shrine is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. This temple was very memorable for me, as I got extremely sick here on my first trip after eating a lot of sushi with sake. We barely walked past the sake barrels before my face turned completely red, and I started getting blurry visions. We ended up taking a taxi ride back (during rush hour, so $$$) to the hotel. I finally got the chance to finish the entire walk on our most recent trip in December of 2016, so mission accomplished.


Takeshita Street -  I love this street! It's an incredibly bustling street lined up with many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, crepe stands and fast food outlets geared towards the younger generation. I had a fun time shopping at Kiddy Land, Daiso, and We Go while I was there. We also tried two of the crepe stands, Angels Heart and Marion Crepes. Check out my review on Japanese Crepes in Japan here (coming soon). 


Omotesando - One of the best shopping streets in Tokyo filled with lots of mid-end and high-end clothing shops and department stores. The service level at the high-end stores was amazingly attentive!

SHIBUYA 

Hachiko at Shibuya Crossing - Hachiko was the most loyal dog in the world. He would show up to the train station every evening to meet his owner after work and continued to do so even after the owner’s death. The train station employees fed him, gave him water and took good care of him. They even erected this statue for Hachiko after his own death. Say hello to Hachiko on your way to the Shibuya Crossing.


Shibuya Crossing
Shop @ Shibuya 109

GINZA

Ginza Crossing
Sony Building
Mitsukoshi
Printemps
Marronnier Gate

SHINJUKU

Tokyo Metropolitan Building - Going up Tokyo Skytree for a view of Tokyo's skyline is pretty expensive at ¥2,060 ($23) a person. A cheaper alternative (aka FREE) is from the two observation decks (North and South) on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The building is open pretty late as well, so you can also get a night view of Tokyo.


AKIHABARA

Akihabara is a popular district known for their electronics, otaku goods, and anime shops. Some of the main attractions are Sofmap, Yodobashi Camera, Maid Cafes, Don Quijote and Mandarake. If you're into anime, then this is the place to have a nerdgasm.

Gundam Cafe - The Gundam Cafe is a themed cafe after the popular Mobile Suit Gundam anime series. The cafe serves a variety of different dishes and drinks themed after the characters of the show. You can more about it here.


Don Quijote - Don Quijote is a discount chain store that carries a wide range of products from basic groceries to electronics to clothing. It's my go-to shop for souvenirs and local treats/goodies to bring back home. 

SUMIDA

Tokyo Skytree - The Tokyo Skytree is a television broadcasting tower and landmark of Tokyo. For ¥2,060, you can go up to the main observation deck on Floor350 to get a top view of Tokyo's skyline. I didn't think it was worth the money, so we opted out of going. However, at the base of the tower is a large shopping complex and aquarium, which we did check out. 

Sumida Aquarium - The Sumida Aquarium is one of the main attractions of the Tokyo Skytree Town complex. Entrance ticket was ¥2,050 yen ($23) and houses over 10,000 sea creatures on the 5th and 6th floors of Tokyo Solamachi. The aquarium was smaller than the one in Osaka, but I still found it enjoyable. Plus, I loved the penguins pen.



Tokyo Skytree Solamachi


ASAKUSA

Sensō-ji (Kannon) Temple - Asakusa is the center of Tokyo, and its main attraction is Sensoji, a popular Buddhist temple. It's one of the oldest temples in Japan, and has quite a significant heritage behind it. It was pretty busy around noon time bustling with both locals and tourists.


Nakamise Dori - The temple is approached via a shopping street called Nakamise. The street is filled with several small shops offering a variety of traditional goods, souvenirs and local snacks.


AKASAKA
 
 Akasaka is more of a business district, and there weren't too many things to do here. However, we were here for afternoon tea on the 45th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo (you can more about it here). It was during the Christmas season, so the price was rather high at about $154 CAD for the two of us (including 13% gratuity and tax).


IKEBUKURO

Ikefukurou Cafe (Owl Cafe) - If you get the chance to venture to Ikefukurou, be sure to check out this cute Owl Cafe on the 6th floor. It's best to make a reservation, as they do have limited space for each hour. One hour was ¥1600 yen ($18 CAD) a person (one drink included).


Pokemon Center - Are you a Pokemon fan? If yes, then this store is definitely for you!!  


ODAIBA

Gundam Statue - The (original) Gundam statue in Odaiba has been taken down since early 2017, and been replaced with the new Unicorn Gundam. We're going back to Japan in a couple of months, but Odaiba isn't on our itinerary cause we saw most of it already on our two previous trips.


UENO

Ueno Park - Ueno Park is a large public park steps away from Ueno Station.


MIKITA

Studio Ghibli - If you're a fan of Studio Ghibli, then you'll love this museum. It will definitely transport you to the land of Ghibli, as there are several official art works by Hayao Miyazaki, exhibitions, and even a large-sized Cat Bus. All admissions to the museum is by advance reservation only. Foreigners may purchase their tickets by the JTB Group in your city, or online tickets from Lawson Ticket. Make note that they have a very strict policy on "no photography" inside of the museum. The museum was really cool!



[Travel] Tokyo Travel Guide (Japan)

by on Wednesday, January 24, 2018
 Tokyo is Japan's capital and one of my favorite cities in the world. There are plenty of things to do and see in the city, and I have ...
I love Tokyo and its food scene. Not only do they offer a variety of cuisine, they also have an excellent selection of patisseries and bakeries. One of the bakeries that piqued my interest was Gontran Cherrier Tokyo after seeing pictures of their matcha croissant on Instagram. 


 The two-floors bakery was centrally located in the busy districts of Shinjuku/Shibuya, so definitely a prime spot. The space was of average size, but they had a variety of different pastries out on displayed, and customers are to take a tray and tong to select their pastries.


 The first thing that I grabbed was the Matcha Croissant (¥ 250 each). The croissant was one of the best ones I have had, and rival to the ones in Paris.






We had breakfast an hour earlier, but we will always have room for more food =)


Address: Shibuya, 1 Chome−14−11, BCサロン


[Japan] Gontran Cherrier Tokyo

by on Thursday, April 20, 2017
I love Tokyo and its food scene. Not only do they offer a variety of cuisine, they also have an excellent selection of patisseries and bake...
I ate a lot of ice-cream during my recent trip to Japan this past December 2016. One of the stand-out ones was the ice-cream from Daily Chico due to its massive size (taste was not bad, but not the greatest). 


Located in the basement level of Nakano Broadway is a small ice-cream shop called Daily Chico. The shop is very unassuming, so you may miss it, but it's closed to a supermarket. They sell a variety of soft serve cones, but one of the options is this amazing 8 layers of soft serve for a mere ¥490 ($5.60). The flavors were strawberry, coffee, matcha, ramune, lemon, grape, chocolate, and vanilla. I was surprised to find that all of the flavors complimented one another, and I liked it - gimmick and all. 


The extra-large cone is big enough for two people to share, and they do give a spoon for you to eat with. It's best to scoop all of the layers from the bottom up. The ice-cream may topple if you don't stand it straight, and the shop will not replace it if you do drop it. 


INFO:

Item: 8 layers soft serve cone
Price: ¥490
Address: 5-52-15, B1F Nakano Broadway, Nakano, Tokyo, Japan
Transportation: 5-10 minutes walk from Nakano Station

[Japan] Daily Chico

by on Monday, January 09, 2017
I ate a lot of ice-cream during my recent trip to Japan this past December 2016. One of the stand-out ones was the ice-cream from Daily Chi...
Date: Thursday, December 12, 2013 
Meal: Lunch
Location in Japan: Harajuku (Tokyo)

If you happened to be in the Omotesando-Harajuku area; you should check out a pretty popular chain called Heiroku Sushi. It's a conveyor belt sushi restaurant located nearby Meiji Jingu Shrine and Omotesando Hills. They also have some English-speaking staff so this is a great place for tourists.

Conveyor belt sushi (kaiten-zushi) are very popular in Japan. It is a sushi restaurant where plates of sushi and other miscellaneous appetizers are placed onto a rotating belt, and they would go around the conveyor belt. Customers can either select whichever plates on the sushi train belt they want or place a special order with the chefs. Many places have specific prices for different colored plates, and at the end of the meal, the servers would count the number of plates.

 The pricing are as followed: ¥130, ¥160, ¥220, ¥280, and ¥ 480.























Our cheap lunch for two didn't turn out to be so cheap as we spent  ¥6781 ($70 CAD). I guess it's because we took a couple of the higher priced plates and ordered a few items from their a la-carte menu.


Address: 5-8-5 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.heiroku.jp 
Hours: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm; everyday
Transit: Omote-sando (C-04, G-02, Z-02) or Meiji-Jingūmae Station (C-03, F-15)

[Japan] Heiroku Sushi

by on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Date: Thursday, December 12, 2013  Meal: Lunch Location in Japan: Harajuku (Tokyo) If you happened to be in the Omotesando-Harajuku ...